The Winter Conferment Ceremony – A Celebration of Doctors, Honorary Doctors and Prize Winners

22 January 2020

Photo from the Conferment Ceremony in May 2019.

A conferment ceremony is a degree conferment celebration for those who have received PhDs during the year. On 31 January, degrees will be conferred on new doctors and honorary doctors and a number of prizes and medals will be awarded in the Grand Auditorium.

This year, 85 doctorates and 17 honorary doctorates are being conferred. In conjunction with Conferment Week, everyone is also welcome to attend lectures by honorary doctors arranged by the faculties.

During the formal conferment ceremony, new doctors will be presented with their symbols of honour: a ring, diploma and hat or laurel wreath. The Winter Conferment Ceremony also recognises honorary doctors from Sweden and abroad. A number of prizes and awards will also be presented to deserving individuals.

The residents of Uppsala are made aware of the significance of the day by cannon salutes, in the morning and then at irregular intervals during the conferment ceremony itself.


The conferment ceremony in the Grand Auditorium begins at noon with a procession and greeting from the vice-chancellor, Professor Eva Åkesson. The celebrations continue into the evening, with a banquet in the Hall of State at Uppsala Castle attended by new doctors, honorary doctors and prize winners and their relatives, as well as invited honorary guests.

Conferment Ceremony Programme 31 January 2020

Honorary doctorates

The title honorary doctor is bestowed on those who have made an outstanding scientific contribution or in some other way promoted research at the university. The tradition of honorary doctorates originates at Uppsala where, in 1839, the poet Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom – a professor in aesthetics and modern literature – successfully promoted the conferment of the first honorary Master’s degree. Honorary doctors are appointed by faculties.

Many honorary doctors give open lectures arranged by the faculties in conjunction with the conferment ceremony.

All honorary doctors celebrated at the Winter Conferment Ceremony 2020.

List of lectures by honorary doctors.

Prizes and awards presented in conjunction with the Conferment Ceremony

Björkén Prize for evolutionary biologist and palaeontologist
Linnaeus and Rudbeck Medals Awarded
The Geijer Prize in History
The Ulla and Stig Holmquist Science Prize in Organic Chemistry
Oscar Prize 2019 for environmental law and palaeontology researchers
Martin Henriksson Holmdahl Prize goes to Afaf Doleeb and Patricia Lorenzoni