Being a Fellow of the RSE and contribute your knowledge to tackling the most pressing challenges of the modern world.
Being a Fellow of the RSE and contribute your knowledge to tackling the most pressing challenges of the modern world.
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.

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Overall Criteria

Consistent with RSE’s role as Scotland’s National Academy, the primary qualification for election to all types of RSE Fellowship is excellence demonstrated by the following three criteria:

Outstanding achievement in one’s field

Evidence of eg. expanding the boundaries of knowledge; improving practice and understanding; developing Scottish cultural life; enhancing Scotland’s reputation globally

Professional standing and recognition

Evidence of high level of esteem ie. merit-based appointment to external roles and activities; awards; election to prestigious bodies

Beyond work – contributions to the wider community and society

Enhancing people’s lives and well-being either beyond the ordinary expectation in the field or in additional fields; contributing to a fairer and more diverse society

All candidates for Fellowship should be active in their area of work. Election to the RSE Fellowship is not a reward for long service and candidates will be assessed on the quality and significance of their achievements commensurate with their career opportunities rather than quantum.

RSE Council wishes to ensure that the RSE Fellowship is truly representative of excellence and reflects the breath of talent and achievement across Scottish society. This will enable the RSE to deliver its mission most effectively. Whilst maintaining the overriding requirement for excellence, RSE Council particularly welcomes nominations from groups that are currently under-represented and under-represented disciplines such as modern languages, philosophy and theology, creative arts, and public and private sector leadership.

Fellowship – FRSE

Candidates must be resident in the UK and have a clear and continuing connection with Scotland that is related to their work. Where necessary, evidence should be provided to support this. There is no nationality requirement for Fellowship.

In assessing candidates for election, it is expected that their nomination will evidence an outstanding level in at least two of the three above key criteria.

RSE Fellows have a fundamental role to play in enabling the RSE to deliver on its mission of ‘Knowledge made Useful’ and acceptance of Fellowship implies a strong commitment to this mission and a willingness to devote time and effort to its work whether at a local, national or international level.

Fellows include

Dame Jocelyn Bell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a doctoral candidate in radio astronomy at Cambridge, opening a new branch of
Devi Sridhar is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and holds a Personal Chair in Global Public
Ian Rankin is a Scottish crime writer who explores contemporary Scottish society through his work. He has published 25 novels,
Julie Fowlis is a multi-award winning singer, musician, composer and voice artist. Originally from the Hebrides, she is now based
Mark has over 25 years of senior leadership experience in the internet technology sector. He was instrumental in the success

Corresponding FELLOWSHIP – CORRFRSE

Corresponding Fellow candidates must be resident outside the UK and may be of any nationality. They should usually have some demonstrable interest in, or connection to, Scotland, and there is an expectation of future engagement with the RSE.

Candidates should be of significant international distinction within their own subject or profession and are expected to be of a higher level of excellence than Ordinary Fellows.

Candidates should be exceptional people who, through their election, can benefit Scotland and the RSE; bring international credit as well as visibility to the RSE; and possibly foster new academic and professional links.

Corresponding Fellows include

Ryan Gilmour (b. 1980) received a Masters degree in Chemistry with Advanced Chemistry from the University of St Andrews where
Professor Hilary Birks obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge and undertook post-doctoral research at both the University of
A thirty-year veteran of the Chemical Engineering industry, Joan recently switched careers and moved back from the USA to continue
Chirikure Chirikure is a writer who has published several books ranging from poetry collections, children’s stories, to educational materials. He
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneering biotech entrepreneur, a healthcare visionary, a global influencer, and a passionate philanthropist. The impact she
Kofi Anyidoho has made diverse contributions as an organic intellectual, cultural activist, creative/performing artist, prize-winning bi-lingual (English-Ewe) poet and dramatist

Honorary FELLOWSHIP – HONFRSE

Honorary Fellows should be:

  • Members of the Royal House or
  • Individuals of truly exceptional distinction who have
    • made pre-eminent contributions in public service or in any subject within the disciplinary domains of the RSE
    • who have a highly distinguished record in the promotion or advancement of the causes for which the RSE was founded
    • have rendered outstanding service which is recognised by peer groups as original and inspirational and which demonstrates a sustained commitment

They should be internationally renowned and are likely to be widely known outside their specialism. They may be of any nationality or country of residence but should usually have some demonstrable interest in, or connection to, Scotland. 

The distinction of candidates for Honorary Fellowship should be such that their acceptance of Fellowship will enhance the prestige of the RSE.

Honorary Fellows include

Professor Mary Robinson has been a tireless campaigner for the marginalised and an inspiration to generations of young women across
Professor Chunli Bai, one of China’s nanoscience and technology pioneers, is President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor
Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. With concerto performances at the heart of her
Sir Mark Walport spent the first part of his career as a physician scientist at Hammersmith Hospital, working on the
Celebrated and named as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine, Annie Lennox’s iconic
Alan Cumming is an internationally-recognised screen and theatre actor, author, social activist, and – most recently – bar owner, based

Election to the Fellowship

Being a Fellow of the RSE and contribute your knowledge to tackling the most pressing challenges of the modern world.
Being a Fellow of the RSE and contribute your knowledge to tackling the most pressing challenges of the modern world.
Guidance for RSE Fellows for completing the assessor form.
Guidance for RSE Fellows and candidates on the nomination form and candidate paperwork. Please read before beginning the nomination process.