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Frequently Asked Questions

Nobel Prize


Is there a Nobel Prize in mathematics?

What was the value of each Nobel Prize since 1901?

How can I propose new invention for the Nobel Prize?

Why isn't there a Nobel Prize in Engineering such like civil or electrical, knowing that these made a wide change in the humanity history?

Are three nominations enough to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine?

I would like to request permission to use the Nobel name, the Nobel medals and/or Nobel insignias.

Is there any information on the Nobel Prize amount?

How many times have Nobel Prizes been awarded?

Where can I find the statutes of the Nobel Foundation

Is it possible to revoke a Nobel Prize?

Has anyone ever declined the Nobel Prize? Why?

How do I propose a new Nobel Prize?

Where can I find the history of the Nobel Prize?

What if the awarded inventions fail after some time, say two years later?

Where does the Nobel Prize money come from?

What is the Nobel Prize?

Why isn't there a Nobel Prize in biology or environmental science?

Who selects the Nobel Laureates?

What are the conditions needed to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine?


Is there a Nobel Prize in mathematics?

No, there is no Nobel Prize in mathematics.

The Nobel Prizes, as designated in the will of Alfred Nobel, are in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Only once during these years has a prize been added – a Memorial Prize – The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, donated by Sweden's central bank to celebrate its tercentenary in 1968. The Board of Directors later decided to keep the original five prizes intact and not to permit new additions.


What was the value of each Nobel Prize since 1901?

Here you can find information about the Nobel Prize amount and a table showing the amounts during the years.


How can I propose new invention for the Nobel Prize?

First you have to check that you are a qualified nominator. Here you can find information on the nomination process för each prize category:

Nomination and Selection of Physics Laureates
Nomination and Selection of Chemistry Laureates
Nomination and Selection of Medicine Laureates
Nomination and Selection of Literature Laureates
Nomination and Selection of Peace Prize Laureates
Nomination and Selection of Laureates in Economic Sciences


Why isn't there a Nobel Prize in Engineering such like civil or electrical, knowing that these made a wide change in the humanity history?

The Nobel Prizes, as designated in the will of Alfred Nobel, are in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Only once during these years has a prize been added – a Memorial Prize – The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, donated by Sweden's central bank to celebrate its tercentenary in 1968. The Board of Directors later decided to keep the original five prizes intact and not to permit new additions.


Are three nominations enough to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine?

Frederick G. Banting and John Macleod were awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine the first year they were nominated (with three nominations) for their discovery of insulin. By contrast, Robert Koch was nominated 55 times over 4 years before he received the Prize in 1905 for his discoveries concerning tuberculosis.

See the Nomination Database for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1901-1951


I would like to request permission to use the Nobel name, the Nobel medals and/or Nobel insignias.

The Nobel Foundation is most restrictive in permitting the use of these trademarks. For details, see Copyright Information.


Is there any information on the Nobel Prize amount?

Here you can see a table of the Nobel Prize amount in Swedish kronor (SEK).


How many times have Nobel Prizes been awarded?

Between 1901 and 2013, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 561 times.

More Nobel Prize facts


Where can I find the statutes of the Nobel Foundation

You can find the statutes of the Nobel Foundation here.


Is it possible to revoke a Nobel Prize?

No, it is not possible according to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, § 10.


Has anyone ever declined the Nobel Prize? Why?

Six Nobel Laureates have declined the Prize:
Richard Kuhn, the 1938 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was "caused by the authorities of his country to decline the award but later received the diploma and the medal";
Adolf Butenandt, the 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, “Caused by the authorities of his country to decline the award but later received the diploma and the medal”;
Gerhard Domagk, the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, “Caused by the authorities of his country to decline the award but later received the diploma and the medal”;
Boris Pasternak, the 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature, "Accepted first, later caused by the authorities of his country to decline the Prize";

Jean Paul Sartre, the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, declined the Prize;
Le Duc Tho, the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, declined the Prize.


How do I propose a new Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prizes, as designated in the will of Alfred Nobel, are in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Only once during these years has a prize been added – a Memorial Prize – The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, donated by Sweden's central bank to celebrate its tercentenary in 1968. The Board of Directors later decided to keep the original five prizes intact and not to permit new additions.


Where can I find the history of the Nobel Prize?

You can read an article about the history of the Nobel Prize here.


What if the awarded inventions fail after some time, say two years later?

A Nobel Prize can not be revoked.


Where does the Nobel Prize money come from?

When Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he stipulated in his will that most of his estate should be converted into a fund and invested in "safe securities." The income from the investments was to be "distributed annually in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

Read Alfred Nobel's will


What is the Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award.


Why isn't there a Nobel Prize in biology or environmental science?

The Nobel Prizes, as designated in the will of Alfred Nobel, are in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Only once during these years has a prize been added – a Memorial Prize – The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, donated by Sweden's central bank to celebrate its tercentenary in 1968. The Board of Directors later decided to keep the original five prizes intact and not to permit new additions.


Who selects the Nobel Laureates?

In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Swedish Academy for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and a Committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1968, the Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was given the task to select the Laureates in Economic Sciences starting in 1969.

Links to the prize awarding institutions' web sites.


What are the conditions needed to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine?

Read more about the Medicine Prize at the website of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.


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