Skip to content


Credit: National Research Foundation

The Commonwealth forms a significant part of the global scientific community. The Commonwealth is home to nearly a third of the world’s population, 12% of the world’s researchers and accounts for around 10% of global research and development expenditure. 

More than 20 Commonwealth countries have their own national academies of science. The Royal Society is the science academy of the Commonwealth, and its Fellowship is made up of many of the most eminent scientists from across the Commonwealth. Scientists who are citizens of a Commonwealth country, or have been working in a Commonwealth country for at least three years, are eligible to become Fellows of the Royal Society. Find out more on the criteria for and elections to the Fellowship. Fellows of the Society are based in 10 Commonwealth nations outside the UK.

In order to address shared global challenges such as food security, climate change, energy storage and emerging infectious disease, utilizing the rich diversity of Commonwealth science will be essential. 

The Society has co-organized two major Commonwealth Science Conferences, in Singapore in 2017 and in Bangalore in 2014. See highlights of the Singapore conference, along with details of the legacy programme, including funding opportunities for collaboration between scientists from Commonwealth countries. Through these activities the Society aims to celebrate excellence in Commonwealth science, provide opportunities for cooperation, inspire young scientists and work collaboratively to increase the impact, capability and awareness of science in Commonwealth countries.

Supporting research consortia

Members of the Commonwealth are eligible for many of the grants and awards presented by the Society. Several grants schemes are offered in partnership with particular Commonwealth countries.

Improving access to journals

The Society also partners in a number of international schemes operated by the UN, WHO and INASP to make scientific journal articles available immediately and free of charge to the world's poorest nations, including eligible Commonwealth nations.

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.