Nomination Statistics for the 2022 Holberg Prize.


The process of selecting the next Holberg Prize Laureate is well underway. The Holberg Committee met on Friday 6 October to discuss the nominations for the 2021 Holberg Prize and the Committee members have now agreed on a shortlist.

A total of 110 nominations were received for 93 candidates for the 2022 Holberg Prize before the nomination deadline of 15 June. This is close to average for the last five years, and the ongoing corona pandemic does not appear to have had any significant impact on the nomination numbers. 29 percent of the nominators have nominated candidates for the prize previously, and as many as 41 percent of the candidates have been nominated one or more times before. About a third of the nominations have a nominator and a candidate from the same institution.

Geographical distribution

Academic institutions in North America and Europe have the highest numbers of both nominators and candidates. This trend has been stable since the Holberg Prize was established in 2004. It is important to note however, that the numbers reflect primary institutional affiliation and not country of birth or nationality. The table below shows the geographical distribution of candidates in 2022 compared with the average for 2004–2022. In this graph, Israel is categorized as Middle East, and Russia as Europe. 

Geografisk foredeling kandidatar
Geographical distribution of candidates for the Holberg Prize 2022 compared with the average 2004–2022.

About a third of the nominators are from institutions in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, and Norway. As for candidates, the US again tops the list, with about half of the nominated, followed by the UK, Italy, and Germany. 15 percent of the candidates are affiliiated with institutions outside the US and Europe.

Academic distribution

Both "Humanities" and "Social Sciences" are broad categories that cover large and complex disciplines, and many of the candidates do cross-disciplinary research. Thus, the variables in the below graph are not clear-cut, but  roughly, the numbers indicate that the social sciences share of nominations are about six percentage point higher than average for 2022. There are also a few fewer nominations in the field of law than average.

Academic fields vs. average
 The 2022 Holberg Prize Distribution of Candidates' Academic Fields vs. Average

Looking at specific disciplines, literary studies, history, sociology, law, and social psychology are at the top of the chart for 2022. For this graph, some disciplines that are closely related are merged, such as linguistics and other language related studies, different areas of social psychology, as well as pedagogy and educational studies.

Distribution of disciplines: Candidates for the 2022 Holberg Prize.

The process ahead

The Holberg Committee held their annual autumn meeting on Friday, 6 October, where they discussed the pool of candidates. Under the leadership of Committee Chair Heike Krieger, the Committee has now decided on a shortlist of candidates for the 2022 Holberg Prize. In the coming months, the secretariat will collect peer reports on each of the shortlisted candidates, in order to aid the committee members in their further deliberations. The Holberg Committee will convene again on 28 January for a final round of discussion, before they decide on a recommendation to the Holberg Board. The next Holberg Laureate will be announced on 14 March, 2022.

Call for nominations for 2023

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. More information about the nomination process for the Holberg Prize can be found on this page. The nomination form for the Holberg Prize 2023 will open for entries in late November.