Completing the assessor form

Please see the below important guidance before beginning to complete the assessor form.

Closing date for nominations: Sunday 30 June 2024

Where do the assessor forms fit into the nomination submission timeline?

Assessors will be contacted with an invitation to complete the online assessor form once the proposer has submitted the nomination form and CV. Completed assessor forms should be submitted by Sunday 30 June 2024.

We recommend that assessors and proposers prepare the nomination and assessor form content offline before transferring this to the online form. This is to mitigate any delay that might occur while Proposers of multiple candidates are completing the online nomination, as they can only work on one at a time.

Download the RSE template assessor form 2024 (54KB, DOC)

Assessors can use this example document to prepare the assessor form content while they await their online form invitation.

More information about accessing and using the online forms can be found in this short guidance document: Download the guidance for accessing online nomination forms 2024 (189KB, PDF).

What is the role of the assessor?

The role of the assessor is to provide additional evidence to support the key arguments from the nomination form and to place the case made in the nomination form into context.

The strongest assessor reports focus on accomplishments that the assessor can personally attest to (either from direct contact or knowledge of the field). If you can, include more, or additional, specifics than are in the nomination.

Guidance for completing the assessor form

  • A. Outstanding achievement

  • B. Professional standing and recognition

  • C. Beyond work – contributions to wider community and society

  • D. Suitability for Fellowship

  • E. Any other information

Overall guidance

Before starting to prepare your response, please consult the nomination case as presented in the nomination form and CV and familiarise yourself with the RSE’s election criteria.

The assessor report should be written in the assessor’s own words and should not merely repeat portions of the nomination.

Your candidate may be well known but don’t rely on reputation; please set out in this form the fullest information you have. Candidates may be completely unknown to certain Sectional Committee members considering the nomination and for that reason they will need the fullest information.

The case must be made within this form. The word limit for this form is 1,000 words. These should be divided between the responses as indicated.

No unsolicited additional materials will be accepted.

Download the RSE template assessor form 2024 (54KB, DOC)

A. Outstanding achievement

Please provide additional information and evidence demonstrating the candidate’s achievements, as introduced in the nomination form. Support the nominator in building a thorough case by elaborating on examples highlighted in the nomination form or introduce additional evidence.

Evidence should be presented as outputs which have yielded further impact. Strong responses demonstrate a variety of outputs with a broad range of impact measures, including qualitative indicators.

Examples of outputs might include but are not limited to: major reports; events; designs; patents; inventions; software; innovations; performances; literary works; artworks; publications

Indicators to contextualise the extent of the impact may include:

  • expanding the boundaries of knowledge.
  • improving practice and understanding.
  • enhancing people’s lives and well-being.
  • developing the cultural life of the nation.
  • enhancing Scotland’s reputation globally.

Specific examples should be listed to demonstrate such qualitative impact.

CANDIDATE NAME is a leader in the field of SUBJECT NAME. CANDIDATE NAME has made major contribution in understanding the global burden of RESEARCH AREAS. Some of his studies are among the most cited in the whole field. For example, his paper on PAPER TITLE AND DETAILS has been cited ~ XXX times. Many other high impact studies by CANDIDATE NAME have been cited collectively XXX times. There is no doubt that CANDIDATE NAME is one of the global leaders in the understanding of RESEARCH AREA.

Importantly, CANDIDATE NAME showed how RESEARCH IMPACT REFERENCED IN NOMINATION. CANDIDATE NAME’s research has truly contributed to the development of a policy framework that has sparked increased investments in POLICY OUTPUT REFERENCED IN NOMINATION. There are now promising vaccine candidates that have successfully completed Phase III clinical trials. It will be thanks to CANDIDATE NAME’s work that many global deaths due to RESEARCH AREA will be prevented in the near future.

Why is this response effective?

  • The nomination form for this candidate gave a detailed outline of the practise and policy impact of the candidate’s work. This assessor response complements the nomination form description by providing more information on a different aspect of the candidate’s achievement (widespread impact of his publication record) – including both an overall summary and specific examples;
  • This response reinforces the practise and policy achievements mentioned in nomination by giving extra context and highlighting the extent of the candidate’s impact.

CANDIDATE’S COLLEAGUES have commented that the success of ORGANISATION FOUNDED BY CANDIDATE, REFERENCED IN NOMINATION would never have happened without CANDIDATE NAMES’s drive, determination and analytical skills. SAME ORGANISATION has had wide impact in the UK and abroad. I think CANDIDATE NAME’s main achievement, in PRACTICAL OUTPUT REFERENCED IN NOMINATION has probably saved thousands of lives. In addition, the support given to SERVICE USERS has probably kept a similar number from FURTHER NEGATIVE PRACITCAL OUTCOMES. I have spoken to many SERVICE USERS who have been helped by SAME ORGANISATION staff to POSITIVE PRACTICAL OUTCOMES. I have also attended meetings with PARTNERS OF REFERENCED ORGANISATION including, on one occasion, the HIGHLY RECOGNISED INDIVIDUAL who came to CITY to meet with ORGANISATION staff. All expressed amazement at the impact of the ORGANISATION and many of them have adopted similar policies. I am in not doubt that CANDIDATE NAME’s drive made it the effective organisation it has become.

Why is this response effective?

  • The assessor response uses various testimonials to add additional context and detail about the wide-reaching impact of the candidate’s main achievement as introduced in the nomination

B. Professional standing and recognition

Please provide additional information and evidence demonstrating the candidate’s level of esteem within their professional field, as introduced in the nomination form. Any further details to reinforce examples introduced in the nomination form or supplementary indicators the assessor can highlight are very helpful.

Evidence of standing, reputation and esteem might include, but is not limited to:

  • membership of prestigious professional bodies (obtained by examination or selection)
  • honours and prizes awarded
  • visiting or honorary appointments and degrees
  • involvement in top-level national and international working groups, councils etc.
  • editorial board roles
  • regular invitations as a conference speaker
  • regular contributions to quality press and journalism
  • any other evidence of professional recognition including from outwith Scotland or the field of work.

CANDIDATE NAME is highly recognised and respected within the fields in she works. She was elected a LEARNED SOCIETY 1 and LEARNED SOCIETY 2 (BOTH LISTED ON NOMINATION). She is a founding co-chair of the COMMITTEE WITHIN LS2 and a member of the LS2 PROJECT BOARD. Her engagement with the ADDITIONAL ORGANISATION NOT INLCUDED IN NOMINATION includes ROLE, and presenting to ORGANISATION SUBGROUP on SUBJECT AREA. She is a significant figure in the ADDITIONAL LEARNED SOCIETY 3 (NOT ON NOMINATION) field. She was Programme Chair for the LS3 conference (YEAR) and, after election to the Board, she became LS3 secretary and founder and chair of the LS3 Community Group. A key figure in the Scottish SUBJECT AREA community, she has chaired multiple events, and has chaired several events at the INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. She was awarded the SUBJECT AWARD NOT LISTED ON NOMINIATION for her contribution to SUBJECT AREA and won the ORGANISATION Teacher of the Year Award.

Why is this response effective?

  • The response lists further posts linked to learned society memberships referenced in the nomination which serves as additional markers of esteem;
  • Introduces additional roles in organisations not referenced in the nomination as more evidence in this area;
  • Introduces additional conference roles as markers of esteem;
  • Cites additional awards not listed on nomination demonstrating standing in field and as a teacher.

CANDIDATE has received multiple markers of esteem as her CV demonstrates with invitations from across the world to lecture, judge and curate; SUBJECT awards within the UK and beyond; OBE; honorary roles at the UNIVERISITIES 1, 2 & 3; input in the early years of ORGANISATION; invitations from national governments to participate in policy development; and commissions from the media, notably 6-part series TITLE which presented a stimulating cross-sector argument for TOPIC. One of her most prestigious awards has been the invitation to join the SECTOR SOCIETY (REFERENCED IN NOMINATION) – the equivalent of a SUBJECT AREA Oscar. Two exhibitions demonstrate her wider recognition, equally at ease with the general public and on the national stage. Her exhibition, TITLE (REFERENCED IN NOMINATION), at the VENUE presented a personal selection of ART WORKS. It showed EXHIBITION FOCUS. Its success prompted a BROADCASTER documentary dedicated to her narrative. At the world’s largest SUBJECT AREA event (LISTED IN NOMINATION), TITLE, LOCATION, YEAR, CANDIDATE was the KEY CONTRIBUTION for the UK.

Why is this response effective?

  • The responses highlights wealth and breadth of evidence in CV and contextualises this as demonstrative of high standing and reputation in addition to specific examples referenced in the nomination
  • Gives additional information to clarify the importance of a sector-specific award mentioned in nomination as a marker of esteem;
  • Provides further information about activities supported by external organisations which demonstrate standing;

C. Beyond work – contributions to the wider community and society

Please provide additional information and evidence demonstrating how the candidate has made multiple contributions to their wider professional community and/or society outwith their sector. More details to highlight the extent and value of contributions raised by the proposer or additional examples will strengthen the case.

The RSE recognises that some areas of work (i.e. developing medical treatment advancements) will more naturally and obviously contribute to the good of society. Therefore, in assessing this aspect of excellence we are looking for candidates who have made a sustained contribution beyond the normal expectations of their work.

Examples of such contributions include, but are not limited to:

  • public outreach activities beyond those expected of your employment.
  • other activities engaging with society for public benefit beyond your day-to-day work.
  • mentoring.
  • charitable service (not necessarily related to the candidate’s professional field).
  • voluntary board membership.
  • contributions to a fairer and more diverse society.
  • other contributions beyond the workplace not covered elsewhere in the document .

CANDIDATE’s contribution has increasingly spread from ORIGINAL DISCIPLINE to seminal contributions to other disciplines, notably SUBJECT. He continues his long-standing contribution and support to patient groups. He has for many years been an active participant at MEDICAL CHARITY NOT MENTIONED IN NOMINATION education/support days leading discussions with groups of young PARTICIPANTS, and has provided a range of patient support materials both written as recorded videos, and more recently as webcasts with a range of patient support organisations from LARGE CHARITY LISTED IN NOMINATION to small charities.

His contributions to the LEARNED SOCIETY REFERENCED IN NOMINATION are as mentioned above, and he has also served on committees for the ADDITIONAL LEARNED SOCIETIES IN NOMINATION. These exemplify his crucial contributions to improving the standard of both research and clinical care in DISCIPLINE, as does his long service on a national COMMITTEE. Similarly, he has been on the Editorial Board of most of the major journals in his field and continues this activity.

Why is this response effective?

  • Further broadens the description of the candidate’s contributions introduced in the nomination;
  • Develops nomination’s outline of candidate’s learned society contributions by giving more explanation and context for the importance of these;
  • Provides additional details regarding charity activities listed in nomination;
  • Introduces a further example of contribution: journal editing.

CANDIDATE has always ‘paid it back’. She has brought: her SUBJECT 1 expertise from the SUBJECT 1 industry on the board of PUBLIC BODY NOT LISTED IN NOMINATION; her SUBJECT expertise to the NATIONAL ORGANISATION LISTED IN NOMINATION board, her SUBJECT 2 skills to her charitable work as a Trustee of CHARITY LISTED IN NOMINATION. Personally, I have been most impressed by watching her mentor young SUBJECT leaders, where she is notably committed to diversity. Recently as part of PRIVATE COMPANY NOT REFERENCED IN NOMINATION’s drive to embed greater diversity in the SUBJECT industry she has taken a leading role in their GENDER DIVERSITY initiative. She also has a profound commitment to public engagement around the issues of TOPIC, notably through the future rules of engagement for the management of CURRENT SECTOR ISSUE. Forging, socialising, and upholding these new ‘rules of engagement’ seems to me the modern incarnation of the RSE’s founding mission in 18th century Scotland to effectively harness the diverse, lively discourse in the salons of Enlightenment Edinburgh.

Why is this response effective?

  • Pulls together a list of examples from the nomination and additional examples to paint a clear picture of the candidate’s level of contribution;
  • Reinforces and provides further evidence of the candidate’s involvement in mentorship;
  • Provides further evidence for commitment to EDI;
  • Introduces the additional contribution element of public engagement not outlined in the nomination;
  • Relates candidate’s contributions to the mission of the RSE

D. Suitability for Fellowship

In your own words, please summarise your argument, complementing that of the proposer, justifying how the candidate merits election to the RSE. This should encompass the various criteria for election.

In addition, please outline your view of what the candidate would bring to the RSE and concrete examples of how they could contribute to the organisation’s activity.

Examples might include: policy advice work; RSE’s public engagement programme; the assessment of research grants; work to support the RSE’s equity, inclusion and representation commitments; committee work; engagement with the Young Academy of Scotland and fundraising.

In my view CANDIDATE is an outstanding candidate for Fellowship. The excellence of his research – as evidenced through volume of outputs, h-index, breadth of his research portfolio and its diversity of funding sources – is certainly commensurate with the level of esteem appropriate for a Fellow. Moreover, his exceptional record of academic leadership, locally, nationally and internationally, sustained over several decades, truly mark CANDIDATE out as entirely worthy of election to the Fellowship.

His considerable experience in reviewing and serving on panels for research grants and fellowships means that he could make a clear contribution to the work of the RSE, in terms of the assessment of research grants and committee work. His expertise in SUBJECT and leadership roles within the national and international SUBJECT communities make him well-placed to contribute to CURRENT ISSUE policy advice work. In addition, his experience in developing outreach materials and activities would be useful to the RSE’s public engagement programme.

Why is this response effective?

  • Clearly indicates the esteem in which the assessor holds the candidate and provides evidence to justify this;
  • Summarises both the candidate’s eligibility for Fellowship and the ways in which they would contribute to the RSE;
  • Gives clear examples under both the eligibility and potential contribution headings.

E. Suitability for Fellowship

Please include here any additional information you wish to bring to the committee’s attention to contextualise the candidate’s achievements.

To enable a fair assessment of the candidate’s output commensurate with opportunity, it is helpful to note any factors which may have impacted their career profile or volume of output.

Circumstances might include, but are not limited to:

  • duration of career so far (ie. career breaks, earlier stage or career change);
  • caring responsibilities;
  • part-time working;
  • any other aspects of the candidates background or circumstances which might have been a barrier or limiting factor in accessing development opportunities.


CANDIDATE was employed until YEAR on a 0.5FTE contract to enable CANDIDATE to combine their academic career with bringing up a family. They recently (YEAR) moved to a 0.8FTE contract. Their CV is impressive enough but understanding their employment record makes it even more so given their diagnosis and treatment for MEDICAL CONDITION since YEAR.

Why is this response effective?

  • Evidence of part-time working to back up description of circumstances in nomination;
  • Clear statement that highlights how achievement and impacts are even more remarkable when delivered in more condensed time-frame

CANDIDATE’S outstanding achievements and continued commitment to scholarship, scientific enquiry and SUBJECT policy over recent years have been all the more remarkable

Why is this response effective?

  • Contextual information provided regarding health circumstances impacting on working time available;
  • Clear statement that highlights how achievement and impacts are even more remarkable when delivered in more condensed time-frame

Election to the Fellowship

  • Becoming a Fellow

    As a Fellow of the RSE, you’ll become part of our broad network comprising experts from all academic disciplines, business, civil society, government and the…

    Read More
  • Election process

    Candidates for RSE Fellowship are peer-nominated by three existing Fellows through an annual online nomination election.

    Read More
  • Criteria for election

    The primary qualification for election to RSE Fellowship are three dimensions of excellence: outstanding achievement, professional standing and societal contribution

    Read More
  • Completing the nomination form

    Please review the important guidance before beginning to complete the nomination form and other candidate paperwork.

    Read More