Headquartered in Moscow, the Academy (RAS) is considered a civil, self-governed, non-commercial organization chartered by the Government of Russia. It combines the members of RAS (see below) and scientists employed by institutions. The Academy currently includes around 650 institutions and 55,000 scientific researchers.
There are three types of membership in the RAS: full members (academicians), corresponding members, and foreign members. Academicians and corresponding members must be citizens of the Russian Federation when elected. However, some academicians and corresponding members were elected before the collapse of the USSR and are now citizens of other countries. Members of RAS are elected based on their scientific contributions – election to membership is considered very prestigious. In the years 2005–2012, the academy had approximately 500 full and 700 corresponding members. But in 2013, after the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences became incorporated into the RAS, a number of the RAS members accordingly increased.
The last elections to the renewed Russian Academy of Sciences were organized in October 2016. Earlier, in winter 2015/2016, the Academy assigned the so-called RAS Professors(493 scientists), subordinated to the regular members and considered as possible future candidates for membership; 104 of them were elected already in autumn 2016 and are now titled "RAS professor, corresponding member of the RAS". Totally, as of August 2017, the Academy had 2049 Russian members (full: 913, corresponding: 1136) and 498 foreign members.
The RAS consists of 13 specialized scientific divisions, three territorial divisions, sometimes called branches, and 15 regional scientific centers. The Academy has numerous councils, committees, and commissions, all organized for different purposes.