This briefcase belonged to Klas Pontus Arnoldson, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize 25 times and awarded the 1908 Nobel Peace Prize.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

Nomination and selection of Nobel PRIZE Laureates

Who can nominate?

Each year, thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Prize laureates and members of parliamentary assemblies and others, are asked to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year. These nominators are chosen in such a way that as many countries and universities as possible are represented over time.

After receiving all nominations, the Nobel Committees of the four prize awarding institutions are responsible for the selection of the candidates.

More about the Nobel Prize awarding institutions

Questions and answers

The nomination archive

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The Nobel Peace Prize has frequently caused controversy. One reason is that many laureates have been contemporary and highly controversial political actors, another is that the Prizes in many instances, have increased public focus on international or national conflicts. In the latter case, the awards have often been seen by local authorities as “interference” in national matters. On some occasions there has even been strong criticism against the Norwegian Nobel Committee itself and the way its members are selected.

Jane Addams nomination for Carl von Ossietzky

Jane Addams' nomination for Carl von Ossietzky. It was the first nomination for the German journalist and pacifist, and it arrived to the Norwegian Nobel Committee on 15 November 1934. Carl von Ossietzky was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935.

Photo: Archives of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

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Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) has become the strongest symbol of non-violence in the 20th century. It is widely held – in retrospect – that the Indian national leader should have been selected for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was nominated several times, but was never awarded the prize. Why?

Mahatma Gandhi laughing

Mahatma Gandhi laughing.

Photo: Public domain.

The Nobel Prize in literature and nominations

Once the statutes of the Nobel Foundation had been ratified in June 1900, the Swedish Academy immediately set to work on the preparations required to enable the award of the first prize in 1901.

A half-open door

The door at the Swedish Academy.

© Nobel Media. Photo: K. Svanholm.

The first nomination for Martin Luther King Jr. arrived to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in 1963. Not until 2014, the nominators were revealed.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo: Library of Congress.