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

Becoming a Member

Membership of the Academy is by election only. Up to 24 new Members are elected each year. Elections take place on 16 March after a rigorous, peer-review selection procedure.

The call for the proposal for Membership closed on the 30 September 2017.

Nomination Process and Eligibility

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.

Read Directions for the proposal of Candidates for Membership document.

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 candidate's publications must have attracted scholarly interest outside of Ireland.
  • Other academic achievements, reflected in the scholarly standing of the candidate and his or her contributions to the discipline.
  • Resident in Ireland

A complete, valid nomination must contain the following:

  • Certificate of candidature, signed by the Proposer and the Seconder.
  • A supporting statement prepared by the Proposer and the Seconder.
  • A list of the candidate's three most important publications.
  • The names and full contact details of at least three referees (one at least based outside Ireland), who are familiar with the candidate's area of expertise, and who have agreed to act on his or her behalf
  • The candidate's CV (not exceeding two pages).
  • A list of the candidate's publications, arranged in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

All nominations must be signed by two Members of the Academy, who have agreed to act as the candidates Proposer and Seconder.

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

For queries, please contact Gilly Clarke or Carol Martin at  or phone 01 676 2570 ext 246 or 272.

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.

The call for Council Recommended Membersand closed on Friday 27 October 2017.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please contact Rebecca Gageby or Carol Martin by email at or by telephone on 01 676 2570.

Honorary Membership

A small number of Honorary Members are also 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.

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

The call for nominations is now closed, and the closing date for the receipt of nominations was 30 June 2017.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now