Being a Fellow of the RSE and contribute your knowledge to tackling the most pressing challenges of the modern world.
Fellows should have outstanding achievements in their field, high esteem in professional standing, and contribute to society or public good.
Guidance for RSE Fellows and candidates on the nomination form and candidate paperwork. Please read before beginning the nomination process.
Guidance for RSE Fellows for completing the assessor form.

Becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Dame Seona Reid FRSE (right)
A man standing in front of a screen
Professor Charlie Withers FRSE

The Royal Society of Edinburgh was established in 1783 for “the advancement of learning and useful knowledge”. Born out of the Scottish Enlightenment, it remains true to two underpinning principles of the time, which still characterise a Scottish approach to learning:

A broad understanding and appreciation of different forms of knowledge with a fellowship that encompasses the breadth of academia along with business, the professions and public service

The application of that knowledge for the betterment of society or ‘knowledge made useful’

We have around 1,800 Fellows. The Fellowship is split into four broad sectors, covering the full range of physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life. This range of expertise within the Fellowship means that we are well-placed to respond to and provide advice on a wide range of issues.

The over-riding requirement of candidacy for Fellowship is excellence. The Council of the RSE seeks that excellence from across society. 

Dr Sabir Zazai FRSE and Professor Alison Phipps FRSE

Latest cohorts

The RSE has announced the 2024 cohort of new Fellows, Armando Iannucci and Sally Magnusson are among the 57 new Fellows.
The RSE has announced its 2023 intake of Fellows, with 91 names representing science, arts, business, sports, civil society and academia from across Scotland and beyond.
The RSE has announced its 2022 intake of 80 new Fellows from the arts, business, public service and civil society from Scotland and beyond.
The RSE has announced its 87newly elected 2021 Fellows, comprising leading thinkers and experts from Scotland and around the world whose work has a significant impact on our nation.

Three categories of Fellowship

Fellows (FRSE)

Are active in their area of work and will be able to evidence a contribution across the three dimensions of excellence: outstanding achievement, professional standing and societal contribution

Are resident in the UK with a clear, continuing connection to Scotland related to their expertise

Are requested to pay a joining fee and annual subscriptions. However, RSE does not wish anyone to be excluded from the Fellowship due to financial barriers therefore there is an option for case-by-case support

On average between 50 Fellows are elected every year.

Corresponding Fellows (CorrFRSE) 

Are resident outside the UK

Usually have some demonstrable interest in, or connection to, Scotland

Are expected to engage in some way with the RSE –  For example the RSE may approach Corresponding Fellows for their views on consultative questions with an international dimension

Election is intended to be honorific, without subscription 

Are not eligible to hold office or to vote at any meeting of the RSE

May take on the rights of a Fellow upon becoming a permanent resident in the UK and subject to RSE Council approval

Elections per year are limited to ten.

Honorary Fellows (HonFRSE)

Are members of the Royal House or other individuals of truly exceptional distinction.  They should be internationally renowned and are likely to be widely known outside their specialism 

May be of any nationality or country of residence but should usually have some demonstrable interest in, or connection to, Scotland

Election is intended to be honorific, without subscription

Are not required to take an active part in the work of the RSE, although they are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to do so

Maximum of four Honorary Fellows may be elected in any one year, excluding members of the Royal House. The distinction expected for this category of Fellowship means that only in exceptional circumstances would the RSE elect four Honorary Fellows in the same year.

FELLOWSHIP DISCIPLINES

The Fellowship is split into four broad sectors, covering the full range of physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life. This range of expertise within the Fellowship means that we are well-placed to respond to and provide advice and expertise on a wide range of issues.

Life Sciences

A1: Biomedical and Cognitive Sciences
A2: Clinical Sciences
A3: Organismal and Environmental Biology
A4: Cell and Molecular Biology

Physical, Engineering and Informatic Sciences

B1: Physics and Astronomy
B2: Earth Sciences and Chemistry
B3: Engineering
B4: Informatics, Mathematics and Statistics

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

C1: Language, Literature and History
C2: Philosophy, Theology and Law
C3: History, Theory and Practice of the Creative and Performing Arts
C4: Economics and Social Sciences

Business, Public Service and Public Engagement

D1: Public Engagement and Understanding
D2: Professional, Educational and Public Sector Leadership
D3: Private Sector Leadership

Election to the Fellowship

Being a Fellow of the RSE and contribute your knowledge to tackling the most pressing challenges of the modern world.
Fellows should have outstanding achievements in their field, high esteem in professional standing, and contribute to society or public good.
Guidance for RSE Fellows and candidates on the nomination form and candidate paperwork. Please read before beginning the nomination process.
Guidance for RSE Fellows for completing the assessor form.