The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA


The President is responsible for the Academy's general government and regulation. Each year they are elected at a stated meeting on 16th March. The President serves a term of three years.

Dr Mary Canning, leading authority on higher education, is the 57th President and the second female President in the 235 years of the Academy


The President and Council are responsible for the Academy's general government and regulation. Each year they are elected at a stated meeting on 16th March. Council formulates policies, decides on strategy and recommends candidates for membership of the Academy.

The membership of Council is drawn from the Sciences and Humanities sections.

The list of current Council membership is available here.

The Executive

The day-to-day business of the Academy is supported by the Executive Committee, which is made up of the Academy officers and a staff representative.

The list of current Executive Committee membership is available here.


The officers of the Academy support the day to day running of the Academy. They give generously of their time to ensure that the Academy runs effectively. Find out more about our officers.

Charter and By-Laws

The Academy is governed by its Charter and By-Laws which can be read here.

Academic Board

The Academic Board oversees the programme and public engagement for the Academy. It coordinates the work of ten multidisciplinary committees and aims to seek common strands for collaboration. The board is made up of the chairs of each of the multidisciplinary committees, officers of the Academy and staff. The Academic Board decides on themes for the public engagement programme and ensures the successful delivery of the programme.

The terms of reference for the Academic board can be found here.

The current membership of the Academic board is available here.

Policy Oversight Group

The Academy’s Policy Oversight Group (POG) is tasked with advising upon the initiation and implementation of all the Academy’s policy activities. It works alongside the Academic Board in identifying strategic issues to be pursued, and monitors the impact of these initiatives. It is also responsible for overseeing a standardised quality assurance process for all the Academy’s policy outputs.

The current membership of the Policy Oversight Group is available here.

The North-South Standing Committee

The North-South Standing Committee is a multi-disciplinary committee of Members that was reconstituted as a Standing Committee of Council in May 2012. Its purpose and aim is to enhance the Academy's overall strategic mission on the island of Ireland by strengthening its presence in Northern Ireland

The current membership of the North-South Standing Committee is available here.

Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee works towards ensuring greater gender, disciplinary, institutional and overall diversity in all areas of the Academy and its work throughout the island of Ireland. Its work will inform actions that will increase diversity in membership of the Academy, and in Academy committees, working groups and boards.

Being mindful of the Academy’s core values of independence, excellence, scholarship and collaboration, the Committee, in its work, considers a broad range of diversity including (but not limited to) gender, discipline, age, stage of career, institution, geography, ability and ethnicity.

The Diversity Committee reports to Council and to the Executive Committee.

The terms of reference for the Diversity Committee can be found here.

The current membership of the Diversity Committee is available here.

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