RAPS is closely monitoring developments in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. See our public safety page for the latest updates.

Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Demystifying the RAPS Fellows Application and Selection Process

Demystifying the RAPS Fellows Application and Selection Process

Posted 27 March 2012 | By Jethro Ekuta, DVM, PhD, RAC, FRAPS

History was made when the inaugural class of RAPS Fellows was honored at the 2008 RAPS Annual Conference in Boston. I was fortunate to have been selected as a member of that class. I have served as a member of the RAPS Fellows Selection Committee every year since, and currently serve as the vice chair.

Many colleagues have inquired about how they can become Fellows, but they end up not completing an application. The reasons are varied-too busy, lack of knowledge of the qualifications and requirements, an erroneous perception that the application process is daunting, or simply procrastination.

Whatever reason may have kept you from applying to become a Fellow, this article describes the Fellows program, including the application process and evaluation criteria, so you can be equipped with the information you need to make an initial self-assessment and complete a high-quality application.

The RAPS Fellows program recognizes senior regulatory professionals who complete a Fellows Application Form and submit all required supportive documentation (three recommendations and a resume/curriculum vitae), pay an application fee and possess the following qualifications:

  • a minimum of 15 years of regulatory experience
  • demonstrated evidence of Level IV experience as outlined in the Regulatory Affairs Professional Development Framework
  • status as a RAPS member for at least three consecutive years
  • willingness to maintain RAPS member status after appointment as a Fellow, to ensure continued significant contributions and leadership in the advancement of the profession

RAPS Fellows (or simply, "Fellows") are drawn from all segments of RAPS membership, including industry, government, academia, research and clinical organizations, and work with all regulated products. Fellows enjoy highly respected status and serve as important resources for strategic dialogue, mentoring, implementation of special initiatives and international development and are expected to continue to make significant contributions and show leadership in advancing the profession.


RAPS Fellows are entitled to certain benefits, including:

  • recognition and distinction as a leader in the profession
  • exclusive networking opportunities with senior-level regulatory professionals
  • a special Fellow ribbon and/or lapel pin to be worn at RAPS and other regulatory-related functions
  • a special induction ceremony at 2012 RAPS: The Regulatory Convergence
  • recognition in Regulatory Focus and other RAPS communications


RAPS Fellows also have certain responsibilities, including:

  • representing the profession as leaders at regulatory programs, e.g., leading Situation Room discussions at the RAPS Regulatory Convergence
  • participating in forums covering key issues and trends facing the profession
  • continuing service and leadership within the regulatory profession and RAPS
  • assisting in developing future RAPS leadership
  • acting as mentors to up-and-coming new or junior regulatory professionals by providing guidance and advice

The RAPS Fellows Application Process

New this year, the RAPS Fellows Application Process has been simplified into 3 easy steps. The process  is used to collect relevant information about your qualifications for selection as a RAPS Fellow. Therefore, it is important that you answer every question completely and honestly.

The application process requires that you fill out the following information:

  1. candidate information
  2. education
  3. additional professional designations or qualifications (e.g., RAC, certificates, etc.)
  4. work history
  5. awards, honors, citations and special appointments
  6. membership in other professional organizations
  7. management and leadership experience
    • Here you are asked to describe your past management and leadership experience, including, but not limited to, your accomplishments, supervision of employees, budgetary responsibilities, remote management/management through matrix organizations, liaison activities with executive staff, level of responsibility and decision-making responsibilities.
  8. contributions to the regulatory community
    • In this section, you are asked to list the top five accomplishments that show what contributions you have made to the regulatory community, including, but not limited to, holding office, committee leadership or participation in professional, trade or standards organizations; speaking; publishing; mentoring; teaching; or pro bono work.
  9. knowledge and breadth of regulatory issues
    • In this section, you are asked to provide, in 500 words or less, examples of your knowledge, skills and abilities throughout the product lifecycle, strategic planning, premarketing, postmarketing and interfacing. A RAPS Fellow is expected to have Level IV experience as outlined in the Regulatory Affairs Professional Development Framework. Level IV professionals are strategic and "innovative." They assume a strategic lead role representing the regulatory perspective while proactively developing new and often innovative approaches for pursuing business objectives within the regulatory framework. Some of the most important facets of the Level IV professional's scope of practice are responsibilities and tasks related to strategic planning and interfacing throughout the product lifecycle, both within their organizations and with diverse external groups.
    • Based on a strong and extensive understanding of the role of the profession in the product lifecycle and the dynamics of regulatory processes, these professionals are also engaged in policy development within their organizations and with external groups. They typically are leaders and mentors within their organizations and for the profession. At Level IV, professionals must be able to work effectively in multinational/multicultural environments
  10. additional information
    • In this section, you are given the opportunity to provide any additional information that has not been covered in the other sections that you think is important for the selection committee to know in considering your application.

Finally, the application process is not complete without your signature, certifying that the information you have submitted is complete and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.

In addition, you acknowledge that you have read and agree that you uphold the RAPS Code of Ethics and that you understand and agree that any omission or misrepresentation in any statement or answer may be considered sufficient reason for refusal of your application.

Furthermore, you understand that if you become a RAPS Fellow you must maintain your membership in RAPS in order to maintain your Fellow status.

Remember, in addition to completing the RAPS Fellows Application Process, the application package also includes submission of the following materials:

  • a copy of your current resume or curriculum vitae
  • an application fee of $100 (US)
  • three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a RAPS member (Each person who completes a recommendation form is requested to state in approximately 300 words how the nominee exemplifies the standards of a RAPS Fellow.)

2012 RAPS Fellows Timeline

Please be aware that each year there is a set timeline for the application and selection of Fellows. For information regarding this timeline, you may contact RAPS directly.

For 2012, the Fellows application timeline is as follows:

15 March-15 JuneAspiring Fellows complete applications (13 weeks).
18 June-11 JulySelection committee reviews applications and selects the 2012 class of Fellows (6 weeks).
12 July-1 AugustRAPS board of directors reviews selected applicants.
Beginning 2 AugustRAPS mails acceptance and denial notices to applicants.
26-30 OctoberThe 2012 Class of Fellows is announced during 2012 RAPS: The Regulatory Convergence, in Seattle.

» Learn More About the Fellows Program

» Start the Fellows Application process

Regulatory Focus newsletters

All the biggest regulatory news and happenings.