United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award 2023 (up to $100,000)

Deadline: March 17, 2023

Applications are open for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award 2023. Each year, the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award recognizes several individuals, groups or organizations that have shown exceptional dedication in protecting and assisting refugees, internally displaced or stateless people.

Last year’s global laureate of the Nansen Refugee Award was Angela Merkel, the former Federal Chancellor of Germany. The Selection Committee cited her leadership, courage and compassion in ensuring the protection of hundreds of thousands of desperate people, as well as her efforts to find viable long-term solutions for those seeking safety.


  • The 2023 global laureate will receive a commemorative medal and a monetary prize of US$100,000 to be reinvested in the humanitarian initiatives for which they are being recognized.
  • Several regional winners will receive a smaller monetary prize to further their humanitarian work.


  • Anyone may nominate a candidate for the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. If you nominated someone in the past but they did not win, you may nominate them again.
  • The strongest nominations will provide a detailed account of the candidate’s work and results for displaced or stateless people, as well as three solid references to vouch for their character and impact. References should not all come from the same organization or group.
  • Self-nominations are strongly discouraged. Current or former UNHCR employees are not eligible.

Selection Criteria

  • Candidates may be individuals, groups or organizations.
  • Their work must have a direct and positive impact on the lives of forcibly displaced or stateless people.
  • Their work relates to a major displacement situation or issue. This year the organisers especially encourage nominations that relate to inclusion or solutions, which will be central themes of the Global Forum on Refugees in December 2023, but this is optional.
  • They devote substantial time and effort to support forcibly displaced or stateless people, going above and beyond the call of duty and outside their expected role.
  • They have the capacity to successfully implement a suitable project with the prize money (US$100,000 for the global laureate, US$25,000 for regional winners).
  • They have three strong references.


If you know of an inspiring candidate, submit your nomination now. You can use this guide to prepare your answers in advance before submitting the online form.

The nomination period for the 2023 awards is now open. It will run until midnight CET on 17 March 2023.

Click here to nominate

For more information, visit UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award.