Answers to some frequently asked questions are collated below:
- Membership of the Royal Society of Biology (RSB)
- Application process
- Income tax relief
- Your membership
- Professional Registers
- Contact us
Membership of the UK's leading professional association for the biosciences can enhance your career through a range of professional opportunities. It can also allow you to contribute to our mission to be the unifying voice for biology.
What membership grade should I apply for?
How do I become a member?
To become a member of the RSB, you need to submit an application through our online portal, mySociety.
I am not working in the biosciences sector/I am retired, can I still be a member?
Yes, we welcome anyone over the age of 14 who has an interest in the biosciences.
How can I check if I am already a member?
Contact us with your full name and date of birth and we will be able to let you know.
To login to your mySociety account, you need to use the email address registered to your membership record and associated password. You can reset your password on the login page; if you don’t receive a password reset email please check your junk mail. If you are not sure which email address you should use, please get in touch.
Please do not register a new account as this will not contain any of your membership details or give you member-specific access.
Do I need to be nominated by a current member?
No, anyone who has an interest in the biosciences can join the RSB without the need to be nominated by a current member.
Do I need a reference for my membership application?
Applications for our Fellowship (FRSB) grade needs to be accompanied by two references. These should be someone who can vouch for your professional standing and achievements, but they do not need to be a member of the RSB.
What is the application statement?
Whilst not compulsory, this can be used to enhance your application, and provide us with any other relevant information that may not appear on your CV.
It is particularly helpful for applications at the Fellowship grade who should use this to include details of their overall impact on biology such as leadership experience, teams managed, funding received, outcomes of projects and anything else that may be helpful in this context.
What is the career overview?
We offer discounts if you are studying full-time, a recent graduate, retired, in unpaid employment or on a career break. We also offer a 50% discount for two years if you are a member of one of our Member Organisations.
Do get in touch if you meet any of these criterion.
Do you offer discounts for overseas applicants?
Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be eligible for a discount. However, we do not discount solely based on location.
I am a member of another Society, do I get a discount?
Yes, we offer a two year, 50% discount if you are a member of one of our full Member Organisations, and a discount of 30% if you are a member or employee of one of our Supporting Member Organisations.
To apply this discount, contact us with the name of the eligible society you are a member of and your membership number with them, so that we can verify this.
Donating through Gift Aid means as a charity, the Royal Society of Biology can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra. Gift aid cannot be claimed on annual fees, but can be claimed on life membership. Do get in touch with gift aid queries.
Claiming tax relief
You can claim tax relief on your Royal Society of Biology membership fees and we are listed as “Biology Royal Society of” on the HMRC list of professional bodies.
We are not able to offer monthly direct debit payments for our membership fees. However, you can set up an annual direct debit through your mySociety account for membership renewals. The initial joining fee cannot be made via direct debit.
We also offer the option of payment by instalments for renewing or joining AMRSB, MRSB and FRSB members. Instalment payments, including the £15 administration fee, are non-refundable so we encourage new joiners to get in touch at email@example.com to first determine your membership grade eligibility. Payment by instalments can be set up through your mySociety account.
Do I have to be a member for a year before I can apply for RSB grants?
As soon as you are elected as a member of the RSB, you are able to apply for our grants. However, if you wish to apply for a grant before your official election as a member, we are able to process your application earlier.
How do I print my membership card or certificate?
You can print your membership card or certificate through your mySociety account by choosing the “My Membership” option under the “Membership” tab.
How can I make the most of my membership?
Subscribing to your local branch and going along to the events near you is a great way of meeting local members and getting to know the community. Vacancies for voluntary committee positions are advertised on our jobs section and opportunities to get involved are also published in the monthly members’ newsletter and in our quarterly magazine The Biologist.
See where our branches operate in the UK on our branch map. You can join your local branch on mySociety under “Membership” and then “Branches”. You can also browse all of our branches on the regions pages.
You can find out about upcoming events run by the Society and our 18 regional branches on our events page.
The RSB's professional registers are recognised by employers and are a great way to showcase that you meet professional standards and are committed to CPD. They can keep your knowledge up-to-date to enhance your skills and secure your next career move.
We also offer: Qualified Person, UK Register of Toxicologists, International Diploma in Toxicology, International Register of Fetal Morphologists, British Society of Animal Science: Register of Animal Scientists & Animal Technologists and the Plant Health Register.
How do I join a Professional Register?
Once you are a member of the RSB, you may be eligible to join our Professional Registers (please check the minimum membership grade required for particular registers).
Each register has its own requirements and application process. They all require ongoing CPD to maintain your place on the register, alongside an annual fee.
You can find the relevant application information and guidance notes on the individual register pages: RSciTech, RSci, CBiol, CSci, CSciTeach, Qualified Person, UK Register of Toxicologists, International Diploma in Toxicology, International Register of Fetal Morphologists, British Society of Animal Science: Register of Animal Scientists & Animal Technologists, and the Plant Health Register.
Can I mentor?
We do not currently offer a mentor-mentee matching service. If you are looking for ways to volunteer your time with the RSB, we have committees and local branches that you may be interested in joining. Please contact the relevant chair if you are interested.
We also run an ambassador scheme which enables participants to share their interest in the RSB with their wider network, with formal support from the RSB membership team. If you would like to be an ambassador, we recruit at least once a year; you can search for available positions and apply via our vacancies page.
Can I showcase my career to help other members?
We are always interested in hearing from our members and about their bioscience work and career journey. Please contact us and we would be glad to help you find the most suitable outlet.
The RSB membership team comprises: Mark Leach, Karen Patel, Shameema Haque, Eden Bloomfield, Emma Chaplin and Chris Longmore.