Eric Priest was appointed as a lecturer (1968) and professor (1983) at St Andrews University, where he founded an internationally renowned research group on solar theory.
His honors include being elected a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters (1994) and a fellow of the Royal Society (2002). In 2002 he was awarded the Hale Prize of the American Astronomical Society and in 2009 the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 2015 St Andrews University awarded him an honorary DSc.
He has edited fifteen books and written three research monographs and 460 journal papers.