UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award 2021 for Extraordinary Work for Refugees ($150,000 award)

Application deadline: February 28,2021

Opportunity Description

Nominations for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR’s) Nansen Award 2021 are now open. Each year, UNHCR looks for an exceptional individual, group, or organization that has, beyond their daily duty, done an extraordinary philanthropic work in support of refugees, internally displaced and stateless people. Therefore, if you are one of those or know anyone or group working to make a difference in this regard, nominate now.


Nominations due: midnight CET, 28 February 2021

Organizing institution: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Number of awards: ONE award winner and FOUR runners-up from 4 regions

Open to: All countries and regions

Who can be nominated?

  • Any individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated outstanding humanitarian work to help refugees and displaces people are eligible.
  • Previous and current UNHCR staff, including United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) working for UNHCR offices, are not eligible.
  • Finalists from the 2020 award are still eligible.

Selection of winner

The Nansen Refugee Award Selection Committee comprising several members, in a confidential process, selects the winner and the laureate is recognized in the award ceremony under the chairmanship of UNHCR Chief.

How to submit a nomination?

All eligible nominators can submit a nomination on behalf of their nominees online.

Nominate HERE.

Note: Self-nominations are strongly discouraged. So, candidates should be nominated for the award.

  • Nominations can be submitted in any of the official languages of the United Nations (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese).

What should nominations include?

Nominations comprise a description of the nominee’s work and how they meet the selection criteria, including:

  • The details of why the nominee is eligible for the award;
  • Proof that they have positively impacted the lives of the forcibly displaced people (links to articles and publications as evidence); and
  • Supplementary information supporting the nomination, including websites, news articles, social media posts, and other awards received by the nominee, is welcome.
  • Three references from three diversely selected referees who know the nominee’s work for and with refugees and how the nominee has done a significant work.

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