Constitution of the University of British Columbia Postdoctoral Association (UBC-PDA)
The purpose of the UBC PDA shall be:
- To foster a community for postdoctoral fellows and research associates (hereafter referred to as ‘PDFs’ and ‘RAs’ respectively) and facilitate networking within and between Faculties at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
- To provide a collective voice for issues of relevance and interest to PDFs and RAs at UBC.
- To provide a liaison between PDFs, RAs, the UBC administration, the UBC Postdoctoral Fellow’s Office (PDFO), and the general community.
- To provide a forum for the discussion of relevant issues and to distribute pertinent information to PDFs and RAs at UBC.
- To promote and develop effective training and career counseling for PDFs and RAs at UBC.
UBC PDA Membership, Executive Committee and Officers
Membership in the UBC PDA
All PDFs at UBC (both Vancouver and Okanagan campuses) are considered members of the UBC PDA. RAs are welcome to join by signing up for the newsletter, emailing the current executive, or otherwise expressing an interest in being part of the organization. The UBC PDA Executive Committee shall consist of volunteers from the UBC PDA at large.
The UBC PDA Executive Committee
The UBC PDA Executive Committee shall be comprised of a core of six elected volunteer PDF Executive Officers, an seventh elected volunteer RA Executive Officer, and a variable number of volunteer, non-elected Executive Committee members. Members on the executive committee are expected to regularly attend the meetings of the executive either in person, or via Skype, Facetime, or some other video and/or audio communications platform
The Executive Officers shall be elected annually by the members of the UBC PDA at the Annual General Meeting. Due to the requirement that the members of the executive be active in liaising with the PDFO, whose mandate is explicitly focused solely on PDFs, and not RAs, all the Executive Officers must be UBC PDFs, with the exception of the VP Research Associate position, which is open exclusively to UBC RAs. Executive Officers shall speak for the UBC PDA, act as representatives and advocates of the UBC PDA, and shall be responsible for the administration of the affairs of the UBC PDA. All Executive Officers shall always be accountable to the Executive Committee, and the membership of the UBC PDA at large.
The UBC PDA Executive Officers shall consist of the following positions:
The President shall preside over all UBC PDA Executive Committee and Annual General Meetings, enforce due observation of the constitution, shall lead, organize and delegate duties to facilitate the operations of the UBC PDA, and act as liaison to the PDFO.
- Vice-President Operations
The Vice-President Operations of the UBC PDA shall be responsible for the organization of professional development and “non-social” UBC PDA events, excluding UBC PDA meetings. In the event of absence or illness of the President, the Vice-President Operations shall have the authority to perform the duties of the President.
- Vice-President External
The Vice-President External of the UBC PDA shall act as public relations officer, and whenever possible, shall be the UBC PDA’s liaison to the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars, PDFs at the UBC Okanagan campus, other postdoctoral associations, off-campus groups, government agencies, granting agencies, and the public at large.
- Vice-President Finance
The Vice-President Finance of the UBC PDA shall be responsible for all financial activities of the UBC PDA including, but not limited to, preparation of the yearly budget, receipt of monies due to the UBC PDA, maintenance and custody of all books pertaining to the UBC PDA, making all payments, preparing all financial statements and arranging for audit of the books by an auditor who shall be approved by the UBC PDA Executive Committee.
- Vice-President Communications
The Vice-President of Communications of the UBC PDA shall be responsible for disseminating information of importance to PDFs, including maintenance of the UBC PDA email database, the UBC PDA newsletter, the UBC PDA homepage, UBC PDA calendar, and official UBC PDA social media websites.
- Vice-President Social
The Vice-President Social shall be responsible for planning, executing and advertising social events including the regular PDF social gatherings, social networking events following major PDA events, and shall help to coordinate special events as suggested by members of the UBC PDA.
- Vice-President Research Associates
The Vice-President of Research Associates of the UBC PDA shall be responsible for being the principal liaison between the UBC PDA and UBC RAs, and shall act to increase engagement of RAs with the UBC PDA, with a specific emphasis on social engagement, networking, and research dissemination. This position is extra to the 6 core positions described above, and will only be filled if there is an RA who wishes to become involved in the executive. Should the position go unfilled, the VP External, VP Communications, and VP Social will take over these responsibilities.
Executive Committee Members:
All PDF and RA members of the UBC PDA are eligible to join the UBC PDA Executive Committee. Members may join the executive by making a request to join to the current elected Executive Officers. Executive committee members serve on a non-elected, volunteer basis and are expected to attend regular UBC PDA executive meetings, contribute ideas and help to advocate for and represent the UBC PDA.
Elections and Terms of Office
- Each executive office may be held by any member of the UBC PDA. Although PDFs from UBC-Okanagan are welcome to join the executive, any PDFs running for Executive Officer positions MUST be able to make it to the Vancouver Campus for major PDA and PDFO events, including, but not limited to the PDA 3 Minute Postdoc Slam, PDA Research Day, the Annual General Meeting, and the three (3) PDFO Orientations held each year.
- Elections of UBC PDA Officers shall be held annually. Nominations shall be taken in the month preceding the Annual General Meeting (AGM) from the UBC PDA membership at large via email/internet, as well as in person from PDF and RA attendees of the AGM. Elections shall be decided by popular vote of the UBC PDA membership at large, who attend the AGM.
- Terms of office for the UBC PDA Officers are one year. Officers may be nominated for re-election but may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms in the same office.
- Any UBC PDA Officer may resign at any time by submitting a letter of resignation to the UBC PDA Executive Committee. Officers must resign from office upon termination of their appointment at UBC.
- An executive Officer may be removed from office by a resolution passed by a minimum two-thirds vote, at a UBC PDA Executive Committee meeting at which at least four executive Officers are present, or at a UBC PDA Annual General Meeting.
- If the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President Operations shall become the Acting President until such time as a new President is elected. If any other executive office becomes vacant, the duties of that office will be assumed by other officers of the UBC PDA Executive Committee, as the UBC PDA Executive Committee may direct, until such time as the vacancy is filled. The Executive Committee shall solicit volunteers from the non-officer members of the committee to fulfill the role, or if none can be found, shall post the position to the UBC PDA membership at large. Once a suitable candidate is found, the candidate may be assigned as a pro tem Officer, by a minimum two-thirds vote, at a UBC PDA Executive Committee meeting at which at least four executive Officers are present. Should two or more people desire the position, a by-election shall be held, with results decided by popular vote of the UBC PDA membership at large who attend the special by-election meeting of the UBC PDA.
UBC PDA Meetings
- Meetings of the UBC PDA Executive Committee shall be held once a month, or more often at the discretion of the President, or upon 48 hours notice by an UBC PDA Executive Officer.
- The UBC PDA Executive Committee shall hold an Annual General Meeting once per year, to be open to all members, for the purpose of elections, planning and recruitment.
- Any member of the UBC PDA may call a general meeting at any time by presenting the UBC PDA President with a signed petition of at least 20 members, to address issues of interest to the UBC PDF community at large.
- The UBC PDA Executive Committee may hold a special general meeting at any time to should it be needed to hold a by-election to replace a vacant Officer position. This meeting shall be open to all members.
The UBC PDA constitution may only be amended at the Annual General Meeting by a two-thirds vote of PDF and RA UBC PDA members in attendance.
Constitution amended by unanimous vote on March 9, 2017.
Original Constitution ratified by unanimous vote on November 18, 2010.