The Kavli Prize is established as a joint venture between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and The Kavli Foundation (based in Los Angeles, California).


The Kavli Prize honors scientists for breakthroughs in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. The main purposes of the prize are to:

  • Recognize outstanding scientific research
  • Honor highly creative scientists
  • Promote public understanding of scientists and their work
  • Foster international cooperation among scientists


The Kavli Prize consists of US $1,000,000, and a gold medal for each of the three Kavli Prizes. In cases where a Kavli Prize is awarded to more than one person, the distribution of the financial award is left to The Kavli Prize Selection Committee. The prize money should be divided based on scientifically equivalent contributions.


The nomination process is open to scientists conducting basic research in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. Self-nominations are not accepted. The prize can be awarded to a single person or several individuals for closely related fundamental contributions (with no more than five laureates per field). Deceased persons cannot be nominated.

Prize Committees and Selection Process

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters appoints five members (including the chair) to the three Kavli Prize Committees on the basis of nominations received by leading international academies and other equivalent scientific organizations. 

These committees review and discuss the nominations, work independently and make a unanimous recommendation to The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The Academy selects The Kavli Laureates on the basis of the recommendations. 


All information, both written and verbal, related to the identification and selection process is held in the strictest 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.

Kavli Prize Activities and Events

The planning and implementation of the various events related to The Kavli Prize is the responsibility of a planning committee jointly appointed by The Kavli Foundation, The Norwegian Academy and The Ministry of Education and Research. This committee plans the events, assigns responsibilities and coordinates the interactions among the three partners. 

Oversight Committee

The Kavli Prize Oversight Committee is constituted of five members. The Norwegian Academy selects the members and the committee chair, in consultation with The Kavli Foundation. The work of the oversight committee will be managed by The Norwegian Academy. The Kavli Prize Oversight Committee will review the entire Kavli Prize process at intervals of no less than 10 years and recommend changes as needed.