• Some of the Breakthrough Prize winners for 2016.

Some of the Breakthrough Prize winners for 2016. (Photo : Breakthrough Prize Foundation )

The public nomination period for the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics is now open.

For the sixth year, the Breakthrough Prize will honor top scientists. It will award up to five prizes in Life Sciences, one in Fundamental Physics and one in Mathematics. Each prize comes with a $3 million award.

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There will also be six New Horizons Prizes, each for $100,000, that will be presented to promising early-career researchers in Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.

Nominations can be submitted online through May 31, 2017. The prizes will be awarded in December 2017 during a globally televised gala awards ceremony in Silicon Valley.

The Breakthrough Prize hosts a gala awards ceremony to celebrate the laureates' achievements and to foster broad popular support for scientific endeavors and inspire the next generation of scientists. As part of the schedule, the prizewinners also engage in a program of lectures and discussions at a daylong symposium the day after the ceremony.

The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner. Selection Committees are composed of previous Breakthrough Prize laureates, who choose the winners from the list of candidates obtained during the nomination period.

One 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics ($3 million) will recognize an individual(s) who has made profound contributions to human knowledge. It is open to all physicists -- theoretical, mathematical and experimental -- working on the deepest mysteries of the Universe.

Nominations are also being taken for the New Horizons in Physics Prize, which will include up to three $100,000 awards for junior researchers who have already produced important work in their fields.

Up to five 2018 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences ($3 million each) will be awarded to individuals who have made transformative advances in understanding living systems and extending human life.

One 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics ($3 million) will be awarded to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of mathematics. In addition, up to three $100,000 New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes will be presented to early career mathematicians who have already produced important work in their fields.