Criteria for membership

The main criterion for election as a TWAS Member is scientific excellence.
Only those scientists who have attained the highest international standards and have made significant contributions to the advancement of science can be nominated.


Based on the decision taken by the Academy at its 24th General Meeting in 2013, starting 2014, the Academy's membership shall consist of elected Fellows only; the membership category Associate Fellow has been discontinued.

  • Candidates for election as TWAS Fellows must be scientists whose contributions to their respective field(s) of science meet internationally accepted standards of excellence.
  • Candidates for election as TWAS Fellows may work and live anywhere in the world, but if working and living in a developed country, they must also have distinguished themselves in efforts to promote science in developing countries.

Other criteria for nomination of candidates are age (under 70 years at nomination) and membership in a well-established and recognized national science academy, if such a body exists in the candidate's country.

Only TWAS Members can nominate candidates, and each candidate must be proposed by two TWAS members. Blank nomination forms are available to TWAS Members only, either by download [log in first] or upon request from the Executive Director's office.

Nominations must be submitted by 31 March of each year. They are evaluated by Membership Advisory Committees (one for each membership section) and then submitted to the TWAS Council. The Council recommends a final list of candidates for election which is communicated to the Fellows attending the General Meeting. Candidates receiving the favourable vote by the majority of Fellows present at the General Meeting are elected.

On average, up to 50 new Members are elected each year. Membership is for life.



Rules for the selection of Young Affiliates

Each year, the five TWAS Regional Offices each select up to five scientists under the age of 40 to be TWAS Young Affiliates for a period of five years.


TWAS initiated its affiliateship category for young scientists in 2007. During their five-year tenure, TWAS Young Affiliates are invited to participate in five TWAS general meetings and conferences.
The Academy's Regional Offices are located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Beijing, China; Alexandria, Egypt; Bangalore, India; and Pretoria, South Africa (as of 2015; previously Nairobi, Kenya). Generally, they nominate only one person per country among the five individuals selected each year. To be eligible for selection, researchers must:

  • be aged 40 or less on 1 January of the year in which they are selected;
  • have been living and working in a developing country for at least the preceding three years;
  • have an excellent track record of at least 10 international publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Being selected a TWAS Young Affiliate does not automatically lead to full membership of TWAS. Specifically, TWAS Young Affiliates:

  • will be invited to attend all TWAS General Meetings and General Conferences free of charge;
  • are entitled to attend TWAS General Meetings as observers, i.e. they will be permitted to participate in the discussions, but will not have any voting rights;
  • will be invited to attend regional meetings of TWAS Fellows organized by the Regional Offices;
  • will be invited to participate in the activities of TWAS national chapters in their home countries (if such a chapter is active);
  • will receive copies of TWAS publications such as the TWAS Newsletter, Year Book, and Annual Report;
  • will have their biodata published in an annual Young Affiliate registry, to be made available at each TWAS General Meeting;
  • are eligible for TWAS Prizes (unlike TWAS members);
  • are encouraged to provide feedback to TWAS on how the Academy can respond to the needs of young scientists in developing countries;
  • are encouraged to provide information about TWAS programmes to their students and colleagues;
  • are encouraged to seek out and nominate excellent scientists from developing countries, especially science- and technology-lagging countries, for TWAS awards;
  • are encouraged to seek out excellent scientists from science- and technology-lagging countries and recommend their nomination for TWAS membership (via a TWAS member).

At the end of the five-year affiliateship period, the status of 'TWAS Young Affiliate' will be changed to 'TWAS Young Alumnus'. TWAS Young Alumni will continue to be encouraged to seek nomination for a relevant TWAS Prize or as a TWAS Fellow; to be kept on the TWAS mailing list and will continue to receive the TWAS Newsletter, e-Bulletin, etc.; to act as a resource person for TWAS. However, a Young Alumnus will no longer be invited to attend TWAS General Meetings or be nominated by TWAS to attend meetings for young scientists organized by other parties.