Researchers' Society Constitution

Background

The Centre Researchers’ Society is run by early career researchers within the Centre. The aims of the society are to provide a voice and promote the welfare and career development of researchers across the Centre; to improve and facilitate training and career development of researchers; build a collaborative and engaged community; promote the exchange and dissemination of information relating to matters affecting researchers; and to facilitate communication, collaboration and sharing of ideas within the research community across the Centre. The organisation of the Researchers' Society is conducted by the Researchers' Society Committee. Membership of the Committee is open to all members who attend Committee meetings and show an active interest in the running of the society. The Committee has two co-chairs, representing Imperial College and King’s College. In addition, each campus has a representative to act as a point of contact between individual researchers and the Researchers' Society. Representative’s roles are to encourage participation of Society events, to inform researchers about the role of the Society and to pass on issues and feedback for the Co-chairs to take to the Centre Steering Committee meetings. The Researchers’ Society has a representative on the Centre’s Steering Committee, as a full member thereby ensuring that the needs of the Centre's researchers can be presented to the key decision makers.

Name

The association shall be known as Researchers' Society

Membership

The membership of the Researchers' Society Committee should include:

  • A chair or co-chairs
  • The science manager/coordinator of the MRC-PHE centre
  • A member of the Training Programme Committee
  • A representative of each institution and campus

The society will be run by researchers of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health at Imperial College, King’s College London, and St George’s University of London.

The society is mainly aimed at researchers with fixed term contracts (PhD students, research staff) who are almost entirely dependent upon grant funding.

Membership of the society is assumed for all PhD students, research and academic staff either working for the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health or whose PI/Project is part of the Centre.

Aims

  • To provide a voice and promote the welfare and career development of researchers across the Centre. The Society will have a representative on the Centre’s Steering Committee, as a full member. This means that the needs of the Centre’s researchers can be presented to the key decision makers.
  • To improve and facilitate training and career development of researchers across the Centre.  In order to maximise their opportunities and chances of attracting funding, it is vital that researchers are able to develop their profile, network, and transferable skills base. There is a need to work constantly on professional development in order to maximise the personal and career opportunities for new PhD students as well as established lecturers and PIs.
  • To build a collaborative and engaged community of researchers.
  • To promote the exchange and dissemination of information relating to matters affecting researchers across the Centre.
  • To facilitate communication, collaboration and sharing of ideas within the research community across the Centre.

Objectives

  • Objectives will be decided jointly by the Researchers’ Society Committee and progress will be updated and amended at each Committee meeting
  • Objectives will be created for set time periods so that regular progress can be monitored (e.g. 6 months objectives, 1-year objectives)

Organisation and Management

  • The affairs of the Society are to be conducted by the Society's Committee.
  • Each campus should have a representative to act as a point of contact between researchers and the Researchers’ Society.  Representative’s roles are to encourage participation of Society events, to inform researchers about the role of the Society and to pass on issues and feedback for the Chairperson to take to the Centre Steering Committee meetings.
  • Membership of the Committee should be open to all members who attend Committee meetings and show an active interest in the running of the society.
  • The permanent officer positions will be elected by the committee at a committee meeting. Committee members unable to attend this meeting may vote by email or in person to the chairperson prior to the meeting. 
  • If a committee member has not attended or sent apologies for two consecutive meetings an email will be sent by the secretary asking if the individual is still interested in being part of the Researchers’ Society Committee.  If they are not (or do not respond) they will be considered to have resigned from the Committee.
  • A Committee member may retire at any point giving as much notice as possible. If the member is a permanent officer a replacement may be voted at the next Committee meeting.
  • Committee meetings shall be held at least every two months wherever possible and an agenda for the meeting should be circulated by the secretary prior to each meeting by email to all members of the society.
  • Minutes of these meetings will be taken by a different Committee member each time and circulated to the Committee members.
  • The Committee makes decisions using a simple majority vote, each person having one vote; the Chairperson shall have a vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, a casting vote also.
  • Working groups may be set up at any time by the Committee by majority vote.
  • Changes and updates to the constitution can be made at a Committee meeting by majority vote.
  • Financial procedures - The signatories on the Researchers’ Society account will be the three essential roles. Expenses agreed ahead of time with a signatory will be reimbursed, however, those spent without prior agreement will be decided by the whole Committee at the next Committee meeting.
  • The Researchers’ Society is part of the Centre Training Programme (TP) that coordinates postgraduate training and related events and to ensure students associated with the Centre receive an excellent/enhanced training experience.
  • The Researchers’ Society will help coordinate the activities of the TP delivered to postgraduate students associated with the MRC‐PHE Centre for Environment & Health.
  • The Training Programme Coordinator will liaise with the Researchers’ Society and act as an advisory to their proposed schedule of events. Furthermore, the coordinator will provide the necessary support in terms of representation and as official/academic signatories where necessary (e.g. Researchers’ Society grant’s applications).
  • The Researchers’ Society will be given the responsibility to organise a series of events, develop training programmes and career development, develop networking links across the Centre’s host institutes, seek funding, and input on Centre procedures.
  • The Researchers’ Society will provide regular updates to the Training Programme Lead.
  • The Researchers’ Society will report to the Centre Steering Committee.
  • The Researchers’ Society will provide regular updates at the Centre Investigators’ Meetings.