The King of Sweden presents the Crafoord Prize on “Crafoord Day” in the spring of each year. The ceremony takes place in either Stockholm or Lund.
The prize-winner, which can be an individual or a group, is chosen by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences according to the same principles that apply when selecting Nobel Prize winners.
The disciplines supported by the Crafoord Foundation are also chosen to complement those for which the Nobel Prizes are awarded. In connection with Crafoord Day, the prize-winner also holds an open lecture known as the Crafoord Lecture.
In addition, the Academy arranges an international symposium on a selected field within the relevant discipline in the same year. The symposium is held in both Lund and Stockholm.
The aim of the prize is to promote international basic research in the following disciplines:
- Mathematics and astronomy
- Biosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology
- Polyarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis)
Prizes are given according to this rotating schedule:
- Year 1 mathematics & astronomy
- Year 2 geosciences
- Year 3 biosciences
- Year 4 mathematics & astronomy
- Year 5 geosciences
- Year 6 biosciences
- Year 7 mathematics & astronomy
Besides the Crafoord Prize, research grants are awarded within the disciplines in question to individual researchers or groups in Sweden.
Grants are awarded for polyarthritis research every third year, while prizes for polyarthritis research are only awarded when a special review has shown that the prize has made important scientific advances.
A certain proportion of the grants is reserved for research projects at the Academy's own institutions within the specified disciplines.
The prize and the research grants are financed partly by donations from Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord and partly by contributions from the Crafoord Foundation. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences received a first donation from Mr. and Mrs. Crafoord in 1980 and further donations were made later. Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord's Endowment today totals slightly more than SEK 120 million.