What You Need to Know About the Abel Prize Funding

The Abel Prize is a Norwegian prize awarded yearly by the King of Norway to one or more peculiar mathematicians. It is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802–1829) and particularly after the Nobel Prizes. It comes with a monetary award of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (NOK) (€620,000 or $700,000

What  You Need to Know About the Abel Prize Funding
Abel Prize Funding

The Abel Prize’s history dates back to 1899 when its establishment was proposed by the Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie when he learned that Alfred Nobel’s plans for annual prizes would not include a prize in mathematics

In 1902 King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway indicated his willingness to finance a mathematics prize to complement the Nobel Prizes, but the establishment of the prize was prevented by the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905.

It took almost a century before the prize was finally established by the Government of Norway in 2001, and it was specifically intended “to give the mathematicians their own equivalent of a Nobel Prize.”The laureates are selected by the Abel Committee, the members of which are appointed by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

The award ceremony takes place in the Aula of the University of Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded between 1947 and 1989. The Abel Prize board has also established an Abel symposium, administered by the Norwegian Mathematical Society.

Selection Criteria and Funding.

Anyone may submit a nomination for the Abel Prize; however, self-nominations are not permitted. The nominee must be alive; however, if the awardee dies after being declared as the winner, the prize will be awarded posthumously.

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters declares the winner of the Abel Prize each March after recommendation by the Abel Committee, which consists of five leading mathematicians. Both Norwegians and non-Norwegians may serve on the Committee.

They are elected by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and nominated by the International Mathematical Union and the European Mathematical Society. The committee is of 2018 chaired by Norwegian mathematician Hans Munthe-Kaas (University of Bergen), and was before that, headed by Professor John Rognes

Nominations.

The right to nominate is open to anyone. Nominations are confidential and a nomination should not be made known to the nominee. Self-nominations are not acceptable.

The prize can be awarded to a single person or shared for closely related fundamental contributions. Deceased persons cannot be nominated. If an Abel Laureate passes away before receiving the prize, then the prize will be awarded post mortem.

The nomination letter should contain a CV and a description of the candidate’s works, together with the names of specialists who may be contacted. The letter of nomination should be mailed to:

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters Drammensveien 78
NO-0271 Oslo Norway

The nomination letter should be postmarked no later than September 15th to be considered a nomination for the Abel Prize the following year.

It is also possible to nominate candidates for the Abel Prize using the online nomination for

  • The main objective of the Abel Prize is to recognize pioneering scientific achievements in mathematics. The Prize shall also help boost the status of the field of mathematics in society and stimulate children and youth to become interested in mathematics.
  • The Abel Prize is administered by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Research. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters shall ensure broad support for the Prize and associated activities by involving relevant domestic and international players and milieus in the work.
  • The Abel Prize is financed through the national budget by means of a grant from the Ministry of Education and Research to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. This grant shall be utilized for:
    – the award to the prize winner
    – events in connection with the awarding of the prize
    – activities aimed at children and youth
  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters reports each year to the Ministry of Education and Research with regard to the use of these funds. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters may organize its work on the Abel Prize in any way they deem appropriate as long as they comply with these statutes.
  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters appoints a prize committee (the Abel Committee). This committee shall be composed of five prominent researchers in the field of mathematics. The committee shall have at least three foreign members. The Abel Committee’s chair is appointed for a term of four years, whereas the other members are appointed for a term of two years and may be reappointed one time. If a member must withdraw before his/her term has expired, a new member will be appointed for the remainder of that term. The Abel Committee shall propose candidates for the Prize in a recommendation to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters select a prize winner on the basis of the recommendation from the Abel Committee. If the Abel Committee does not find a worthy prize winner in a particular year, the Prize shall not be awarded that year. The funds for the prize winner shall then be returned to the Ministry of Education and Research.
  • The statutes for Niels Henrik Abel’s Prize in Mathematics may be amended by the Ministry of Education and Research.

The Board

The Abel Board consists of five persons appointed by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters as proposed by:

1. The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (1 person)

2. The Norwegian Council for Higher Education (1 person)

They are as follows;

  • John Grue UiO (Chair)
  • Sissel Rogne(Institute of Marine Research)
  • Hilde Christiane Bjørnland(BI)
  • Einar Rønquist(NTNU)
  • Bakke Buan(NTNU)
  • Øystein Hov(Secretary-General, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters)

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