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Kavli Prize Director

The Kavli Foundation
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Feb 11, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Programs, Other Programs, Program Administration and Management, Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Academic Centers, Education, International, Other Fields, Research
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Director for The Kavli Prize is responsible for strategizing, managing, and implementing the biennial Kavli Prizes jointly with the Kavli Prize Partners – The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research – and through support from Kavli Foundation staff. Candidates should have direct experience in managing international prizes and/or programs with large-scale events and communications activities, and elements that include diplomatic relations and collaborating with other partners. Major responsibilities include collaborating with the Kavli Prize partners on the planning and execution of The Kavli Prize announcement and Kavli Prize Week in Oslo, Norway; planning and overseeing national and international Kavli Prize events and publicity activities with external partners; liaising with Kavli Prize Laureates on award payments, medals, and high-profile events; and managing a $2.5 million annual budget. Science-related background is not required.


Managed directly with support from Kavli Foundation staff and/or in coordination with the Prize partners.

Kavli Prize Events

  • Kavli Prize Week: Held biennially (even years) in Oslo, Norway with activities including receptions, banquet, ceremony and Laureate panel discussions and other program elements. Attendance at all events required. Lead role in planning and executing The Kavli Foundation’s welcome reception, with staff support. Collaborate with Kavli Prize partners on other program aspects as determined.
  • Kavli Prize announcement: Held biennially in even years, includes coordinating with the Kavli Prize partners (Academy and Ministry) to announce the selection of the laurates, external media partners and Kavli Foundation staff. Oversee and manage announcement strategy, including announcement program (online and in-person), development of media assets and results reports.
  • Kavli Prize Laureate events: Identify opportunities to promote the laureates and their science, working in partnership with Kavli Foundation communications staff. Manage existing (e.g., Carnegie Institute for Science) and potential future partnerships, including agreements and budget. Serve as Kavli Prize and Kavli Foundation representative.

Call for Nominations 

  • Content and Promotion: Collaborate with the Norwegian Academy on copy and content (e.g., solicitation letters) in preparation for the open call (September 1 to December 1 of odd years). Lead and manage promotion through creation and placement of digital and print advertising (see below) and social media in collaboration with Kavli Foundation communications staff.
  • Email lists: In conjunction with Kavli staff, coordinate updating the Call for Nomination’s list to receive solicitation letters from the Norwegian Academy President. Support the Academy in reviewing and testing personalized letter for each category of the list.

Media and Communications

  • Partnerships: Identify opportunities to promote the laureates and their science, working in partnership with Kavli Foundation communications staff. Manage existing and potential future partnerships, agreements, and budget. Examples of partnerships includes Scientific American, Alan Alda’s Clear and Vivid podcast, and World Science Festival.  
  • Advertising: Oversee creative development and placement of print and digital advertising orders with major scientific and non-scientific publications for the Call for Nominations and The Kavli Prize announcement in partnership with Kavli Foundation communications staff. Manage payments, budget, and reports. 
  • Communications Agency (Burness): Partner with Kavli Foundation communications staff on focus and utility of communications agency. Manage agreement, payments, budget, and reports.


Laureate Award Payments and Medals

  • Kavli Prize Laureate Award Payments: Responsible for initiating annual award payments to laureates and liaising with legal counsel and accounting on payments.
  • Kavli Prize Medals and Scrolls: Purchase gold and direct the minting of the Kavli Prize gold medals. Oversee the manufacture of the prize medal boxes and scroll holders and shipment of the medals and scrolls to the laureates with support from the Kavli Foundation program specialist.



  • Kavli Prize Partners Meetings: Plan and help lead monthly partner calls and biennial partners in-person meeting, including agendas, reports, logistics and follow-up on actions.
  • Internal Meetings: Partner with communications staff on twice monthly meetings to review communications strategies and plan, media partnerships and assets, events, etc. Frequency increases in on-years timed to the Kavli Prize announcement.
  • Board Meetings: Provide input and draft or review content related to The Kavli Prize for board meetings, including written materials/reports and PowerPoint presentations. Collaborate with the director of communications and prizes, with support from other Kavli staff.



  • Manage overall budget throughout the fiscal year, including the creation of an annual budget, reviews of monthly budget reports and development of year-end projections.



  • Ability to lead, coordinate and manage concurrent multiple projects, with strong attention to detail and deadline deliverables
  • Confidence and understanding diplomacy when working with international partners, constituents, and vendors.
  • Ability to coordinate and/or supervise the detailed event planning for Kavli Prize activities in collaboration with Foundation staff and/or external partners.
  • Excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Background in science or interest in science research desired.



  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in managing high-profile national and international programs, science-related preferred. Specific experience in managing prizes preferred.
  • Experience working with philanthropic foundations, higher education institutions, and scientific societies, academies, or research commissions preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Prior budget management experience required.


Remote/hybrid will be considered                                                                        Domestic and international travel is required-approximately 25%
Competitive benefits package

Application Instructions:

1. Submit resume and cover letter to:

2. All applicants must complete the Culture Index Survey


No phone calls or recruiters please 

The Kavli Foundation is an EEO employer

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