Election to the Fellowship of the Academy is a lengthy and rigorous process designed to ensure that the elections are thorough and fair. Twenty new Fellows are elected each year with up to two additional Fellows by Special Election every three years. The Academy's Council may also elect up to two Corresponding Members each year from among distinguished scientists overseas. There are currently more than 490 Fellows in the Academy.

Key dates

  • 31 July: New candidates are proposed by existing Fellows
  • Sep-March: Candidates are assessed for suitability
  • March: The final ballot of shortlisted candidates are put to Fellows
  • May: The new Fellows are publicly announced

For a more detailed description of these steps, see election process.

Groups involved

Discipline Nominating Groups

Discipline Nominating Groups, made of existing Fellows, are responsible for finding possible candidates for election.


The Fellowship is responsible for nominating candidates and voting in the final ballot.

Sectional Committees

Sectional Committees are groups of Fellows that represent the many specialised fields of science. They are responsible for assessing nominated candidates and drawing up a short-list of recommendations.


The group of 17 Fellows that manage the Academy are called the Council. Council selects a list of 20 shortlisted candidates to propose to the Fellowship for election.

For a more information on the role of each group, see election process.

Criteria for nomination

Fellows are assessed to be eminent for their scientific attainments and their research in natural science, which has advanced the sum of knowledge. Such eminence will usually be manifest through the influence the work of the Fellow has had on his or her discipline, related disciplines or on the application of research. For applied science, this includes the discovery or invention of important work which has been successfully applied.

For more information about the criteria and qualifications for election, see election process.

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science