- The Kavli Prize is established as a joint venture between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and the Kavli Foundation.
- The main object is to award three international prizes for outstanding scientific work in the fields of Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience. The main purposes of the Prizes is to:
I. Recognise outstanding scientific research
II. Honour highly creative scientists
III. Promote public understanding of scientists and their work
IV. Foster international cooperation among scientists
- More specifically, the Kavli Prizes comprise:
The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics will be awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the origin, evolution, and properties of the universe, including the fields of cosmology, astrophysics, astronomy, planetary science, solar physics, space science, astrobiology, astronomical and astrophysical instrumentation, and particle astrophysics.
The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience will be awarded for outstanding achievement in the science and application of the unique physical, chemical, and biological properties of atomic, molecular, macromolecular, and cellular structures and systems that are manifest in the nanometre scale, including molecular self-assembly, nanomaterials, nanoscale instrumentation, nanobiotechnology, macromolecular synthesis, molecular mechanics, and related topics.
The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience will be awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the brain and nervous system, including molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, neurogenetics, developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and related facets of the brain and nervous system.
- The Kavli Prize will consist of US $1,000,000, a scroll, and a medal for each of the three Kavli Prizes. In cases where a Kavli Prize is to be awarded to more than one person, the financial award will be divided equally among the recipients.
- The nomination process will be open to all who wish to nominate candidates, but self-nominations will not be accepted. The prize can be awarded to a single person or shared for closely related fundamental contributions. Deceased persons cannot be nominated.
- The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters will appoint three prize committees constituted of leading international scientists. These distinguished panels of international scientists will review and recommend the prize winners on the basis of a nomination process.
- The Kavli Prize Committee will consist of five members. The chair of each committee will be appointed directly by the Norwegian Academy. The other four members of the committees will be appointed by the Norwegian Academy on the basis of nominations from national academies or equivalent national scientific organisations representing the countries considered to have the greatest research activity in the fields of the prizes.
- The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters selects the Kavli Laureates on the basis of the recommendations from these committees.
- All information, both written and verbal related to the identification and selection of the prize winners will be held in the strictest confidence. Records of the deliberations and other confidential activities of the prize committees, both paper and electronic, will be sealed and archived by the Norwegian Academy and not made available to the public for 50 years.
- The planning and implementation of the various events related to the Kavli Prizes will be the responsibility of a planning committee jointly appointed by the Kavli Foundation, the Norwegian Academy, and the Ministry of Education and Research. This committee will plan the events, assign responsibilities, and coordinate the interactions between the three parties. The Norwegian Academy will appoint the chair of this Committee and provide necessary staff support.
- The Kavli Prize oversight committee will be constituted of five members: three appointed by the Kavli Foundation, one of whom will be the chair, one appointed by the Norwegian Academy, and one by the Ministry. The oversight committee will review the entire prize process at intervals of no less than four years and recommend changes as needed.