British academy

The Fellowship of the British Academy

Each year, the British Academy elects to its Fellowship up to 42 outstanding UK-based scholars who have achieved distinction in any branch of the humanities and social sciences. Others based overseas can also be elected as Corresponding Fellows, and, in addition, the Academy can elect Honorary Fellows.


This is the major category of Fellowship at the Academy. Fellows are scholars who have 'attained distinction in any of the branches of study which it is the object of the Academy to promote' – i.e. the humanities and the social sciences. Election is a mark of distinction, as only a very small number of scholars in any field are elected. Scholars must be habitually resident in the UK at the time of election.

Up to forty-two elections are made in each year to the Fellowship. There are now over 1000 Fellows.

Corresponding Fellows

Corresponding Fellows are scholars outside the UK who have 'attained high international standing in any of the branches of study which it is the object of the Academy to promote'. Some familarity with research in the UK is valuable, in order to facilitate a contribution to the work of the Academy, e.g. through assessments of candidates for election.

Up to twenty elections are made in each year to the Corresponding Fellowship. There are now over 320 Corresponding Fellows. 

Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellows are expected to have 'contributed signally to the promotion of the purposes for which the Academy was founded', either as persons of academic distinction in other fields whose work has a bearing on the humanities or social sciences; or as leading figures or philanthropists who have themselves done distinguished work in the Academy's field's of interest or promoted or advanced the causes for which the Academy was founded.

Up to four Honorary Fellows may be elected in any one year. There are currently 27 Honorary Fellows.