The Balzan Prizes are chosen by the General Prize Committee
in two general subject areas: Literature, Moral Sciences and the Arts; and the Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and Medicine. The four Balzan Prizes, two per category, are awarded to scholars, artists and scientists who have distinguished themselves in their fields on an international level.
The subject areas in which the awards are granted are rotated, and this special characteristic of the Balzan Prize ensures the promotion and recognition of new or emerging fields of study or research that may have been overlooked by other international awards.
In 2001, the Articles of the Balzan Foundation made a stipulation that prizewinners
must destine half of the prize
to finance research projects
that are preferably carried out by young scholars or scientists.