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.

Council Nominated Membership 2016

Council may also recommend for election into the Academy, up to 4 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 (see by-laws Chapter IV, 5).

The deadline for proposals has now passed. The call will open again in September 2016. 

For more information or to discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to contact Gilly Clarke by email at g.clarke@ria.ie or by telephone on 01 676 2570.

Proposals for Membership 2016

The deadline for proposals for Membership in 2016 has now passed and will open again in July 2016.

All nominations received are subject to rigorous international peer-review by the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Candidates for Membership (ACACM), whose role is to select those who best meet the criteria for election, benchmarked to international standards. The views of each candidate’s nominated referees, as well as of independent expert international referees, are sought as part of this process.

The criteria for election to Academy Membership are as follows:

• Achievements in publication, showing significant evidence of originality and scholarship; at least some of the candidates publications must have attracted scholarly interest outside of Ireland.
• Other academic achievements, reflected in the scholarly standing of the candidate and wider contributions to the discipline.
• Place of normal residence must be on the island of Ireland.

Proposals for Honorary Membership 2015

The deadline for proposals for Honorary Membership in 2015, has now passed.

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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