- National Academies (1981)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Guggenheim Fellow (1964)
Russell A. Bonham received his bachelor's degree from Whittier College in 1954 followed by his Doctor of Philosophy from Iowa State University in 1958. His first position at IU Bloomington was as an instructor from 1958 to 1960. The first semester of the 1960-1961 academic year, he took a leave of absence to complete a postdoctoral research associateship at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. He was also an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland during that time. He returned to IU Bloomington and was as an assistant professor of chemistry from 1960 to 1963. He was an associate professor from 1963 to 1965 before becoming a full professor of chemistry in 1965. His tenure in the Department of Chemistry at IU Bloomington lasted more than 35 years. He retired with the title of emeritus professor of chemistry in 1995. After his retirement from IU Bloomington, he was an adjunct research professor of chemistry in the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the Illinois Institute of Technology until 2011.
Bonham received both a Fulbright Fellowship as a research scholar to study chemistry at the University of Tokyo (June 1964-March 1965) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in chemistry in 1964. He also received the Humboldt Prize in 1977 and 1981, became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1981 and the American Physical Society, and received a grant from the National Science Foundation in 1993. He is also a member of the American Physical Society, the American Crystallographic Association, the American Chemical Society, and Sigma Xi.