Below are the international UNESCO prizes that the National Commission promotes. See our Prizes Policy to learn more about the nomination process.
L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowships
The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards identify and support eminent women in science throughout the world. Each year, five Awards Laureates are recognised for their contributions to the advancement of science, in Life Sciences or Physical Sciences in alternating years. The aim is to provide them with the means to continue their commitment to science with energy and passion. It was established in 1998 and it consists of a prize of €100,000, funded by L’Oréal.
This prize is administered by the New Zealand Royal Society and L’Oréal.
UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science
The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an international distinction recognising an individual’s work (generally as a writer, editor, lecturer, radio/television/web programme director or film producer) in communicating science, research and technology to the general public. The successful candidate is expected to have knowledge of the role of science, technology and general research for the improvement of public welfare, the enrichment of the cultural heritage of nations and the solutions of the problems of humanity.
The award consists of a cheque for the amount of the prize US$40,000, an award certificate, and the UNESCO-Albert Einstein silver medal. The laureate will also receive the Kalinga Chair as established by the Government of India (Department of Science and Technology) which comprises a certificate and cash award of US$5,000.
Only one candidate may be nominated by each country, so all New Zealand recommendations must come through the National Commission one month prior to the UNESCO deadline. There is currently no open call for nominations. Full application details are on the UNESCO website.
UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation
The UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation recognises outstanding contributions by individuals, groups of individuals, institutes or organisations in the management or preservation of the environment.
Contributions have to be consistent with the policies, aims and objectives of UNESCO, and relate to UNESCO’s programmes in this field, i.e. environmental and natural resources research, environmental education and training, creation of environmental awareness through the preparation of environmental information materials and activities aimed at establishing and managing protected areas such as biosphere reserves and natural World Heritage sites.
The Prize was established in 2015 as a biennial prize of USD 70,000, funded by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman.
Nominations must come through the National Commission.
UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize
The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize recognises significant efforts towards effective results in literacy activities and their integration in education programmes. It gives special consideration to the development and use of mother-tongue literacy education and training. It was established in 1989, consisting of two awards of USD 20,000 each, funded by the Government of the Republic of South Korea.
Young Professionals Programme
The UNESCO Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is a global programme which provides the opportunity to young university graduates and young qualified professionals from non- and under-represented Member States to join UNESCO at the early stage of their professional career. It is managed by UNESCO in Paris. The role of the New Zealand National Commission is to nominate New Zealand citizen candidates. The countries eligible for the programme rounds change from time to time, so there is no guarantee that New Zealand will be included in the next round.
Please visit the UNESCO website for further information.
UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
The UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD, which is funded by the Government of Japan, consists of three annual awards of USD 50,000 for each recipient. It was awarded for the first time by the Director-General of UNESCO in November 2015.
The Prize and award winners recognise the role of education in connecting the social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
The nomination process for the 2021 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is now open. All nominations need to come through the National Commission so if you or someone you know meets the eligibility criteria, please send your application for consideration by 30 April 2021.
To be eligible you must have a specific ESD project or programme that is:
- ongoing and has been running for at least four years
- demonstrates an innovative, transformative and integrated approach to ESD
- contributes to at least one of the five Priority Action Areas of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD
- is replicable and scalable
- shows proof of a high impact relative to the invested resources.
You can find the detailed selection criteria here.