Permanent Tanner lectureships, which include annual lectures and seminars, are established at nine institutions: Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, University of California Berkeley, University of Michigan, Stanford University, University of Utah, University of Cambridge (Clare Hall), and University of Oxford (Linacre College).
Occasional lectureships may be granted to non-member colleges or universities for one year only. These institutions are selected by the Trustees and Consultants.
The lecturer usually delivers more than one lecture and conducts one or more seminars on the lecture subject.
An annual grant to each institution by the Trustees provides for the lecture honorarium and institutional expenses associated with the lectures and seminars. The grant includes funds to provide for the expenses of additional participants living at a distance who may contribute to the seminars.
The sponsoring institutions have full autonomy in the appointment of Tanner lectures. They are subject only to the conditions of the Lecture Award, the broad purposes of the lectureship, and the stipulation that the lecturers not be selected from their own faculties or staffs. A person may not be appointed more than twice as a Tanner lecturer and may not be appointed more than once in any one country. A second appointment stipulates the presentation of a lecture or lectures on a different, although not necessarily unrelated, subject.