Honorary awards

The University of Sydney recognises exceptional achievement by conferring an honorary degree; and outstanding service to the University by awarding the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Find information below about:


How to submit nominations

Eligible persons are invited to submit nominations for honorary degrees and honorary fellows to the Secretary to Senate, Mr David Pacey as follows:

– on the nomination form
– information regarding the 2015 round

the University's Nominations and Appointments Committee is currently reviewing the guidelines for Honorary Awards and nominations will be sought from the University community later in 2015

Note: Those approved by Senate will normally be awarded in the year following approval.

Important Information

1. Those eligible to submit nominations
  • Fellows and former Fellows of Senate
  • the students of the University
  • the staff of the University
  • Principals of the residential colleges
  • the graduates of the University
2. Those eligible to be nominated

Those who meet the criteria are eligible to be nominated:


  • Fellows of Senate or members of staff* of the University will not be eligible for the award of an honorary fellowship while in office.
  • Former Fellows of Senate or former members of staff* will not normally be eligible for nomination for an honorary fellowship within two years of their retirement from the relevant office.

* Members of staff refers to full-time, part-time and casual members of University staff.
* An exception may be made for compensated work of a minor nature.

3. Confidentiality of nominations

Any person nominated for the award of an honorary degree or honorary fellowship shall not be consulted beforehand, nor at any time prior to the person being advised of Senate’s decision, and all nominations, deliberations, investigations and recommendations relating to the nomination shall be treated as strictly confidential by all persons concerned.

4. Process
  1. Nominations to the Secretary to Senate, Mr David Pacey.
  2. Nominations are considered by the Nominations and Appointments Committee.


How do I write a citation?

Once Senate has approved the recommendation of the Nominations and Appointments Committee with respect to honorary awards, each successful nominator will be asked to prepare a draft citation which will then be checked for accuracy with the recipient.

The citation is read at the ceremony prior to the conferring of the award.

  • Opening sentence:
    – Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to present [name] to you for admission to the degree of Doctor of xxx (honoris causa).
    – Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to present [name] to you for the award of an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Sydney.
  • Full name of nominee
  • Imperial or Australian honours
  • Discipline area and major achievements that warrant the nomination for an honorary award
  • Accurate information
  • Concluding sentence:
    – Chancellor, I present [name] for admission to the degree of Doctor of xxx (honoris causa), and I invite you to confer the degree upon him/her.
    – Chancellor, I present [name] and invite you to confer the title of Honorary Fellow of the University upon him/her.
  • Simple English
  • Describe achievements, especially in specialised fields, so that they may be readily understood and appreciated, as well as being easy to read out aloud, i.e. the use of technical terms should be kept to a minimum
  • A maximum of one typed, single spaced A4 page