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Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles


The Kavli Prize honors scientists for breakthroughs in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience – the big, the small and the complex.

The purpose of The Kavli Prize is to recognize outstanding scientific research, honor highly creative scientists, promote public understanding of scientists and their work, and foster international cooperation among scientists. In pursuit of honoring scientists whose research has fundamentally transformed these fields, we recognize and value that diverse perspectives enable breakthroughs, and we are committed to acknowledging breakthrough science from diverse scholars worldwide with regards to gender, race, ethnicity, geographical region and institutional diversity.

Nominations and Selection

The Kavli Prize conducts an open call for nominations from July to October of each odd year. Up to five individuals can be nominated for their work on the same breakthrough, and multiple nominations recognizing different breakthroughs are permitted. Anyone can nominate, but self-nominations are not considered.

Three independent selection committees, one for each scientific field, review nominations and put forward a unanimous recommendation to The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. In cases where a committee selects more than one laureate, the committee also determines the distribution of the financial award among the laureates based on scientifically equivalent contributions. Learn more about the selection committees and their process.

All information, both written and verbal, related to the identification and selection process is held in confidence. Records of the deliberations and other confidential activities of the prize committees, both paper and electronic, are sealed and archived by The Norwegian Academy and not made available publicly for 50 years.

Anti-Harassment and Research Ethics Guidelines

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters aims to foster good research practices where the scientific endeavor is characterized by civil rights, respect and non-discrimination, and adherence to the general guidelines for research ethics. The Academy adheres to the Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees’ General guidelines for research ethics and applies to the award of science prizes, as well as the associated selection processes and other related activities. Read our Guidelines for Research Ethics for Prizes Awarded.

Oversight Committee

In 2017, The Kavli Prize partners enlisted the support of a Kavli Prize Oversight Committee for the purpose of evaluating the prize practices and processes. The committee is constituted of five members from the global scientific community who review the entire Kavli Prize process at intervals of no less than 10 years and put forward recommendations to the prize partners. The work of the oversight committee is managed by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.