Nomination and Selection of Medicine Laureates


Nomination to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is by invitation only. The Nobel Committee sends confidential forms to persons who are competent and qualified to nominate candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later.

Process of Nomination and Selection

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet is responsible for the choice of the Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine from among the candidates recommended by the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine. The Assembly has 50 members. The Nobel Committee is the working body that screens the nominations and selects the candidates for the Physiology or Medicine Prize. It consists of five members and the Secretary of the Nobel Assembly.

Who is eligible for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine?

The candidates eligible for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine are those nominated by qualified persons (see below) who have received an invitation from the Nobel Committee to submit names for consideration. No one can nominate himself or herself.

How are the Nobel Laureates selected?

nomination process for medicine prize

Below is a brief description of the process involved in selecting the Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine Prize.

SeptemberNomination forms sent out.The Nobel Committee for Medicine sends out confidential forms to around 3,000 persons — selected professors at universities around the world, Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine, and members of the

FebruaryDeadline for submission. The completed forms must reach the Nobel Committee no later than 31 January of the following year. The Committee screens the nominations and selects the preliminary candidates.

March-MayConsultation with experts. The Nobel Committee sends the list of the preliminary candidates to specially appointed experts for their assessment of the candidates’ work.

June-AugustWriting of reports.

SeptemberCommittee submits recommendations. The Nobel Committee submits its report with recommendations on the final candidates to the members of the Nobel Assembly. The report is discussed during two meetings of the Nobel Assembly.

OctoberNobel Laureates are chosen. In early October, the Nobel Assembly chooses the Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine through a majority vote. The decision is final and without appeal. The names of the Nobel Laureates are then announced.

DecemberNobel Laureates receive their prize. The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony takes place on 10 December in Stockholm, where the Nobel Laureates receive their Nobel Prize, which consists of a Nobel Medal and Diploma, and a document confirming the prize amount.

Are the nominations made public?

The statutes of the Nobel Foundation restrict disclosure of information about the nominations, whether publicly or privately, for 50 years. The restriction concerns the nominees and nominators, as well as investigations and opinions related to the award of a prize.

Qualified Nominators

The right to submit proposals for the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine shall, by statute, be enjoyed by:

1. Members of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm;
2. Swedish and foreign members of the medical class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences;
3. Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine;
4. Members of the Nobel Committee not qualified under paragraph 1 above;
5. Holders of established posts as professors at the faculties of medicine in Sweden and holders of similar posts at the faculties of medicine or similar institutions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway;
6. Holders of similar posts at no fewer than six other faculties of medicine selected by the Assembly, with a view to ensuring the appropriate distribution of the task among various countries and their seats of learning; and
7. Practitioners of natural sciences whom the Assembly may otherwise see fit to approach.

Decisions concerning the selection of the persons appointed under paragraphs 6 and 7 above are taken before the end of May each year on the recommendation of the Nobel Committee.