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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Gold Medals

The Royal Irish Academy awards two RIA Gold Medals every year. The medals are awarded to individuals who have made a demonstrable and internationally recognised outstanding scholarly contribution in their fields.

In 2005, the Royal Irish Academy and the Higher Education Authority established six high profile Gold Medals to acclaim Ireland’s foremost thinkers in the humanities, social sciences, and across the fields of science.

The medals aim to identify and recognise inspirational figures – the stars of the knowledge economy – in order to celebrate the achievements of higher education in Ireland and to inspire future generations. In doing so, the Gold Medals have become recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement in Ireland.

Recognising outstanding scholarly contribution.

How to nominate »

Details of assessment

Details of assessment »

RIA Gold Medals awarded since 2005

Gold Medal recipients »

Latest news and events

The design for the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals includes ‘Salmon of Knowledge II’ a beautiful work by artist, J. Caz Bentley (1960-2015)

Gold Medal Design Origins

J. Caz Bentley had an honours BA from the University of Waterloo, with a minor in Classical Studies. Caz was an artist who worked in several mediums - stained glass, acrylics, ceramics, silver point, painting, wood/stone carving and woodblock/wood engraving. His many wood engravings, influenced by Irish history, are stylised Neo-Celtic designs, depicting the many animals represented in the traditional art of the Middle Ages. Much of his inspiration can be attributed to the years he spent as Master Alasdair of Raasay in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), a medieval recreation society. With a sword in one hand, a chisel in the other, he never stopped creating.

Data Protection

All personal data supplied with a nomination for the Gold Medals is used for the purpose of peer-review and competitive assessment for this award please refer to the Privacy Notice for the 2024 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals and the RIAs Privacy page.