On election, every Fellow is assigned to a section that broadly reflects their academic discipline.

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The fellowship of the Academy is organised into 21 subject sections. It’s possible to belong to more than one section, depending on the range of a Fellow’s scholarly expertise. Each Fellow has a primary allegiance to one section but can become a ‘cross-member’ of another.

The sections are subdivided into two groups, one for the humanities and one for social sciences. Twice a year, Fellows meet at the Academy in their sections to welcome newly elected Fellows, decide on future nominees and discuss any business that relates to their discipline, inside or outside the Academy.

The number of sections has changed over time to accurately reflect fields of study within the humanities and social sciences. In 2012, three ‘ginger groups’ were introduced to strengthen scrutiny of scholars in the newer fields of management and business studies; culture, media and performance; and education. In 2018, the AGM determined that Management and Business Studies and Culture, Media and Performance had enough members to become sections; in 2020, Education also became a section.

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