Policies

Membership Code of Conduct

Definitions

i.“Members” refers to the institutions that comprise Science Atlantic.
ii. “Institutional Representative” refers to an individual (usually the Dean of Science or equivalent) representing a Member Institution.
iii. “Membership” refers to: members of Science Atlantic’s Board of Directors (henceforth referred to as “Directors”), Institutional Representatives, Committee Chairs, and members of Science Atlantic committees.

The Membership is committed to observing and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the performance of their responsibilities. The Membership pledges to accept this Code as a minimum guideline for ethical conduct.

Representing the Organization

The Membership is expected to advocate for the organization and its mission within the public sphere. The Board of Directors should always speak with one voice. Any differences of opinion within the Board or a committee should be settled through discussion and voting by the entire membership of that body, and should not be disclosed to those who are not members of that body. It is considered misconduct to speak out against Science Atlantic, fellow members, staff, volunteers, or conference attendees to those outside of the organization. The Membership is expected to uphold the standards and values of Science Atlantic by supporting student endeavours affiliated with the organization in all capacities. See also: Duty of Care.

Duty of Care 

The Duty of Care refers to the level of competence that is expected of the Membership and is here defined as “the duty of care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.” The Duty of Care requires the Membership of Science Atlantic to exercise reasonable diligence and due care in conducting Science Atlantic’s affairs. At a minimum, they must fulfill the duties of their job descriptions and stay informed of the activities of Science Atlantic by regularly attending their required meetings and understanding how Science Atlantic functions under its bylaws and this Code of Conduct. Board Directors must act in good faith as they make decisions and seek always to avoid the misuse or waste of Science Atlantic’s assets. See also: Attendance and Participation.

Use of Authority

The Membership of Science Atlantic must adhere to the details of individual position descriptions, as well as the policies and bylaws of Science Atlantic as they relate to those positions. Individuals within the Membership should recognize their authority and not overstep into the authority of the Executive Director with staff or with external partners. For more information on the job descriptions of specific Membership positions, see Job Descriptions (coming soon).

Treatment of Other Members, Staff, and Volunteers

Science Atlantic is committed to providing an environment of safety and respect for its Membership, volunteers, employees, and participants. The Membership is expected to comply with this Code of Conduct, and in doing so, agrees not to discriminate based on any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination, as outlined by the Canadian Human Rights Act. Discrimination is defined as adverse treatment against an individual or group based on one or more of these grounds.

Communications among the Membership, staff and volunteers should be respectful, constructive and professional at all times.

Furthermore, harassment, interpreted as unwelcome conduct, comment, gesture, contact, or intimidating and offensive behaviour likely to cause offence or humiliation, is not to be tolerated. Harassment may be based on the grounds listed above, or may be personal.

The following are examples of inappropriate conduct that may be in violation of this Membership Code of Conduct:

  • Derogatory or inappropriate comments, teasing, bullying, innuendoes or taunting.
  • Display or circulation of inappropriate, derogatory or offensive written materials, cartoons or pictures.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Physical or verbal abuse.
  • Refusing to communicate, converse or work with an individual.
  • Sexual assault/abuse.
  • Suggestive looks, leering, staring or gestures.
  • Unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances.
  • Reprisal or threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual advance.

If someone within the Membership criticizes the professional work or research of other individuals, including students and other conference participants, such criticism should be fair and should be communicated constructively, respectfully, and professionally. Individuals must also adhere to Science Atlantic’s Student Support Policy.

In order to contribute to an environment free from discrimination and harassment, Science Atlantic’s Membership is expected to treat all people fairly and with dignity. If you are unsure whether a remark, action or written comment may be considered offensive, do not make it.

The Membership is urged to speak up against harassment and discrimination. If you encounter misconduct of any nature, please report the incident immediately. The process for reporting issues of concern is outlined at the end of this Code of Conduct.

Confidentiality

Science Atlantic’s Membership must maintain the highest standards of confidentiality regarding information obtained directly or indirectly through involvement with Science Atlantic. This includes information about volunteers, Board Directors, committee members, member organizations, funders, donors, partners, conference attendees, and employees, as well as projects and initiatives of Science Atlantic. The Membership must avoid inadvertent or intentional disclosure of confidential information through casual or public discussion, which may be overheard or misinterpreted.

Conflict of Interest

Science Atlantic recognizes that there is an inherent conflict of interest for committee members given that they are also members of their home institution. In the case of a conflict in policy between Science Atlantic and the home institution of someone within the Membership, the institution is the overriding authority, and the conflict shall be addressed via the Institutional Representative (the institution’s Dean of Science or equivalent). The institution that a committee member belongs to also has the overriding responsibility for that committee member.

The Membership must act in the best interest of the organization and actively avoid situations where personal interests or relationships interfere with acting in good faith on behalf of the organization. The Membership may not engage in activities that are in conflict with the interests of Science Atlantic, that may negatively impact the reputation of Science Atlantic, or that interfere with job performance. The Membership must disclose any involvement with other organizations, businesses or individuals where such a relationship might be viewed as a conflict of interest. Disclosure should be to the Chair of the Board or the next available authority figure and must occur as soon as is reasonably possible once the conflict of interest surfaces. Written disclosure is preferable; should the conflict of interest surface arise in a meeting, it will be recorded in the meeting’s minutes. The Membership must place the interests of Science Atlantic above personal self-interest in all dealings with Science Atlantic, and may never use information obtained through the Membership for personal gain.

Attendance and Participation

The responsibilities of the Science Atlantic Membership differ according to each position, but in general, individuals within the Membership are expected to attend the meetings required of their positions and maintain active involvement in Science Atlantic and its endeavours. Details on the requirements of specific Membership positions will be available soon. Failure to participate adequately in a Science Atlantic Membership role is considered a form of misconduct. If an individual within the Membership misses two consecutive meetings, the Chair of the Board will discuss options to ensure their active contribution. If a solution cannot be reached, after four missed meetings, that individual will be removed from their position.

If a committee member is not participating adequately, the Chair of that committee should inform a Board Director.
See also: Duty of Care.

Whistleblower Policy

This policy is intended to encourage Board Directors or committee members, employees, volunteers, and others to report suspected or actual occurrence(s) of illegal, unethical, or inappropriate events, behaviours, or practices within Science Atlantic without retribution.

A Whistleblower should promptly report the suspected or actual event, anonymously or not, to either the Executive Director of Science Atlantic or the Chair of the Board of Directors. Should the report concern either or both of the individuals occupying these positions, the report can be made to the Chair of the Policy Overview Committee. The Whistleblower shall receive no retribution for a report that was provided in good faith (that was not done with malice to damage another person or Science Atlantic). Crimes against person or property, such as assault, rape, burglary, etc., should immediately be reported to local law enforcement personnel.

The Executive Director or Board Chair who receives the report must promptly act to investigate and/or resolve the issue. The Whistleblower shall receive a report within five business days of the initial report regarding the investigation of the issue.

The identity of the Whistleblower, if known, shall remain confidential to those persons directly involved in applying this policy, unless the issue requires investigation by law enforcement, in which case members of the organization are subject to subpoena.

Reporting Complaints and Concerns

The chain of reporting a perceived illegal, unethical, or inappropriate occurrence, including a violation of this Code of Conduct, is as follows:

  1. Executive Director (Lois Whitehead)
  2. Chair of the Board of Directors (Christian Lacroix)
  3. If necessary: Chair of the Policy Overview Committee (Brent Myron)

Breach of Policy

Failure to adhere to this Code of Conduct or any of the policies of Science Atlantic may result in disciplinary action ranging from a written notification to dismissal from the organization in the case of Board Directors or committee members. In the latter case, a vote supporting a motion to dismiss by 2/3 of the Board will be required to ratify the decision. If the individual in question is a Board Director, they will not be permitted to vote on the issue of their dismissal. For more information on the removal of individuals within the Membership from their positions, see the Removal of Officers or Directors Policy (coming soon).

As outlined in Attendance and Participation, failure to adequately participate in a Science Atlantic Membership role may result in dismissal from that position.

A violation of Science Atlantic policy may also result in disqualification from the Science Atlantic Hall of Fame and the service pin program, which are only available to individuals within the Membership who are in good standing.

Approved October 2018

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Student Support Philosophy

In accordance with the mission of Science Atlantic, the organization and its Membership are committed to assisting students in promoting their skills and achievements, providing students with valuable opportunities, and ensuring students receive a valuable educational and student experience.

The scope of this Policy includes students in all disciplines supported by Science Atlantic (Aquaculture & Fisheries, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Environment, Nutrition and Foods, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics & Astronomy, and Psychology), and at all levels of study.

While fostering independence and responding to individual student needs, Science Atlantic seeks to support each student in achieving their potential. In accordance with these goals, the Science Atlantic Membership will encourage and support student participation in Science Atlantic conferences.

Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equality

Science Atlantic aims to ensure student activities are diverse and inclusive and participants are not discriminated against by reason of race, religious belief, colour, gender, mental or physical disability, marital status, education level, ancestry, age, place of origin, family status, source of income or sexual orientation. Discrimination is defined as adverse treatment against an individual or group based on one or more of the previously listed grounds.

Bullying, Harassment, and Appropriate Use of Authority

Science Atlantic is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. Organizational representatives will uphold the Science Atlantic Membership Code of Conduct, Communications Policies, and Conference Code of Conduct.

The Science Atlantic Membership and Science Atlantic conference organizers will make every effort to maintain an environment that is free of harassment, even though we do not control the behavior of third parties.

All registrants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, vendors, venue staff, and others in attendance are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct at all venues at Science Atlantic conferences, including public online communications, ancillary events, and official and unofficial social gatherings. Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior is a violation of the Code of Conduct. Falsely reporting unacceptable behavior is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

The faculty-student relationship lies at the foundation of the educational process. As a matter of sound judgment and professional ethics, faculty members have a responsibility to avoid any apparent or actual conflict between their professional responsibilities and personal relationships with students.

Faculty-student relationships are expected to be supportive and have a positive influence on the student’s experience. Comments or actions of a negative, derogatory or discriminatory nature or that are deemed to be in violation of the Code of Conduct and/or Communications Policies will be subject to disciplinary review.

Complaints regarding such comments or actions can be made in writing to the Committee Chair and copied to the relevant Institutional Representative and/or the Executive Director of Science Atlantic within a reasonable period of time after the event. Following a complaint, a resolution or course of action will be determined by the appropriate parties from the the host institution and the institution of the individual making the complaint, in collaboration with Science Atlantic as needed, within 40 days and communicated to the complainant.

Accessibility and Accommodation

Science Atlantic will make reasonable efforts to provide accommodation, as is financially feasible, for students who experience a barrier to participation because of a characteristic protected by human rights legislation. Accommodations are intended to reduce or eliminate barriers to participation in Science Atlantic student conferences. The concept of reasonable accommodation requires a partnership between the individual requiring the accommodation and the conference organizing team, including the host institution. All concerned should be responsible for respecting the dignity and confidentiality of the individual who requests the accommodation.

Student Travel Support

Science Atlantic recognizes the financial challenges of participating in regional conferences and encourages conference organizers to allocate travel funds for students, particularly students from Memorial University and its Grenfell Campus. Additionally, Science Atlantic provides funds as possible for students from Science Atlantic member institutions travelling to a Science Atlantic conference held in Newfoundland.

Awards

An award describes an item of monetary or other value that may be presented to a person or persons based upon specific criteria and administered by the organization, its representatives, an identified sponsor, or a combination thereof.

Science Atlantic will ensure consistency in fundamental award practices and procedures, while allowing committees sufficient flexibility to administer their award programs in a manner appropriate to their individual needs and objectives.

Award eligibility and selection criteria will not include any condition defined as discriminatory under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or Science Atlantic Anti-Discrimination Policy.

Science Atlantic will adhere to its Release of Information Policy regarding the award-related information of conference award winners. This policy can be found here.

Support for Student Conference Organizers

Ensuring only individuals with appropriate approval and accountability are authorized to execute financial transactions and sign contracts is an important part of Science Atlantic’s financial management policies. The host institution, through the conference’s designated faculty advisor, will ensure that students do not act outside the authority they are granted and are not held liable for any legal or financial aspects of a sanctioned Science Atlantic activity. This means that students may not sign contracts on behalf of the organization or the host institution or act as signing officers for a financial account.

Approved October 2018

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Conference Registration Payment and Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Payment

Payment is due in full once you have registered. Please check your registration information for directions on how to pay your registration fee.

A receipt will be issued for payments received.

If you are unable to attend the conference for any reason, you must provide email notice to the conference organizer no later than one week before the conference. If your payment has been received, a reimbursement will be issued within 60 days following the conference.

If you cancel less than one week before the conference, you are required to pay the registration fee IN FULL to cover the costs that the organizers must pay for catering and materials for your participation. You are required to pay the full registration fee regardless of whether you have paid prior to cancelling. If you have already paid, no refund will be issued.

Registration Transfers

If you wish, you may transfer your registration to someone else from within your organization who has not previously registered. This must be done by email to the conference organizer no later than four days before the conference. The email must include both your registration information and the name and contact information of the person who will attend in your place.

Any deviations from this policy are at the discretion of the conference organizer in consultation with the Executive Director.

Approved April 2013

Updated March 2018

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Release of Information Policy

Science Atlantic showcases the award winners at its annual student conferences both online and in print publications such as our Awards Yearbook. This information is available freely online. The majority of people who see these materials are academics, university administrators, and students in Atlantic Canada, as well as people with an interest in science and science education.

When you register for a conference, you will be asked to agree to the following, which outlines our intended use of your information and photos should you be an award winner and/or if your photo is taken when you are attending a Science Atlantic-sponsored event.

* * *

For photographs taken for Science Atlantic, I grant to Science Atlantic:

  • Copyright and/or use of photos for promotion, marketing, and/or educational purposes.
  • Permission to identify me by name, institution, program of study and other similar information.

 

Further, if I am an award recipient, I grant to Science Atlantic:

  • Permission to release my name, institution, presentation title, abstract, contact information and photo to the award sponsor(s) for administrative use.
  • Permission to announce my receipt of the award on the Science Atlantic website and/or in materials including but not limited to newsletters, written reports, brochures, and multimedia presentations and Yearbook.

 

Note: if you do not grant permission to share your photos or award-related information with award sponsor(s) and/or Science Atlantic, it is your responsibility to contact your conference organizer and email your abstention prior to the start of the conference

Approved April 2013

Updated March 2018

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Bilingualism Policy

Science Atlantic is a charitable association of post-secondary and research institutions in Atlantic Canada. Though the region is united through many similarities, each province and institution is unique. Among Science Atlantic institutions, Université de Moncton plays a unique role as the only Science Atlantic institution providing a full spectrum of science degree options in French.

Science Atlantic is committed to ensuring that the organization and its committees are doing their best to make their communications accessible to all Atlantic Canadians. The following language use guidelines have been developed so that all students can access the full benefits of participation:

  • At all conferences, students are encouraged to present in the official language of their choice.
  • A minimum of one French-speaking member is included on the judging panel for student presentations given in French.
  • If a presentation or poster is given in French and there is an evaluation, committees shall provide student evaluation forms in French of comparable quality to the English version.
  • Examples of materials that need not be translated include driving instructions, accommodation information, tourist information, etc., though efforts to translate this information are welcomed.
  • Conference booklets and promotional material such as pins and T-shirts need not be translated, but are encouraged where financially possible.
  • Refer to the Translation policy on guidelines regarding translations.

 

Approved September 2008

Updated April 2013, 2018

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Alcohol Use Policy

Science Atlantic does not endorse student gatherings involving the consumption of alcohol as a predominant activity. This includes but is not limited to “pub crawls”.

Funding from Science Atlantic for student conferences shall not be used to promote, coordinate, or defray the costs associated with such events. The Science Atlantic name, including the wearing of name tags or apparel with the Science Atlantic logo, is not to be associated with such events. These events are not to be publicized via Science Atlantic websites or printed in any Science Atlantic conference material.

Students, of their own volition, are free to organize such events outside the aegis of Science Atlantic. Any student and/or Science Atlantic member choosing to attend such a student-organized activity is advised that he/she does so at his/her personal discretion, not under the umbrella of Science Atlantic.

Approved April 2002

Updated April 2013, 2018

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Diversity Policy

Diversity and inclusiveness shall remain as our fundamental principle in our organizational structure, committee membership, selection of judges, student awards and in the selection of invited speakers.

Science Atlantic is committed to encouraging and supporting event organizers in inviting high quality speakers to present at our events. We strongly encourage event organizers to consider the diversity of invited speakers such that they are inclusive of gender, race, ethnic origin, age, disability, nationality, sexuality, religion, and belief.

By establishing a policy of diversity and inclusion, we hope to inspire all young scientists to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) research and careers.

Approved November 2015

Updated March 2018

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Endorsing/Disseminating Reports and Documents Policy

Please note that there is a difference between a Science Atlantic document and a Science Atlantic endorsed document.

What is a Science Atlantic document?

The document must be commissioned, reviewed and approved by Science Atlantic.

What is a Science Atlantic endorsed document?

  • The document must be reviewed and endorsed by Science Atlantic at the request of the authors/owners of the document or at the request of a body other than the authors/owners of the document (this could include Science Atlantic deciding itself to review a document).

Review and Revisions

  • The way a document is reviewed and approved will be determined by the Science Atlantic Executive.
  • For a Science Atlantic document, the ad hoc reviewing committee may request that the authors make revisions to the document.
  • For a Science Atlantic endorsed document, the reviewing committee may make suggestions for changes or recommend that the document not be endorsed as written.
  • Reasons for requested revisions will be given as appropriate.

Approval

  • A vote by Council or by Executive (if authorized by the Council) will be held to approve or endorse the final version of the document.
  • The reviewing committee will provide its recommendation to the voting body regarding approval or endorsement of the document.
  • The vote may be held at a Council meeting or by email or other communications medium to expedite approval.
  • A vote of approval or endorsement must be three quarters of the voting body (i.e., Council or Executive; NOT three quarters of those present).

Dissemination and Communications

  • When disseminating or announcing any document, the intellectual property rights of the owner(s) of the document will first be determined.
  • Dissemination will vary according to the audience of the report and will be managed by the Science Atlantic Office, unless delegated to another body by the Council. The Office will communicate details of the dissemination to all relevant members of Science Atlantic.
  • A spokesperson will be determined for each document by the Council and/or Executive. All relevant members of Science Atlantic will be made aware of the designated spokesperson prior to the dissemination of information.
  • Generally speaking, communications will come from the Chair of Council or the Executive Director, unless others are designated by Council.

 

Approved by Council April 2003

Revised April 2013

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Funding/Budgeting Policy

Science Atlantic’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31. Budget allocations for committees will be determined by the Board at the beginning of each fiscal year, the amount dependent upon Science Atlantic’s financial resources in any given year.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Student conferences and workshops organized under the auspices of a Science Atlantic committee.
  • Student awards (a certificate and/or cash prize).
  • Science Atlantic speaker tours within the Atlantic Provinces; support is for travel expenses of the speakers. The host institution is expected to cover all local expenses such as meals and accommodations while the speaker is visiting that location. Where necessary, accommodations en route may be covered by Science Atlantic.
  • Travel under specific authorization for designated members of Science Atlantic to attend a meeting as an official representative. Prior approval from the Board must be obtained.

Ineligible expenses include:

  • Honoraria.
  • General travel expenses of faculty from member institutions with the exception of those on Science Atlantic speaker tours.
  • Travel expenses to, or support for, functions of national societies or organizations.

If in doubt, please contact the Executive Director for clarification.

Guidelines for Preparing Budgets for Conferences/Workshops

  • Host institution representative will submit a preliminary conference budget to the Executive Director and Committee Chair no later than six months prior to the conference date.
  • A formal conference budget shall be submitted no later than three months before the conference date.
  • The budget may be submitted by electronic mail and MUST be approved before conference planning and arrangements.
  • After the budget has been approved by the Executive Director, the organizers may request an advance from the appropriate Holding Account, which will be issued by cheque to the Office of the Dean of the hosting institution.
  • Budget should include detailed costing relating to:
    1. Revenue sources including Holding Account funds, registration fees, sponsorships, and donations;
    2. Expenses relating to translation, reception, lunch, coffee/nutrition breaks, banquet, gifts, poster materials, promotional materials, student prizes, student travel, speaker travel, university overhead (if any).

When determining projected revenues and expenses for a student conference, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Registration fees are to be based on actual costs, on a break-even basis.
  • The registration fee for faculty should be higher than the fee for students.
  • Fees are to be approved by the Executive Director as part of the conference budget submitted prior to the event.
  • A conference shall not willingly incur a debt. If a committee’s Holding Account has insufficient funds to cover a shortfall, the Board may cover a committee deficit, but the committee’s allocation will be reduced by an equivalent amount in the following fiscal year.

Conference/Workshop Final Report

Within three months after a student conference/workshop, the final conference report and financial statement should be submitted to the Science Atlantic office by the Conference Coordinator.

Income for the conference collected by the Science Atlantic Office will be withheld until an interim financial report is received by the Executive Director.

For guidelines on how unused funds from Science Atlantic committee activities are to be handled, see the Holding Account Policy.

Guidelines for Speaker Tour Program

The Science Atlantic Speaker Tour Program offers financial support to notable scientists to allow them to travel around the Atlantic region presenting lectures at various Science Atlantic institutions. Costs for the program come from the annual budget of the Board.  Recoverable costs are those incurred while the speaker is travelling between institutions on his/her itinerary.

The Speaker Tour Program is not intended to be used as a supplement to the annual departmental budget of the host institution; rather, it is intended for the benefit of a number of Atlantic institutions. Consequently, each speaker is expected to travel to at least three institutions to present lectures on a Science Atlantic-sponsored tour.

  • After the lectures have taken place, speakers will be reimbursed by submitting their expenses (with original receipts) to the Speaker Tour Coordinator who will, in turn, pass the claim on to the Executive Director for review and processing.
  • Examples of recoverable expenses are:
    • mileage at .44 cents per kilometer (if using a private vehicle)
    • meals while travelling between lecture locations
    • gas and car rental expenses (if using a rental car)
    • accommodations while on the road
    • other reasonable expenses incurred while travelling

Examples of expenses which are not recoverable are:

  • a reception/dinner in honour of the speaker and hosted by the host institution
  • local costs incurred by the speaker (meals, etc., are to be covered by the host)
  • the travel costs of one scientist to visit one university

Procedure for Reporting/Claiming Speaker Tour Expenses

Travel on Science Atlantic business must be approved in advance by the Executive Director or the Board Treasurer.  For speaker tours, travel must be approved by the appropriate Committee Chair and the Executive Director.

For everyone travelling on Science Atlantic business, expenses may be claimed as follows: maximum reimbursement for meals are: breakfast – $10; lunch – $14; and dinner – $24; with a maximum total per day of $48. For private vehicle travel, reimbursement will be at the rate of $.44 per kilometer. Receipts will be required for all expenses over $10.00. For reimbursement of approved expenses, a Reimbursement Form must be submitted to the Science Atlantic office.

Approved April 2002

Updated 2018

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Holding Account Policy

1. Purpose of this Policy

  • To clarify the practices for holding and dispersing funds for committees, conferences and special projects.
  • To maintain responsible stewardship of funding
  • To provide transparency for sponsors, donors, and official review bodies (e.g., Canada Revenue Agency).

2. Types of Holding Accounts

There are three types of Holding Accounts:

i) “Surplus Funds” to hold surplus funds from regular activities (e.g., conferences, lecture tours),
ii) “Special Purpose Funds” to hold funds raised for a specific purpose that has been previously approved by the Executive Director or board, and
iii) “Special Projects Fund” to hold undesignated funds for future projects approved by the Board.

3. Holding Account Management and Reporting

i) Management of Holding Accounts is the responsibility of the Executive Director, in keeping with the organization’s investment and financial policies.

ii) Each Holding Account shall be designated with the Committee’s name or a name signifying the purpose for which the funds are being held.

iii) It is each Committee Chair’s responsibility to provide clear information regarding the source and intent of funds to be held in a Holding Account.

iv) Each deposit shall be recorded in the appropriate Holding Account with its source and/or purpose

v) The current balance and a financial report for a Holding Account shall be provided by the Executive Director in a timely fashion upon request by a Committee Chair.

vi) The balance of each Holding Account shall be made available with the Science Atlantic’s year-end financial statements.

4. Allowable Use of Holding Account Funds

i) General

a. In the case of income thatwas not received for a specific purpose, funds must be used for activities that support the mission of Science Atlantic.

b. If a balance remains after all expenses are paid for a Science Atlantic activity or event, the host institution should be offered the surplus to the maximum of their original contribution, with the remaining surplus deposited in a Science Atlantic Holding Account.

ii) Surplus Funds from Regular Activities

a. A project/event budget must be submitted to and approved by the Executive Director prior to release of funds.

b. Activities and expenses eligible for funding are outlined in the Funding/Budgeting Policy (http://scienceatlantic.ca/about/policies/#FP).

iii) Special Purpose Funds

a. A Special Purpose Holding Account will be created upon submission to the Executive Director of a proposal outlining its purpose.

b. Special purpose funds must be used to support the project approved by the Executive Director and in accordance with the purpose stated to the sponsors/donors when the funds were raised.

iv) Special Projects Fund

a. The Special Projects Fund supports activities that provide benefit across disciplines.  

b. Project proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis and are reviewed and approved by the Board in consultation with the Executive Director.

5. Accumulation and Disbursement of Funds

i) Each Committee may accumulate a Holding Account surplus of up to $7,000.

ii) A request for funds for Science Atlantic activities shall automatically result in first drawing from the balance in the relevant Holding Accounts.

iii) Money held in a Holding Account shall be released upon approval by the Executive Director of an application from a Committee Chair indicating the purpose for which the funds will be used.

iv) Should the Executive Director deem the purpose not fitting with the Science Atlantic mandate or the specifications of the donors, approval from the Board shall be required for release of the funds.

v) If a Holding Account exceeds the maximum indicated 5.i, the appropriate Committee Chair must provide a plan to the Executive Director by July 31 of that year to use the funds to bring the total below the maximum in a way that is consistent with the mission of Science Atlantic. Spending of these funds may be deferred for up to one year with a timeline for use of funds.

6. Holding Accounts in Excess of the Maximum Allowable Balance

i) Each year at fiscal year-end (August 31), all Holding Account balances in excess of the amount stipulated in 5.i will be transferred to the “Special Projects Fund” Holding Account, as outlined in 4.iii.

ii) If a committee would like to use a surplus prior to the year-end transfer to the Special Projects Fund, they must submit a request to the Executive Director as outlined in 5.v.

7. Other

i) Deviation from this Policy requires prior written approval of the Science Atlantic Board.

ii) This policy will be reviewed by the Science Atlantic Board no less than every five years.

Approved by Council April 2010

Revised April 2013

Revised April 2018

Revised August 2020

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Internal Communications Policy

Meetings

  • Regular Council meetings are to be held in accordance with Article 8 of the Science Atlantic Constitution.
  • Council minutes are to be taken by the Executive Director (or someone appointed by the Executive Director or Chair of Council).
  • Council meeting minutes are to be distributed to all Council members within one month following the meeting, via email, the web site or in print format.
  • Committee meeting minutes are to be distributed to all Committee members and to the Executive Director within one month following the meeting, via, email, the committee’s web site or in print format.

Other Internal Communication

  • A periodic update will be placed on the website and notification of the update e-mailed to Council members to keep everyone up to date on events, responsibilities, and the overall progress of Science Atlantic.
  • All e-mail must have a descriptive entry in the subject line.
  • All faxes and email sent to or received from the Science Atlantic Office will be filed and kept in the office for a minimum of one year.
  • Employees, Council members, Committee members, and volunteers are to inform the Science Atlantic Office of all Science Atlantic related matters in a timely fashion.
  • The Council will be notified in a timely fashion by the Science Atlantic Office (if the Science Atlantic Office has been informed) of any information relevant to their affiliation with Science Atlantic that is of importance to the public so that all Council members (and Committee members as appropriate) are able to convey the same information.

 

Approved by Council April 2003

Revised April 2013

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Investment Policy

Introduction

This investment policy statement has been adopted by Science Atlantic Council to provide guidelines for investment of funds held by Science Atlantic. The investment policy statement and any changes thereto are subject to approval by the Council. To manage investment risk and to optimize potential returns within acceptable risk guidelines, the funds held have been divided into two separate investment pools. The two investment pools will be called the “Operating Fund” and the “Investment Fund.” Collectively, the two pools will be referred to as the “Total Fund.”

Scope of this investment policy statement

This investment policy statement reflects the investment policy, objectives, and constraints of the Total Fund of Science Atlantic Council, along with guidelines for managing each of the two investment pools.

Purpose of this investment policy statement

This investment policy statement is set forth by the Executive of Science Atlantic Council in order to:

  1. Define and assign the responsibilities of all involved parties.
  2. Offer guidance and limitations to the Investment Manager regarding the investment of Total Fund assets.
  3. Establish a basis for evaluating investment results.
  4. Manage Total Fund assets according to prudent standards.
  5. Establish the relevant investment horizon for which the Total Fund and how the two separate investment pools’ assets will be managed. In general, the purpose of this statement is to outline a philosophy and attitude which will guide the investment management of the assets toward the desired results. It is intended to be sufficiently specific to be meaningful, yet flexible enough to be practical.
 

Definitions

  1. “Total Fund” shall mean the aggregate of the Operating Fund and Investment Fund assets of Science Atlantic.
  2. “Executive” shall refer to the Executive Committee of Science Atlantic Council.
  3. “Investment Manager” shall mean any individual, or group of individuals, responsible for managing the investments of all or part of the Total Fund assets.
  4. “Securities” shall refer to the marketable investment securities which are defined as acceptable in this statement.
  5. “Investment Horizon” shall be the time period over which the investment objectives for each fund, as set forth in this statement, are expected to be met.
 

Responsibility of the Science Atlantic Executive

The Executive shall oversee the implementation of this Investment Policy. Specific responsibilities of the Executive include:

  1. Defining the investment objectives and guidelines as per this Investment Policy Statement.
  2. Approving the annual allocations to the Operating Fund and the Investment Fund to reflect the Science Atlantic budget, as approved by Science Atlantic Council and any identified investment targets of the Science Atlantic Council.
  3. Reviewing this Investment Policy Statement at least once every three years. As changes are made, the Executive shall notify the appropriate parties.
  4. Evaluating the Investment Manager’s performance based on criteria outlined later in this document.
 

Delegation of authority

The Executive is responsible for directing and monitoring the investment of the Total Fund assets. The Executive is authorized to delegate certain responsibilities to professional experts. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Investment Manager: The Investment Manager has discretion to purchase, sell, or hold specific securities as approved by the Executive or its delegate(s) on behalf of Science Atlantic. These will be used to help meet the Total Fund’s investment objectives.
  2. Executive Director:
  3. Operating Fund: The Executive Director will manage the day to day operation of the Operating Fund within the parameters of the approved budget.
  4. Investment Fund: In consultation with the Investment Manager, the Executive Director will advise Executive of any changes or issues requiring decision or action.
  5. Additional Professionals: Specialists such as auditors, accountants, lawyers and others may be employed by the Executive to assist in meeting its responsibilities and obligations to administer Total Fund assets prudently.
 

The Executive will not reserve any control over investment decisions, with the exception of specific limitations described in these statements. The Investment Manager will be held responsible and accountable to achieve the objectives herein stated. While it is not believed that the limitations will hamper investment managers, each manager may request modifications which they deem appropriate. Modifications must be approved in writing by the Executive.

General investment Principles

  1. Investments shall be made solely in the interest of the Science Atlantic Council.
  2. The Total Fund shall be invested with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the investment of a fund of like character and with like aims.
  3. Investment of the Total Fund shall be diversified among the two distinct investment pools based on the time horizons and guidelines established later in this document.
  4. The criteria for allocating the Total Fund are outlined below:
    1. Operating Fund: those funds required for annual budgeted Science Atlantic expenditures.
    2. Investment Fund: the balance of funds maintained for unforeseen expenditures.
 

Management of investments

Responsibility of the investment manager

The Investment Manager will observe and operate within all policies, guidelines, constraints, and philosophies as outlined in this statement. Specific responsibilities of the Investment Manager include:

  1. Recommending which investment products to buy, sell, or hold, and altering asset allocation within the guidelines established in this statement, as approved by the Executive or its delegate(s).
  2. Reporting, on a timely basis, quarterly investment performance results.
  3. Communicating any major changes to economic outlook, investment strategy, or any other factors which affect implementation or the objective progress of the Total Fund’s management.
  4. Informing the Executive about any qualitative change to the investment management organization on a timely basis. Examples include changes in portfolio management personnel, ownership structure, investment philosophy, etc.
  5. Voting proxies, if requested by the Executive, on behalf of the Total Fund, and communicating such voting records to the Executive on a timely basis.
  6. Once a year, meeting face-to-face with at least one member of the Executive.

 

If, at any time, the Investment Manager believes that any policy guideline prevents them from meeting the performance objectives, or if they believe changing market conditions warrant consideration of revisions, it is the manager’s responsibility to communicate those concerns clearly to the Executive in a timely manner.

Performance goals

  1. Over a market cycle, each actively managed portion of the portfolio is expected to match or outperform its appropriate benchmark and each indexed portion is expected to mirror its benchmark.
  2. Over a three year cycle, the annual rate of return shall exceed the inflation rate.
  3. Three year returns will rank in the top 50% of comparable managed funds or portfolios (in total and by management style), and in no one year will they fall in the bottom quartile of a comparable sample. If the manager does not meet these expectations, the
  4. Executive will perform the appropriate due diligence to determine the reasons for the underperformance. At that time, the manager may be replaced, they may be monitored closely over the next one or two-quarter period, or no action may be necessary.
 

Performance review and evaluation

The investment performance of total portfolios, as well their components, shall be measured against commonly accepted performance benchmarks. Consideration shall be given to the extent to which the investment results are consistent with the investment objectives, goals, and guidelines as set forth in this statement. The Executive will generally evaluate the portfolio(s) over at least a three year period, but reserves the right to terminate a manager for any reason including the following:

  1. Investment performance which is significantly less than anticipated, given the discipline employed and the risk parameters established.
  2. Failure to adhere to any aspect of this statement of investment policy, including communication and reporting requirements.
  3. Significant qualitative changes to the management or goals of the investment Manager’s organization.
 

The Investment Manager shall be reviewed regularly regarding performance, strategy, research capabilities, organizational and business matters, and other qualitative factors that may impact their ability to achieve the desired investment results. The Executive shall report the results of such review to the Council no less than annually.

In the event that the principles in this investment policy statement are not met for reasons including but not limited to market price fluctuations, the Executive will instruct the Investment Manager to bring the portfolio into compliance with these guidelines as promptly and prudently as possible. In the event that the Investment Manager’s portfolio is in violation with its specific guidelines, for reasons including but not limited to market price fluctuations, the Executive expects that the Investment Manager will bring the portfolio into compliance with these guidelines as promptly and prudently as possible without instruction from the Executive.

Investment policy review

To assure continued relevance of the guidelines, objectives, financial status and expectations as established in this statement of investment policy, the Executive will review this, investment policy at least every three years. After review, if changes are needed, the Executive will bring such changes to the Science Atlantic Council for approval.

Operating fund

Investment Pool: Operating Fund
Time Horizon: One Year or Less
Risk Tolerance: Very Conservative

Purpose of the fund

The purpose of the Operating Fund is to provide sufficient cash to meet the financial obligations of Science Atlantic in a timely manner.

Investment objectives

In order to meet its needs, the Science Atlantic Council Operating Fund must emphasize liquidity and preservation of capital. Specifically, the primary objective in the investment management for fund assets shall be:
Liquidity – To ensure the ability to meet all expected cash flow needs by investing in securities that can be liquidated readily and efficiently.

Definition of risk

The Executive realizes that there are many ways to define risk. The Executive defines unacceptable risk for the Operating Fund as:
The probability of not meeting Science Atlantic’s cash flow requirements, and the probability of loss of principal over any time horizon.

Liquidity

To meet the current financial obligations Science Atlantic requires that 100% of the Operating
Fund assets shall be maintained in allowable assets, as outlined below.

Investment guidelines – allowable assets

Daily Interest Account
High Interest Savings Account
Money Market Fund
Federally-insured Guaranteed Investment Certificate
MER: 1.0 % or less
No-load funds, or Deferred Sales Charge (DSC) of 90 days or less

Guidelines for cash and cash equivalents

Maximum maturity for any single security is 1 year. Investments will be made with the intention of holding the security to maturity. This investment policy strictly prohibits the Investment Manager from engaging in any activity that would be considered speculative or that would jeopardize the ability of the Operating Fund to meet its cash flow obligations.

Investment fund

Investment Pool: Investment Fund
Time Horizon: 3-5 Years
Risk Tolerance: Conservative Growth

Purpose of the fund

The purpose of the Investment Fund is to cover expenses occurring as the result of unanticipated activities, to help improve the return on funds held for use over the next three to five years, and to manage investment risk. Investments that have the potential to generate longer–term total returns that offset inflation are encouraged.

Investment objectives

In order to meet its needs, the investment strategy of the Investment Fund is to preserve and moderately increase the real (inflation adjusted) value of its Investment Fund assets over the long term. Specifically, the primary objective in the investment management for fund assets shall be:

Conservative Growth of Capital – To minimize the probability of loss of principal over the investment horizon while aiming to outpace current rates of inflation.

Liquidity – To ensure the ability to meet expected or unexpected cash flow needs, a minimum of 20% of the Fund shall be invested in securities which can be liquidated readily and efficiently without penalty. As part of this, a minimum of 5% of fund assets shall be maintained in cash or cash equivalents, including money market funds or short term guaranteed investment certificates.

Definition of risk

The Executive realizes that there are many ways to define risk. The Executive defines acceptable risk for the Investment Fund as:
The probability of losing no more than 30% of the capital invested over any time period is negligible, under any reasonable assessment of risk.

Liquidity

To minimize the possibility of a loss occasioned by the sale of a security forced by the need to meet a required payment, the Executive will periodically provide the investment manager with an estimate if there is an expected cash requirement from the Investment Fund. The Executive will notify the investment manager in a timely manner, to allow sufficient time to build up necessary liquid reserves.

Investment guidelines – allowable assets

  • Cash Equivalents
  • Money Market Funds
  • Federally-insured Deposits
  • Canadian Government, Provincial or Corporate Bonds (rated A or greater)
  • Exchange Traded Funds
  • Index Funds/Mutual Funds
  • When possible, ethical funds will be considered
  • MER: 2.5% or less
  • No-load funds, or Deferred Sales Charge (DSC) of 90 days or less

 

Investment guidelines and benchmarks

Total fund return evaluation benchmark:
The Executive shall use the following measure to evaluate total return of each fund:

Total return to match or exceed the performance of a public index based upon the permissible asset allocations and investment horizons. The public index shall be selected to be consistent with the three to five year time horizons permissible in this Investment Policy. The Science Atlantic Executive shall approve the public index selected. Annual performance within these parameters is to be considered within acceptable norms.

Approved by Council November 2009

Revised April 2013

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Media Relations Policy

Basic Guidelines

  • The Science Atlantic Office is to be notified of any contact you have with the media so that we may:
  • The spokesperson(s) will be designated by the Executive Director/Chair of Council. The spokesperson(s) will be identified on all news releases with full contact information, and relevant Science Atlantic members will be advised of the person to contact.
  • Each event/issue/news release will be communicated to the media via a spokesperson(s).
  • confirm the response to be given to the media, and
  • track media presentation of Science Atlantic work and comments.
  • If you are asked something you do not know the answer to, say so. Direct the reporter to contact the Science Atlantic Office so that an appropriate spokesperson can be contacted.

Unscheduled Media Inquiries

  • You have the right to accept or decline a journalist’s request for an interview. Ask the journalist for time (even 15 minutes) to contact the Executive Director and discuss the topic and whether it should be redirected to a designated spokesperson.
  • Anything you say to a reporter may be on the record – even in the initial call. It is better to collect your thoughts for at least a few minutes before discussing the topic to ensure you do not say anything you might regret later.

Freedom of Information/Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Legislation

  • A request you may receive for records that cannot be provided through existing procedures becomes a formal FOIPOP access request. The request must be in writing.
  • Any written formal FOIPOP access request must be directed to the Executive Director for action.

Complaints About Media Coverage or Inquiries

  • Any complaints regarding the performance of the media should be made to the Science Atlantic Office rather than directly to the media. The Executive Director will work with the Council Executive to decide how the issue should be handled.

 

Approved by Council April 2003

Revised April 2013

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Privacy Policy

Privacy is important to Science Atlantic. This privacy policy describes how Science Atlantic collects and uses your personal information.

Anonymous web traffic information is gathered upon access to Science Atlantic’s websites including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, pages visited, etc.

Personal information such as your name, email and other contact details may have been voluntarily given to Science Atlantic through conference registration, blog postings, online donations and/or other mechanisms.

Science Atlantic shall never rent, sell, share or otherwise disclose personal information to third parties unless otherwise approved (for example, conference award winner information).

Science Atlantic may contact you from time to time regarding the services you have subscribed to, such as announcing an upcoming conference, notification of updates to a blog you are following, etc.

Please note that information collected by third party service providers (such as newsletter or donation management services) is subject to their own privacy policies. Science Atlantic is not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party service providers.

You may opt out from receiving information from Science Atlantic at any time.  Members will continue to receive information relevant to their position in the organization.

From time to time, Science Atlantic may update this privacy policy by posting a new version on this website. You should check this page to ensure you are familiar with any changes.

For any questions or clarification about this privacy policy or Science Atlantic’s treatment of your personal information, please send us an email.

Science Atlantic
c/o Dalhousie Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
1355 Oxford Street
PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Approved April 2013

Updated March 2018

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Translation Policy

In keeping with its commitment to advancing science and technology and promoting scientific literacy, education, and research throughout the region, Science Atlantic adopted a resolution in 2003 to establish an annual translation budget.

Since language quality is critical to the public image of Science Atlantic, a certified translator or one with substantiated references regarding the quality of their work will be used. The Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council keeps a list of certified translators by province, and can be consulted on the CTTIC website. Committees must contact the Executive Director prior to any commitment to an individual or corporation for translation services.

Science Atlantic will strive to present as much of its web site as possible in both official languages with priorities given to its mission and the services offered to students, researchers, and faculty.

Each fall, the Science Atlantic office will send a reminder of the bilingualism and translation policies to its Committee Chairs and include the following information:

  1. the translation budget allotment for the year,
  2. recommended translators, and,
  3. the process to apply for financial assistance from the annual budget.

 

Approved September 2008

Updated April 2013, 2018

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