Frequently asked questions on the nomination process

Who can be nominated for the award?

Any individual, group of people, or organization that has displayed extraordinary humanitarian work on behalf of refugees, displaced, or stateless peoples is eligible to be nominated. Former and current NRC staff or UNHCR staff, including United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) working for UNHCR offices, are ineligible. 

Can I nominate myself?

Self-nominations are strongly discouraged. The following are considered self-nominations:

  • Individuals or organizations nominating themselves.

What criteria will be considered to determine the winner?

  • Nominees are considered by the Nansen Refugee Award Committee in the following light:
  • The deed for which the person/ entity is nominated should take place outside the framework of normal professional duties and go beyond the call of duty;
  • It should demonstrate courage;
  • It should raise awareness for displaced people; and
  • It should reflect the values of UNHCR.

Who selects the winner?

The Nansen Refugee Award Committee comprises:

  • A member designated by the Norwegian Government;
  • A member designated by the Swiss Government;
  • The Secretary General of the Council of Europe;
  • Executive Director of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies;
  • The High Commissioner for Refugees;
  • The Chairperson of Executive Committee; and
  • A guest member, rotated each year.

Is the selection process confidential?
Yes, the selection of the winner is completely confidential.

When is the deadline for nominations?
The nominations process opens in October each year and the deadline is Thursday, 8 February 2018.

How do I obtain a nomination form?

Nomination forms are made available via this link.

How do I submit a nomination? How can I be sure it has been received?

All nominations must be sent to the Nansen Secretariat at nansen@unhcr.org. The Nansen Secretariat confirms receipt of each nomination.

Must the nomination be in English?

No. Nominations can be submitted in any of the official languages of the United Nations (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese).

What do I need to provide to supplement my nomination?

Nominations consist of a description of the nominee’s work and how they fulfil the selection criteria. This includes details of why the nominee should be considered, evidence that they have positively impacted the lives of the forcibly displaced, and links to articles and publications as evidence. Additional information supporting the nomination, including websites, social media handles and other awards bestowed on the nominee, is welcome.

Do I need to provide references?

Nominations will not be considered if three references are not included. These referees should be diversely selected and have the ability to verify the nominees work with or for refugees, displaced people, stateless people, asylum seekers, and resettled refugees, and why their work has made a significant impact on their lives.

How many winners are honored with the Nansen Refugee Award annually?

As a general rule, one recipient is chosen each year. In exceptional circumstances more than one winner has been awarded.

Are runners-up recognized?

In 2017, for the first time ever, five runners-up to the Award were recognized. Runners-up are selected from different geographical locations around the world.