Academy of Medical Sciences (United Kingdom)

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Academy of Medical Sciences
Founded1 November 1998 (1998-11-01)
TypeCharitable organisation, National academy
Registration no.England and Wales: 1070618
FocusMedical research, Health policy
Headquarters41 Portland Place,
London, W1B 1QH
Area served
United Kingdom
  • ~ 1200 Fellows
  • ~ 40 Honorary Fellows
Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci

The Academy of Medical Sciences is an organisation established in the UK in 1998. It is one of the four UK National Academies, the others being the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.[1]

Its mission is to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society.[2] The academy consists of a group of around 1200 Fellows elected from fields across the biomedical sciences. The academy seeks ultimately to advance medical science and improve health by investing in talented researchers, engaging people on health-related issues and providing expert impartial advice. As of December 2020 its president is Dame Anne Johnson.[3]


Front door of Academy of Medical Sciences, 41 Portland Place

The academy was established in 1998 following the recommendations of a working group chaired by Michael Atiyah, former president of the Royal Society.[4] A single national organisation was formed to support biomedical scientists and clinical academics working together to promote advances in medical science. It is one of the four learned academies in the United Kingdom, with the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and British Academy.[5] The intention of the founders was to create a national resource outside the framework of Government, with the expertise and authority to deal with scientific and societal aspects of public policy issues in healthcare.[6]

The formation of the academy occurred against a backdrop of increasing fragmentation and specialisation within the medical profession.[7] The academy merged with the Novartis Foundation in 2008, and moved to a dedicated headquarters building at 41 Portland Place in October 2010.[8] This building provides office space for its 39 members of staff, and has rooms for events and conferences.[9]


Published policy report front covers, Academy of Medical Sciences


Areas of policy work originate from within the Academy Council and wider Fellowship, and in response to consultations from the government, Parliament and other relevant bodies. As of 2017 work included reports on improving public health by 2040, using animals in research, diabetes and obesity, the use of data in medical research and the use of non-human primates in research.


The academy's National Mentoring and Outreach Scheme was established in 2002 and is supported by the UK Department of Health, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and NHS Education for Scotland. The programme provides one-to-one mentoring by Academy Fellows for Clinical Lecturers and Clinician Scientist Fellows. It also offers activities for Academic Clinical Fellows, Clinical Training Fellows and MB PhD students.


The academy's funding schemes focus on areas of specific and specialist need, addressing perceived shortages within key speciality areas, and international collaboration. Schemes include Clinician Scientist Fellowships, Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers and UK/Middle East Exchange Fellowships.

Medi+Mori exhibition, Academy of Medical Sciences

Public engagement and dialogue[edit]

The academy's public events demonstrate recent research and provide a platform for discussion of the latest science.[10]

Linking academia and industry[edit]

The academy's FORUM brings together biomedical scientists from academia and industry.[11] As well as hosting its own conferences and events [12] the academy has made its headquarters at 41 Portland Place available on a private hire basis for industry and commercial events and conferences.[13]


Fellows Common Room, Academy of Medical Sciences

As of August 2017, the academy has around 1200 Fellows [14] drawn from fundamental biological sciences, clinical academic medicine, public and population health, health technology implementation, veterinary science, dentistry, medical and nursing care and other professions allied to medical science as well as the basic fundamental mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, ethics, social science and the law. The Fellowship represents a national resource in medical science, offering their time and expertise to support the academy's work.[15]

Up to 48 new Fellows are elected to the academy each year.[16] Eight Sectional Committees spanning the range of medical sciences scrutinise candidates and make recommendations to Council for election.[17] Becoming a Fellow indicates that the academy judges individuals to have made "outstanding the progress of medical science and the development of better healthcare".[18] Election is often described as "prestigious".[19][20]

Honorary Fellows include:

Some of its members are retired and are no longer active in research.

List of presidents[edit]


The Academy of Medical Sciences presents numerous awards and lectures and medals to recognise significant achievements within the field of medical science.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Joint Academies' Statement: Building a Stronger Future". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Improving health through research". Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  3. ^ "President of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  4. ^ "The Formation of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Funding national academies". UK Government. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  6. ^ Savill, John (1999). "More than merely academic: the new Academy of Medical Sciences". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Royal Society of Medicine. 92 (8): 387. doi:10.1177/014107689909200801. PMC 1297311. PMID 10656001.
  7. ^ Manning, Mary (2004). "Academy of Medical Sciences: promoting advances in health science and biomedical research" (PDF). Clinical Medicine. Royal College of Physicians. 4 (5): 462–464. doi:10.7861/clinmedicine.4-5-462. PMC 5351907. PMID 15536879.
  8. ^ "Merger with the Novartis Foundation". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Interesting facts about the building". 41 Portland Place (Academy of Medical Sciences). Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Music and Medicine". Harbour and Jones. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  11. ^ "2014 FORUM Lecture on Youtube". Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Events | the Academy of Medical Sciences".
  13. ^ "41 Portland Place London Venue Hire - Marylebone Event Space | eve".
  14. ^ "Fellowship news: New Fellows". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Policy projects, chaired by Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Election process". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Election process". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  18. ^ "New Fellows 2016". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  19. ^ "Leeds professor recognised for contribution to medical science". University of Leeds. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  20. ^ "The Academy of Medical Sciences announces new Fellows for 2016". University of Cambridge. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  21. ^ "The Foulkes Medal". The Academy of Medical Sciences. Retrieved 14 September 2017.

External links[edit]