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Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

This message invites nominations for the New Year 2012 Honours list. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday 6 April 2011.

We will shortly begin to compile our list of people whose names might be put forward to 10 Downing Street as possible recipients of a national honour in the New Year 2012 Honours list. I am seeking fresh citations from the heads of all HEFCE-funded higher education institutions for this purpose.

Recognising the contribution of people working in higher education is extremely important. We would therefore like you to put forward recommendations for your colleagues, undoubtedly among the best in their field, from all areas of the sector including research, scholarship, and teaching.

The Secretary of State is keen to promote more grass-roots candidates so we would like to encourage nominations at all levels within institutions, particularly administrative staff in manual, clerical or other support roles, who have made an outstanding contribution and had a positive impact on both students and colleagues.

We would especially welcome nominations for female candidates, particularly those at senior level, and for ethnic minority candidates as these groups are generally under-represented in the nominations received.

All nominations must be made electronically on the Cabinet Office citation form. If you wish to make a nomination see below for general guidance, the form and instructions on how to complete it.

Completed forms should be e-mailed to Paula McLeod on no later than Wednesday 6 April 2011.

Yours sincerely

Sir Alan Langlands
Chief Executive

General guidance

  • The honours system is designed to recognise outstanding contributions at whatever stage a person may be at rather than as a reward for a whole career. This means that nominations for younger candidates will certainly be considered. However, where a worthy candidate is nearing retirement then they should be submitted well in advance of that date (up to four years, if possible).
  • The long citation is very important. It is to the benefit of the nominee that as much supporting evidence as possible is included in the space allowed. In addition to details about the work record of the nominee, supporting information in respect of achievements outside the workplace is particularly important. This could include voluntary activity within an institution or the local community, or a significant contribution at a national level.
  • It is in the interests of the nominee if those people that know the nominee’s work can be identified and encouraged to write to HEFCE by the prescribed deadline in support of the nomination. This should also include any voluntary or community activity that the candidate is involved in. Additional support will help to strengthen an individual's case.
  • If an honour has been awarded within the last five years it is very unlikely that a second honour of a higher rank would be considered so soon. It is normal to leave a gap of at least five years, and even then a second honour would be given only for exceptional additional service.
  • Late submissions are not normally accepted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in view of the large number received and the time needed to check each one.


The form and instructions on how to complete it are no longer available.

Date: 10 January 2011

Ref: Circular letter 01/2011

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions

Enquiries should be directed to:

Paula McLeod, tel 0117 931 7345, e-mail