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2019 Rare Impact Award Nominations

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, NORD will be hosting its annual Rare Impact Awards in Houston, TX, bringing the entire rare disease community together to celebrate those who are making extraordinary contributions to the lives of rare disease patients and caregivers.

This year we will be honoring individuals and organizations that have truly gone above and beyond to propel progress and bolster rare disease patients and communities. Our previous honorees not only live with or care for someone with a rare disease, but their work supports the larger community in deeply profound and poignant ways.

Now we’d like your help in identifying these very special individuals and organizations. They are your family, friends, colleagues, mentors, medical team members, or even advocates that you have come to learn about through social media, in the news or at events. They are stepping up and making strides to change the status quo for rare diseases. The concrete examples you provide of their work and achievements will set this year’s nominees apart.

Please review our Tips and FAQs and then complete the nomination form below to submit by Friday, January 11, 2019. For complete rules and guidelines, please review these Legal Disclosures.

Nominations Timeline

  • Nominations Window Opens: Monday, December 3, 2018
  • Nominations Close: Friday, January 11, 2019
  • NORD Nominations Committee Review Period: January 11 – January 25
  • Selected Honorees Notified: Early February
  • Honorees Announced Publicly: Late February 


Frequently Asked Questions

The number of honorees varies year-to-year and depends on the number of stand-out nominations that we receive. On average, we try to choose between 6-10 honorees within the Rare Impact Award category.

Please don’t. One well-written nomination is all that is needed. We will ignore “campaigns” in support of one or more individuals because the number of submissions on their behalf has no bearing on whether or not they will be selected. The strength of your argument for your nominee is what counts.

Yes, you can nominate a group or team of individuals for a Rare Impact Award. Groups will be reviewed and considered as a single nomination, and if selected will receive the same level of benefits as the other individual honorees.

Yes, you can submit more than one nomination but in order to be considered they must be submitted individually/separately. The only exception is if you are submitting a “group nomination” for a collaboration between two or more people.

Winners will receive two (2) complimentary tickets to attend and accept their award at the Rare Impact Awards event in Houston, Texas on Saturday, June 22, 2019. NORD will accommodate honorees with travel and lodging to Houston, TX for the event. In addition, honorees will be featured in on-site signage, in the program book, on NORD’s website and through media mentions leading up to the event.

Honorees will be notified upon selection by the committee.  We anticipate this to be in February 2019 by phone or email. If an honoree cannot be reached they may be disqualified.

Yes, we will notify you by email if your nominee was selected.

No, due to the high volume of submissions we cannot respond individually to each submission with a decision.

That’s up to you. On the nomination form you will be asked if you would like the nominee to know that you submitted their name and story. If you select “yes,” the nominee will be made aware in their award letter. If you select “no,” your name and contact information will be kept confidential.

All nominations must be submitted using our online form. Email, phone and mail-in nominations will not be considered.

All nominations must be received by midnight on January 11, 2019. Any nominations received after the deadline will not be considered.

The committee may choose to reconsider a nomination submitted in previous years, at their discretion. If your nominee is not selected for 2019 and you would like to make sure it is considered in 2020, you will need to resubmit it in 2020 to ensure it is reconsidered. Nominations do not carry over automatically into the following year..

This year the Rare Impact Awards will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Houston, TX.

Our legal disclosures stipulate the rules of entry. In summary, the following submissions will not be considered. To ensure your nomination advances to the review committee please read our Tips for Nominations before hitting submit.

  • Self-nomination – you cannot nominate yourself
  • Email, phone or written nomination – only submissions received through our online form will be considered
  • Missing information – you do not provide your name and contact information and/or the nominee’s name and contact information
  • Poor nomination – your submission doesn’t provide enough information about the nominee for full consideration (example: a submission that provides only one or two sentences about the individual(s) will not be considered)
  • False information – you provide misleading or deceptive information
  • Derogatory remarks – as part of your submission you make derogatory or defamatory remarks about another individual, group, organization or effort

Tips for Successful Nominations

What makes my nominee truly unique? What remarkable accomplishment has/have he/she/they achieved that stands out from the work of others in the rare disease space? Need inspiration? Read about our past honorees here.

Be sure to look at the nomination form for the information that is required beforehand. The full nomination form is located at the bottom of this web page.

Each year we, unfortunately, receive nominations that don’t meet the requirements for consideration. In an effort to help you submit a successful nomination we have answered some of the most frequent questions and misconceptions about this awards program. Please review them below.

Equip the selection committee with as much information about them and their extraordinary work as possible! Tell us their story and the impact it has had on you and others. The best nominations are those that speak from the heart and help the selection committee understand without question why that nominee should be honored with a Rare Impact Award.

  • Include links, photos, videos, websites, and other resources that you think will help advance your nomination to the final round in the nomination form.

Be sure to hit “submit” on your nomination by January 11, 2019 to qualify for consideration. Any nominations received after the submission deadline will not be considered.