Become a Member

YAS Applications have now closed.

The next intake of new members will open in January 2026.

Learn more below about membership commitment and benefits, YAS selection criteria, and our selection process.

Membership of YAS should be considered an invitation to serve. Members contribute by taking part in YAS activities within our Grand Challenges. Members are welcome to participate in existing projects, but are also encouraged to suggest new activities and projects. Details of the current and past YAS activities can be found in ‘Our Challenges.’

Members are also required to attend at least one of the three plenary meetings per year (financial support is available to cover travel costs).

Applicants should ensure that they can accommodate the minimum time commitment required for YAS membership, typically 4-5 hours/month.

Membership is for 5 years without the possibility of re-election. Members who take a career break of at least six months, e.g. for caring responsibilities, may have their membership extended by the length of the career break.

Members pay a small annual subscription, currently £80.

All members must uphold the Responsibilities of YAS Membership, as laid out in the Statute of the Young Academy (5.2).  YAS members must:

  1. Pursue the objectives of YAS through active participation in its work;
  2. Uphold the Guiding Principles of YAS (Statute of the Young Academy of Scotland, 1.3);
  3. Pay Membership fees in a timely manner;
  4. Not hold themselves out to speak on behalf of, or represent YAS or any of its groups unless expressly authorised to do so (in line with the Communicating on Behalf of YAS guidance document);
  5. Adhere to relevant RSE and YAS policies (such as unconscious bias and conflict of interest); and
  6. Not bring the name of YAS or the RSE into disrepute.

In addition to contributing to the public good, one of our objectives is to support the professional development of our members.  Some of the benefits we offer are:

  • Increasing members’ networks beyond their main area of work
  • Attendance at events attended by key decision-makers
  • Opportunities to work globally through collaborations with other Young Academies
  • Opportunities to contribute to the work programme of our senior academy, the RSE
  • Access to a mentorship programme which links YAS members with Fellows of the RSE

Application for membership of YAS is open to any person who considers that they have a contribution to make to the work programme of YAS, and who has already demonstrated outstanding leadership in their work, along with a wider interest in contemporary social issues. This is the primary criterion for selection.

In applying to YAS, applicants will be asked to demonstrate evidence of outstanding professional achievement, along with broader skills and experience, such as:

  • Evidence of innovative, creative, or entrepreneurial activity
  • Evidence of collaborative and interdisciplinary working
  • Evidence of, and capacity for, leadership and responsibility
  • Interest in both professional and societal policy issues
  • Connections and interests outside Scotland

As early-to-mid career professionals, applicants are expected to have between 5 and 15 years post-qualification or professional experience. However, YAS recognises that this may vary where an applicant has had career breaks or changes.  For more information on our experience-level criteria, please read our statement Experience and Career- Level Criteria for YAS Membership (pdf).

YAS members should be resident in Scotland at the time of appointment.

Applications will be reviewed by current YAS members, using the criteria above. They will then be discussed by selection panels involving YAS members and RSE Fellows.  The list of new members will be approved by the YAS Advisory Group, a committee comprising current YAS members and RSE Fellows.

ARAR Membership

YAS recognises that Scotland’s refugee and asylum seeking communities include many people who can make meaningful contributions to Scotland. Since 2016, we have committed to recruiting At-Risk Academics and Refugee (ARAR) professionals as members.

In 2023, we began accepting ARAR membership applications on a rolling basis, in recognition of the increasing number of people being displaced by conflict, violence and persecution. welcome displaced professionals and researchers into its network more immediately following their displacement, delivering membership benefits to these individuals, and learning from their unique talents, experiences, and perspectives.

We are delighted to invite members of Scotland’s displaced migrant communities to apply to YAS.  For more information and to access the application, please visit our ARAR membership page.

More About ARAR Membership