Fellow of the Royal Society

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Fellow of the Royal Society
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{{short description|Elected Fellow of the Royal Society, including Honorary, Foreign and Royal Fellows}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2017}}{{Use British English|date=July 2017}}

HTTPS://ROYALSOCIETY.ORG/FELLOWS/FELLOWS-DIRECTORY/WEBSITE=ROYALSOCIETY.ORG, 1 June 2019, weblink}}| main =}}Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS, ForMemRS and HonFRS) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science'.File:GodfreyKneller-IsaacNewton-1689.jpg|thumb|Isaac NewtonIsaac NewtonFellowship of the Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, is a significant honour which has been awarded to many eminent scientists from history including Isaac Newton (1672), Charles Darwin (1839), Michael Faraday (1824),WEB, Anon, 2015, Fellowship of the Royal Society 1660-2015,weblink Royal Society, London,weblink 2015-10-15, yes, Ernest Rutherford (1903),JOURNAL, Eve, A. S., Chadwick, J., 10.1098/rsbm.1938.0025, Lord Rutherford 1871–1937, Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, 2, 6, 394–423, 1938, Srinivasa Ramanujan (1918),JOURNAL, Neville, Eric Harold, Eric Harold Neville, 1921, The Late Srinivasa Ramanujan, Nature (journal), Nature, 106, 2673, 661–662, 10.1038/106661b0, 1921Natur.106..661N,weblink Albert Einstein (1921),JOURNAL, Whittaker, E., E. T. Whittaker, 10.1098/rsbm.1955.0005, Albert Einstein. 1879–1955, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1, 37–67, 1955, 769242, Winston Churchill (1941), Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1944),JOURNAL, Tayler, Roger J., Roger Tayler, 10.1098/rsbm.1996.0006, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. 19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 42, 80–94, 1996, Dorothy Hodgkin (1947),JOURNAL, Dodson, Guy, Guy Dodson, Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin, O.M. 12 May 1910 - 29 July 1994, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 48, 2002, 179–219, 10.1098/rsbm.2002.0011, Alan Turing (1951)JOURNAL, Newman, M. H. A., Max Newman, 10.1098/rsbm.1955.0019, Alan Mathison Turing. 1912–1954, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1, 253–263, 1955, 769256, and Francis Crick (1959).JOURNAL, Bretscher, Mark S., Mark Bretscher, Mitchison, Graeme, Francis Harry Compton Crick OM. 8 June 1916 — 28 July 2004, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 63, 2017, 0080-4606, 10.1098/rsbm.2017.0010, rsbm20170010, JOURNAL, Rich, Alexander, Alexander Rich, Stevens, Charles F., Charles F. Stevens, 10.1038/430845a, Obituary: Francis Crick (1916–2004), Nature (journal), Nature, 430, 7002, 845–847, 2004, 15318208, 2004Natur.430..845R, More recently, fellowship has been awarded to Stephen Hawking (1974), Tim Hunt (1991), Elizabeth Blackburn (1992), Tim Berners-Lee (2001), Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (2003), Atta-ur Rahman (2006),WEB,weblink Atta-Ur Rahman - Royal Society,, 23 August 2018, Andre Geim (2007),WEB,weblink Andre Geim - Royal Society,, 23 August 2018, James Dyson (2015), Ajay Kumar Sood (2015), Subhash Khot (2017), Elon Musk (2018),WEB,weblink Elon Musk - Royal Society,, 23 August 2018, and (:Category:Fellows of the Royal Society|around 8,000 others) in total, including over 280 Nobel Laureates since 1900. {{As of|2018|10}}, there are approximately 1689 living Fellows, Foreign and Honorary Members, of which over 60 are Nobel Laureates.WEB, Anon, 2007,weblink Fellowship of the Royal Society: a window on the election process, 2016-04-05,weblink Fellowship of the Royal Society has been described by The Guardian newspaper as “the equivalent of a lifetime achievement Oscar”WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-09-13,weblink London, The Guardian, Colin, Blackstock, 2004, Fellows keep Susan Greenfield off Royal Society list, with several institutions celebrating their announcement each year.WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-05-25,weblink Eminent cancer researchers elected to Royal Society Fellowship, Institute of Cancer Research, Anon, 2016, London, WEB,weblink 2016-05-25,weblink Royal Society Fellowship for Crick scientist, Francis Crick Institute, London, Anon, 2016, WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-05-07,weblink Manchester scientists elected as Fellows of Royal Society, Manchester, University of Manchester, Anon, 2016,, WEB,weblink 2016-04-15,weblink Imperial College London, Royal Society Fellows at Imperial College, London, Anon, 2016, WEB,weblink 2016-05-25,weblink University of Aberdeen, Three University of Aberdeen researchers elected to Royal Society, Aberdeen, Anon, 2016, WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-04-24,weblink University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Five Cambridge University academics join the Royal Society, Anon, 2016, WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-04-30,weblink University of Oxford, Oxford, Seven Oxford academics elected Fellows of the Royal Society, Anon, 2016,

Main Fellowships

Up to 60 new Fellows (FRS), honorary (HonFRS) and foreign members (ForMemRS) are elected annually in late April or early May, from a pool of around 700 proposed candidates each year.JOURNAL, Keeler, C. Richard, Three Hundred Fifty Years of the Royal Society, Archives of Ophthalmology, 129, 10, 2011, 1361–5, 10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.222, 21987680, New Fellows can only be nominated by existing Fellows for one of the fellowships described below:

Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)

{{see|List of Fellows of the Royal Society}}File:Stephen_Hawking.StarChild.jpg|thumb|Stephen HawkingStephen HawkingFile:Elizabeth Blackburn CHF Heritage Day 2012 Rush 001.JPG|thumb|Nobel laureate Elizabeth BlackburnElizabeth BlackburnFile:Elon Musk Royal Society.jpg|thumb|Entrepreneur Elon MuskElon MuskEvery year, up to 52 new Fellows are elected from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations which make up around 90% of the society.WEB,weblink 2015-09-06,weblink Royal Society, London, Royal Society Elections, Anon, 2015, Each candidate is considered on their merits and can be proposed from any sector of the scientific community. Fellows are elected for life on the basis of excellence in science and are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FRS. See (:Category:Fellows of the Royal Society) and (:Category:Female Fellows of the Royal Society).

Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)

File:Professor_Jennifer_Doudna_ForMemRS.jpg|thumb|Jennifer DoudnaJennifer DoudnaEvery year, Fellows elect up to ten new Foreign Members. Like Fellows, Foreign Members are elected for life through peer review on the basis of excellence in science. {{As of|2016}} there are around 165 Foreign Members, who are entitled to use the post-nominal ForMemRS.JOURNAL, Gulyas, Balázs, Balázs Gulyás, Somogyi, Peter, Peter Somogyi, János Szentágothai 31 October 1912 - 8 September 1994: Elected ForMemRs 20 April 1978, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 59, 2012, 383–406, 4477047, 26113752, 10.1098/rsbm.2012.0038, See (:Category:Foreign Members of the Royal Society).

Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society (HonFRS)

File:Bill Bryson edit.jpg|thumb|Bill BrysonBill BrysonHonorary Fellowship is an honorary academic title awarded to candidates who have given distinguished service to the cause of science, but do not have the kind of scientific achievements required of Fellows or Foreign Members. Honorary Fellows include Bill Bryson (2013), Melvyn Bragg (2010), Robin Saxby (2015), David Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville (2008) and Onora O'Neill (2007). Honorary Fellows are entitled to use the post nominal letters FRS.WEB,weblink Fellows Directory, Others including John Maddox (2000),JOURNAL, Gratzer, Walter, Walter Gratzer, 10.1098/rsbm.2009.0024, Sir John Royden Maddox. 27 November 1925 -- 12 April 2009, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 56, 237–255, 2010, Patrick Moore (2001) and Lisa Jardine (2015)JOURNAL, Hunter, Michael, Lisa Jardine CBE. 12 April 1944 — 25 October 2015, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 63, 2017, 0080-4606, 10.1098/rsbm.2017.0015, rsbm20170015, JOURNAL, 10.1038/528040a, 26632582, Lisa Jardine (1944–2015), Nature, 528, 7580, 40, 2015, Grafton, Anthony, Anthony Grafton, 2015Natur.528...40G, were elected as honorary fellows, see (:Category:Honorary Fellows of the Royal Society).

Former Statute 12 Fellowships

File:David_Attenborough_at_Great_Barrier_Reef.jpg|thumb|David AttenboroughDavid AttenboroughStatute 12 is a legacy mechanism for electing members before official honorary membership existed in 1997.{{citation needed|date=May 2016}} Fellows elected under statute 12 include David Attenborough (1983) and John Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne (1991). Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom such as Margaret Thatcher (1983), Neville Chamberlain (1938),Ramsay Macdonald (1930) and H. H. Asquith (1908) were elected under statute 12, see (:Category:Fellows of the Royal Society (Statute 12)).

Royal Fellows of the Royal Society

The Council of the Royal Society can recommend members of the British Royal Family for election as Royal Fellows of the Royal Society. {{As of|2016}} there are five royal fellows:
  1. Charles, Prince of Wales elected 1978WEB,weblink 2015-11-17,weblink Royal Society, London, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales KG KT GCB OM FRS Royal Fellow, Anon, 1978,
  2. Anne, Princess Royal elected 1987WEB,weblink 2015-11-17,weblink Royal Society, London, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal Princess Anne KG KT GCVO GCStJ QSO GCL FRS Royal Fellow, Anon, 1987,
  3. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent elected 1990WEB,weblink 2015-11-17,weblink Royal Society, London, Anon, 1990, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO ADC(P) FRS Royal Fellow,
  4. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge elected 2009WEB, Anon, 2009,weblink 2015-11-17,weblink Royal Society, London, His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge KG KT ADC(P) FRS Royal Fellow,
  5. Prince Andrew, Duke of York elected 2013WEB, Anon, 2013,weblink 2015-11-17,weblink Royal Society, London, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO FRS Royal Fellow,
Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II is not a Royal Fellow, but provides her patronage to the Society as all reigning British monarchs have done since Charles II of England. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1951) was elected under statute 12, not as a Royal Fellow.WEB,weblink 2015-11-24,weblink Royal Society, London, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG Kt OM GBE FRS Statute 12, Anon, 1951,

Election of new fellows

The election of new fellows is announced annually in May, after their nomination and a period of peer-reviewed selection.


Each candidate for Fellowship or Foreign Membership is nominated by two Fellows of the Royal Society (a proposer and a seconder), who sign a certificate of proposal.WEB,weblink Ten Things You Should Know about Election to the Royal Society, Occam's Typewriter, 2014-08-24,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-04-20, Athene Donald, Athene Donald, Previously, nominations required at least five fellows to support each nomination by the proposer, which was criticised for supposedly establishing an old-boy network and elitist gentlemen's club.WEB,weblink Sparks fly over Royal Society gender study, The Independent, 2013-07-03,weblink" title="">weblink
, 2013, Paul, Gallagher,, WEB,weblink A bunch of jolly-good fellows or old cronies who don't deserve £25m a year?, Times Higher Education, 2014-12-30,weblink" title="">weblink 2002, Paul, Gallagher, WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-05-25,weblink Royal societies not recruiting enough women, say MPs, The Independent, 2002, Steve, Connor, The certificate of election (see for exampleWEB,weblink Certificate of Election and candidature: EC/2007/16: Andre Geim, Royal Society, 4 July 2019,weblink London, yes, dmy-all, ) includes a statement of the principal grounds on which the proposal is being made. There is no limit on the number of nominations made each year. In 2015, there were 654 candidates for election as Fellows and 106 candidates for Foreign Membership.


The Council of the Royal Society oversees the selection process and appoints 10 subject area committees, known as Sectional Committees, to recommend the strongest candidates for election to Fellowship. The final list of up to 52 Fellowship candidates and up to 10 Foreign Membership candidates is confirmed by the Council in April and a secret ballot of Fellows is held at a meeting in May. A candidate is elected if he or she secures two-thirds of votes of those Fellows present and voting.A maximum of 18 Fellowships can be allocated to candidates from Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences; and up to 10 from Applied Sciences, Human Sciences and Joint Physical and Biological Sciences. A further maximum of 6 can be ‘Honorary’, ‘General’ or ‘Royal’ Fellows. Nominations for Fellowship are peer reviewed by sectional committees, each with 15 members and a chair. Members of the 10 sectional committees change every 3 years to mitigate in-group bias, each group covers different specialist areas including:
  1. Mathematics
  2. Astronomy and physics
  3. Chemistry
  4. Engineering
  5. Earth science and environmental science
  6. Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
  7. Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
  8. Anatomy, physiology and neuroscience
  9. Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
  10. Health and human sciencesWEB,weblink 2015-05-05,weblink Membership of Sectional Committees 2015,


New Fellows are admitted to the Society at a formal admissions day ceremony held annually in July,WEB,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-04-14,weblink Royal Society Admissions Day: photographing new Fellows, Jo, McManus, 2010, when they sign the Charter Book and the Obligation which reads:"We who have hereunto subscribed, do hereby promise, that we will endeavour to promote the good of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, and to pursue the ends for which the same was founded; that we will carry out, as far as we are able, those actions requested of us in the name of the Council; and that we will observe the Statutes and Standing Orders of the said Society. Provided that, whensoever any of us shall signify to the President under our hands, that we desire to withdraw from the Society, we shall be free from this Obligation for the future".Since 2014, portraits of Fellows at the admissions ceremony have been published without copyright restrictions in Wikimedia Commons under a more permissive Creative Commons license which allows wider re-use.WEB,weblink Images released by the Royal Society, Wikimedia Commons, WEB,weblink New images released are quickly put to use, Byrne, John, 2014, Wikimedia Foundation, 2014-10-21,weblink" title="">weblink

Research Fellowships and other awards

File:Professor_Brian_Cox_OBE_FRS.jpg|thumb|right|Brian Cox, a professor of physics, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016 having previously held a (Royal Society University Research Fellowship]] (URF) from 2005 to 2013WEB,weblink Royal Society,, Anon, 2016, London, Professor Brian Cox OBE FRS, yes,weblink 29 April 2016, dmy-all, )In addition to the main Fellowships of the Royal Society (FRS, ForMemRS & HonFRS), other fellowships are available which are applied for by individuals, rather than through election. Holders of these fellowships are known as Royal Society Research Fellows.WEB,weblink Research Fellows directory, 2016-05-03,weblink
  • University Research Fellowships (URFs) Royal Society University Research Fellowships are for outstanding scientists in the UK who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field.WEB,weblink 2016-02-03,weblink Royal Society, University Research Fellowship: for outstanding scientists in the UK, Previous holders of URFs have been elected FRS at a later date including Richard Borcherds (1994), Jean Beggs (1998), Frances Ashcroft (1999), Athene Donald (1999) and John Pethica (1999).JOURNAL, Cook, Alan, Alan Cook, URFs become FRS: Frances Ashcroft, Athene Donald and John Pethica, Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 54, 3, 2000, 409–411, 10.1098/rsnr.2000.0181, More recent awardees include Terri Attwood, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Brian Cox, Sarah Bridle, Shahn Majid, Tanya Monro, Beth Shapiro, David J. Wales and Kathy Willis
  • Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships are for scientists who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching and administrative duties, supported by the Leverhulme Trust.WEB,weblink 2016-01-18,weblink Royal Society, Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship,
  • Newton Advanced Fellowships provide established international researchers with an opportunity to develop the research strengths and capabilities of their research group. Provided by the Newton Fund via the official development assistanceWEB,weblink 2016-05-15,weblink Royal Society, London, Newton Advanced Fellowships,
  • Industry Fellowships are for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation.WEB,weblink 2016-04-10,weblink, Industry Fellowships,
  • Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships are for outstanding scientists in the UK at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances. These fellowships are named after Dorothy Hodgkin.WEB,weblink 2015-09-06,weblink, London, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship,
In addition to the award of Fellowship (FRS, HonFRS & ForMemRS) and the Research Fellowships described above, several other awards, lectures and medals of the Royal Society are also given.


{{reflist|35em}}{{Fellows of the Royal Society}}

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