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Governance & Leadership

Governance

Constitution and Bylaws

The Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention is a non-profit organization, 501(c)(3). The Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention was founded in 1960 and incorporated in 1961 under the laws of the state of Ohio. The Constitution and Bylaws provide the fundamental governance guidelines for the Officers, Council, and Committees of the Society.

Guidelines for Ethical Publication and Presentation of Scientific Information and Data

These guidelines for publication and presentation are complementary to the Code of Ethics and are an extension of the philosophy embodied in the Code as it applies specifically to publication and presentation of information by members of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention as they function as authors, reviewers, editors, consultants and experts to government, universities, industry and the courts.

Code of Ethics

Members of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention subscribe to the Code of Ethics adopted by the Society membership on June 8, 1990.

Officers and Council Members

The Officers of the Society include the President, Vice President, Vice President-elect, Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Three Councilors serve on the Council during their terms of office. The remaining members of the Council shall serve for a term of three years and shall not be eligible for reelection to the same post for two years after retiring from office.

Committees

Serving on a Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention committee is a great way to get involved in helping the Society work towards its mission while connecting with other members on a regular basis. Standing and ad hoc committees are listed below. If you are not on a committee and would like to get involved, please contact bdrp@birthdefectsresearch.org. All members, regardless of membership type or tenure are encouraged to get involved!

Standing Committees

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 12 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Awards Committee’s primary responsibility is to develop and administer most of the awards of the Society. A secondary goal of the committee is to contribute to increased internal and external publicity regarding current and past year award winners and member contributions. These activities are conducted with the oversight of the President and Council. The Committee shall be composed of six regular members, with two members per year appointed by the President based upon the recommendation of the Awards Committee and with the approval of the Council. The F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator awardee will be one of the two newly appointed regular members each year. Committee members will serve a term of three years. In addition, one student/postdoc member will be appointed each year by the President to serve a one-year term. One regular member shall be selected by the Committee to be vice chair during the second year of his/her term. This individual will become the Chairperson in the subsequent year. The Chairperson shall become the past chair (as an ad hoc member) during a fourth year serving as advisor to the incoming Chairperson. Additional ad hoc members may also be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve for one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).


CHARGE

Article VI, Section 11 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Communications Coordination Committee shall be responsible for coordinating communications activities across the Society, including internal communication across committees and external communications, including the Society’s website, webinars, press releases, and social media campaigns. The Committee shall report at least annually to Council regarding the status of the Society’s communications activities and make recommendations to Council regarding enhancements to the Society’s communications efforts. The Committee shall consist of a Chair and representatives from the Awards, Education, Membership, Public Affairs, Publications, Science, Student Affairs, and relevant ad hoc committees. In addition, one student/postdoctoral fellow member will be appointed by the President to serve for one year after appointment. Ad hoc members may be appointed by the Chair with approval from Council and will serve for one year after appointment. The Chairperson of the Communications Coordination Committee will be appointed by Council for a three-year term. During the second year of the Chairperson’s term, a vice chair will be selected to serve as vice chair during the last year of the Chairperson’s term. At the end of the Chairperson’s term, the vice chair will become the Chairperson of the Communications Coordination Committee for a three-year term. The past chair will remain on the committee for one year following his/her terms as Chairperson.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 2 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall suggest changes in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Society. The Committee shall also consider suggested changes submitted by Council or members of the Society. Those revisions and/or amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws proposed and accepted by Council will be placed in final form by the Committee and delivered electronically to the membership together with the appropriate discussion (see Article VII). The Committee shall be composed of three members, one member per year appointed by the President and serving a term of three years. In addition, the President shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee. During the third year of his/her term, a member shall serve as Chairperson. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve only for one year after appointment.

COMPOSITION

The Committee shall be composed of three members, one member per year appointed by the President and serving a term of three years. In addition, the President shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee. During the third year of his/her term, a member shall serve as Chairperson. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve only for one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE
Article VI, Section 7 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Education Committee shall concern itself with offering continuing education in the theory and practice of birth defects research and related disciplines of interest to Society members and within keeping with the Society’s objectives and may offer and conduct educational and teaching programs in the name of the Society, subject to prior approval of the President and Council. The Committee shall consist of six members, each of whom will serve one term of three years, with two members per year appointed by the President, based upon the recommendation of the Education Committee and with the approval of the Council. During the second year of a term, one member shall be appointed vice chair by the President, based upon the recommendation of the Education Committee. During the third year of a term, that member shall serve as Chairperson. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve for one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

RESPONSIBILITIES
The Education Committee is responsible for the planning and presentation of two Continuing Education (CE) Courses and the Mini Course during the Society’s Annual Meeting. The committee is responsible for selecting the topic and speakers, coordination of electronic course book preparation, and on-site registration of course participants. The two CE Courses usually consists of a series of 4–5 presentations each and are held on the Saturday prior to the Annual Meeting. The Mini Course consists of two talks; it is usually presented as a lunch and learn session on the Tuesday during the Annual Meeting. As the courses are being developed, the committee informs the Annual Meeting Sponsorship Workgroup of any potential sponsors, based on the topics and speakers selected. The committee’s responsibilities, tasks, and time frame are summarized below.

Education Committee Chair Responsibilities
The Education Committee Chair position is usually held by the senior committee member who has served as committee Vice Chair the previous year. Chair responsibilities are assumed at the end of annual meeting. The Chair works with the committee to ensure the timeline below is followed and all deadlines are met.

Education Committee Vice Chair Responsibilities
The Education Committee Vice Chair is generally selected from among the two “second year” committee members with the expectation that the Vice Chair will assume responsibilities as the committee chair the following year. the Vice chair works with the committee chair to define the overall strategy for the committee and the ongoing communication with speakers (reminders, updates, and review of materials).

Education Committee Past Chair Responsibilities
The Past Chair is responsible for providing guidance and assistance to the committee. The past chair is also responsible for coordinating the webinar program with a goal of 2–3 webinars per year outside the annual meeting (fall, winter, spring).

TASKS OF THE COMMITTEE

During the Annual Meeting
The incoming chair works with the outgoing chair and committee members to organize an Education Committee meeting during the Annual Meeting.
Attend Programming Committee meeting(s) to coordinate the CE Course and Mini Course with proposed symposia and workshops. This meeting should be held after the courses are complete. The meeting should include:

  • Welcoming of new committee members.
  • Brief description of activities and duties expected.
  • Discussion of course evaluation forms and issues regarding course conduct, logistics, speakers, materials, etc.
  • Discussion of topics for following year’s courses. Ideally, a topic should be identified for the CE Course and the Mini Course. An outline for general course content should be created.
  • Discussion of additional issues pertaining to the courses.
  • Selection of committee secretary (usually from one of the second-year members). The name of the committee Vice Chair should be provided to the incoming president, who is responsible for appointing the Vice Chair.
  • Establishment of a communication network for follow-up conference calls and e-mails.

 

TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES

July
Finalize the course topics through discussion with committee members.
Identify prospective lecturers and alternatives. Personal contacts from committee members to extend informal invitations are preferred. Discuss general topics and speaker ideas with the Program Chair (the Society Vice President).While the topics and lecturers of the courses are the committee’s responsibility, it is important to get general buy-in to minimize overlap with other meeting sessions.
Communicate the names of the Committee Chair, Vice Chair, and new members to the Society Business office.

July/August
Finalize course topics and speakers; coordinate with other committee members.
Consider balance between member/non-member speakers to keep travel expenses minimal. Ideally, no more than 50% of CE course speakers should be non-members. Both Mini-course speakers should be members. There is currently no provision for reimbursement of Mini-course speaker expenses.
Note: Membership status of potential speakers and travel reimbursement policies can be obtained from the Business Office.

August
Send letter to speakers to confirm participation and communicate timelines and expectations. Assistance for the letter preparation can be obtained from the Business Office (Becca Isakower). The letters should include:

  • Overall course objectives
  • Final agenda
  • Meeting dates
  • Presentation length
  • Instructions and timeline for delivery of materials
  • Reminder to adhere to copyright and patient consent requirements, if appropriate
  • Reimbursement policies
  • Request for full contact information, presentation title, and A/V needs

By the End of August
Give final course title, speakers, and presentation titles to Program Chair and Business Office.
Each speaker must be assigned a speaker buddy. The responsibility of the speaker buddies are to:

  • Serve as a liaison between the speaker(s), the Education Committee, and the Business Office
  • Work with their speaker(s) to ensure deadlines are understood and met
  • Provide guidance on talk content and any questions the speaker may have
  • Review the draft slides for content and possible copyright information

Prepare NIH Travel Grant Application which supports student travel awards.

September/October
Each Course and Mini Course speaker and speaker buddies to hold a call to discuss the following:

  • Timeline of deliverables
  • Review speaker’s presentation

November
Provide the Business Office with the final course descriptions for posting on the annual meeting website, and for inclusion in newsletters and annual meeting promotions.

November/December
Discuss with committee members the nomination of the Narsingh Agnish Fellowship recipient. [The fellowship is awarded to a long-standing member of the Society who has made a major contribution to education in the field of teratology or a related discipline.]

  • Communicate the nomination to the Society President for consideration by the Council.

While the committee puts forth the nomination, final selection of the recipient needs to be approved by Council.

January
Contact the recipient of the Agnish Fellowship and follow up with a letter prepared by the Business Office for the official invitation to the annual meeting.

Prepare the interim committee report summarizing activities and accomplishments over the past six months and planned activities for the next six months.

March/April
Work with the Business Office to prepare the electronic course evaluations.
The Business Office will compile a list of past courses for electronic course books.
Request a photo and brief biography from all speakers.
Work with the speakers to ensure the deadlines below are met.

Slide Schedule
May 13                            Speaker draft slides due to session chairs for their review for content,
                                        clarity of thought, and potential copyright infringement.
If the presenter did not create the presented materials such as graphic materials, permission is required. Changing an image requires the image owner's permission.
May 16May 27         Session chairs hold final call with speakers and speaker buddies to:

  • review the draft slides
  • discuss any content overlap
  • discuss any copyright issues with speakers
  • obtain two questions from each speaker for the Q&A in to start the discussion if needed

June 3                              Final slides due to the Business Office for staff review

April/May
Education Committee Chair to post a call for course topics in the BDRP Membership Community.

May
Work with committee to generate a list of suggestions for new committee members:

  • Ideally the committee should be balanced with members from industry, academia, and government.
  • Research interests/expertise on the committee should be diverse (e.g., toxicology, nutrition, clinical, embryology/developmental biology, epidemiology, molecular/experimental teratology).
  • Two new members and an ad hoc student member are added each year.

Early June
Prepare the Education Committee report for the Council meeting. This report is due a week prior to the Annual Meeting.

At the Annual Meeting
At the beginning of each course the Education Committee Chair will present a general overview of the course, acknowledge course sponsors, and introduce speakers. In the event that the Education Committee Chair is unable to attend the course(s), the Education Course Vice Chair will assume these responsibilities.

Immediately after the Annual Meeting
Draft a report for the presented Courses that will be incorporated into a report for the grants that support the following annual meeting. Submit materials to the Business Office.


The Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention is a member of the Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB). The Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention has members who serve as representatives to the FASEB Board of Directors and on several committees. Members interested in serving should contact headquarters.

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 8 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Finance Committee shall be responsible for overseeing all financial transactions of the Society and for preparing the annual report and budget for Council approval. The Finance Committee shall consist of three members: the elected Treasurer, who will serve as Chairperson, the Past Treasurer, and the Vice President. The Executive Director shall be an ex-officio member of this Committee. Each member shall serve a term equal to his/her term of office. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve for one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 3 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Membership Committee shall review new applications for membership and applications for restoration of membership in the Society. A list of applicants meeting the requirements for new membership shall be transmitted to the membership by the Secretary at times deemed appropriate to the Membership Committee. Once the lists are communicated, the membership will have fourteen (14) days to respond. Responses from the membership shall be reviewed by the Membership Committee. Its recommendations shall be submitted to the Council for approval. In addition, the Committee will review demographic information of current members and will make recommendations, if any, to Council prior to the Annual Meeting each year, on methods to retain current members and attract new members. The Committee is also responsible for reviewing and making recommendation to the Council on application of the Emeritus Membership. The Committee shall be composed of eight regular members, two members per year appointed by the President and serving a term of four years, as well as one student/postdoc member, appointed by the President and serving a one-year term. The Chairperson of the Membership Committee will be appointed by Council for a two-year term; this person shall be a current Membership Committee member. During the second year of the Chairperson’s term, a member may be appointed as the vice chair who will become the Chair of the Committee in the subsequent year. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve only for the one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 1 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

At each Annual Meeting the incoming President, with the advice and consent of the majority of the members of Council of the Society, shall appoint a Nomination and Elections Committee made up of five Society members including a Past President, who shall serve until the next Annual Meeting. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve only for one year after appointment. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall distribute in person, by mail, or electronically at the discretion of Council via the Executive Director, a slate of nominees consisting of two nominees for each of the outstanding vacancies to each member at least 90 days before the Annual Business Meeting. Space must be supplied to permit write-in votes for each open position. Each nominee must agree to have his/her name placed on the slate before the slate is distributed to the membership. Other nominations for Officers, the Council, and other vacancies will be included if a petition is signed by at least five percent (5%) of the voting (see Article II) membership of the Society and filed with the Secretary sixty (60) days before the Annual Business Meeting. The Secretary then shall submit an amended ballot to the membership. The nominee must agree to have his/her name placed on the amended slate. Each nominee will provide a list of his/her credentials to be distributed with the slate. Elections will be by a simple plurality of valid ballots. Completed ballots shall be valid if received at least thirty-five (35) days prior to the Annual Business Meeting and are in compliance with voting instructions. If a tie has occurred, a run-off election shall be held between the tied candidates to determine the winner. Run-off ballots shall be sent to the membership twenty-one (21) days prior to the Annual Business Meeting. Completed ballots returned to the Executive Director shall be valid if received at least seven (7) days prior to the Annual Business Meeting and are in compliance with voting instructions. If there is a tie on the run-off ballot, the winner will be decided by Council through a secret ballot. The Executive Director in consultation with the Nominations and Elections Committee shall count all ballots properly submitted. The results of the balloting will be announced prior to the Annual Meeting and the new Officers and Council members shall be installed at the Annual Business Meeting.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 6 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) will have four functions: (1) Sponsor a symposium to be presented each year at the Annual Meeting on a subject of current interest to the Society members; (2) Develop informational materials to be used for public education concerning Society activities and other relevant subjects; (3) Recommend individuals with special expertise, either within or outside the Society, when requested by various groups or Federal Agencies; and (4) Respond to specific inquiries from outside groups through the use of subcommittees appointed by the PAC Chairperson. Actions taken by these subcommittees will be conducted with the approval of the full Committee and of the Society's President and/or Council. The Public Affairs Committee will consist of 12 members (or up to 14 members in those years when the vice chair is appointed) and will include representation from various interest groups, such as from basic and clinical sciences, industry, and Government. Four new members will be appointed each year by the PAC Chairperson, and each member will serve for three years. Appointment of new members is done in consultation with the Society's President and with Council approval. The Chairperson of the Public Affairs Committee will be appointed by Council for a three-year term. During the second year of the Chairperson's term, a vice chair will be selected to serve as vice chair during the last year of the Chairperson's term. At the end of the Chairperson's three year term, the vice chair will become PAC Chairperson for a three year term. This person should be either a current or past Public Affairs Committee member. The Chairperson will continue to serve as a member of the Committee for one year following his/her term as Chairperson. The Chairperson cannot succeed himself/herself. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve only for the year of appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 5 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Publications Committee shall inform and advise the Council on the finances of the Journal when issues arise, shall provide advice on selection of individuals who may serve in a supporting role to the Editorial Board, shall provide advice on editorial activities when requested by the Editorial Board, shall review annually all policies (see Bylaws) of the Journal operation, shall recommend suggested changes in policy to the Council and shall perform other duties as directed by Council. Members of the Publications Committee shall be appointed by the President of the Society with approval from Council. The Publications Committee shall consist of eight members except when a past (non-current) member is appointed as the vice chair. In the latter case, the Publications Committee may consist of up to nine appointed members. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President of the Society to serve for a one year appointment. The President. Editor-in-Chief, and Editors of the Journal shall be ex-officio members with full votes. The Publisher’s representative shall serve as non-voting ex-officio member. Associate Editors may not be appointed as members of the Publication Committee. A quorum shall be one half of the voting members or their alternates previously approved by Council. The appointed members will serve for four years, beginning with staggered terms. The Chairperson of the Publications Committee will be appointed by Council for a three-year term; this person should be either a current or past Publications Committee member. The Chairperson will continue to serve as a voting member of the Committee for one year following his/her term as Chairperson. The Chairperson cannot succeed himself/herself. During the second year of the Chairperson’s term, a current or past Publications Committee member will be selected to serve as vice chair during the last year of the Chairperson’s term. At the end of the Chairperson’s three year term, the vice chair will become Publications Committee Chairperson for a three-year term. Terms will begin on the day after the Annual Meeting.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 9 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Science Committee’s central responsibility is to develop and implement an overarching science strategy for the Society in collaboration with the President and Council. The scope of the Committee’s responsibilities falls in three key areas: 1) identification of new areas of science to integrate into Society activities including a symposium at the Annual Meeting; 2) management of existing partnerships and identification of new partnerships with external scientific organizations and funding organizations of strategic interest to the Society; 3) development of programs to enhance the visibility and scientific reputation of the Society. Considerable interaction with other Society committees is expected in order to accomplish these aims. The Committee shall consist of six members, each of whom will serve one term of three years, with two members per year appointed by the President based upon the recommendation of the Science Committee and with the approval of the Council. During the second year of a term, one member shall be appointed vice chair by the President, based upon recommendation of the Science Committee. During the third year of a term, that member shall serve as Chairperson. Ad hoc members may also be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve for one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

CHARGE

Article VI, Section 10 of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention Constitution

The Student Affairs Committee shall be responsible for recommending to Council and implementing programs to attract and involve students in the field and in the Society. Following consultation with the President and Program Chairperson of the Annual Meeting, the Committee shall develop specific programs for each Annual Meeting to attract, recognize and involve students in the affairs of the Society. The Committee shall comprise three members, one member per year appointed by the President and approved by Council, and serving a term of three years. During the third year of a term, that member shall serve as Chairperson. Ad hoc members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the President to serve for one year after appointment.

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

Ad Hoc Committees

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

Committee rosters may be found in the Member Directory (login required).

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