The Prize was introduced in 2015, with the first award being made to Étienne Ghys. The second was made to Roger Penrose in 2018.
The rules are as follows:
- The Prize is designated The Clay Award for Dissemination of Mathematical Knowledge, to echo the wording in the CMI’s statement of purposes and goals.
- It is to be awarded from time to time, without a fixed cycle.
- It is to be presented after a public lecture by the prize winner.
- The prize is awarded in recognition of personal contributions to research in mathematics at the highest level as well as of distinction in explaining recent advances to the public at large.
- The prize is awarded on the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Board, with nominations being made either by the members of the SAB itself or by soliciting nominations from others.