Frequently asked questions

Below you find questions in these categories:
Copyright photos, images and articles
Nobel Laureates
Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize award ceremony and Nobel Banquet
Nominations
Miscellaneous

 

Copyright photos and images


Can I use a photo of a Nobel Laureate?

For uses of photos permission from the Nobel Foundation or Nobel Media AB, and in certain cases, from the photographer, is required.

To apply for a permit for a photo, contact Nobel Media.
If permission is granted, “© The Nobel Foundation” or “© Nobel Media” must be indicated.

The Nobel Foundation can unfortunately not grant permissions to use portrait photos of the Nobel Laureates of 1901-2006 due to copyright restrictions. We refer you to a photo agency such as sciencephoto.com, Scanpix, Reuters, Associated Press, Getty Images or Agence France Presse to make your enquiry for other photos. Where applicable, the university or institution to which the laureates were affiliated at the time of the award may be of assistance in providing photos. Please find information regarding such affiliations in the biographical information of each Nobel Laureate.

Starting in 2007, most of the official Nobel portraits on nobelprize.org are taken in Stockholm, with full copyright held by the Nobel Foundation. Please contact us if you wish to inquire about editorial use of these photos.

Can I use a photo from the Nobel Prize award ceremonies or Nobel Banquet?

The Nobel Foundation has only recently in cooperation with Nobel Media begun making some images from the most recent ceremonies available for non-commercial, press and editorial use in the newsroom. Other photos from the Nobel Prize award ceremonies and banquets are published on nobelprize.org only. We refer external parties to contact photo agencies such as or sciencephoto.com, Scanpix, Reuters, Associated Press, Getty Images or Agence France Presse to make enquiries for other photos.

For more information please contact Nobel Media.

Can I use a photo of a Nobel Medal?

No, you have to ask for permission from Nobel Media.

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.

Copyright text documents like articles, press releases, scientific backgrounds, popular information and Nobel Lectures.

Can I use or translate a Nobel Lecture, speech or a biography?

Nobel Media administrates the publishing rights of the Nobel Lectures, speeches and biographies on nobelprize.org on behalf of the Nobel Foundation who hold copyright. For information on how to license these, please contact Nobel Media.

To licence videos or texts, please contact Nobel Media.

Can I use an article?

No, you have to ask for permission from Nobel Media.

Can I use the material in press releases?

Yes, you can use texts and graphics from the press releases, whereas the use of logotypes and Nobel Prize design marks are not permitted. On all publications in full or in major parts the copyright notice must be applied as well as the source, https://www.nobelprize.org/.

For press releases on the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and the Prize in Economic Sciences: © The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

For press releases on the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: © The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet

For press releases on the Nobel Prizes in Literature: © The Swedish Academy

For press releases on the Nobel Peace Prizes: © The Norwegian Nobel Committee

Can I use text and pictures from scientific backgrounds, popular information and advanced information for the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and the Prize in Economic Sciences?

Yes, you can use texts and graphics from these documents for educational and editorial content intended for non-commercial purposes (use of logotypes and Nobel Prize design marks are not permitted). If the publications are used in its full version or excerpts are selected, the copyright notice must be applied, © The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, as well as the source, http://www.nobelprize.org/.

If you want to publish texts and graphics from these documents in a paper, journal or book, you have to ask for permission from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, contact: info@kva.se.

 

Nobel Laureates


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’ websites.

Could you give me the mailing address or email address of a Nobel Laureate?

The Nobel Foundation does not disclose addresses to Nobel Laureates out of courtesy. Please contact the institution or university to which the Nobel Laureate was affiliated at the time of the award.

 

Nobel Prize


Why isn’t there a Nobel Prize in mathematics, engineering, 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.

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 for 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

Is it possible to revoke a Nobel Prize?

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

How do I propose a new Nobel Prize?

Nomination for the Nobel Prizes is by invitation only (except for the Nobel Peace Prize). The Nobel Committees sends confidential forms to persons who are qualified to nominate. Read more about the nomination and selection of Nobel Laureates here.

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

A Nobel Prize cannot be revoked.

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’ websites.

Can someone affiliated with an organisation (like the EU or the IPCC) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize claim to have received the honor?

Individual persons connected to or working for a Nobel Prize awarded organisation cannot in any way describe him or herself personally as a Nobel Laureate.

 

Nobel Prize award ceremony and Nobel Banquet


Where can I find the schedule for the Nobel Week (5-10 December) in Stockholm?

You can find the schedule in the newsroom closer to the start of Nobel Week.

 Can I participate in a Nobel Prize award ceremony or the Nobel Banquet?

Unfortunately there are no tickets for sale to the Nobel Prize award ceremony or to the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm on 10 December. All guests are personally invited by the Nobel Foundation and there are no tickets available for the general public.

 

Nominations


Where can I find information on how to nominate for a Nobel Prize?

Here you can find information on the nomination process, and how the committees select the final candidates:

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

Is it possible to nominate someone for a posthumous Nobel Prize?

No, it is not possible to nominate someone for a posthumous Nobel Prize. Previously, a person could be awarded a prize posthumously if he/she had already been nominated before 1 February of the same year, which was true of Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931) and Dag Hammarskjöld (Nobel Peace Prize, 1961).

Effective from 1974, the prize may only go to a deceased person to whom the prize was already awarded (usually in October), but who had died before he/she could receive the Prize on 10 December (William Vickrey, 1996 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel).

See also paragraph 4 of the statutes of the Nobel Foundation.

What about the rumours circling around the world about certain people being nominated for the Nobel Prize?

Well, either it’s just a rumour, or someone among the invited nominators has leaked information. Since the nominations are kept secret for 50 years, you’ll have to wait until then to find out.

How do I propose a new Nobel Prize?

Nomination for the Nobel Prizes is by invitation only (except for the Nobel Peace Prize). The Nobel Committees sends confidential forms to persons who are qualified to nominate. Read more about the nomination and selection of Nobel Laureates here.

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 for 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

Are three nominations enough to be awarded the Nobel Prize?

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.

Search in the nomination database for more information

Can an eligible nominator reveal whom he/she has nominated for the Nobel Prize within 50 years?

According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, information about the nominations is not to be disclosed, publicly or privately, for a period of fifty years. The restriction not only concerns the nominees and nominators, but also investigations and opinions in the awarding of a prize.

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’ websites.

How can I nominate myself or someone for a Nobel Prize?

No person can nominate herself/himself. Qualifications to nominate candidates vary somewhat among the Nobel Prize awarding institutions. To find out who has the right to submit proposals for an award, see the links below.

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

 

Miscellaneous


Can the Nobel Foundation sponsor our project?

The Nobel Foundation does unfortunately not possess funds for financing external projects. The foundation is a private institution that primarily manages the assets made available through the will of Alfred Nobel for the awarding of the Nobel Prize. The foundation also administers informational activities and arrangements surrounding the presentation of the prize. Every year we receive a great number of invitations to participate in or sponsor different projects, many of them deserving indeed, yet the foundation has been forced to develop a very strict policy of keeping apart from events that are not organised in direct relation to the work of the Nobel Foundation or of the prize-awarding institutions.

Who is the author of this site?

Nobel Media provides this web site primarily in support of the mission of the Nobel Foundation to spread information and knowledge about the Nobel Prize® and the Nobel Laureates.

Where can I get/buy Nobel posters?

Nobel posters for Physics, Chemistry and Economic Sciences
Contact the reception desk at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, e-mail posters@kva.se or order posters here. A distribution fee is charged for orders larger than 10 posters. The most recent posters are also available in table mat size (A3). Please observe that some back-volumes are out of stock.

Nobel posters for Physiology or Medicine
Contact the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, email: nobelforum@nobel.se.