Information about applying for RSA Fellowship
We are an inclusive community and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.
RSA Fellows have been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 250 years. Fellowship is open to all over the age of 18, and who share our vision and values.
If you share our vision of a world where everyone can participate in creating a better future, then we would be delighted to hear from you.
People apply to become Fellows in several ways:
- The Fellowship Development Team sometimes identifies people who have made contributions to social change and asks them to join the RSA
- Our Fellows and staff nominate people they know who share our vision and values
- Partner organisations also aligned to our values may put their members forward
A number of people join us by starting an online application themselves. You do not need to be nominated to join.
Everyone completes the same online form whether they have been nominated or not. All applications are treated in the same way, with the same criteria followed.
The application itself should take no more than 30 minutes and has three parts:
- Share your personal contact information
- Answer a few short questions about your interests and alignment with our values
- Provide payment details and gift aid
If you have independently started an application via our website, we collect information about two referees in the form to support your application. Further information on why we need this is below.
Once you have your completed application, it is reviewed by our admissions panel. Successful applicants will then receive a series of welcome emails once payment is processed. We also send out welcome packs within 4 weeks of joining. These are currently on hold due to Covid-19.
All Fellows make a charitable subscription to the RSA. This includes a one-off registration fee of £75, and an annual charitable contribution of £182. Most Fellows with UK bank accounts choose to pay this in monthly instalments of £15.17. Those without UK bank accounts are able to pay in instalments via Credit/Debit Card, please get in touch with us to set this up.
No payment is taken until after your application has been approved.
We recommend providing payment information during the application process to ensure a smooth and quick approval process. We will securely store your payment details and only take payment once your application to join the RSA Fellowship has been approved by the admissions panel.
If you are unable to make the full subscription, please get in touch as we may be able to offer you financial support.
We also welcome you to join us as a Life Fellow through a one-time contribution of £3900 or £1950 for those over 65.
The Admissions Panel
Our admissions panel is comprised of two Fellowship Councillors and an RSA Trustee. Applications are sent forward every Friday and applicants are elected on the following Wednesday. Once you have submitted your application, you can expect to hear back from us within 12 days.
Who could be my reference and why do you need them?
Anyone who knows you in a professional or personal capacity can act as your referee, including friends and colleagues. They do not need to be Fellows of the RSA. This information will be requested from you in the second part of the application form.
We require this information to carry out our due diligence and ensure all Fellows in our community share in our vision and values. If you have been nominated to become a Fellow, your nominator has already acted as your referee.
Once we receive your completed application form, the Fellowship Development team will contact your referees via email within two working days. Your referees will be asked a couple of questions based on how they know you and whether they consider you to have a commitment to positive social change. This will be stored securely on our database as part of your application.
What is a fast-track application and am I eligible?
You may not need to provide references if we are independently able to corroborate your alignment with our values and commitment to social change. This is known as our “fast-track application.”
There are several ways for us to confirm this. We do not accept LinkedIn profiles or CVs, however, we would accept documentation such as, but not limited to:
- Third-party business of staff pages mentioning your name and relevant work
- Online articles written about you
- Academic publications
- Any other document that has been independently verified
Whether you work at a social enterprise or volunteer for your local community, we would be delighted to welcome you via our fast-track route. If you’re unsure if this applies to you, we encourage you to contact us and we would be happy to help.
Once we have your information, we will amend your online form, and you will be able to complete it without the need for references.