Among the panel of 14 figures from the sector are Maja Maricevic, head of higher education at the British Library; Christopher Hallas, chair of the Association of University Administrators; and Ken Sloan, registrar of the University of Warwick.
Others include Chris Cobb, chief operating officer and university secretary at the University of London; Liesl Elder, director of development at the University of Oxford; and Hari Punchihewa, deputy chief executive and finance director at the University of Derby.
Now in their fourth year, the awards - affectionately known as the "Thelmas" - highlight the work of university managers and administrators. Last year, prizes were awarded in 16 categories, covering fundraising to human resources and research management to student services.
The main award, the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team, went to Birkbeck, University of London, which the judges praised for its response to the threat posed to part-time provision by the previous government's decision to withdraw funding for students taking second degrees. Other winners included the University of Bath (Outstanding University Fundraising Team); Aston University (Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year, and Outstanding Human Resources Team); and the University of Derby (Outstanding Registry Team).
Universities have until 23 March to enter. The awards ceremony will take place on 21 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
John Gill, editor of THE, said: "The awards celebrate the talent and hard work of those running our universities. With such a distinguished panel judging them, we are sure to see some excellent examples of how important this often-overlooked part of the sector is to the continuing health of UK universities."
• Entries can be made by visiting www.thelmawards.co.uk.