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Apply for a UNESCO Prize

Why Apply?

Since 1951, UNESCO has awarded prizes to projects offering sustainable solutions to global challenges. All UK applicants for UNESCO prizes MUST apply through the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s independent accreditation service before being nominated to UNESCO.

UNESCO Prizes are prestigious awards addressing global issues and themes, which are conferred on individuals or organisations by the Director-General for UNESCO upon recommendation by an independent and international jury. They each carry a high symbolic value, and are awarded with a substantial monetary award.

UNESCO Prizes cover UNESCO’s four programmatic fields; Education, Science, Culture and Communications and Information. Within these four fields, a further five themes have been identified by UNESCO that the prizes are based upon, they are; Peace, Tolerance and Human Rights, Literacy and Teaching, Safeguarding and Sharing our Culture and Environment, Science and Research and Sustainable Development.

UNESCO Prizes are supported by different Member States. Each prize has been reviewed by the UNESCO Executive Board, are approved at the UNESCO General Conference, and reviewed for renewal every six years.

“We are honoured UNESCO have recognised our work in Myanmar and the tremendous impact of our locally-recruited teachers. Thanks to them, thousands of children who speak minority languages are able to access a quality education. We hope this prize will make them feel even more proud of the amazing work they are doing and motivate them to continue delivering mother-tongue based education.” Dr Kay Khaing Win, United World Schools Myanmar Country Director.

The Process

Step 1: Timeline

Contact the UK National Commission for UNESCO at the earliest opportunity to inform them of your intent to apply. This will allow the UKNC to confirm your eligibility, answer any questions you may have and advise you on your application. This will also provide the UKNC with enough prior warning to identify suitable independent peer reviewers to evaluate your submission.

Step 2: Submit your application

You will be required to submit your application or nomination to the UK National Commission for UNESCO before the final deadline for submission to UNESCO. When the application is received, UKNC staff will undertake an initial review to ensure that your application is eligible.

Step 3: Independent Assessment

For each nomination or application the UK National Commission for UNESCO identifies pro bono experts in the relevant field to peer review the application. The reviewers are guided by the criteria and guidelines set out by UNESCO and their expert knowledge of the sector/issues in question. Reviewers are asked to recommend either:




Endorsement contingent on further information, clarification, or amendments to the current application or nomination or


Not to endorse

Not all applications to the UK National Commission for UNESCO will be endorsed for submission to UNESCO. Not all applications submitted to UNESCO will be successful

In cases where there is a limit to the number of nominations a country can submit, stronger nominations will be given preference for endorsement, as determined by the external reviewers. Differences in reviewer recommendations are reconciled by the relevant UKNC Director and UKNC Board Chair, who hold final authority on endorsement decisions.

These decisions are final, although applicants are entitled to an explanation of any decision regarding their application. We reserve the right for our independent reviewers to remain anonymous.

Step 4: Submission to UNESCO

If your application is successful, a letter of endorsement from the UK National Commission for UNESCO will be provided for your application. UNESCO will only accept complete applications or nominations accompanied by the letter of endorsement from the UKNC.

Step 5: UNESCO Assessment

UNESCO has an internal review procedure of its own. A decision will be relayed to the UK National Commission for UNESCO or directly to the applicant, depending on the category of accreditation.

Key Information

Make sure you read the important information below and for individual prizes before you apply.

You must apply through the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Expressions of interest are welcome.

STATUS:   Open for applications

UK DEADLINE:   Each prize has its own

FOR WHO:   Each Prize has its own requirements

Make sure you visit the relevant prize page for key information such as requirements, deadlines, and eligibility. If you have any questions, get in touch with the UK National Commission for UNESCO via our contact form

Begin your application

Make sure you have checked you are eligible for this accreditation before applying. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Submit your Expression of Interest     

Accreditation type: Prize