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How our fellowship is organised

Each year, the British Academy elects to its fellowship up to 52 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 fifty-two elections are made in each year to the fellowship. There are now over 1,000 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 300 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 fields 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 31 Honorary Fellows.


On election, all Fellows are assigned to one of 18 broad disciplinary Sections spanning the humanities and social sciences. Fellows may also become members of an additional Section, according to the range of their scholarly expertise.

The Sections are further subdivided into two groups, for the humanities and social sciences. These groups were established mainly for electoral purposes, but also to conduct other business falling within their disciplinary coverage.

In addition there are three ‘Ginger Groups’, set up to strengthen scrutiny of scholars in the fields of: Management and Business Studies; Culture, Media and Performance; and Education.

Below you can find a list of all the Sections. Please click on the relevant link to see a list of all Fellows in that Section.

Humanities Sections

H1 Classical Antiquity (Chair: Professor Chris Carey)

H2 Theology and Religious Studies (Chair: Professor Gillian Clark)

H3 Africa, Asia and the Middle East (Chair: Professor Charles Tripp)

H4 Linguistics and Philology (Chair: Professor Nigel Vincent)

H5 Early Modern Languages and Literatures to 1830 (Chair: Professor Michael Moriarty)

H6 Modern Languages, Literatures and other Media from 1830 (Chair: Professor Cairns Craig)

H7 Archaeology (Chair: Professor Graeme Barker)

H8 Medieval Studies (Chair: Professor David Abulafia)

H9 Early Modern History to 1850 (Chair: Professor Lyndal Roper)

H10 Modern History from 1850 (Chair: Professor Joanna Bourke)

H11 History of Art and Music (Chair: Professor Craig Clunas)

H12 Philosophy (Chair: Professor Simon Blackburn)

Culture, Media and Performance (CMP) Ginger Group (Chair: Professor Georgina Born)

Social Science Sections

S1 Law (Chair: Professor Hector MacQueen)

S2 Economics and Economic History (Chair: Professor Jane Humphries)

S3 Anthropology and Geography (Chair: Professor Felix Driver)

S4 Sociology, Demography and Social Statistics (Chair: Professor John Scott)

S5 Political Studies: Political Theory, Government and International Relations (Chair: Professor Iain McLean)

S6 Psychology (Chair: Professor Simon Baron-Cohen)

Management and Business Studies (MBS) Ginger Group (Chair: Professor Colin Mayer)

Education Ginger Group (Acting Chair: Professor Stephen Ball)

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