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BYLAWS of the NIH FELLOWS COMMITTEE

Approved June 1, 2016

Article I. Purpose

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fellows Committee ("FelCom") seeks to improve the training experience of all Fellows, postdoctoral and clinical, on all NIH campuses. This goal is achieved through programming, policy development, and advocacy for Fellows within and outside of the NIH.


Article II. Membership

All postdoctoral-level intramural Fellows from the NIH are eligible for membership on the NIH Fellows Committee. Graduate-level members are recognized when representing specific graduate-level NIH organizations as described in Article VII. Representatives of external but affiliated institutions are also recognized as described in Article VII.

There are three types of FelCom members:

  1. Institute/Center (IC)-appointed representatives are those that are selected and appointed by the Scientific Director, Clinical Director, or Training Director of their IC. Each IC is encouraged to appoint up to two (2) representatives per year, preferably one basic science and one clinical.
  2. At-large representatives are those that have volunteered to chair a FelCom subcommittee or serve as a FelCom liaison.
  3. Ad-hoc members are Fellows that participate on a specific FelCom subcommittee. These members are not required to attend FelCom meetings but are encouraged to do so.

IC-appointed and at-large FelCom representatives have voting rights given they maintain good membership standing. Ad-hoc representatives do not have voting rights.

FelCom also recognizes the participation of individuals from the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) and the NIH Office of Intramural Research (OIR). These offices/individuals advise the committee, devise and advocate for Fellow-related policies when applicable, and offer logistical support (staff permitting) to FelCom-sponsored events.

While not an official part of the FelCom membership, it is expected that all levels of the NIH administration should be accessible to representatives of the Fellows Committee. Scientific/Training/Clinical Directors of each institute are specifically responsible for ensuring that their respective IC is represented at all times. Other representatives of offices/organizations from across NIH are welcomed and encouraged to attend monthly FelCom meetings to discuss information or policies that impact Fellows.


Article III. Attendance Policy

To remain in good standing, members must attend all scheduled monthly meetings unless otherwise excused (see below). Excused absences should be coordinated with the membership secretary prior to 12 noon on the day of the scheduled meeting. Excused absences include but are not limited to annual, sick, or maternity leave; attendance at scientific meetings; or patient care. Excused absences will not be considered a missed meeting.

Excused absences will be granted under the following conditions:

  • Excused absence 1 and 2: Absent member has notified the membership secretary prior to 12 noon on the day of the meeting. Failure to notify qualifies this as an unexcused absence. It is highly encouraged that the representative sends another Fellow to attend the meeting in the representative's absence.
  • Excused absence 3: Absent member has notified the membership secretary and it is mandatory that the member provide another Fellow to attend the meeting in place of the absent representative. The name of this person must be included in the notification to FelCom leadership. Failure to notify the officers and provide contact information for a substitute qualifies this as an unexcused absence.

Unexcused absences will be granted for:

  • Any absence after the completion of 3 excused absences.
  • Any absence that occurs without notifying the membership secretary by 12 noon on the day of the scheduled meeting.
  • The 3rd excused absence that occurs without notifying the appropriate individuals of a substitute.

Absences are accumulated over a single fiscal year (October through September). A member will be asked to vacate his/her position should either of the following occur within one fiscal year:

  • Three excused absences plus one unexcused absence.
  • Two unexcused absences.

No person may run for FelCom co-chair with more than 2 total absences (excused or combined excused/unexcused) in the 6 months prior to the respective election.


Article IV. Officers

The officers shall be: two (2) co-chairpersons (one basic science and one clinical), an administrative secretary, and a membership secretary. These officers shall constitute the Executive Committee, which shall be responsible for the execution and enforcement of these Bylaws.

Co-chairpersons:

Two co-chairpersons, one basic science and one clinical, will be elected by the membership of the committee. Only IC representatives or at-large members who have been active members of FelCom or ClinFelCom for a minimum of six months are eligible to be elected co-chair. An active member is defined as having attended at least five of the six meetings in the first six months of membership and then abiding by the FelCom attendance policy from that point forward. Clinical co-chair applicants should also have attended at least 2 FelCom meetings prior to election. Members wishing to pursue a co-chair position also need to be active participants in their respective subcommittee, so as to better understand the roles that these play in FelCom.

Once elected, each co-chairperson will serve in that position for a period of 12 months. Should a co-chair choose to leave the position before the term expiration, s/he should notify the committee membership three months ahead of the expected vacancy, or as soon as possible if less than three months are remaining. At the end of the 12 month term, a new election will be held. The current co-chair is eligible for reelection for a maximum of three consecutive terms if s/he desires to continue in the position, but the election will be open for other applications. The winner will be selected from among all candidates by a majority vote of the membership. The election for clinical co-chair will be coordinated to take place as soon as possible following the next Clinical FelCom meeting. If still at the NIH, each past co-chair will remain on the executive board of FelCom for a term of 1 year post-position.

Duties of the Co-Chairpersons are as follows:

  • Ensuring that NIH Fellows Committee members are notified of the time and location of monthly meetings.
  • Conducting/chairing scheduled monthly meetings of the Fellows Committee in accordance with the guidelines herein.
  • Communicating with all levels of the NIH administration involved in policy decisions regarding Fellows.
  • Ensuring that information from monthly Fellows Committee meetings is communicated to all NIH Fellows. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
  • Attending, if possible, the monthly OITE Fellows orientation every first Tuesday of the month at 9AM in Wilson Hall, (Bldg. 1, 3rd floor), to promote FelCom to the new Fellows and to recruit new members.

Secretaries:

The co-chairpersons shall solicit volunteers from the existing membership (current IC-appointed or at-large FelCom representatives) to serve as administrative and membership secretaries. If more than one member volunteers, the position will be filled by a simple majority vote by the membership of the committee. FelCom members serving as secretaries are exempt from the requirement of serving on subcommittees, but may still do so if they desire.

Once elected, each secretary will serve in that position for a period of 12 months. Should a secretary choose to leave the position before the term expiration, s/he should notify the committee membership three months ahead of the expected vacancy, or as soon as possible if less than three months are remaining. At the end of the 12 month term, a new election will be held. The current secretary is eligible for reelection for a maximum of three consecutive terms if s/he desires to continue in the position, but the election will be open for other applications. The winner will be selected from among all candidates by a majority vote of the membership.

Duties of the Administrative Secretary are as follows:

  • Recording the minutes of meetings.
  • Distributing minutes to the membership and posting the minutes on the FelCom web page.
  • Sending out monthly FelCom updates to the FELLOW-L list serve.
  • Keeping the FelCom membership and subcommittee lists updated on the FelCom web page.

Duties of the Membership Secretary include:

  • Keeping attendance.
  • Communicating with members regarding unexcused absences.
  • Notifying members with two unexcused absences of their dismissal from the committee.
  • Notifying Scientific/Training/Clinical Directors of vacancies on the committee.

The membership and administrative secretaries shall be considered a team and perform the duties of the other when one secretary cannot attend a monthly meeting.

Note: The elections of the officers will be staggered such that no more than two positions are on the ballot at the same monthly meeting to ensure continuity.


Article V. Institute/Center (IC) Representatives

FelCom recognizes representation from the following Institutes/Centers (ICs):
CCR-FYI: Center for Cancer Research, Fellows & Young Investigators (NCI)
NCATS: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
NCCIH: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
NCI-CPFP: National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
NCI-Shady Grove: National Cancer Institute (Shady Grove Campus)
NEI: National Eye Institute
NHGRI: National Human Genome Research Institute
NHLBI: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
NIA: National Institute on Aging
NIAAA: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
NIAID: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
NIAMS: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
NIBIB: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
NICHD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
NIDCD: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
NIDCR: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
NIDDK: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
NIDA: National Institute on Drug Abuse
NIEHS: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (North Carolina Campus)
NIGMS: National Institute of General Medical Sciences
NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health
NIMHD: National Institute of Minority Health and Human Disparities
NINDS: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
NINR: National Institute of Nursing Research
NLM: National Library of Medicine
and VRC: Vaccine Research Center (NIAID).

Any postdoctoral-level Fellow is eligible to represent his/her IC on FelCom. To ensure that every Fellow has the opportunity to serve as his/her IC's representative, the following method of appointment will be followed:

  1. Two months prior to the end of a term or immediately for unexpected vacancies, a standardized memo will be sent to each Fellow of the particular IC notifying them of the vacancy. This standardized memo will be forwarded by the current representative with instructions for those interested in filling the position. Interested Fellows must respond no later than fifteen working days after the memo is sent.
  2. After all potential members have responded, the current representative(s) from the particular IC will take the list to the appropriate Scientific/Training or Clinical Director, who will then appoint a new member.
  3. If no interested Fellows are identified, the appropriate Scientific/Training or Clinical Director will be notified in writing by the membership secretary and will be asked to appoint a new member within one month following the date of notification.

IC representatives must notify the appropriate Scientific/Training/Clinical Director, the FelCom membership secretary, and the FelCom Co-chairpersons two months prior to the expiration of a term to allow sufficient time for selection of a replacement. This notification should occur at the time of a scheduled committee meeting. Fellows who are unable to complete their term for any reason should immediately notify the appropriate individuals in writing. If a FelCom representative is elected to an officer's position during their time of appointment, their IC may appoint an additional representative during this time. This is to ensure the FelCom officers have sufficient time to devote to their position, yet the IC still has adequate representation on FelCom.

Duties of IC representatives are as follows:

  • Attend all scheduled meetings or otherwise adhere to the attendance policy described in Article III. If there are two representatives for a given IC, both are encouraged to attend monthly FelCom meetings. However, representatives can choose to rotate who comes to each meeting as long as the IC is represented and duties are shared equally.
  • Participate on at least one subcommittee (see Article VI).
  • Ensure that pertinent information is disseminated to the Fellows in their IC.
  • Communicate concerns to the Committee from those Fellows whom they represent.
  • Submit a report for the monthly FelCom meeting as necessary to inform the Committee of interesting or important events within the IC.

FelCom also recognizes representation from Fellows at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Designated representatives from these organizations are expected to participate in FelCom meetings and activities; however, they are considered ad-hoc members and as such are not granted voting rights.


Article VI. Subcommittees

Subcommittees seek to address a specific concern or feature of the postdoctoral experience. The subcommittees will be comprised of volunteers from the NIH Fellows Committee membership and any special volunteers (ad-hoc members). The specific duties of a subcommittee and its power to act on certain decisions shall be outlined at its formation and shall be approved by the Committee. FelCom recognizes eight standing subcommittees:

  • Career Development Committee: The goal of the Career Development Subcommittee is to educate NIH Fellows regarding the career opportunities that are available within and outside of the NIH system. Through a year long seminar series, this subcommittee provides Fellows with information regarding survival skills for their post-graduate work as well as skills needed for making the transition from training positions to various professional areas of interest. It is also the intent of the subcommittee to provide extensive information regarding varied career options that include the pursuit of academic tenure-track positions, industrial positions, administrative positions, and alternative careers. This subcommittee also assists other subcommittees and NIH entities that involve or require career development for NIH Fellows.
  • Clinical Fellows Committee: The Clinical Fellows Committee (ClinFelCom) is co-chaired by the Clinical Chair of FelCom and the FelCom MEC representative. In the event that there are two FelCom basic science co-chairs, ClinFelCom may elect a co-chair from the pool of ClinFelCom members in addition to the FelCom MEC representative. The other members of ClinFelCom include all of the Clinical Fellows on FelCom and a Clinical Fellow representative appointed by each program director, who would be added as an ad hoc member of FelCom without the responsibilities of full membership. ClinFelCom holds quarterly meetings with the Director of the Clinical Center to address issues of concern related to Clinical Fellows, clinical fellowships, patient care, and clinical research at the Clinical Center. Prior to each meeting, the co-chairs solicit agenda items from the Clinical Fellows community at large. All Clinical Fellows are invited to attend Quarterly meetings, and attendance is required for Clinical Fellows on FelCom and the program director appointed representatives.
  • Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) Committee: FARE began in 1995 to provide recognition for the outstanding scientific research performed by intramural postdoctoral Fellows. The award is sponsored by the NIH Fellows Committee, the Scientific Directors, the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, and the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education, and is funded by the Scientific Directors and the Office of Research on Women's Health. Fellows submit an abstract of their research, which is peer reviewed in a blind study section competition. Winners of FARE awards will each receive a $1000 stipend to attend a scientific meeting at which they will present their abstract, either as a poster or a seminar (with the exception of NHLBI Fellows who receive recognition, but no monetary funds). FARE winners are asked to present their work at the NIH Research Festival and serve as judges for the following year's FARE competition. FelCom members are required to serve as judges each year. FARE applications are accepted every year in March.
  • Mentoring Committee: The mission of the Mentoring subcommittee is to provide support to Fellows to successfully complete their Fellowship and receive the best possible training at NIH. The Mentoring subcommittee is committed to ensuring that the mentoring system at NIH provides assistance to strengthen mentor-mentee relationships, allowing Fellows to successfully conduct independent research, improve their scientific and personal communication skills, and develop and achieve their career and training goals throughout their Fellowship at NIH. To achieve this mission, the mentoring subcommittee conducts a series of seminars on mentoring experiences and expectations. The subcommittee also gathers information on mentoring experiences of Fellows at NIH in order to identify areas for improvement.
  • Service and Outreach Subcommittee (SOS): The goal of the Service and Outreach Subcommittee (SOS) is to provide an opportunity for NIH Fellows to work together with a common mission of giving back to the NIH and greater Washington, DC communities. This subcommittee organizes group service activities that members of FelCom and other Fellows can volunteer for on a regular basis, with a minimum of six activities per year. The subcommittee also seeks outreach opportunities for Fellows to be involved in, such as scientific judging or involvement in high school science clubs, etc. The subcommittee provides information to Fellows regarding non-group service activities that may be of interest.
  • Social Activities Committee: The Social subcommittee strives to enhance the growth of the NIH community, and is responsible for promoting the social interaction of NIH Fellows through organizing a wide variety of events:

    • FelCom Social Networking Events: This monthly social networking event is held at local bars and restaurants in Bethesda. The party room or a section of the bar is usually reserved exclusively for NIH Fellows and special deals on food and beverages are offered. FelCom Happy Hours generally start at 6 p.m. and are open to all NIH Fellows, other Fellows, co-workers, friends, and family. Flyers are distributed by email on Fellow-L and individual IC email lists and are also posted on the FelCom website.
    • FelCom Holiday Party: The biggest social event of the year is the Holiday Party which is held in December or January at the FAES House. It is open to all NIH Fellows, other Fellows, faculty, co-workers, friends, and family. A minimal admission fee is typically charged to cover expenses.
    • FelCom Social Weekend: During several weekends throughout the year, the social subcommittee organizes cultural activities such as visits to museums and tours of temporary exhibitions and outdoor activities such as bike rides, canoeing and picnics. We are always open to new suggestions from NIH Fellows!
    • On occasion, the FelCom Social subcommittee also collaborates with the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education to organize networking events in conjunction with the National Graduate Student Research Festival, the NIH Career Symposium, and other special events.
  • Visiting Fellows Committee: The NIH Visiting Fellows Committee (NIH VFC) is composed of NIH postdoctoral visiting Fellows (VFs) from all around the world. It is a self-governing body serving the interest of visiting Fellows in their transition to life at the NIH, by working to make their experience here worthwhile, as well as creating the opportunities for visiting Fellows to maintain continuity in their research upon returning to their home countries. NIH VFC also works to encourage the establishment and maintenance of strong institutional links of VFs with NIH after they complete their training and go back to their home countries.
  • Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) Committee: The WALS subcommittee was formed to improve Fellow participation in the nomination and quality of nominations of WALS speakers and to increase Fellow opportunity to interact with WALS speakers. The WALS subcommittee is not responsible for arrangement of the visits by Fellow-nominated WALS speakers; this responsibility lies with the sponsoring IC.

Should an issue or event occur which the Committee would like to address but which does not fall under the purview of any standing subcommittee, an ad-hoc subcommittee will be organized for this specific purpose. At its formation, an ad-hoc subcommittee shall be given a specific period of time to complete its task. If the ad-hoc subcommittee cannot complete the task within the appointed time, the co-chairs may consider extending the appointment time or dissolving the subcommittee with the approval of the NIH Fellows Committee membership.

Subcommittees (both standing and ad-hoc) shall be created by nomination and majority vote of those present at the regular monthly meeting, to investigate and recommend action on matters that concern the NIH Fellows Committee.

Each subcommittee will be chaired by two FelCom members. Any NIH Fellow is eligible to hold a chair position, regardless of previous FelCom membership. Chairs are elected at the monthly FelCom meeting by a majority vote of the membership. Chairs will notify FelCom one month before they plan to step down from their position so that an election can be held for their replacement. Chairs should follow the Attendance Policy as outlined in Article III.

Subcommittees are required to submit a written report to the FelCom co-chairs before the monthly meeting of the NIH Fellows Committee. If there is nothing to report for a particular month, an email stating this should still be sent to the FelCom co-chairs. The written reports will be compiled by the chairs and distributed before the NIH Fellows Committee meeting. Time permitting, and depending on the content/impact of the progress report, the subcommittees shall give an oral report to the NIH Fellows Committee membership. Failure to submit 3 consecutive monthly reports to the FelCom co-chairs will result in removal of the chair(s) and reelection of the position(s).


Article VII. Liaisons to NIH-Wide Committees and External Organizations

Committee membership will also include representation on NIH-wide committees and for external organizations that are important to the work and experiences of Fellows. FelCom recognizes the following liaisons:

  • American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) Liaison: American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) is an international multi-disciplinary association of scientists engaged in all areas of biomedical and patient-oriented clinical, translational and laboratory research. The organization works to foster the development of future generations of clinical scientists and investigators through its own initiatives, while encouraging public, private, and governmental investment in the development of these individuals. The AFMR also fosters research in the medical sciences, provides leadership in articulating and publicizing the goals of scientific research, disseminates the knowledge that medical research generates and identifies and supports efforts to advance clinical research.
  • Animal Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) Liaison: The Animal Research Advisory Committee meets monthly to discuss trans-NIH topics and to provide advice to the NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research who serves as the institutional official for the NIH Intramural Research Program (24 out of the 30 NIH components use animals in their intramural research program). ARAC provides guidelines on every aspect of animal research within the NIH Intramural Program, which are accessible via the website of the Office of Animal Care and Use (OACU). The FelCom Liaison to ARAC attends all ARAC meetings and communicates information from topics discussed to the NIH Fellows by reporting at the monthly FelCom meeting, via the FelCom website and e-mail using the Fellow-L listserv, if necessary. Also, the liaison represents the Fellow's interests within ARAC meetings where he/she advocates that new or changed guidelines and policies do not interfere unreasonably with the practical bench work. The ARAC Liaison should be a Fellow with substantial experience in animal research.
  • Child Care Board Liaisons: The NIH Child Care Board is charged with promoting affordable, accessible, quality day care for NIH employees and advises the NIH regarding child care services and policies. Two FelCom liaisons provide a conduit between the board and FelCom to make sure the board is aware of issues pertaining to NIH Fellows, and to keep Fellows abreast of the child care situation at NIH.
  • Committee on Scientific Conduct and Ethics Liaison: The Committee on Scientific Conduct and Ethics is composed of a broad spectrum of scientists from the ICs. The committee was established in September, 1995 with three charges:
    • To develop and/or refine existing guidelines for the conduct of research, to develop procedures to protect both whistle blowers and scientists accused of scientific misconduct, and to develop a model for binding arbitration.
    • To develop effective mechanisms for research ethics training for the NIH scientific community, including the ethics column in The NIH Catalyst.
    • To develop a course to train principal investigators in leadership, mentoring, and handling of conflict skills.
  • Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Board Liaisons: Two FelCom members will serve as liaisons to The Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) board. Duties will include the following:
    • Report on the two annual board meetings regarding issues pertinent to FelCom and the postdoctoral community.
    • Communicate any issues raised in ad hoc FAES meetings pertinent to FelCom.
    • Communicate any issues raised at FelCom meetings to the FAES Executive Director and/or Board.
  • Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) Liaison: The NIH Fellows Committee clinical co-chair will submit a nomination to the Graduate Medical Education Committee Chair for two members of the Fellows Committee to serve as the Fellows' representative on the Graduate Medical Education Committee.

    • This representative will be a Clinical Fellow in the ACGME accredited years of his/her training.
    • Member will serve in the position for a period of 12 months.
    • In general, the chair will request a volunteer to serve in this position 1-2 months prior to the end of the current representative's term.
    • The GMEC FelCom representative(s) will attend all GMEC meetings and will provide reports to FelCom detailing relevant content of meetings. If neither of the representatives can attend the monthly meeting, they should notify the ClinFelCom co-chairs at least 3 days in advance to arrange for an alternate Clinical Fellow to attend the meeting in their place.
    • The GMEC FelCom representative(s) will administer the Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award conferred annually. The following process will occur:
  1. In June of each year, notices will be placed in the NIH Catalyst and NIH Record, posted on bulletin boards throughout the NIH campus, and emails will be sent via the FELCOM list serve to all Fellows soliciting nominations for the award.
  2. Nominations will be no more than a single page in length detailing the nominees' contributions to clinical teaching. These should be typed, signed by the submitting Fellow, and submitted to OITE.
  3. Nominations for the award will be accepted for 4 to 6 weeks following the solicitation. Nominations will be accepted from the following individuals: All NIH Clinical Fellows, NIH basic science Fellows who have direct patient care responsibilities at the NIH, and former NIH Clinical Fellows who have completed their patient care roles at the NIH within the past 6 months.
  4. The co-chairpersons will review the submissions and present their findings to all clinical FelCom subcommittee representatives (this includes: appointed clinical Fellow representatives from FelCom, liaison members to clinical FelCom such as GMEC/MEC/Child Care Liaisons and members of the DCTA committee). The co-chairpersons may suggest an overwhelming choice or may suggest a vote by the membership if several nominees appear equally deserving.
  5. Following selection, OITE will notify the recipient regarding the details of the presentation.
  6. The award will be presented by the GMEC FelCom representative(s).
  • Graduate Student Council/Graduate Partnerships Program Liaison: The Graduate Partnerships Program links the NIH with universities for graduate level training of students. Through university partnerships, NIH strengthens and expands its role as a provider of excellent training for the biomedical scientists of the future. The mission of the GPP is to establish and foster graduate education partnerships with national and international universities and institutions dedicated to quality education in both basic and clinical biomedical research while providing the infrastructure and community support needed by the students in these programs. For more information concerning graduate student issues please see the NIH Graduate Student Council homepage.
  • Human Subjects Research Advisory Committee (HSRAC) Liaison: The Human Subjects Research Advisory Committee (HSRAC) meets every other month on Friday at 3:00. The HSRAC is responsible for advising the NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research on the policies and procedures regarding the conduct of human subjects research in the NIH Intramural Research Program. The HSRAC is comprised of the Deputy Director for Intramural Research, who is the chair, the Director of the Office for Human Subjects Research, the 14 NIH IRB Chairs, the Director of the Clinical Center, and the Chief of the Clinical Center Department of Bioethics. The FelCom representative to the HSRAC must attend all meetings and report back any issues/concerns that are relevant to Fellows at NIH.
  • Medical Executive Committee (MEC) Liaison: The NIH Fellows Committee clinical co-chair will submit a nomination to the Medical Executive Committee Chair for one [two] members of the Fellows Committee to serve as the Fellows' representative on the Medical Executive Committee.

    • This representative will be a Clinical Fellow.
    • Member will serve in the position for a period of 12 months.
    • In general, the chair will request a volunteer to serve in this position 1 to 2 months prior to the end of the current representative's term.
    • The MEC FelCom representative(s) will attend all MEC meetings and will provide reports to FelCom detailing relevant content of meetings.
  • NIH Training Directors Committee Liaisons: Two FelCom members will participate on the NIH Training Directors Committee. Representative duties will include the following:

    • Attend the monthly NIH Training Directors' Committee Meetings and report on their discussions to FelCom.
    • Represent the interests of FelCom and the NIH Fellows' community.
    • Be part of the Postdoc Training Subcommittee and attend the monthly subcommittee meeting.
  • National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Liaison: The duties of the liaison to the National Postdoctoral Association will include the following:
    • Provide a report regarding upcoming NPA activities.
    • Advertise major NPA events (i.e., Annual Meeting and receptions at various scientific meetings).
    • Communicate with the NPA Executive Director on a regular basis regarding any information he/she would like to have communicated to the NIH Fellows (i.e., quarterly NPA newsletter).
    • Join the NPA and serve on an NPA Committee.
  • Outreach Liaison: The goal of the Outreach Liaison is to maximize FelCom's impact both within the NIH intramural community and beyond. The liaison will pursue available forms of communications to inform Fellows about what FelCom is, what FelCom has done recently, and upcoming FelCom events. The liaison will also endeavor to provide information about FelCom to the larger NIH community to increase the visibility of FelCom on the NIH campuses and let non-Fellow NIH employees know what FelCom is doing. Specific responsibilities of the Outreach Liaison include:
    • Write bi-monthly summary of FelCom's recent activities/upcoming events for the NIH Catalyst newsletter to be featured each issue on The Training Page.
    • Write monthly summary of FelCom's recent activities/upcoming events for the "I Am Intramural..." blog.
    • Manage a FelCom LinkedIn account to publicize FelCom and OITE events.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program Liaison: The NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program is a unique, postdoctoral Fellowship program to pursue research in one of the laboratories of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PRAT Fellows participate in a structured training program with defined curriculum elements and are provided access to NIH's extensive resources, mentorship, career development activities and networking. PRAT Fellows conduct research within the NIH Intramural Research Program but also are supported by and exposed to the extramural NIH culture through their appointment at NIGMS. Thus, the PRAT liaison brings a unique perspective to committee discussions and will serve as a connection between the NIH intramural community and NIGMS.
  • Recreation and Welfare Committee Liaison: The Recreation and Wellness Committee advises the NIH Recreation and Wellness Association in the enrichment, enhancement, and development of the programming available to Fellows to address their health and welfare. Furthermore, this committee helps promote health and service opportunities provided by R&W to the Fellows and in turn to bring health and wellness concerns and ideas from the Fellows to R&W. It is the mission of the R&W committee to support and promote the general health of NIH Fellows.
  • Women Scientist Advisors Committee Liaisons: Two FelCom members will serve as liaisons to the NIH Women Scientist Advisors Committee (WSA). In 1991, Dr. Bernadine Healy, then Director of NIH, established a Task Force to examine the status of intramural women scientists. The Task Force, which included 15 intramural scientists and was chaired by Dr. Hindi Kleinman, issued a final report in November 1992. Among the recommendations was that each IC should have a Woman Scientist Advisor (WSA). These recommendations were unanimously approved by the Scientific Directors at their meeting of November 4, 1992. The activities of the IC-specific WSA (https://oir.nih.gov/sourcebook/committees-advisory-ddir/women-scientist-advisors-wsa-committee) include holding regular meetings with the Scientific Director in order to advise him/her about issues relevant to women scientists; attending Lab/Branch Chief meetings to serve as a representative of women scientists; informing the Institute's women scientists on issues which will affect them and soliciting their opinions; organizing meetings for the women scientists to discuss issues of general concern or to present programs of general interest; serving on IC tenure-track, tenured scientist, or lab/branch chief search committees; and attending monthly WSA committee meetings where issues of concern to all NIH women scientists are discussed. Additionally, the WSA Committee organizes and promotes a lecture series featuring NIH intramural women scientists.

Additional liaison positions may be created by nomination and majority vote of those present at the regular monthly meeting, as deemed necessary by the membership.

Any NIH Fellow is eligible to hold a liaison position, regardless of previous FelCom membership. Liaisons are elected at the monthly FelCom meeting by a majority vote of the membership. Liaisons will notify FelCom one month before they plan to step down from their position so that an election can be held for their replacement. Liaisons should follow the Attendance Policy as outlined in Article III.

Liaisons are required to submit a written report to the FelCom co-chairs before the monthly meeting of the NIH Fellows Committee. If there is nothing to report for a particular month, an email stating this should still be sent to the FelCom co-chairs. Time permitting, and depending on the content/impact of the progress report, the liaison shall give an oral report to the NIH Fellows Committee membership. . Failure to submit 3 consecutive monthly reports to the FelCom co-chairs will result in removal of the liaison(s) and reelection of the position(s).


Article VIII. Conduct of Meetings

Time and Place:
The regular meetings of the NIH Fellows Committee shall be held on the first Thursday of every month at 4:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall (Bldg 1, 3rd floor) unless otherwise determined by the NIH Fellows Committee or by the co-chairpersons. If available, videoconferencing will be provided at the monthly meetings.

Quorum:
Fifty percent or more of the current eligible voting membership of the committee shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be necessary to vote on proposed motions and to amend the Committee's Bylaws.

Order of Business:

  • The chair shall call the meeting to order.
  • Approval of previous meeting minutes.
  • Announcements from FelCom Officers.
  • Special announcements from OITE and OIR.
  • General orders or unfinished business.
  • New business.
  • Presentations from other organizations for distribution to NIH Fellows will be made when on the agenda.
  • Announcements from IC representatives, subcommittee chairs and liaisons.
  • Adjournment of the meeting.

Motions:
A motion may arise as a result of a special representative's or committee's report or under unfinished or new business. The steps to be taken are as follows:

  • A member makes a motion.
  • Another member seconds the motion.
  • The chair states the question on the motion and presents the motion for consideration by the assembly.
  • Members debate the motion.
  • The chair puts the question to a vote.
  • The chair announces the result of the vote. In cases where no opposition to the motion is expected, the chair may save time by obtaining general or unanimous consent. To obtain general consent, the chair states "If there is no objection . . ." If no member calls out "I object," the chair will announce the action as decided upon.

Debate, Assignment of the Floor:
Before a member can make a motion or speak in a debate, he or she must obtain the floor by being recognized by the chair. While a motion is open to debate, the floor should be assigned as follows:

  • The member who made the motion may claim the floor first.
  • No one is entitled to the floor a second time in debate on the same motion, as long as any other member who has not spoken on this motion desires the floor.
  • If the chair knows that persons seeking the floor have opposite opinions on the question, he or she should let the floor alternate between those favoring and those opposing.

Voting:
Motions shall carry if they receive a majority vote. All IC-appointed or at-large members present who are in good membership standing may vote. The chair may choose whether or not to vote and can vote (but is not obliged to) whenever their vote will affect the result, such as to break or cause a tie. A motion receiving a tie vote will be rejected.


Article IX. Enforcement and Review of Bylaws

These bylaws and additional policies and procedures will take effect on June 1, 2016.

Each current member of the Fellows Committee must be familiar with these bylaws and agree that their activities as members are bound by them. When significant changes are made to the bylaws, all members of the Fellows Committee must have ready access to the revised text.

Co-chairpersons of the Fellows Committee shall review these bylaws at least annually to ensure currency. Co-chairpersons will announce the review period to committee members to allow input from all members.

Proposed changes to the bylaws can be made at any time following discussion at a regularly scheduled committee meeting pending the vote of the committee membership. Suggested changes should be submitted in writing to the co-chairpersons and presented for discussion at the next scheduled committee meeting.

All proposed changes will be discussed and approved by the majority of a quorum of members of the Fellows Committee.