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Fellow and Honorary Fellow Election Process

Table of Contents

Nomination

Call for nominations

There is a Call for Nominations for Fellows and Honorary Fellows in December/January each year, with a closing date usually in late March.

The 2019 round is now open and please note that the closing date for the round is 30 April.

If you wish to make a new nomination can you please advise us as soon as possible (academy@royalsociety.org.nz) and we will send you a URL to access the web portal.

 

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Two nomination routes

The Royal Society of New Zealand Act states that the Academy Executive Committee may from time to time, in accordance with the Academy Bylaws, elect as a Fellow any person who in the opinion of the Academy Executive Committee has achieved distinction in research or the advancement of science, technology, or the humanities.

This allows for Fellowship on two grounds but historically we have only accepted nominations targeting distinction in research. The Act allows the second route (advancement) as that allows us to move in the same way as many international academies

We are unequivocal that with both routes there must be excellence demonstrated through intellectual endeavour, and to give effect to that we need to allow for different forms of evidence

Leadership and public service will continue to be recognised through Companion of the Society and not through the Fellowship.

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Who can nominate

Who can nominate Fellows?

Each nomination must be made by two eligible persons, those eligible being Fellows, senior officer-bearers of Branches and Constituent Organisations, people holding Fellowships of major national or international professional bodies and learned society organisations, and those holding research or executive leadership roles in research organisations.

Who can nominate Honorary Fellows?

Nominations for Honorary Fellowship may be made by groups of three or more Fellows, or in the case of Constituent Organisations, Regional Constituent Organisations and other scientific organisations, by two Fellows and one other person who shall be a senior office-bearer of that organisation.

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How nominations are made

Nominations are submitted via an online portal. 

If you would like to submit a nomination, please email academy@royalsociety.org.nz to request a URL to access the Fellowship portal.

Nominations for Fellowship remain valid for 5 years, after which there is a 3-year stand-down period before a person may be re-nominated. Nevertheless, the Academy Executive Committee may allow a nominee or group of nominees to be re-nominated earlier in exceptional circumstances, or if in the Committee's opinion, such waiver could assist in increasing the diversity of the Fellowship.

 

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What information should a nomination contain?

All the information listed below needs to be addressed and uploaded onto the portal.

Research cases                                  

Describe knowledge contribution  (max. 250 words)         

Address research excellence criteria       

May address impact criteria                        

List six key research outputs                                       

Provide names of two referees                 

Provide standard research CV                    

List selected publications   

                          

Advancement cases

Describe knowledge contribution (max. 250 words)

Address impact criteria to show excellent “advancement”

May address research criteria

Six key items of evidence (no limit on range of these)

Provide names of two referees

Provide short CV (5-page max)

Publications optional; can include other forms of evidence

 

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Requirements for Fellow nomination

Election as a Fellow requires that the nominee:

  • a. is a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand; and
  • b. has been a New Zealand resident for at least three years during his or her career; and
  • normally spends at least six months in New Zealand each year.

 

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Requirements for Honorary Fellow nomination

Election as an Honorary Fellow requires that the nominee:

  1. Is not normally resident in New Zealand.
  2. Has demonstrated a level of distinction in research that exceeds the minimum level required to be elected a Fellow of the Society, this being exemplified through:
    1. Publication and other scholarly outputs,
    2. Impact of the research or scholarly outputs.
  3. A significant association with the New Zealand research and scholarly community, exemplified through meeting many or all of the following indicators:
    1. Demonstrated leadership in the development and ongoing management of major research programmes, involving New Zealand researchers, funded at least in part by New Zealand funding sources,
    2. Active medium to long term engagement, typically no less than 10 years, in collaborative research programmes, including personally conducting some of the work in New Zealand,
    3. Medium to long term participation as a visiting Fellow in New Zealand research programmes, including conducting some of the work in New Zealand,
    4. Providing ongoing opportunities and support for New Zealand-based researchers to visit and work on programmes in the candidate’s own place of work,
    5. Obtaining funding from international sources that is either applied to work to be undertaken in New Zealand or to be undertaken elsewhere by New Zealanders who intend to return to New Zealand after completion of the work.
    6. Extensive publication with New Zealand co-author
  4. The requirements under Criterion 3 may be waived by the Academy Executive Committee for nominees who are New Zealand citizens or New Zealand-born if the nominee has received recognition outside New Zealand that demonstrates a level of distinction in research far exceeding that set out in Criterion 2

Notes

  1. Nominees who are resident in New Zealand for more than six months/year are ineligible for Honorary Fellow and should apply for election to Fellow.
  1. Nominators should provide a nomination statement, addressing the criteria for Fellow in one of the four domains (humanities; social sciences; science; technology, applied science and engineering).
  1. Service on international advisory boards or panels, occasional short duration visits to discuss collaborative work attendance at New Zealand-based conferences and ongoing peer review activities in support of New Zealand research funding agencies, whilst meritorious are in themselves not sufficient to meet criterion 3 above.

 

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Evaluation

Evaluation Panels

All new and current nominations are sent to the appropriate Fellowship Evaluation Panels for assessment.

From 2018 round the number of panels will be decreased from thirteen to six covering broad fields.

Each panel will have seven panellists to widen diversity, and this may include members out of field if needed to ensure panel diversity.

Panellists are appointed to panels for 5 years. For nominations that do not easily fit into one of the discipline-based evaluation panels, the Academy Executive Panel will assess these nominations.

The new evaluation panels (EPs), starting with the 2018 round are as follows:

  • Humanities
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Technology, Applied Sciences and Engineering
  • Health and Medical Sciences
  • Physical, Earth and Mathematical Sciences
  • Biological and Environmental Sciences

Where a nominator is unsure of the most appropriate panel advice may be taken from the Academy Executive Officer, or the more appropriate panel should be selected.

 

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Criteria and impact factors

In evaluating a nomination for election as a Fellow, the following criteria and impact factors will be considered. 

Criteria for research cases

Science

(a) intellect; scholarship; international reputation; and peer recognition;

(b) development and progression of research programme; contribution to the field; and, in appropriate cases, the impact of the research.

It is expected that these criteria will be met in large part by outstanding publications, but may be supported by evidence of the impact of the research.

Technology

(including applied science and engineering):

(a) intellect; scholarship; international reputation; and peer recognition;

(b) intellectual achievement; innovation; and an ability to creatively synthesise and critically interpret knowledge in a way that has impact on the field.

It is expected that these criteria will be demonstrated via a combination of publications (which may include commissioned investigative reports), intellectual property creation, impact of the research, peer- recognition and end-user recognition, such recognition normally being wider than solely at a national level.

Humanities

(a) intellect; scholarship; international reputation; and peer recognition; depth of knowledge; and originality of thinking.

(b) development and progression of scholarly programme; and, in appropriate cases, the impact of the research.

It is expected that these criteria will be demonstrated via outstanding publications such as monographs, articles, and chapters in books. In appropriate instances publications may be supported by creative outputs of equivalent standing and investigative nature.

Social sciences

(a) intellect; scholarship; international reputation; and peer recognition

(b) development and progression of research programme; and, in appropriate cases, impact of the research.

It is expected that these criteria will be demonstrated via outstanding publications which may include commissioned investigative reports, but may be supported by peer-recognition and end-user recognition, such recognition normally being wider than solely at a national level.

Relevant impact factors for research cases

Relevant indicators for impact would be drawn from the following list:

  • Significant changes in the way a body of knowledge (including Mātauranga Māori) is understood, organised and used (e.g., as a result of challenging previous conventional wisdom);
  • Lasting impact of citation;
  • Advancement of Mātauranga Māori.
  • Development of new methods, concepts and theory that has advanced research practice in the relevant discipline.
  • Significantly increased investment in the research programme over an extended period of time by potential technology transfer partners or end-users, including Māori and Pasifika entities.
  • Major changes to practice in a professional community, at least at a national level;
  • Major changes in relevant public policy and/or government investment or operational strategy, for example in health, social policy, environmental protection, conservation, education, justice or emergency management.
  • Successful promulgation of new products, processes, IP, or services based on the research;

For each discipline the relevant impact factors among these will vary.

Primary criteria for advancement cases

Relevant criteria for impact are drawn from the following list:

  • Major changes to practice in a professional community, at least at a national level;
  • Major changes in relevant public policy and/or government investment or operational strategy, for example in health, social policy, environmental protection, conservation, education, justice or emergency management;
  • Successful promulgation of new products, processes, IP, or services based on the innovation/new knowledge;
  • Major cultural or social change within communities of significant size;
  • Major environmental change.

It is expected that these criteria can be evidenced in a variety of ways.

 

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Highly recommended nominees

The Evaluation Panels access the nomination documents (nominators are given the opportunity to provide updated information after the first year), and decide on a short-list of nominees, who are discussed further bearing in mind the four sets of research criteria, impact indicators and for advancement cases the advancement impact criteria. The nomination includes reports from two named referees. Generally, the Panel holds a teleconference to discuss the merits of the nominees. The Academy Executive Officer minutes teleconferences, and any conflicts of interest are recorded and acted upon appropriately.

The Evaluation Panels decide a group of highly recommended unranked nominees for Fellowship and for each of these nominees they suggest up to five independent referees. The number of highly recommended nominees for Honorary Fellowship is not restricted in any one year but independent references are sought for those highly recommended by the discipline-based panels.

Independent referees are chosen with no conflict of interest in the election of a nominee, and are required to sign a “Conflict of Interest” form and return the form with their reference.

Nominations, along with independent referees’ reports that have been obtained, are forwarded to the Fellowship Selection Committee.

The Panels provide the Fellowship Selection Committee with a supporting statement for each highly recommended nominee.

The Academy Executive Panel which reviews nominations which do not fit easily into the traditional panels, can also forward nominations to the Fellowship Selection Committee.

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Election

Fellowship Selection Committee

  • In November each year the Fellowship Selection Committee (which includes the members of the Academy Executive Committee) of 25 members, comprising mainly Fellows (and a small number of others if necessary to get diversity) to ensure coverage of all fields of highly recommended candidates for Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship selection) meets to discuss the highly recommended candidates from all six Evaluation Panels, and from the Academy Executive Panel.
  • The make-up of the expanded Fellowship Selection Committee is approved by the Academy Executive Committee.
  • The Fellowship Selection Committee receives all the documentation for the highly recommended nominees via a portal, and selects the nominees who will be recommended to the Academy Executive Committee as the new Fellows and Honorary Fellows for that year.
  • Nominees are selected on individual merit alone-there is no quota allocation between the different disciplines/fields and geographical areas.
  • The number of new Fellows to be elected each year is decided by the Academy Executive Committee, directly following the previous election.
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