Honorary Research Fellowship is the highest recognition that IARSA can give to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the research, library and education.

It can sometimes be awarded to members of other professions as a reflection of the respect and regard of their colleagues for a particularly important contribution over a long period of time.

It is also the means by which IARSA can recognise those people who are not in the education and research profession but have supported and contributed to its development and profile.

IARSA confers Honorary Research Fellow to promote collaboration with individuals, other institutions and organisations in research, scholarship, and teaching & learning and to facilitate the exchange and sharing of knowledge, experience, expertise and personal values which the Association espouses in its mission and goals. The award of an Honorary Fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards that the International Association of Research Scholars & Administrators (IARSA) can bestow.


The following qualities are required as minimum criteria.

  1. Persons with suitable Academic and/or Professional qualification;
  2. Persons with exceptional experience in education related activities;
  3. Persons with pre-eminence in their field.
  4. That their work or activity has raised the profile of education and research in some way.
  5. That their work or activity has had a significant and positive impact on education, research and administration.
  6. That they have made a difference to the world of education, research, libraries, information and knowledge through their work or activities.

Individuals do not need to meet all six criteria to be awarded Honorary Research Fellowship but they should ordinarily meet at four. In addition candidates need to exhibit the highest professional standards and should have made or are anticipated to make a substantial contribution to the work of the IARSA and or education.


The award is open to and is primarily designed for non-members who have made an extraordinary contribution to education and research. Nominates will also be considered for Ordinary Members (i.e. unqualified members) of the IARSA.

Honorary Fellowship award is not open to Qualified Members of the IARSA; Certified Fellows, Certified Members, Associate Members, Life Members, Members Emeritus, and Student Members.

Nominees could include:

  1. A person with a long history of outstanding leadership in his or her profession who has recognition in society and has raised the profile of information professionals.
  2. A person who has campaigned or supported campaigns in line with IARSA’s objectives and goals to create new knowledge to improve society by making better practice or services.
  3. A person who has made an outstanding contribution to change in society because of their role in education and research
  4. A person who is an ‘unsung hero’ who has perhaps supported others in a way that has ‘gone the extra mile’.


  1. Honorary Fellow – designation – As with many other research associations, it is necessary for regulatory purposes, to distinguish Honorary Certified Fellows from ‘Qualified’ Certified Fellows. Hence a successful candidate should be referred to as an ‘Honorary Certified Research Fellow’ and is entitled to use the FCRSA designatory initials but with a “Hon” prefix i.e. HonFCRSA.
  2. Duration of membership as an Honorary Certified Fellow are members (per Bye-law ) and retain Honorary Certified Fellowship for life, provided they remain a member. They are subject to the usual rules of membership, e.g. if they commit a serious crime or other disciplinary offence then they will be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures and are subject to the sanctions permitted therein such as suspension or expulsion. Ceasing to be a member acts automatically to cancel the Honorary Certified Fellowship.
  3. Resignation – Honorary Certified Fellows may resign from the Association at any time on one month’s notice. On resigning the Honorary Certified Fellow must return the certificate conferring on him or her, the Honorary Certified Fellowship.
  4. Limitation on the annual number conferred – The number of Honorary Certified Fellowships awarded in any one year should be kept to a minimum to preserve the awards due exclusivity and gravitas.
  5. Process for Awarding Honorary Certified Fellowship – The award of Honorary Certified Fellowships is delegated for consideration to the Nominations Committee. Following consideration of the Nominations Committee, any recommendations are then made to the IARSA Council which makes the final decision.
  6. Initial Nominations – Potential recipients may be suggested by any IARSA Member or member of staff. Note that nominations will only be accepted for consideration on a ‘blind’ basis (meaning “blind” as far as the individual nominated is concerned). This is to prevent a candidate having knowledge of their nomination and any embarrassment should this fail to progress.
  7. Self-Nomination – No one may propose themselves for nomination.