Criteria for Election

The bye-laws of the Society’s Royal Charter provide that:

Fellows shall 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 (Bye-law 10.1).

Although precise criteria and measures of distinction may vary between different fields, in all cases excellence can be defined more specifically, in terms of:

i) original contributions;
ii) the impact of these contributions;
iii) the professional standing of the Candidate in question.

The following criteria will also be taken into account:

  • fundamental research: the quality of original contributions in research and scholarship, their impact on the subject, and the individual’s international standing;
  • applied research: the quality of original contributions in research and its application, their impact on the user community, and the individual’s international standing;
  • the professions: the quality of original contributions to the profession, their impact on practice and understanding, and the individual’s professional standing, particularly in the context of public service;
  • breadth of engagement in activities beyond the immediate specialism: contributions to multidisciplinary activities, public service and/or engagement with the wider public in the context of fostering a better understanding of the individual’s field;
  • areas of public service: the quality of original contributions, their impact on the community, and the individual’s professional standing, particularly including evidence of a wider contribution to society and/or academic life;
  • the performing and creative arts: the quality of original contributions to cultural life, their impact in the field, and the individual’s national and international standing;
  • business and industry: the quality of original contributions, their impact on the field of endeavour, and the individual’s professional standing, including evidence of a wider contribution to society and/or academic life.

Further to the first bullet point above, it should be noted that the Society welcomes nominations of retired individuals who, although they may no longer be research active, would have been strong candidates for election should the Society have existed when they were employed.

The Society wishes, as far as possible within the above criteria, to achieve a broad balance amongst the Fellowship, not only in terms of subject expertise (arts, sciences and social sciences) but also in terms of age and, in particular, gender.

By focusing on the criteria of excellence and achievement, the Society ensures that its Fellowship will authoritatively instance (although never exhaustively represent) the very best of which Wales is currently capable in all the major disciplines of knowledge.