Established in 1996, and connected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Scottish Charity No 000470), the Foundation's charitable objectives are:
- To advance the education of the public in Scotland in science, engineering and technology.
- To research and explore developing areas of learning and human knowledge and to disseminate by whatever means the results of such research, particularly in Scotland.
- To promote the greater public understanding of all sciences, engineering and technology and their part in increasing the wealth and quality of life of the people of Scotland.
- To encourage, for the benefit of the people of Scotland, collaboration between the academic and business communities in Scotland
- To preserve and conserve the architectural, scientific and cultural heritage of Scotland and to collect, for the purposes of preservation, conservation and exhibition, for the benefit of the people of Scotland, writings, instruments, artefacts, specimens of natural history and any other material which, in the opinion of the Trustees relates to the cultural and scientific heritage of Scotland.
- To call upon the broad intellectual resources of the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and such other Societies and organisations as appropriate in the promotion of the foregoing purposes.
The Foundation is governed by a board of Trustees which is currently chaired by Professor Donald Ritchie, CBE, DL, FRSE. It normally meets twice yearly, but convenes as and when required.
Its fiscal year is April - March and its accounts are published on a consolidated basis with those of the Society, the BP Research Fellowship Trust (Scottish Charity No SC008420) and, from the 2012/13 fiscal year onwards, the RSE Scotland SCIO (Scottish Charity No SC043194), which are also connected to the Society.
The Foundation manages its audit & risk and investments through joint Committees with the Society, and in relation to the former adopts the same anti-bribery policy. It also, with the Society, jointly employs the staff who deliver its and the Society's activities. There are currently 30 staff who are led by the Chief Executive, Dr William Duncan.
The RSE Scotland Foundation, a charitable body connected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, is Scottish Charity No. SC024636