Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy is a public recognition of academic excellence. It is the highest academic honour in Ireland and is open only to those resident in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name.

The Role of Members

Members assist the Academy in its work by providing expert advice for its Council and committees, by representing the Academy nationally and internationally, and by promoting the strategic plan of the Academy.

Among the membership of the Academy are many of Ireland’s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Joe Lee, historian; Patrick Honohan, economist; Dermot Gleeson, barrister and Attorney General 1994-7; Anngret Simms, geographer; Dermot Moran, philosopher; Peter Sutherland, lawyer and banker; Noel Dorr, former diplomat; Geraldine Kennedy, journalist; Susan Denham, Chief Justice; Paul Bew, political scientist; Luke O'Neill, Immunologist; Rose Anne Kenny, professor of geriatric medicine; Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.

Proposals for Honorary Membership 2015

Proposals from Members of the Academy, for the election of Honorary Members at the November 2015 Stated General Meeting are now being invited. The deadline for completed proposals is Tuesday 30th June 2015.

A small number of Honorary Members are elected annually. This distinction is usually reserved for academics who have made a major international contribution to their discipline, but who are not normally resident in Ireland. Click here for further details and nomination form.


Proposals for Membership 2015

Proposals for the election of Members at the March 2015 Stated General Meeting are now closed. The deadline for completed proposals was Tuesday 30th September 2014.

Council Nominated Membership 2015 (CNM)

Council may also recommend for election into the Academy a number of persons of distinction who have made a significant contribution to Irish society and whose election would, in the opinion of Council, be of benefit to the Academy. These members will be elected at the March Stated Meeting 2015. (See by-laws Chapter IV, 5).

Proposals for the election of Council Nominated Members at the March 2015 Stated General Meeting are now closed. The deadline for completed proposals was Friday 31 October 2014.


Interested in becoming a Member?

To view details of RIA Membership timeline, please click here.

The criterion for election to membership is a significant contribution to scholarly research as shown in the candidate’s published academic work. Approximately twelve new ordinary Members are elected each year (equally divided between the sciences and the humanities and social sciences). Candidates must be proposed and recommended by five Members. Elections take place on 16 March each year after a rigorous, peer-reviewed selection procedure.

We will mark the annual election of new Members with a special ceremony on Friday, 29 May 2015, at which they will sign the Members’ Roll at Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.

For further information on how to become a Member, please click here

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