Standing Committees – General Terms of Reference

June 2019


These terms of reference describe the general aspects of the functioning of the Standing Committees of the Douglas Research Centre. Specific aspects of each committee are described in the committee’s Terms of Reference.

1. The Standing Committees

The Standing Committees of the Douglas Research Centre are:

  1. Douglas Facility Animal Care Committee (FACC)
  2. Douglas Health & Safety Committee
  3. Fundraising Committee
  4. Academic Affairs Committee
  5. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  6. Grant Review Committee

In some cases (e.g. FACC), the specific terms of reference and rules of functioning need to follow guidelines from external organizations. In these cases, these external guidelines supersede the ones described in the present document.

2. Membership

2.1. Chair

Possible chairpersons for each committee are identified by the Executive Committee, which seeks potential candidates by consulting its members, and via a general call among researchers of the Research Centre.

Researchers interested in chairing the committee are they asked to provide a short motivation statements (describing why they think they would be a suitable chairperson, and what they have in mind with regards to the mandates of the committees, the dossiers to initiate and/or promote, the strategies to implement, etc.). Based on these motivation statements, the Executive Committee will decide on the chairperson.

Chairmanships of standing committees are volunteer positions, without salary stipend. The term of the committee Chair is three years, renewable.

2.2. Members

Upon creation of a new committee, the committee membership and the individuals invited to fill the positions are chosen by each committee Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, among volunteers identified through a general call and ideas of the Chair of possible candidates. For subsequent selections of new committee members, current committee members are also consulted about the potential candidates to join the committee. Researchers interested in becoming members of working committees are encouraged to contact committee Chairs, who will consider interest along with other considerations such as principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity and the need to have appropriate representation of divisions, expertise, career stages, etc.

In some cases, ex officio members or representatives of CIUSSS departments are included in the committee membership.

Wherever appropriate, the committee Chair can choose to include one or more graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or technical staff as member(s) of the committee.

Memberships on standing committees are volunteer positions, without salary stipend. The term of each committee member is three years, renewable.

Each committee will designate a secretary, either one of the committee members, or an administrative assistant where appropriate. This person will be responsible for taking and archiving meeting minutes and making corrections to minutes based on feedback from committee members. The secretary may designate a replacement from any of the other committee members in the event that they must miss a meeting.

3. Mandates

Upon creation of a committee, the Executive Committee will provide a list of guidelines regarding the mandates of the committee. Thereafter, the mandates of each committee are defined by the committee’s Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee.

Each committee must write and keep updated specific Terms of Reference that complement the present document by detailing the mandates, rules and responsibilities, membership, and reporting lines specific to the committee.

4. Meetings

The frequency of meetings of each committee is decided by the Chair, in consultation with the committee members. However, there should be a minimum of two meetings per year.

Minutes shall be taken at each meeting, documenting the content of the discussions, the decisions and action items, the attendance of committee members. The meeting minutes are approved by the members of the committee at the next meeting. They are kept on file for eight years for future reference.

5. Reporting and deliverables

Each standing committee must produce, shortly after its creation, a terms of reference document describing the specific aspects of this committee. These terms of reference, after approval of the members of the committee, must be submitted to the Executive Committee, which may request revisions. The committee’s specific terms of reference should be kept up to date, should its membership description, mandates or ways of functioning change. Any revised committee terms of reference should be submitted to the Executive Committee for comments.

The standing committees have deciding power for matters that directly pertain to their mandates. However, for any decisions that might impact the research centre’s structure, finances, or overall functioning, or that involve other bodies of the research centre, CIUSSS or university, the Executive Committee must be consulted, and the final decision must be that of the Executive Committee, or be approved by it.

The Chair of each committee reports to the Executive Committee. Reporting takes different forms:

  • At times, committee Chairs can be invited ad hoc at an Executive Committee meeting, to present a general update or report on a specific topic.
  • One report per year must be submitted to the Executive Committee, describing: the current membership of the committee; the number and attendance of the meetings in the past year; a short list and description of the past year’s key activities, accomplishments and dossiers; financial reporting if pertinent; plans for the next year.
  • Additional reports can be requested, as judged appropriate by the Executive Committee, either on all matters of the committee or about a specific topic.

In some cases, the Committee might have to also report to other individuals or entities (e.g. University Animal Care Committee in the case of FACC).