Policy and Procedure Manual

SECTION 1:  LEADERSHIP COMMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
An up to date membership listing of all committees shall be maintained by the Secretary-Treasurer and on the website.


SECTION 2:  LEADERSHIP POSITION DESCRIPTIONS
PRESIDENT
Function
The President serves as chief elected officer of the PNIRS, representing the entire membership.  The President directs other officers, presides as chairman over Board of Directors actions and may act as chief spokesman for the Society.

Specific Responsibilities
1.    Presides at all meetings of the PNIRS Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
2.    Schedules and prepares the agenda for meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
3.    Keeps the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and PNIRS committees informed on the conditions and operations of the society.
4.    Selects or approves chairpersons for all PNIRS committees or taskforces.  Outlines purposes and duties of the committees and monitors their progress.
5.    Directs the Board of Directors in formulating policies and programs that will further the goals and objectives of the Society.
6.    Conducts an annual review of the Society’s performance and effectiveness, including a review of the executive director’s performance.  When necessary, recommends changes in Society structure to the Board of Directors.
7.    May act as a spokesperson for the PNIRS to the public, press legislative bodies, and other related organizations.
8.    Monitors the expenditures of the Society to assure operation within the annual budget.  Contracts for an independent annual compilation (audit) of the PNIRS finances.
9.    Promotes active participation in the PNIRS on the part of the membership.  Reports the activities of the Board of Directors and the Society to the membership via the PNIRS web site.
10.    Presents a report at the annual business meeting of the Society.
11.    Chairs the Program Committee
12.    The President organizes the Presidential Symposium for the annual meeting.
13.    Organizes relevant subcommittees to handle specific Societal issues as needed.

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PRESIDENT ELECT
Function
The President Elect assumes the responsibilities of the President in his or her absence.  The President Elect assists the President in carrying out the functions of that office and performs specific duties delegated by the President.  This position serves as an orientation for the future President.

Specific Responsibilities
1.    Assumes the duties of the President in his or her absence.
2.    Serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chairs the Membership Committee.
3.    Performs duties assigned by the President, which may include serving as chairperson of one or more of the Society’s committees.
4.    Assists the President in performing his or her duties, whenever requested to do so.
5.    Attends the annual meeting and special meetings.
6.    Represents the Society with other associations or organizations as requested by the President.

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PAST PRESIDENT
Function
The Past President of the PNIRS serves as an Officer of the Society and as a member of the Board of Directors.

Specific Responsibilities
1.    Serves as a member of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and chairs the Nominating Committee.
2.    Performs duties as assigned by the President, which may include serving as chair of one or more of the Society’s committees.
3.    Assists the President in performing his or her duties, whenever requested to do so.
4.    Represents the Society with other associations or organizations as assigned by the President.

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SECRETARY-TREASURER
Function
The Secretary-Treasurer ensures that records are maintained of all Society, Board of Directors and Officer Committee meetings.  The Secretary-Treasurer serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Financial Committee.  The Secretary-Treasurer ensures the integrity of the fiscal affairs of the Society.

Specific Responsibilities
1.    Chairs the Financial Committee, and may serve as chair of additional Society committees, if requested by the President.
2.    Ensures that records are maintained for all meetings of the Society, the Board of Directors, and the Officers and that the Society maintains accurate financial records.
3.    Provides copies of the minutes of each meeting to the President, and Board of Directors, as appropriate.
4.    Maintains current copies of the Society policies and bylaws for use by the President and the Board of Directors.
5.    Reviews Society expenditures and financial status on a regular basis to ensure overall fiscal integrity.
6.    Ensures that regular financial reports are submitted to the Board of Directors and presents an annual financial report to the membership.
7.    Submits the financial accounts of the Society to an annual independent audit.
8.    Represents the Society with other associations or organizations as assigned by the President.
9.    Prepares minutes for Board of Directors’ meetings and the annual business meeting
10.    Organizes and carries out all Societal elections.
11.    Collates and records all committee appointments.
12.    Organizes the solicitation of member-sponsored symposiums for the annual meeting, collates submissions for review by the Program Committee, organizes and tallies the voting, and communicates whether the symposium was accepted or rejected.
13.    Organizes and collates surveys of meeting attendees, including trainees.
14.    Works with local meeting organizers to negotiate contracts for meeting venue and signs contract.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER
Function
The Board member represents the membership of the PNIRS. The Board of Directors participates in decision making processes concerning all societal affairs and assists in directing programs that advance the stated purpose of the society.

Specific Responsibilities
1.    The effective Board Member will be knowledgeable of the affairs and activities of the Society and will recognize the fiscal and legal responsibilities of the Board of Directors and the individual board members.
2.    The Board Member will ensure that the Society assesses the needs of its members and of the PNIRS at large.
3.    The Board Member must help to provide strong leadership for the Society and to set a sound and accurate course for its future.
4.    The Board Member must view the development and approval of sound short-range and long-range objectives as one of the most important policy decisions he or she will be called upon to make.
5.    The Board Member should review program progress and measure the effectiveness of the Society in accomplishing it purpose.
6.    The Board Member will be involved in decisions on the location and arrangements for all meetings sponsored by The Society.
7.    The Board Member will participate in votes of approval, approval in part, or rejection of reports and recommendations of the various committees.

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COMMITTEE CHAIR
Function

Consistent with the Society’s policies and/or strategic plan, committee chairs guide the committees in their work as outlined by the scope of work and charge.

Specific Responsibilities
1.    With staff and/or officers, committee chairs develop a work plan that will allow the committee to effectively and efficiently discharge its responsibilities for the year.
2.    With staff and/or officers, develops agendas and conducts committee meetings.
3.    Approves reports of committee meetings before their distribution.
4.    Works with staff and officers to ensure that the work of the committee is carried out between meetings.
5.    Approves reports on committee activities, including requests to the Board of Directors that affect the committee’s work or activities.
6.    Where appropriate, guides the committee in proposing products and services that will further the goals and objectives of the Society.
7.    Where appropriate, makes policy recommendations to the Board of Directors.
8.    Prepares minutes of all committee meetings.

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SECTION 3: STANDING COMMITTEES CHARGES AND STRUCTURE

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
As identified in the Society bylaws, members include the President, President-Elect, immediate Past President and Secretary-Treasurer.

Term of Committee
The term of an Executive Committee, except for the Secretary-Treasurer is one year, commencing at the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS and ending at the annual meeting of the PNIRS the next year.

Term Limit
The term limit is restricted by the term in office.

Charge
The Executive Committee shall exercise in the intervals between meetings of the Board of Directors all the powers of the Board of Directors that may lawfully be delegated in the management of the affairs of the Society.  The Executive Committee shall report all actions to the Board of Directors, and all actions of the Executive Committee shall be subject to review by the Board of Directors.  

Chair:  President

Chair Responsibilities
1.    Attends all meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Ex Officio member of all PNIRS committees.
2.    Accepts and supports the mission of the PNIRS and the charge of the Executive Committee.
3.    Plans meetings and agendas of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors with staff.
4.    Exercises leadership, moving the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Committee Chairs toward participation and decision making.
5.    Maintains records and relevant information on committee work.  The chair must be sufficiently informed to interact knowledgeably with the other committee members and staff.
6.    Evaluates the Executive Committee and Board of Directors efforts and communicates accomplishments to the committee and board.

Committee Policies
The Executive Committee shall function in accordance with Articles 6 and 7 of the PNIRS Bylaws.

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FINANCIAL COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
The Chair of the Financial Committee is identified in the Society bylaws.

Term of Committee
The term of the Financial Committee is one year from the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS to the annual meeting of the PNIRS the following year.

Term Limit
The term limit of the Chair is restricted by the term in office.  The term limit for Committee members is three consecutive one year appointments.  After three consecutive years of service, individuals may be reappointed to the Committee following a one year rotation off the Committee.

Charge
The Financial Committee shall be responsible for the creation and oversight of the annual budget of the PNIRS.  This Committee recommends policies and procedures to monitor all aspects of the organization’s finances, including expenditures, income and investments, in order to ensure the long-term fiscal viability of the PNIRS.

Activities
•    Prepare and recommend fiscal year budgets, with input from Committee Chairs, and submit to the Board of Directors for approval
•    Review monthly and/or quarterly financial reports
•    Recommend policies regarding allocation of funds, payment of bills and preparation and control of financial reports
•    Periodically review and evaluate investment policy
•    Periodically review and evaluate dues structure and other income-producing activities
•    Prepare and submit to the Board of Directors periodic reports and analysis of PNIRS finances
•    Arrange for review results of annual external audit

Chair: Secretary-Treasurer

Chair Responsibilities

1.    Attends all meetings of the PNIRS Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
2.    Accepts and supports the Finance Committee charge as determined by the PNIRS Board of Directors.
3.    Plans Finance Committee meetings and agenda with staff.
4.    Exercises leadership and encourages Board of Directors and PNIRS Committee participation in the development of the budget and decisions relating to financial issues.
5.    Maintains records and relevant information on financial status of the PNIRS.  The chair must be sufficiently informed to interact knowledgeably with other Executive Committee members, the Board of Directors, PNIRS Committee Chairs and staff.
6.    Evaluates committee efforts and communicates accomplishments to the committee and to the Board of Directors.

Committee Policies
1.    The Committee shall follow the provisions contained in the PNIRS bylaws under Article 9.
2.    The Financial Committee will meet on an annual basis.
3.    The Financial Committee shall be comprised of the Executive Committee and appointed members.  Budget issues shall be discussed during Executive Committee meetings.  Additional meetings of the Financial Committee shall be called, as necessary.
4.    Annually, the Chair shall request from PNIRS Committee chairs for budgets to support activities.
5.    The Committee shall submit a fiscal year budget to the Board of Directors for approval.
6.    Periodically, the Chair shall review financial statements and monitor income and expenses.
7.    Annually, the Committee shall review policies relating to the allocation of funds, payment of bills and preparation and control of financial reports and recommend changes and improvements to the Board of Directors.
8.    The Financial Committee may arrange for and review the results of an annual external audit.
9.    The Chair shall deliver a report to the membership at its annual business meeting detailing the financial health of the Society.
10.    The Chair shall report on the financial status of the Society at each meeting of the Board of Directors.
11.    The Chair, with input from the Membership Committee, shall make an annual recommendation to the Board of Directors regarding dues levels for each membership category.
12.    The Financial Committee shall annually review and evaluate the investment policy and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for improvements.

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MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
The Chair of the Membership Committee is identified in the Society bylaws.

Term of Committee
The term of the Membership Committee is one year from the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS to the annual meeting of the PNIRS the following year.

Term Limit
The term limit of the Chair is restricted by the term in office.  The term limit for Committee members is three consecutive one year appointments.  After three consecutive years of service, individuals may be reappointed to the Committee following a one year rotation off the Committee.

Charge
The Membership Committee recommends policy to the Board of Directors relating to the building and maintenance of PNIRS membership.  The Committee reviews membership applications, develops materials used to attract new members, and suggests programs to retain existing members.

Activities
•    Recommend long-range plan for membership goals and activities to meet these goals
•    Examine applications and make recommendations to the Board of Directors
•    Reexamine qualifications of members, as necessary, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors
•    Review and recommend membership qualifications and guidelines
•    Develop a list of membership prospects with assignments for personal contacts to be made by Committee members, Society members and staff
•    Recommend programs to retain current membership base
•    Study and make recommendations regarding ways to increase international participation and membership
•    Study and recommend financial assistance programs for member classifications, as appropriate

Chair:  President-Elect

Chair Responsibilities:
1.    Attends all meetings of the Board of Directors and Membership Committee.
2.    Accepts and supports the Membership Committee charge as determined by the Board of Directors.
3.    Plans committee meetings and agenda with staff.
4.    Exercises leadership and moves Membership Committee members toward active participation and decision making.
5.    Conducts a review of membership application material submissions and makes recommendations to the Membership Committee regarding acceptance into the PNIRS.
6.    Maintains records and relevant information on committee work.  The chair must be sufficiently informed to interact knowledgeably with other committee members and staff.
7.    Evaluates committee efforts and communicates accomplishments to the Board of Directors.

Committee Policies:
1.    The Membership Committee will follow provisions contained in the PNIRS bylaws under Article IV.
2.    Individuals who successfully complete the application process as new members of the Society after October 1 of each calendar year will have full member privileges for the remainder of that calendar year and the next calendar year, not to exceed 15 months.
3.    The Committee shall meet on a regular basis, as often as necessary.  One meeting should be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society.
4.    The Membership Committee Chair shall deliver a report to the Society membership at its annual business meeting detailing general trends in membership growth and renewal rates.
5.    The Committee shall recommend effective means by which individuals apply for membership and the method by which applications for membership are evaluated.
Options for regular membership status:
        •    Find a member sponsor to recommend the applicant for membership
        •    Submit a CV that can be assessed for displaying “significant clinical or basic research contributions to the area of behavioral, neural, endocrine and immune interactions, as evidenced by peer-reviewed    publications”
Options for trainee membership:
       •    Obtain endorsement from a sponsor
       •    Submit a CV and a short (up to one-half page) statement regarding their interest in PNI.
6.    The Chair shall report on the status of Membership Committee activities at each meeting of the Board of Directors.
7.    The Membership Committee shall recommend to the Secretary-Treasurer each year a proposed dues structure for the following fiscal year.
8.    The Committee shall review annually all membership services offered by the PNIRS and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for improvement.
9.    The Committee shall direct a minimum of one annual membership recruitment drive.
10.    The Committee shall recommend to the Board of Directors specific strategies that may be used in the annual retention of members.
11.    The Committee shall develop and maintain membership brochures.
12.    The Committee will review and maintain the membership section on the PNIRS Website.

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NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
The Chair of the Nominating Committee is identified in the Society bylaws.  

Term of Committee
The term of the Nominating Committee is one year from the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS to the annual meeting of the PNIRS the following year.

Term Limit
The term limit of the Chair is restricted by the term in office.  The term limit for Committee members is three consecutive one year appointments.  After three consecutive years of service, individuals may be reappointed to the Committee following a one year rotation off the Committee.

Charge
The Nominating Committee oversees the nominations process by preparing and submitting to the Board of Directors nominations for officers and Board members to be elected that year.

Activities
•    Solicit input from members regarding nominees
•    Obtain consent from each candidate of their willingness to run
•    Evaluate candidate’s potential to become an Officer of the organization
•    Prepare and present a formal slate of candidates to the Board of Directors
•    Nominate candidates for such offices and positions on the Board of Directors that become vacant during the year
•    Provide orientation for new members of the Board of Directors

Chair: Past President

Chair Responsibilities
1.    Attends all Nominating Committee meetings.
2.    Accepts and supports the Nominating Committee charge.
3.    Plans committee meetings and agenda with staff.
4.    Exercises leadership and moves Committee members toward participation and decision making.
5.    Maintains records and relevant information on committee work. The chair must be sufficiently informed to interact knowledgeably with other committee members and staff.
6.    Evaluates committee efforts and communicates accomplishments to the committee and to the Board of Directors.

Committee Policies
1.    The Nominating Committee shall meet semiannually, or more often as necessary.
2.     The Nominating Committee shall annually solicit input from the membership regarding nominations for elected positions.
3.    The Nominating Committee shall evaluate potential candidates for elected office (Board of Directors), based on their ability to carry out the responsibilities of open positions as well as the balance of Board membership in relation to sex, specialty, research area, etc.
4.    The Nominating Committee shall recommend to the Board of Directors a slate of candidates for elected positions.
5.    After approval by the Board of Directors of the slate of candidates, the Nominating Committee shall contact each person on the slate to obtain his/her consent to run for office and obtain a completed conflict of interest form.
6.    The Nominating Committee shall recommend candidates to the Board of Directors for positions that become vacant during the program year. The Nominating Committee shall consider qualifications based on the responsibilities of the individual opening as well as the balance of Board of Directors membership.
7.    The Nominating Committee shall recommend to the Board of Directors a procedure for orienting new Board members. The Committee shall provide an orientation session for new Board members and committee members at the PNIRS Annual Meeting.
8.    The Committee recommends individuals to Chair PNIRS committees for which the bylaws do not specify the Chair.
9.    The Committee recommends individuals to serve on committees.
10.    The Committee annually evaluates the performance of committee chairs.
11.    The Committee, with input from committee Chairs, makes recommendations for re-appointment of committee members.
12.    The Chair shall report to the Board of Directors on the status of Committee activities at each Board meeting.

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PROGRAM COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
The President serves as the Chair of the Program Committee. Committee members are appointed by the Board of Directors.

Term of Committee
The term of the Program Committee is one year from the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS to the annual meeting of the PNIRS the following year.

Term Limit
The term limit of the Chair is restricted to one year. The term limit for Committee members is three consecutive one year appointments.  After three consecutive years of service, individuals may be reappointed to the Committee following a one year rotation off the Committee.

Charge
The Program Committee evaluates proposals for scientific content of the annual meeting for the PNIRS.  The Committee solicits and reviews symposium proposals and calls for abstracts and recommends to the Board of Directors the scientific program for the annual meeting.

Activities
•    Issues calls for proposals for symposia for inclusion in the scientific program
•    Evaluates symposia proposals and recommends to the Board of Directors those to be included in the scientific program
•    Evaluates submitted abstracts
•    Recommends abstracts of oral or poster presentation

Chair:  President

Chair Responsibilities:
1.    Attends all meetings of the Program Committee.
2.    Accepts and supports the Program Committee charge as determined by the Board of Directors.
3.    Plans committee meetings and agenda with staff.
4.    Exercises leadership and moves Program Committee members toward active participation and decision making.

Committee Policies:

1.    The Program Committee shall meet as often as necessary to complete its charge.
2.    The Program Committee Chair shall deliver recommendations to the Board of Directors with respect to the scientific content of the annual meeting.
3.    The Program Committee shall evaluate the proposed Presidential Symposium.
 
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COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
The Chair of the Communications Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors.  Committee members are appointed by the Board of Directors.  The Editor-in-Chief of the official journal of the Society shall be a member of the committee.

Term of Committee
The term of the Communications Committee is one year from the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS to the annual meeting of the PNIRS the following year.

Term Limit
The term limit of the Chair is restricted to three consecutive one year appointments.  The term limit for Committee members is three consecutive one year appointments.  After three consecutive years of service, individuals may be reappointed to the Committee following a one year rotation off the Committee.

Charge
The Communications Committee shall function as a liaison between the Board of Directors and the Editor-in-Chief and publisher of the official journal of the Society.  The Communications Committee shall oversee the Society Website.

Activities
•    Meets with the journal publisher annually
•    Evaluates suggestions by the Editor-in-Chief and/or publisher with respect to the publication process
•    At the request of the Board of Directors undertakes activities to enhance communication with Society membership (e.g., publishing a newsletter)
•    Coordinates publication of abstracts of the annual meeting
•    Oversees the Society website design and content

Chair: Appointed by the Board of Directors  

Chair Responsibilities:
1.    Attends all meetings of the Communications Committee.
2.    Accepts and supports the Communications Committee charge as determined by the Board of Directors.
3.    Plans committee meetings and agenda with staff.
4.    Exercises leadership and moves Communication Committee members toward active participation and decision making.

Committee Policies:
1.    The Communications Committee shall meet as often as necessary to complete its charge.
2.    The Communications Committee provides to the Board of Directors recommendations concerning website design and content.
 
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TRAINING COMMITTEE
Appointing Authority
The Chair of the Training Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors.  Committee members are appointed by the Chair of the Training Committee.  The Training Committee shall include the President, the Secretary-Treasurer, the head of the local organizing committee, and the Executive Director.

Term of Committee
The term of service on the Training Committee is one year from the end of the annual meeting of the PNIRS to the annual meeting of the PNIRS the following year.

Term Limit
The term limit of the Chair is restricted to three consecutive one year appointments.  The term limit for Committee members is three consecutive one year appointments.  After three consecutive years of service, individuals may be reappointed to the Committee following a one year rotation off the Committee.

Charge
The Training Committee shall prepare and submit the training grant, oversee and evaluate trainee activities at the annual meeting, and assist in the disbursement of trainee travel funds.

Activities

•    Prepares and submits the letter of intent and the final training grant to the appropriate institute(s) at the National Institute of Health.
•    Works with the local meeting organizers to plan and implement trainee activities during the annual meeting.
•    Coordinates and oversees the trainee activities at the annual meeting including the solicitation of mentors where appropriate.
•    Conducts surveys to determine trainee satisfaction with the trainee program and solicit new ideas for improvement in the program.
•    Assists the Executive Director in informing trainees regarding the conditions of travel reimbursement and troubleshoots individual problems with reimbursement.

Chair: Appointed by the Board of Directors  

Chair Responsibilities:
1.    Organizes all meetings of the Training Committee.
2.    Accepts and supports the Training Committee charge as determined by the Board of Directors.
3.    Serves as PI on the training grant.
4.    Works with the Executive Director regarding the finances of the training grant and the reimbursement of trainee travel and other expenses.

Committee Policies:
1.    The Training Committee shall meet as often as necessary to complete its charge.
2.    The Training Committee provides recommendations to the local organizing committee and the President concerning trainee activities at the annual meeting.

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SECTION 4:  ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES


TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT POLICY
Meeting Registration. Meeting registration fees can be refunded, minus a $50 processing fee, by contacting the PNIRS secretary-treasurer no later than 30 days prior to the start of the meeting. After this date, there are no refunds.

Travel. At the consent of the secretary-treasurer, invited guest speakers participating in a PNIRS meeting (e.g., nonmember symposia speakers) may be reimbursed for two nights lodging (at the conference venue) and reasonable travel expenses. Consent must be obtained from the secretary-treasurer prior to the travel and original receipts must be submitted to the secretary-treasurer within one week of the conclusion of the meeting. Current and previous members of PNIRS are not eligible for a travel reimbursement. Trainee scholarship recipients must submit original receipts for travel and lodging expenses. The total allowable reimbursement is limited. Consult with the secretary-treasurer to learn what the maximum reimbursement is for that year. Receipts must be submitted within one week of the conclusion of the meeting.

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CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE POLICY
I. DEFINITIONS
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest exists when an individual “in a position of trust is required to exercise judgment on behalf of others (people, organization, institutions), but that individual also has interests or obligations of the sort that might interfere with the exercise of judgment. In such instances, the person is morally required to either avoid the conflict or openly acknowledge it. The lesser requirement of open acknowledgment is usually adopted when it seems too burdensome to require that persons in positions of trust divest themselves of the interest that conflicts with their position of responsibility. For example, some journals require that authors disclose any substantial financial interests that might have biased their research assessment. Requiring investigators to divest themselves of investments that they may have made on the basis of their scientific judgment would be too burdensome, and might even suppress publication. … one needs to look carefully at the nature of a professional's responsibility or public official's obligations and responsibilities in order to know when conflicting interests become a conflict of interest, that is, when a situation that requires discretion to handle the actual or potential conflict fairly is one that the person is morally required to avoid altogether, or at least to disclose to all parties. Policies requiring financial disclosure, that is disclosure of financial interests that might conflict with judgment as a researcher or as public official, are very commonly called "conflict of interest policy," although such financial conflict of interest is only one specific type.” (Source: "CONFLICT OF INTEREST" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 9/6/2006 National Academy of Engineering Accessed: Friday, May 07, 2010 <www.onlineethics.org/glossary/12905.aspx)

Disclosure
Although the required disclosure of financial interests by scientific investigators is most often discussed relative to the pharmaceutical industry, the moral obligation to disclose personal interests that may affect one’s judgment when representing an organization extends to all financial interests and obligations. In the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research, this would include support or vested interest in any industry that may affect an investigator’s judgment relative to the position he or she holds in the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS). It is essential that scientists disclose any involvement with companies that make pharmaceuticals, devices or equipment used in the course of PNI research; proprietary techniques (e.g., mathematical algorithms, etc.); or companies that offer for-profit services (e.g., Continuing Medical Education companies). Financial disclosure should include all payments, as well as covered expenses (e.g., free trips, lodging, meals, gifts, etc.). All grants, awards and payments from industry should be divulged, along with any consultative or advisory board payments, and any ownership positions in companies.

II. DISCLOSURE POLICY
PNIRS Scientific Board of Directors
The oversight and management of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS) is the responsibility of the PNIRS Board of Directors. To assure maximal objectivity in the management of this organization, it is necessary for members of the PNIRS Board of Directors to publicly disclose every professional relationship with commercial or private entities that impacts the financial or professional status of the Board member or members of his/her family. Only by such full disclosure and appropriate monitoring can members of the scientific/medical community and the lay public be assured that the PNIRS operates with minimum bias.

Relationships of financial or professional nature with commercial or private entities need not preclude service by individuals on the Board of Directors. However, given that many specialists/investigators in the field will be impacted by accepted decisions made as part of managing the PNIRS, certain relationships will rightly preclude certain individuals on the Board of Directors from participating in the process of making certain decisions.  

Disclosure should be made in full, in writing, and annually as a matter of record. Updated disclosure forms must be submitted at such times during the year when either: (a) new financial or professional relationships are established, or (b) previously disclosed financial or professional relationships are terminated. In addition, public disclosure should be made by the person at the time an issue involving a potential conflict of interest is to be discussed. The governing body meeting at the time of such disclosure should elicit statements of conflicts of interest before each agenda item is discussed, allowing time to decide whether the disclosing individuals should recuse themselves from further discussions on the topic.

Disclosure forms should be returned to the Secretary of the PNIRS. After initial review by the PNIRS Board of Directors, they will be kept in a secure electronic file to be maintained with the PNIRS records. Information in the disclosure forms will be available for discussion by the Board of Directors. The information in these forms will be considered strictly confidential and will not be available to other persons without the written consent of the particular individual.

The basis for operational definitions relevant to most conflicts detailed in the PNIRS Conflict of Interest (COI) policy is the premise of personal financial gain to the PNIRS Board member from for-profit and certain non-profit entities. Although disclosure of financial or professional relationships with for-profit or certain non-profit entities form the basis of most conflict of interest policies, it is also recognized that appointments to Boards of Directors of other professional societies, academic appointments or professional relationships may result in conflicts of interest of a non-financial nature. Membership on all boards must be disclosed, and may form the basis for recusal during discussion of agenda items dealing with interactions among the PNIRS and other professional societies. Additional conflicts of interest that are non-financial in nature include the bestowing of honors or awards upon individual members of the society. Members of the PNIRS Board of Directors during their tenure on the Board will not be eligible for honors or awards granted by the society. Members of the Board will be required to recuse themselves from discussions of potential honorees when individuals under consideration for such awards are from the same institution, are current or recent collaborators, or have otherwise interacted with the Board member in a manner that may be perceived as a conflict of interest (e.g., current or recent [within last 3 years] students, etc.).

Members of PNIRS Committees
Members of committees established by the PNIRS Board of Directors in accordance with the organization’s bylaws will be held to the same standards and policies with respect to disclosure as established for the PNIRS Board of Directors.

III. CRITERIA
Financial or professional relationships will be classified into one of three categories:

Category I.  Relationships are such that individuals will be unable to participate in the decision making process. Such is the case if the management decision under review addresses a type of device or medication that is owned by or contractually obligated (licensed) to a business in which the individual or family member holds stock or similar ownership interest, or has any other financial interest other than that due to University or Hospital supervised support.

Category II.
  Relationships that need not, but may preclude participation the process of decision-making for the PNIRS. Such is the case if an individual or family member participates in research, serves on a scientific advisory board of a business, participates in speaker’s bureaus or has an executive position in a non-profit business related to a device or medication that is the subject of a management decision under review.

Category III.  Disclosed relationships that result in a conflict of interest in a technical sense are allowable because they are accepted practices with minimal financial and professional impact. Such is the case if an individual or family member receives royalties for published works or other writings, accepts honoraria for commissioned papers or lectures, or receives academic institution-approved royalties.

Members of the Board of Directors will be expected to automatically recuse themselves from evaluation of any management decision if they have a Category I conflict. Furthermore, they will exclude themselves from participation in the case of Category II conflicts if there is any possibility of perceived impropriety. In those situations where it is uncertain whether a Category I or II conflict exists, the President of the PNIRS will resolve the matter.  
 
ADMINISTRATIVE TIMELINE
June
•    Annual meeting
•    Submit abstracts to Elsevier
•    Process reimbursements for trainee scholars and invited speakers
•    Appoint committee members
•    Update website: information on the next meeting and new officers and committees
•    Send new President’s message to members and post to website
•    Close books on previous meeting
•    Identify PI for R13 grant application
•    PI prepares and submits letter of intent for R13 application

July
•    Develop R13 application (organize short course, symposia and trainee-mentor colloquium)

August
•    Submit R13 application
•    Prepare final meeting financial report

September
•    Post preliminary program for meeting to website
•    Post additional information about meeting to website (registration fees, meeting venue, etc…)
•    Submit meeting advertisement to Keith Kelley and Robert Dantzer for publication in BBI and PNE
•    Issue call for member-sponsored symposia (proposals due Dec. 1)

October
•    Issue call for membership renewal
•    Prepare website for next year’s membership (update membership dues if applicable, notify Nancy that people will start renewing for the next year so she can change the year)

November
•    Resend call for member sponsored symposia
•    Issue call for membership renewal
•    Send meeting announcement

December
•    Issue call for membership renewal
•    Forward symposia proposals to Program Committee for review
•    Prepare website for meeting registration
      a.    Go to “Manage Application & Fees” in the website
      b.    Change dates for abstract submission & meeting registration
      c.    Update registration prices

January

•    Send New Year’s letter from the President
•    Notify members who submitted a symposium proposal of the Program Committee’s decision
•    Open website for meeting registration
•    Open website for abstract submission
•    Issue call for Cousins and Ader award nominations (due May 1)
•    Continue to promote meeting
•    Prepare financials for CPA
•    Hold election (done electronically)

February

•    Continue to promote meeting

March
•    Close abstract submission (March 1)
•    Assign trainee-scholar candidate abstracts to Training Committee (2-3 members score each abstract)
•    Select trainee scholars
•    Assign remaining abstracts to Program Committee for review (content only, not scored)
•    President or local organizer select abstracts for oral presentation
•    Develop the complete program (oral and poster sessions)
•    Notify corresponding authors
•    Post complete preliminary program to web
•    Nomination committee indentifies candidates for President-elect, Board Members (and secretary-treasurer)
•    Reissue call for Cousins and Ader award nominations (due May 1)
 
April
•    Open website for late-breaking abstracts (accepted for poster presentation only)
•    Reissue call for Cousins and Ader award nominations (due May 1)
•    Get pictures and short biographies from candidates

May
•    Forward Cousins and Ader award nominations to the Board of Directors for selection
•    May 15 deadline for filing tax returns
•    Close books for previous year
•    Prepare financial reports for annual meeting

Ongoing
•    Send BBI Issue announcements to members as you receive them from Shannon Maxey or Keith Kelley
•    Send Membership Reports to Elsevier (send instructions to members once their subscription has been created/renewed
•    Quarterly financial reports to Secretary/Treasurer
•    Check PNIRS email for inquiries

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Approved by the Board of Directors on 05-28-2014