Addressing the world’s challenges requires international collaboration. We use the expertise of the Fellows and Foreign Members to advise decision makers on global issues.
Recognising excellence in science
The Society recognises and supports excellent scientists around the world through its many schemes which are open to UK and international scientists.
Newton International Fellowships
Newton Advanced Fellowships
Newton Mobility Grants
JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships
Global Challenges Research Fund Grants
Royal Society-DfiD Capacity Building Initiative
The Royal Society is also a Delivery Partner for the UK government's Newton Fund.
Read a summary of the Royal Society and other UK organisations' work complementing the UK government’s Science and Innovation Strategy in Science and Innovation in the UK.
Advice for policy makers
The Royal Society is a member of the International Science Council and the Interacademy Partnership (IAP), which are both global networks of scientific academies and organisations.
The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) produces reports, such as one issued in July 2019 which was designed to help strengthen the science-policy interface in Africa to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s (AU) STI Strategy for Africa (STISA -2024). Representing some of the best scientific minds in their countries, national merit-based academies are an important source of knowledge and have an opportunity to effect positive change. The report was the culmination of a three-year project, Harnessing Science, Engineering, and Medicine (SEM) to Address Africa's Challenges 2024. IAP also produces shorter communiques, such as the recent ones on the Covid-19 pandemic (issued March 2020), Development and Distribution of Vaccines against COVID-19, (issued September 2020) and Protection of Marine Environments (issued June 2020). It also produces statements, such as the recent one on Regenerative Medicine (July 2021).
In partnership with other academies, the Society provides authoritative scientific advice to the United Nations and its agencies, the G7/G8/G-Science Academies meetings, and other influential global decision-making bodies.
Academic freedom and human rights
The Royal Society considers academic freedom to be central to the practice of science, and believes it is key to the Society’s purpose to promote excellence in science, support international collaboration and demonstrate the importance of science to everyone. It is essential that individuals and institutions have the freedom to carry out teaching and research activities without fear of discrimination, censorship, or other restrictions that would prevent them from carrying out their scientific work. Read the Society’s statement on academic freedom (PDF).
The Royal Society is a member of, and currently hosts, the UK Academies Human Rights Committee (UKHRC), a collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Science, the British Academy, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
The UKHRC allows the five member academies to address alerts issued by the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, a network which identifies incidents where researchers worldwide have been subjected to repression. The UKHRC’s practice is to act in cases where there is evidence that the human rights of an individual researcher have been violated or denied because of their academic/scientific work.
Read the Society’s position on blanket academic boycotts.