Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Ceremonies Unit

Nominations for Honorary Awards

The University confers honorary awards in order to make a public statement of the University's values and commitments:

  • Honorary Degrees
  • Chancellor's Medal
  • Dunelmensis Award

Honorary Degrees and the Chancellor's Medal

Nominations can be submitted throughout the year using the Honorary Awards nomination form.

Individual members of University staff are invited to submit nominations and the proposals are strengthened if they have the support of a group of staff, a department or college.

Nominators are advised to talk to a member of the Panel who can provide advice on the nomination form and respond to questions raised at the meeting. Nominations for female Honorary Degree and Chancellor’s Medal recipients are encouraged.

Rationale

A supporting statement must be submitted with the nomination form to present the case for the award for consideration by the Panel, noting that members may have little knowledge of the candidate or their field of work.

Rationale should be no more than 1000 words but should visibly demonstrate how the candidate meets the criteria stated in the Principles for Honorary Awards and clearly identify:

For Honorary Awards

  • Academic background and employment history
  • Key achievements and impact, noting the candidates personal involvement in any group work
  • Links and contributions to Durham University and potential for future engagement
  • The reasons this candidate should be awarded compared to others in their field
  • Timeframe for the conferment of the award if linked to a significant event or anniversary

For Chancellor's Medals

  • Employment history
  • Key achievements and impact, noting the candidates personal involvement in any group work
  • The reasons this candidate should be awarded compared to others in comparable roles across the University
  • Timeframe for the conferment of the award if linked to a significant event or anniversary

Orator

The nominator(s) must propose an Orator to produce a speech on the life and achievements of the candidate to be presented at the ceremony before the award is conferred. The orator must be a member of University staff and should ideally be one of the nominators. It is preferable for the orator to have a connection with the candidate.The Panel encourages female orators where possible, although the key criterion is to have a connection with the candidate.

Approval Process

Nominations are considered by the Senate Advisory Panel on Ceremonies and Honorary Degrees. The Panel puts forward recommendations to Senate, where members vote in a confidential ballot to approve awards. Nominators will be informed of the outcome of their candidate following Senate.

Conferment of Awards

Honorary degrees are generally awarded at Congregation and successful candidates will be invited to attend either the Winter or Summer Congregation in the following year.

Chancellor's Medals are awarded at a special dinner to celebrate excellence among university staff. In 2017 this will be held on Monday 24 April.

Dunelmensis Award

Nominations for the Dunelmensis Award should be submitted to the Development and Alumni Relations Office.

The Dunelmensis Award is generally presented at the Annual Alumni dinner held in London in October.

Further Information

All nominations must be treated in confidence by everyone concerned. Nominees must not be made aware that they have been nominated and no contact should be made with their family, friends or staff.

Successful nominees will be contacted by the Vice-Chancellor and invited to accept the award.

Names of existing honorary award holders are listed in the University Calendar and copies of speeches given at recent events are also published online.