The Crafoord Prize

The Crafoord Prize in Mathematics and Astronomy, Biosciences, Geosciences or Polyarthritis research is awarded in partnership between the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Crafoord Foundation in Lund. The Academy is responsible for selecting the Crafoord Laureates. The prize sum of SEK 6 million makes the Crafoord Prize one of the world´s largest scientific prizes.

Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord’s Fund was established in 1980 by a donation to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord. The Crafoord Prize was awarded for the first time in 1982. The purpose of the Fund is to promote basic scientific research worldwide in the following disciplines:

  • Mathematics and Astronomy
  • Geosciences
  • Biosciences (with emphasis on ecology)
  • Polyarthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)

Support to research takes the form of an international prize awarded annually to outstandig scientists, and of research grants to individuals or institutions in Sweden. Both awards and grants are made according to the  following order:

  • Year 1: Astronomy and Mathematics
  • Year 2: Geosciences
  • Year 3: Biosciences
  • (repeat)

The prize in Polyarthritis is awarded only when an investigation by the Academy’s Class for medical sciences has shown that scientific progress in this field has been such that an award is justified.

Starting in 2012, there are two separate prizes in mathematics and astronomy awarded at the same time.*

The laureates are announced in mid-January each year, and the prize is presented in April/May on the “Crafoord Days”.


*From 1982–2005 the prize in mathematics and astronomy was awarded according to the scheme:

  • Mathematics in 2001, 1994, 1988 and 1982
  • Astronomy in 2005, 1997, 1991 and 1985

In 2008 there was a joint prize in mathematics and astronomy with one half to the mathematicians Kontsevich and Witten and the other half to the astronomer Sunyaev.