Becoming a Member

The Royal Irish Academy values diversity and strives for a culture of equality and inclusion in all of its activities. As outlined in its Strategic Plan 2019-2023, the Academy is committed to ensuring greater gender, disciplinary, institutional and overall diversity in every area of the Academy and its work throughout the island of Ireland.  It particularly welcomes nominations from under-represented groups and communities.

Please also note that the RIA has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, commonly known as DORA, which in essence involves two main commitments:

  1. Evaluate the research, not the publication venue or platform. In particular the Journal Impact Factor should not be used as a proxy for the quality of an article published in that journal.
  2. Recognise a wider range of contributions to research and not just the traditional journal article or monograph. This could include (but is not limited to) open source software, registered protocols and reports, prototypes, curated data, digital media, research-based film, exhibitions, original musical composition or other research outputs and activities

Members are elected following one of three processes.

Honorary Membership

A small number of Honorary Members are elected each year. The distinction of Honorary Membership is usually reserved for academics who have made a major international contribution to their disciplines but who are not normally resident in Ireland. 

The Review Committee on Honorary Membership will give consideration to the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence in the humanities, social sciences or sciences, based on first-class world standards
  • The candidate's strong personal or disciplinary connection to Ireland (but not normally being resident in Ireland)
  • The candidate's potential contribution or benefit to the Academy following election. 

Candidates for Honorary Membership must be proposed and seconded by existing Members.

The call for nominations opens in April and closes on 30 June each year.


Up to 20 Members are elected on 16 March each year, following a rigorous, peer-review selection procedure. Up to ten Members are elected in Science subjects, and up to ten in Humanities and Social Sciences.

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 that of independent expert international referees, are sought as part of this process.

The criteria for election to Academy Membership are as follows:

  • Achievements in research outputs (publications and other), showing significant evidence of originality and scholarship; at least some of the Candidate’s publications/research outputs must have attracted international scholarly interest outside of Ireland
  • Other academic achievements, reflected in the scholarly standing of the Candidate, impact of the Candidate’s research and their contributions to the discipline.
  • Residency in Ireland.

Candidates for Membership must be resident and working on the island of Ireland at the time that they are proposed. A Candidate is regarded as resident in Ireland if they are currently resident on the island of Ireland, and has been resident on the island of Ireland for at least six months in each year of the three years preceding nomination; we determine the usual place of residence on the basis of one or more of the following:

  • The main affiliation address of the Candidate as listed in the publications of the two years preceding nomination.
  • Where a Candidate has an Irish academic affiliation, it would normally be expected that the preponderance of publications presented for consideration would be credited to the Candidate’s particular institution from commencement of residency.
  • The main employment of the Candidate in the current and preceding three years.
  • The main home address of the Candidate in the current and preceding three years.

Any change in residency status should be communicated by the Proposer as soon as they become aware of it.

All nominations must be signed by two Members of the Academy, who have agreed to act as the candidates Proposer and Seconder. The Proposer and Seconder for a Candidate must be from different institutions from each other.

It may also be useful to speak informally with an Academy Member. A complete list of current Academy Members is available here

The call for nominations opens in June and closes on 30 September each year.

For queries, please contact Gilly Clarke or Karen Ayton at  or phone 01 676 2570.

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. 

Nominations are made by two Members of the Academy.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please contact Gilly Clarke by email at or by telephone on 01 676 2570.

The call for nominations is now closed. The next call will open in autumn 2022. 

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