Asle Toje/ The Norwegian Nobel Institute

Research

The Norwegian Nobel Institute houses a research unit which assists the Nobel Committee and conducts independent research and dissemination of information throughout the year.

Through meetings, seminars and conferences, we bring together people from the worlds of politics and academia, as well as other opinion-formers. Our main activities are the annual visiting fellows program, the annual teachers' seminar and the regularly hosted Nobel Symposia. The new December addition, Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo, is also intended to become an annual event. We also lend support to other activities that inform about the Nobel Peace Prize, its background and history, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their work as well as Alfred Nobel and the Nobel system in general.

Visiting fellows program

Visiting scholars hold a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent and have research interests comparable to those of Norwegian Nobel Institute in general and the overall focus of the visiting fellowship program in particular. The main theme changes from year to year.

Visiting scholars are usually on temporary leave from their universities or research centers. They visit the Nobel Institute for relatively short periods of time, usually no longer than three months, give seminars and lectures, collaborate on research projects and publications, and pursue independent research.

Seminars

One of our main functions is to provide a nonpartisan forum for informed debates on foreign policy and international politics. Panel discussions, interviews and lectures bring a general audience together with academic experts, government officials, diplomats, journalists and students to discuss the major global questions of our time. Research seminars are offered throughout the spring in conjunction with the fellowship program. Most of the seminars are open to the general public.

Teacher's seminar

The Norwegian Nobel Institute has offered Norwegian high school teachers and lecturers in-depth training on current international affairs since 1949.

The three-day seminar is held during the spring, with discussion sessions between each lecture. The presenters are leading experts within their respective academic fields, but the seminars do not require in-depth subject knowledge from the participants.

Nobel Symposia

The Nobel Foundation's Symposium program was initiated in 1965. Since that time more than 160 symposia have taken place in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economic Sciences, as well as interdisciplinary endeavours. The symposia are devoted to areas of science where breakthroughs are occurring or deal with other topics of primary cultural or social significance.

Since 1993, the Norwegian Nobel Institute has hosted over a dozen Nobel Symposia on a variety of topics spanning from the rise and fall of great powers to nuclear arms control and the causes of war and peace.

History

The Nobel Institute has always had close links to the foreign policy research establishment, especially in the fields of modern history and international affairs. The directors of the Institute have often been prominent scholars in their fields. The first director, Christian Lous Lange, dreamed of making the Institute a leading think tank for studies relating to war and peace. The dream initially was impossible to fulfill, however, partly due to the fact that the Institute's working capital was insufficient for such an ambitious venture.

With the appointment of Professor Geir Lundestad as director in 1990, the old research ambitions were revived. A research director was appointed, and in due course seven new offices and a microfilm room were fitted for use for research purposes. In the spring of 1992 the Institute set up a fellowship program offering research grants to both established and younger scholars. Since then, more than 100 visiting fellows from over 25 countries have spent shorter or longer periods at the Institute, including a number of the world's leading cold war historians and experts on international affairs.

Nobel Peace Prize - Research & Information

NPPRI was established in October 2010, tasked with conducting research, offering seminars and courses, and managing the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.