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.

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Council Recommended Membership

Each year, the Council of the Academy can also recommend a small number of 'persons of distinction', who have made an exceptional 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. 

How to be nominated:

Nominations are made by two Members of the Academy on an online form (currently available to Members in the login section of the website). 

Each nomination is valid for three years, and may be updated each year by the nominator. If a nominee is not successful after three years, they are ineligible for the following two years. They may then be nominated again, with a new nomination form. This pattern (a three-year nomination followed by two ‘fallow’ years) may be repeated indefinitely.

All nominees must sign a Data Processing Consent Form. It is the responsibility of the nominator to send the data consent form to the nominee and ensure that it is completed and returned to the RIA by the deadline.

Nominees may only be considered under one membership process at a time.


Normally, nominees should be resident in Ireland.


Nominations are assessed by the Standing Committee on Council Recommended Members (SCCRM) which comprises:

  • The President (chair)
  • The Secretary
  • The Secretary for PL&A
  • The Secretary for Science
  • Two Science Members to be filled by open call (normally for a 3 year term)
  • Two PL&A Members to be filled by open call (normally for a 3 year term)

A maximum of four names for election as CRMs will be forwarded by the SCCRM to Council for its approval at its February meeting. This, together with the shortlist from the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Candidates for Membership, will be laid before the March SGM for voting by all Members.

The call for nominations is now closed. The next call will open in autumn 2024. 

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please contact Síle Lane or Karen Ayton by email at or by telephone on 01 676 2570.

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