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How to Stand for Election to Council

Nominations are invited for vacant Council position each year and are ratified at the December AGM.

How to stand for a postion:

Candidate can self-nominate or be nominated by another Member of the Association for any vacant role on Council. The role of Council Members is set out in the Association's Constitution. There are no geographic restrictions on who may stand for election and we encourage nominations from candidates from diverse backgrounds (especially those that historically have been underrepresented). Each nomination must be accompanied by the candidate’s written agreement to stand for election, and a short personal statement (less than 200 words) describing their interests for publication (before the AGM) in the Newsletter. In addition, each candidate must be proposed by at least two members of the Association and any individual may not propose more than two candidates.  If more than one nomination is received for any one position a vote of the Membership will be undertaken in advance of, and ratified at, the AGM in December. In rare cases candidates may be nominated for more than one position, in these cases we will ask the candidate to state an order of preference, as no person may hold more than one role simultaneously. The order of voting for Council positions will, where possible, take candidates’ preferred positions into account.

All potential Council Members are asked to consider the following: since The Palaeontological Association is a Registered Charity, in the eyes of the law most Council Members become a Trustee of that Charity. Under the terms of the Charities Act 2011, Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, a charity’s management and administration. Further information on the responsibilities of Trustees can be obtained from the Charity Commission.

 

What to include in the submitted nomination document:

  • Candiadate's full name, email address, and Assoication Membership number (if known)
  • Candiadate's two nominators' full names, email address, and (if known) their Assoication Membership mumbers.
  • A short written statment from the candiadate of their agreement to stand for election. This can take the form of: "I [full name] agree to stand for election to the Palaeontological Assoication Council and, to the best of my knowledge, I am eligible for [this role/these roles] under the rules set out by the Assocaition's Constitution."
  • The postion(s) the candiadate wishes to stand for; if more than one please state a preference order.
  • A short personal statement from the candiadate (less than 200 words) describing their interests for publication (before the AGM) in the Newsletter.

The nominations should be sent in PDF format to the Secretary: secretary@palass.org

Deadline for Nominations

The closing date for nominations is 1st September each year. 


Council Vacancies at the 2022 AGM

Vice-President (two-year term)

The Vice-President is one of the more loosely defined Council offices. Vice-Presidents are normally long-serving Council members who have previously held one of the other offices. They have no formal portfolio or duties other than to deputize for the President if and when required, but are present on Council to provide independent input on all matters, backed up by experience arising from their long service. They are also expected to lead or at least participate in important subcommittees, particularly those tasked with making recommendations for the awards of grants.

Outreach Officer (three year term)

The Outreach Officer works with the Publicity Officer and the Education Officer in the  Public Engagement Group (PEG). The PEG has responsibility for all of the Palaeontological  Association outreach activities. Currently they include the organising of the Association’s  presence at the Lyme Regis and Yorkshire fossil festivals, co-coordinating the Engagement  Grants, answering relevant enquiries, and initiating other activities that promote and develop  palaeontological outreach and education for the Association. PEG members work closely  together and their roles often overlap, but specific responsibilities associated with the  Outreach Officer include devising and implementing new outreach activities for the  Association.

Meetings Coordinator  (three year term)

The Meetings Coordinator ensures the Palaeontological Association is present at most of the  major international meetings in the wider Earth Sciences domain, mainly by soliciting and/or  organizing symposia that are hosted or sponsored by the Association, and via other  initiatives. The Meetings Coordinator chairs the Annual Meeting Review Committee and interacts with the Annual Meeting organizers regarding  the topic of the symposium at the Annual Meeting, and with other conveners of  Palaeontological Association-sponsored symposia to avoid overlaps and enhance the visibility of a wide range of palaeontological topics. The Meetings Coordinator also is  responsible for the evaluation of applications to and the administration of the Association’s  Postgraduate Travel Fund. The Meetings Coordinator may volunteer to sit on one or more of  the Association sub-committees to review grants and awards.

Internet Officer (three year term)

The Internet Officer position is one of the more time-consuming and rewarding roles, with year-round responsibilities. They interact throughout the year with the numerous members on and off Council. In particular, they work closely with the Executive Officer, Secretary, Annual Meeting and ProgPal organisers. The main tasks are: running the Association’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-based resources; administering the Associations internal ICT requirements (e.g. Google Workspace); updating the PalAss website content; maintaining the website's Drupal code-base (HTML, CSS,  JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL), custom website modules, and online payment systems; versioning these with Git/GitHub; and running the Association’s online store. The role extends to ensuring the website meets current standards for accessibility, and that the Association’s electronic data infrastructure meets current regulations. In addition they liaise with PalAss-hosted external websites (e.g.  Palaeontologia Electronica). The busiest times of the year are in the lead up to ProgPal and the Annual Meeting (registration and abstract submissions) and during periods where major systems require replacing, upgrading, or fixing. The Internet Officer also serves as the ‘line manager’ for the Deputy Internet Officer. For more information please contact the current Internet Officer (internet@palass.org).

Deputy Internet Officer (three year term; new position)

The new position of Deputy Internet Officer is an exciting opportunity to support the Association and develop transferable skills. As a Trustee they will  have a direct say in how the Association is run. As the title suggests, the holder will support the Internet Officer in their role and provide cover in the unlikely event that they are unavailable. They will also have a direct influence on the direction, aesthetic, and functionality of the Association's online resources. During the three year term there will be numerous opportunities to learn and develop new skills, and build upon those already held, as well as opening the possibility to stand as the Internet Officer in the future. Experience of any of the following is not essential but would be beneficial: basic knowledge of one or more of the following- HTML, CSS, Javascript, MySQL and PHP; code versioning with Git/GitHub; experience with command line terminals (Windows, Linux, or Mac OS); experience with a large scale content management systems (CMSs) such as Drupal; experience of using Google Workspace (e.g. Google Doc/Sheets/etc.) and cloud-based hosting of applications such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Deputy Internet Officer will be supported in any area where additional knowledge and training is required by Association, for instance training to undertake the industry recognised AWS certification (if desired). Many of the transferable skills imparted during the term in office are highly sought after within research and industry, and may be particularly beneficial for thoses in an early-career position. For more information please contact the current Internet Officer (internet@palass.org).

Early Research Career Officer (x1 vacancy; three year term)

An important cohort of the Palaeontological Association’s membership are Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Historically, there has not been an ECR-specific role on the Association’s Council, however, in 2022 we are looking to convert one of the ordinary member positions specifically for this purpose.

The ECR role, as with the other Ordinary Members positions, is a three year term and does not have a formal portfolio. They will attend Council meetings and contribute to discussion, decision making, and future planning. They will have the opportunity to participate in subcommittees, such as those tasked with reviewing and making decisions on grant applications. Importantly, they will act as a liaison for the ECR community to Council, allowing for ECR perspectives and feedback to directly influence the decision making within the Association. This role also looks to take the lead on initiatives specifically to help the Association better serve our ECR members.

We define an ECR as any researcher within 10 years (exclusive of career breaks, full time equivalent) post-PhD thesis submission who has not found permanent employment. Should this member gain permanent employment during their tenure, they would continue in the role until their tenure ends, whereupon they could not stand again as the ECR Ordinary Member. 

Ordinary Members (x1 vacancy; three year term)

Ordinary members do not have a formal portfolio. They attend Council meetings and  contribute to discussion, decision making and future planning. They often participate in  important subcommittees, such as those tasked with reviewing and making decisions upon grant applications.

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