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The Fellowship


Dr Venki Ramakrishnan is President of the Royal Society. He started his five year term on 1 December 2015.

Venki received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosomal structure and was knighted in 2012.

Read more about Venki

About the Fellowship

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

There are approximately 1,600 Fellows and Foreign Members, including around 80 Nobel Laureates. Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 700 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship.

Meet the Fellows and Foreign Members elected in 2017, and the Medals and Award winners 2017/18 (PDF).

Read more about the Fellowship.

Fellows in the news

Gregory Winter wins Nobel Prize

Sir Gregory Winter FRS has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. 

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 to Sir Gregory and Professor George Smith for the “phage display of peptides and antibodies”. They share the honour with Professor Frances Arnold “for the directed evolution of enzymes”.

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Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell wins Breakthrough Prize

Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell has been awarded a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her work on the discovery of Radio Pulsars. The award also recognises her scientific leadership.

Dame Jocelyn will donate winnings from the $3 million prize to the Institute of Physics for the running of graduate studentships for people from under-represented groups in physics research.

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About the Fellowship

Discover the lives and scientific achievements of former Fellows in our Biographical Memoirs publication. Or find out more about the process of nomination, selection and admission.

How are Fellows and Foreign Members elected?


The Royal Society is governed by a Council of Fellows, who are elected by the Fellowship. Find out more about the Officers, Council and Committees who oversee the work of the Society.

How is the Society run?

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