Upgrade To Fellow

If you meet one of the conditions for Fellowship, which is continuous Membership for three years, you are invited to apply for Fellowship.

We find that many Members who qualify for Fellowship do not apply for the upgrade, often because they do not realise that Fellowship is the appropriate grade for them. This page sets out the role of our Fellows, the responsibilities and requirements, and invites you to apply.

By becoming a Fellow, you demonstrate a higher level of commitment to and support for its cause. The increase in your financial contribution will be instrumental in developing Member benefits and will also open up new horizons for the Society’s future potential.

Fellows are the owners of the Society and are largely responsible for realising its mission:

The British Interplanetary Society promotes the exploration and use of space for the benefit of humanity, by connecting people to create, educate and inspire, and advance knowledge in all aspects of astronautics.

If you believe in, or support, these important objectives, through your career or your other interests, whether within the Society or elsewhere, then we would urge you to apply for Fellowship. The Society needs a strong Fellowship, to support its activities, and to influence and guide its future direction in a way that reflects the interests and concerns of the space community.

As owners of the Society, Fellows have full voting rights at all General Meetings, are entitled to put “FBIS” after their names and are eligible to be elected to Council after three years. They have a legal responsibility for the Society, but with a limit of liability of £1, and they pay an increased subscription reflecting their greater involvement with the Society.

The Society’s requirements for Fellowship follow the model of a “Learned Society” which is not supporting a particular profession. There are two routes to Fellowship, either:

  • A professional qualification, to university degree standard, plus five years’ experience in areas relevant to astronautics, or at least ten years’ experience in areas relevant to astronautics, or,
  • A significant contribution or support to the work of the Society or to astronautics which is viewed by the Council as providing adequate grounds for election to that grade.

We expect the ‘significant contribution’ route to be a common route to Fellowship, but in the past there has been a misunderstanding that this means something exceptional – it does not. It means a useful investment of your time or resources in some way that supports or promotes the Society’s objectives, and therefore justifies your having a say in the Society’s affairs.

The Council urges all Members who meet the requirements to apply for Fellowship. We urgently need more Fellows to support the recent upsurge in the Society’s activities and the increasing global interest in space, particularly in the UK. If you think you qualify and would like to apply, please complete the Fellowship Transfer Form and return it to the Membership Committee.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Alistair Scott
President