The Holberg Prize is awarded annually to a scholar who have made outstanding contributions to research in the arts and humanities, social science, law or theology, either within one of these fields or through interdisciplinary work.
The Holberg Prize was established by the Norwegian Parliament 1 July 2003, and was awarded for the first time in 2004. The objective of the prize is to increase awareness of the value of academic scholarship within the arts, humanities, social sciences, law and theology. The prize money amounts to 4.5 million Norwegian kroner (approximately €538,000 or $735,000). The prize is named after the Danish-Norwegian writer Ludvig Holberg, who excelled in all of the sciences covered by the award.
The Holberg Prize is funded by the Government Budget through a direct allocation from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research to the University of Bergen, who administers the Prize on behalf of the ministry. As part of it's research dissemination targeting younger people, the Holberg Prize also awards the Nils Klim Prize to an outstanding Nordic scholar below the age of 35, and a prize to a Norwegian High Schools through the Holberg Prize School Project.
Scholars holding positions at universities and other research institutions, including academies, are entitled to nominate candidates to the Holberg Prize and the Nils Klim Prize. Deadline for nomination is June 15th each year. The Holberg Board awards the prize at the recommendation of the Holberg Committee. The Committee gathers assessments on the short-list candidates from international recognized scholars before giving their recommendation to the Board.
The Holberg Prize is announced in March, and the Holberg Prize award ceremony takes place annually in Bergen, Norway in June.