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How to join

There are two routes to becoming a Fellow of the RAS:

  • Route 1 - If you know a current Fellow personally, you may ask them to nominate you. University-based applicants (particularly students) may be able to approach a local Point of Contact. pdfRoute 1 application form.
  • Route 2 - If not, you can apply directly to the Council of the RAS, who usually refer the application to the Membership Committee. pdfRoute 2 application form. Please note you will need to obtain a reference from a professional person that knows you and knows about your involvement with astronomy/ geophysics (see information for applicants below). The reference form appears in the download of the route 2 application form. We will be unable to forward your application to the membership committee for review without the reference.

Further pdfinformation for applicants is available, including guidance on who can apply and which route to take.


The following is general guidance only. Its purpose is to assist

  • Potential applicants
  • Current Fellows who are considering whether to support an application by someone they know personally
  • The Membership Committee when it makes recommendations to Council about applications made via Route 2.


All elections are at the discretion of Council. Meeting these criteria does not automatically guarantee admission to Fellowship.

Most successful applicants will come under one or more of these categories:

  • Students enrolled on a full or part time undergraduate or post-graduate course related to astronomy or geophysics, which leads to a formal qualification.
  • People with a professional interest in astronomy, geophysics or a related science, holding a relevant professional qualification (e.g. degree) and/or currently or formerly engaged in work (whether paid or not) related to astronomy or geophysics (e.g. research, industry, teaching, media), which requires a professional qualification or experience.
  • Amateurs who have demonstrated a strong commitment to astronomy or geophysics, for example through membership of another major society and/or practical achievements and/or formal study.
  • Other professionals and supporters who may not meet any other criterion but who serve (or have served) the wider interests of the Society, and/or astronomy and geophysics in general, and are committed to furthering the aims of the Society.


Successful applicants are expected to adhere to the Charter and Bye-laws of the Society and to the docuniversal ethical code for scientists.