Regius Professor

A Regius Professor is a university professor who has, or originally had, royal patronage or appointment. They are a unique feature of academia in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The first Regius Professorship was in the field of medicine, and founded by the Scottish King James IV at the University of Aberdeen in 1497. Regius chairs have since been instituted in various universities, in disciplines judged to be fundamental and for which there is a continuing and significant need. Each was established by an English, Scottish, or British monarch, and following proper advertisement and interview through the offices of the university and the national government, the current monarch still appoints the professor (except for those at the University of Dublin in Ireland, which left the United Kingdom in 1922). This royal imprimatur, and the relative rarity of these professorships, means a Regius chair is prestigious and highly sought-after.

Regius Professors are traditionally addressed as "Regius" and not "Professor".[1] The University of Glasgow currently has the highest number of extant Regius chairs, at fourteen.[2]

New Regius Chairs

Traditionally, Regius Chairs only existed in the ancient universities of the British Isles. In October 2012 it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II would create up to six new Regius Professorships, to be announced in early 2013, to mark her Diamond Jubilee.[3] In January 2013 the full list was announced, comprising twelve new chairs, probably the largest number ever created in one year, and more than created in most centuries.[4][5]

In July 2015 it was announced that further Regius Professorships would be created to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.[6]

University of Aberdeen

Aston University

  • Regius Professor of Pharmacy[9]

University of Cardiff

  • Regius Professor of Chemistry (2016)[9]

University of Cambridge

University of Dublin

University of Dundee

  • Regius Professor of Life Sciences (2013)

University of Edinburgh

University of Essex

  • Regius Professor of Political Science (2013)

University of Glasgow

University of Liverpool

  • Regius Professor of Chemistry (2016)[9]

University of London

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

  • Regius Professor of Engineering (2013)
  • Regius Professor of Infectious Disease (2016)[9]

University of Manchester

  • Regius Professor of Physics (2013)
  • Regius Professor of Materials (2016)[9]

Newcastle University

  • Regius Professor of Ageing (2016)[9]

Open University

  • Regius Professor of Open Education (2013)

University of Oxford

Queen's University Belfast

  • Regius Professor of Electronics & Computer Engineering (2016)[9]

University of Reading

  • Regius Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science (2013)

University of St Andrews

University of Southampton

University of Surrey

  • Regius Professor of Electronic Engineering (2013)

University of Warwick


  1. "Cushing, Harvey (1940). The Life of Sir William Osler (volume 1, chapter 23). Oxford: Oxford University Press". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  2. "Regius Professor of Law Appointed to the University of Glasgow". University of Glasgow. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  3. "Queen to bestow new Regius Professorships on outstanding Universities" (Press release). Cabinet Office. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  4. "New Regius Professorships announced for 12 universities". Times Higher Education Supplement. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  5. "Cabinet Office: The Queen awards prestigious Regius professorships to twelve universities" (Press release). PoliticsHome. 29 January 2013. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  6. Garner, Richard (8 July 2015). "Budget 2015: Universities will be allowed to raise fees beyond £9,000, says George Osborne". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  7. Comrie, John D (1927). "Chapter 9: The Medical School of Aberdeen". History of Scottish Medicine to 1860 (PDF). London: Wellcome Historical Medical Museum.
  8. Bulloch, John (1895). A History of the University of Aberdeen 1495-1895. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  9. "Regius Professorships awarded to leading universities to mark Queen's 90th birthday - Press releases - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  10. "Prof J Iredale". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
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