About UiB

The Holberg Prize

The Holberg Prize is an international research prize awarded annually for research within the academic fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology.


Marina Warner og Rebecca Adler-Nissen på prisutdeling i Håkonshallen
Holberg Prize Laureate Marina Warner and Nils Klim Prize Laureate Rebecca Adler Nissen, at the award cremony in Håkonshallen, 10 June 2015.
Ole Kristian Olsen / Holbergprisen

The Holberg Prize is awarded annually to a scholar who have made outstanding contributions to research in the arts and humanities, social sciences, law or theology, either within one of these fields or through interdisciplinary work. The Prize amounts to 4.5 million Norwegian kroner.

The prize is named after the Danish-Norwegian writer Ludvig Holberg, who excelled in all of the sciences covered by the award. It was established by the Norwegian Parliament 1 July 2003, and awarded for the first time in 2004. 

The Holberg Prize Laureate in 2016 is American Literature Professor and Shakespeare Scholar Stephen Greenblatt.

The Nils Klim Prize

The Holberg Prize also awards the Nils Klim Prize to Nordic scholars under the age of 35, for outstanding contributions within the same academic fields as the Holberg Prize. The prize is worth NOK 250,000.

Particular importance is placed on the researcher’s independence and innovative ability. Consideration is also given to whether the research contribution in question can be deemed particularly outstanding or promising in light of the researcher’s age, the nature of the research project and the research traditions in the academic field in question.

The Nils Kilm Prize 2016 was awarded to the Sweedish Law scholar Sanja Bogojević.

The Holberg Prize School Project

Each year the Holberg Prize stage a research competition for pupils in Norwegian upper secondary schools. More than 500 pupils from twelve schools participate, and are aided throughout the year by researchers within the relevant fields. A teacher grant is also awarded.

The Holberg Week

Holberg Week is an event series, with debates and lectures that is held every year in the days leading up to the award ceremony. All events, with exception of the award ceremony and Holberg Banquet, are open and free of charge to the general public.

The Holberg Debate

The Holberg Debate is inspired by Ludvig Holberg as man of the Age of Enlightenment and seeks explore pressing issues of our time. The debate will be held annually on 3 December, Holberg’s birthday, starting this year.


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. The deadline is 15 June.