Nomination Process

The election of new Fellows is a rigorous process. Nominations are proposed, and seconded, by existing Fellows of the Society. The nomination papers of each candidate are considered by a relevant scrutiny committee.

Overview of the Process

The names of candidates remains confidential to the internal scrutiny process.

The election cycle timetable can be found here.

1. Nomination Documentation

The candidate must be nominated by TWO Fellows: a Lead Proposer and a Seconding Proposer. A list of current Fellows is available here.

Fellows are permitted to act as the Lead Proposer for three NEW candidates only each election cycle. However, the nomination of female candidates is exempt from this restriction. Please see the Society’s page on Gender Balance in the Society.

All nomination forms must be returned within the deadline with relevant signatures:

  • Nomination Form – fully completed and signed (by Lead Proposer) and seconded by the Seconding Proposer;
  • Summary Curriculum Vitae – fully completed and signed (by both Lead Proposer and Candidate) in support of the nomination;
  • Confidential Named Informed Supporter’s Report – signed and evaluating the electability of the candidate on the basis of the summary CV, the proposer’s response to the Candidate’s statement of excellence and the LSW criteria and benchmarks; and;
  • A confidential declaration of individual circumstances if appropriate;
  • A PDF copy of the candidate’s full CV including a full list of publications/outputs.

No unsolicited additional materials, references or letters of support will be accepted as part of the nomination.

The Society corresponds only with the Lead Proposer about the nomination and never with the candidate. It is the responsibility of the Lead Proposer to formulate and present the case for election and to collate all of the relevant forms for submission to the Society. Candidates should not initiate their own nomination, complete the Nomination Form nor obtain the supporting signatures themselves.

2. Assessor Reports

The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, acting in consultation with the other Committee members and, as necessary, the relevant Vice-President, will seek an Assessment Reports regarding the Candidate prior to the Committee meetings.

Assessors are:

  • normally drawn from amongst the Society’s Fellows but may be drawn from the ranks of suitably-qualified persons from within Learned Societies of equivalent standing or from the ranks of other distinguished scholars;
  • required to be familiar with the field, work or standing of a Candidate;
  • not members of Council or Scrutiny Committee;
  • not employed by or based at the candidate’s institution;

3. Scrutiny Committee Meetings
The Chairs and the members of the Committees are appointed from amongst the existing Fellows and operate in the following areas:

A1 Medicine and Medical Sciences
A2 Cellular, Molecular, Evolutionary, Organismal and Ecosystem Sciences
A3 Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Earth Sciences
A4 Computing, Mathematics and Statistics
A5 Engineering
B1 Language, Literature and the history and theory of the Creative and Performing Arts
B2 History, Philosophy and Theology
B3 Economic and Social Sciences, Education and Law
C1 General

Professor Mike Charlton is the responsible Vice-President for nominations allocated to the five STEMM Scrutiny Committees A1 to A5.

Professor David Boucher is the responsible Vice-President for nominations allocated to the three Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Committees B1 to B3.

The shortlists of the scrutiny committees are presented to the two Vice-Presidents of the Society by the scrutiny committee Chairs. The result of these two meetings is a combined shortlist, one for STEMM and one for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

4. Special Meeting of Council
Council is presented with the shortlists from the meetings with the scrutiny committee Chairs, and provided with recommendations from the Vice Presidents, ultimately to determine which candidates will go forward to ballot for that year’s election cycle.

5. Ballot
A ballot goes out to the current Fellowship, and Fellows vote on whether to accept each candidate. In order to be elected a candidate must receive the support of at least 70% of those Fellows who return ballot papers by the due date. Two Scrutineers are appointed by the President from amongst the Fellowship to count the ballot.

New Fellows are announced in April, and formally admitted to the Society at the Annual General Meeting in May.

Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales are a category of Fellow who have made a meaningful connection with the purposes for which the Society had been established, and who have made a distinguished contribution to the promotion of those purposes.

The bye-laws of the Society’s Royal Charter (11.1) provide that:

(i) Such persons may be elected to be Honorary Fellows whose excellence and achievement mean that their election to be Honorary Fellows is deemed to be of benefit to the reputation and activities of the Society.

Election to Honorary Fellowship should be exceptional and offered only to persons of outstanding distinction.

No more than two Honorary Fellows may be elected in one year.


An Honorary Fellow must be recommended on a ‘Certificate of Recommendation’ by THREE Fellows, a Lead Proposer and two Seconding Proposers.

The Council of the Society will determine which recommendations to progress to full nomination, and write to the Lead Proposers to inform them of this decision after the meeting of Council in October.

As above with Fellowship, candidates for Honorary Fellowship must go to a ballot of the Fellowship in March and receive the support of 70% of the Fellowship to be elected.