The purpose of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) is to promote basic and applied scientific research on all aspects of biological rhythms. Activities related to this purpose include disseminating important research results and educating the general public about biological rhythmicity; developing and enhancing the education and training of students and researchers in this field; fostering interdisciplinary communication by convening conferences, publishing meritorious scientific articles, and employing other appropriate methods of communication (such as a website and Newsletter); and engaging in other conduct consistent with the Corporation’s purpose.
Priorities: The SRBR has limited resources, and therefore it must make decisions about the dispensation of funds on the basis of its priorities. Its priorities for the use of funds are (1) to provide a biennial international meeting and (2) to support the Journal of Biological Rhythms. A goal of SRBR Executive Committees in the past has been to build the financial base of SRBR so as to provide a “nest egg” of financial security in case a problem occurs, such as an event that prevents the biennial meeting from being held as planned. Therefore, it has been the policy of the SRBR to be cautious and measured about dispensation of funds that are not directed towards one of these two priorities.
Types of activities for which financial support may be provided by SRBR
- Support for SRBR trainee members to attend biological rhythms-specific educational events, including conferences, workshops, and summer schools, as long as the event does not replicate or overlap with activities of SRBR. This can be in the form of a fellowship to cover part of the travel expenses to the site of the event, or complete or partial reimbursement of registration fees. Funding is to be provided to the event organizers for distribution to trainees. Note that SRBR can only fund activity organizers, not individuals.
- Support for a biological rhythms-specific educational event within a larger event, where the financial support is requested specifically for logistic items independent of supporting the attendance of trainee members (i.e. that could not be addressed by 1, above).
- Support for educational or communication activities that do not involve travel or registration of people, but which benefit the educational objectives of SRBR, for example the creation of a web resource or the organization of web-broadcasted conferences.
Required components of funding requests
The following information is required from organizers of the external activity:
- Who is organizing the event or leading the activity: as applicable, members of organizing committee, supporting organization(s), etc. SRBR can only fund activity organizers, not individuals.
- Description of any involvement of SRBR or SRBR members in decision making for the event or activity.
- Budget and funding sources of the event or activity.
- In the context of the budget described above, justification of the need for SRBR support.
- Preliminary program and scope of the event or activity.
- In case of an event, description of the expected attendance (number, origin, positions, and background of the attendees).
- Description of the expected benefits for SRBR members of SRBR support for the event or activity.
- Upon completion of the activity, SRBR shall receive a financial statement indicating how the SRBR funds were used.
Procedure for the consideration of requests for funding
Any request for funding needs to include the elements listed in the previous section, and should come from an investigator not sitting on SRBR Board of Directors. The request is then discussed at a meeting or a conference call of the SRBR Board of Directors (excluding any Board member who might be in conflict of interest from the portion of the meeting or conference call where the request is discussed). The following aspects will be considered in order to evaluate the request and reach a decision. None of these items is sufficient in itself to justify contribution by SRBR. A request complying with many of them will be considered worthy.
- Does the state of current finances of SRBR allow to fund the event or activity? In any case, even when the request for funding is well justified and judged as high priority, the capacity of SRBR to use funds for external activities/events is a prime criterion, and financial participation of SRBR should not be committed if budget is tight or if internal society activities require the funds. In any case, the contribution can only be modest, compared to priority expenses of the Society (see discussion of priorities in the first section, above).
- How will SRBR and its members benefit from an event or an activity? This should be judged with respect to the objectives of SRBR. It should not replicate or compete with what SRBR already does on its own. Increasing contacts between SRBR or SRBR members and potential collaborators or representatives of funding bodies is a positive point.
- Will it increase exposure and awareness for chronobiology in researchers/trainees of other disciplines and/or in the general public? Since SRBR cannot fund all biological rhythm related events, there should be an advantage to SRBR in the activity, either benefitting to the members, bringing more researchers to SRBR conferences or to membership, etc.
- How will the activity or event complement other SRBR-sponsored activities/events? There should not be significant overlap. Instead, the proposed activity/event should bring something new, that is not offered to SRBR members otherwise.
- Priority should be given to events that are not sponsored by or attached to a particular institution. Educational institutions (e.g. universities, research institutes) have their own objectives and activities, and should be responsible for them. SRBR support should be limited to events that serve a broad community and, while they may be hosted by an individual institution or location on each occurrence, are perceived as being independent of that institution.
- Are there historical precedents? While being a secondary criterion, previous cases of support of external activities or events by SRBR can serve as a guide for what could be an acceptable or worthy participation by SRBR.
Approved by SRBR Board of Directors, August 24, 2012.