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“The Kavli Prizes are awarded in three areas: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience – the largest, the smallest, and the most complex. I believe these prizes are in the most exciting fields for the twenty-first century and beyond.”

Fred Kavli

Medal of the Kavli Prize

The vision for The Kavli Prize comes from Fred Kavli, a Norwegian-American physicist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who turned his lifelong fascination with science into a lasting legacy for recognizing scientific breakthroughs and for supporting basic research.

Since the first awards in 2008, The Kavli Prize has recognized innovative scientific research – from the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 to the detection of gravitational waves – transforming our understanding of the very big, the very small and the very complex.

The Kavli Prize Laureates are celebrated in Oslo, Norway, in a ceremony presided over by the Royal Family. The Kavli Prizes have so far honored 54 scientists from 13 countries − Austria, Czechia, France, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, and United Kingdom. Ten laureates received The Nobel Prize after receiving The Kavli Prize.

Guiding Principles

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.

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The Kavli Prize conducts an open call for nominations in the fall 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.

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Prize committees

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters appoints three Kavli Prize Selection Committees on the basis of nominations received by leading international academies and other equivalent scientific organizations.

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Photo galleries

Visit the Kavli Prize Flickr for photographs of the laureates, Kavli Prize Week, the award ceremony, celebratory banquet and U.S. Presidential visits.

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The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the origin, evolution and properties of the universe, including the fields of cosmology, astrophysics, astronomy, planetary science, solar physics, space science, astrobiology, astronomical and astrophysical instrumentation, and particle astrophysics.

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The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is awarded for outstanding achievement in the science and application of the unique physical, chemical and biological properties of atomic, molecular, macromolecular, and cellular structures and systems that are manifest in the nanometer scale, including molecular self-assembly, nanomaterials, nanoscale instrumentation, nanobiotechnology, macromolecular synthesis, molecular mechanics and related topics.

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The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the brain and nervous system, including molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, neurogenetics, developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and related facets of the brain and nervous system.

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Kavli Prize Partners

The three Kavli Prize partners cooperate in the planning and implementation of all global Kavli Prize events.

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters administers The Kavli Prize Week in Oslo, Norway, The Kavli Prize Selection Committees and the announcement of The Kavli Prize Laureates.

The Kavli Foundation

The Kavli Foundation provides the award money and gold medals to The Kavli Prize Laureates, and promotes the laureates and their science.

The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and The Kavli Foundation are not part of the laureate nomination and selection process.


General and public queries to the Kavli Prizes, including questions about the nominating process, should be directed to The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Drammensveien 78 0271 Oslo, Norway.
+47 22 84 15 00 | kavliprize@dnva.no

Media in need of information about the Kavli Prizes may contact:

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Marina Tofting
+47 938 66 31

The Kavli Foundation
Stacey Bailey
+1 424 353 8806