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Durham University

University Secretary's Office

UK Honours

The UK honours system offers public recognition to individuals who have given exceptional service and made a difference to their community or in the country.

We are confident there are many University people who deserve an honours award and want to encourage and support nominations to enable individuals to receive national recognition for the great contributions they make.

We need members of staff to suggest individuals who deserve this award.

Who can be considered

Honours are given to a wide variety of people from different backgrounds who have made an exceptional contribution in their role, their field or their community. The award is intended to recognise individuals who have made a significant difference, over and above the normal expectations of their job.

People receive honours for achievements such as:

  • making a difference to their community or field of work
  • long-term voluntary service
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • improving the lives of others
  • displaying moral courage

Candidates should be outstanding individuals connected to the institution e.g. staff, students, mentors, trustees.

Suggestions should be made while the individual is still engaged in the activity for which they are being nominated or have only recently (up to six months) ceased the activity.

Submit your suggestion

Submit your suggestion to the University Secretary at any time.

You should provide an outline (up to 1,500 words) of why you think your candidate deserves an honour. Consider providing a response to the following points:

  • what they have done and whether this is a voluntary activity
  • what personal contribution they made to the achievement
  • what impact they have made and who has been impacted
  • how they are exceeding the expectations of their role
  • how they are engaging with colleagues/peers/community
  • what makes this person different from others around them
  • what is the motivation behind their achievements
  • why the award should be made now - state if there is an upcoming anniversary, launch, retirement etc.

Letters of support from relevant individuals are required for submission so please also consider and indicate likely sources who may endorse the nomination.

The University Secretary's Office will provide support to complete the nomination for submission, for those suggestions which are considered to meet the criteria for an honours award.

After submission to the Cabinet Office

Following submission, which can be made at any time, a confirmation of receipt is issued but further communications are unlikely to be received. Consideration is expected to take at least 12-18 months. Successful nominations are announced in the honours list published at New Year and on the Queen's official birthday in June.

Further information

There is considerable competition and not all nominations are successful. The awards are determined by the Cabinet Office and the University has no influence over the success of nominations.

The person nominated should not be informed that their name has been put forward in order to avoid potential disappointment.