Frequently asked questions

1. Eligibility questions

Who is eligible to be a Fellow?

To be eligible for election, nominees need to meet our definition of a Fellow:

Fellows must be persons resident in Wales, persons of Welsh birth who are resident elsewhere and others with a particular connection with Wales; in each case, having a demonstrable record of excellence and achievement in one of the academic disciplines or, being members of the professions, the arts, industry, commerce or public service, having made a distinguished contribution to the world of learning.

Does a nominee have to be a professor or academic?

No. About 80% of our Fellows are currently professors, but some have become professors since their election. The nominee does not need to be an academic; in fact, Fellows in our Industry, Commerce, The Arts, and Professions category are generally not academics. The key question we consider is whether a nominee demonstrates an excellent contribution to the world of learning.

Who can make a nomination?

Nominations are submitted by a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. They work with the nominee to ensure that the nomination is complete and gives the best evidence of the nominee’s case. We only accept nominations from Fellows. If you do not know a Fellow, we can help (see below).

2. Questions about the nomination/election process

I don’t know a Fellow – how can I find someone to nominate me?

If you are linked to a Welsh university, please contact your University Representative of the Learned Society of Wales.

Alternatively, contact Fiona Gaskell, Fellowship Officer, who will assist you.

What’s the closing date for nominations this year?

The closing date is 31 October 2024.

Where are the forms?

Forms and guidance information are on the website in both Welsh and English:

Who assesses the nominations?

Nominations are assessed by a committee of Fellows in the appropriate discipline or area of learning. These are known as Scrutiny Committees: see here for a list of the committees and their members. Our guidance documents contain further information about the assessment process followed by Scrutiny Committees.

What happens if my nomination is unsuccessful?

Please be aware that not all our Fellows were elected the first time they were nominated. There is no limit on the number of times you can be nominated, as long as fresh paperwork is completed each year.

Will I get any feedback on my nomination?

We will notify unsuccessful nominees at the end of April when the election cycle is complete. We will offer feedback on each nomination and this will be given by the appropriate Vice-President.

Are your processes transparent?

Our guidance documents cover all aspects of the cycle. They are used by all involved, from those nominated through to the Scrutiny Committees. If you would like further information about any aspect of the process, please contact our Fellowship Officer, Fiona Gaskell.

How many nominations do you get?

We normally consider up to 100 nominations each year.

How many Fellows are elected every year?

Around 50, but that is not a fixed number. Election is based on the evidence presented by the nominee, as well as independent assessment of their case.

3. Questions about the Fellowship

What % of Fellows are women?

As of May 2024, 28.45% of the 710 Fellows were women. This proportion is rising each year, with women comprising 51.22% of those elected in 2023. We are working to increase the number of nominations of women, as part of our wider work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

What is the Society doing about equity, diversity and inclusion?

We are committed to making the Society, and our Fellowship, more welcoming and inclusive. We strive for a more diverse Fellowship, with increased membership from all under-represented groups. At present, we have a particular focus on increasing nominations of women and under-represented ethnicities. We organise open information sessions about our Fellowship nomination/election process, including a session for women only. For more information, see our page on equity and diversity.

4. General questions

How much does it cost?

New Fellows are required to pay an admission fee of £90. There is also an annual subscription fee of £180 (£90 for those aged over 70 on 22 May 2025). Those aged over 85 are exempt from admission and subscription fees.

We want to ensure that our admission and membership fees are never a barrier to Fellowship. We operate a Fee Relief Policy for Fellows whose circumstances make it difficult to cover the fees. As a nominee, you can make a pre-emptive application and we will let you know prior to nomination whether fee relief will be granted.

Who should I contact if I have further queries?

Contact Fiona Gaskell, Fellowship Officer.