Membership categories

The Society currently has three categories of membership: Member, Student and Fellow, as well as Life Member/Fellow.

It also has two elected honorary fellowship categories (Honorary Fellow and Honorary Life Fellow),  and an Emeritus Fellowship all three of which are in the gift of Council. Lists of those who have received the award of Honorary Fellow and Honorary Life Fellow are given here.

Student Members

Students are welcome to join and will receive generously subsidised benefits. The first year of membership is free of charge. Applicants for free membership should apply by the end of the calendar year prior to the year of intended membership. A maximum of 150 free members is allowed in any one year. All of our meetings have cheaper rates of registration for students and the Society centrally and each of its eight special interest groups offer bursary funding.


The F.Min.Soc. designation denotes the senior members of the Society. Bye-Law 5 states that “Members may choose to become ‘Fellows’ if they have the necessary qualifications to be given chartered status in terms defined by the Science Council (UK). Candidates for fellowship agree to abide by the Society’s Code of Conduct, must provide evidence of graduate status, and have appropriate professional experience and continuing professional development and must be supported by two sponsors who are Fellows of the Society or have the equivalent of chartered status. This is the Society’s senior professional membership category, and those elected to Fellowship may use the abbreviation ‘F.Min.Soc.’”. The revised form of this category of membership was established in 2005.

Life Fellows

According to Bye-law 6(d) Fellows/Members who have paid forty annual subscriptions as Fellows or Members, excluding any paid at a reduced rate before reaching the age of 60, are exempt from further annual subscriptions and become Life Fellows/Members of the Society.

Chartered Status

Fellows of the Society are no longer entitled to apply for Chartered Scientist (CSci) status as the Society is no longer a licensed body.

Honorary Fellows

This is the Society’s way of honouring eminent overseas scientists in our field. Up to 20 Honorary Fellows are elected by the Society’s council. These are lifetime appointments.

Honorary Life Fellows

Up to 10 members of the Society may be elected Honorary Life Fellows in recognition of their exceptional contribution to the furtherance of the aims of the Society. This category of membership was introduced in 1993.

Emeritus Fellows

It will be in the gift of Council to decide whether a member should be granted Emeritus Fellowship. The member in question must have belonged to the Society for a period of no less than 25 years to qualify. Emeritus Fellows will not be eligible for election to Council but would be entitled to vote in regular elections and at AGMs. Emeritus Fellows will be invited to make contributions to Society activities each year, e.g. the bursary fund.