ISRHML By-Laws

Section Titles:

 1 OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN MILK AND LACTATION, INC.
 2 MEMBERSHIP IN THE SOCIETY.
 3 THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY.
 4 COMMITTEES.
 5 TRAINEE INTEREST GROUP (TIG)
 6 THE MACY-GYORGY AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN MILK AND LACTATION.
 7 THE EHRLICH-KOLDOVSKY EARLY CAREER AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN MILK AND LACTATION.
 8 LIFE MEMBERSHIP.
 9 FINANCES.
 10 GUIDELINES FOR ACCEPTING FUNDS FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES.
 11 AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS.

1. OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN MILK AND LACTATION, INC.

The objectives of the Society, a non-profit organization, are to:

  1. Promote excellence in research on all aspects of human lactation including the composition of human milk and the effects of human milk/breastfeeding upon the infant or the mother.
  2. Disseminate information on current research in the field.
  3. Organize international meetings on appropriate topics at timely intervals.
  4. Establish and maintain liaison with other organizations or groups that share mutual interests including but not limited to other academic/research societies, relevant governmental agencies, and, public health authorities.
  5. Aid other organizations in their educational efforts concerning topics of mutual interest.
  6. Foster the development of and recognize outstanding scientists in the field of human milk and lactation.
  7. Recognize members who have made an outstanding contribution to the objectives of the Society.

2. MEMBERSHIP IN THE SOCIETY

  1. Full Membership. Full membership is open to the following individuals.
    1. Investigators with a doctoral degree or equivalent experience and a proven research record in the fields of human milk and lactation. Their application will identify at least two original research publications that pertain to human milk or lactation in peer-reviewed journals.
    2. Professional individuals who hold public policy-making positions that pertain to human milk or lactation. Their application will identify at least two publications that pertain to public policy decisions regarding human milk or lactation.
  2. Associate Membership. Associate Membership is open to individuals with at least a baccalaureate degree or equivalent who specialize in research, education, or clinical practice related to human milk or lactation. Associate members receive all correspondences sent to the full membership of the Society, but associate members do not have voting privileges. When associate members have met the requirements of full membership, they may request full membership status.
  3. Trainee Membership. Trainee Membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are participating in research related to human milk/breastfeeding or lactation. Trainee members receive all correspondence sent to the membership of the Society. However, trainee members do not have voting privileges except for voting on members of the Trainee Interest Group (TIG) governing committee. When trainees have met the requirements of associate or full membership, they may request a change in membership status from the Executive Committee. The Membership Committee will evaluate Trainee Membership eligibility on a regular basis to ensure that trainees who graduate are moved to a different membership category based on membership requirements.
  4. Emeritus Membership. Upon retirement from professional appointments or duties, members of the Society will be eligible for emeritus status. Two members of the Executive Committee will nominate individuals for Emeritus Membership. Nominations will be made on the basis of an individual’s research contribution and service to the Society. Nominations must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Emeritus members will enjoy the rights of full members but will not be required to pay annual dues.
  5. Selection Process. The Chair of the Membership Committee will screen membership applications. If applicants meet the criteria for membership as outlined by the by-laws of the Society, the Chair shall propose acceptance of the application to the two members of the membership committee. If no objections are raised by either members, the applicant will be accepted and informed. If the Chair determines that the applicant does not meet eligibility as outlined by the by-laws of the Society, or an objection is raised by a member of the membership committee, the Chair shall forward the application to the Executive Committee for a final decision by a simple majority vote, usually to be taken within two weeks, and the applicant will be informed of the outcome of the application. Trainee Membership eligibility will be evaluated by the Membership Committee, on a regular basis, usually annually.

3. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY

The affairs of the Society will be governed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the Society will be composed of 13 voting members: the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President and 8 Councilors who collectively represent the following disciplines: anthropology, bioactive factors in milk, epidemiology, immunology, lactation physiology, mammary gland biology, nutrition, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology. At least two voting members should be from outside the United States. In addition to the 13 voting members, the President of the Trainee Interest Group (TIG) will participate on the Executive Committee as a nonvoting ex officio member. The President of the Society, or in his/her absence the President-Elect, will convene a face-to-face meeting of the Executive Committee at least once each year prior to the Society’s annual business meeting. In addition, Executive Committee conference calls will be held at least quarterly as determined by the President of the Society. A quorum of the committee will be a simple majority of 7 voting members. Actions based on conference calls may be adopted if all voting members of the Executive Committee on the conference call approve of the action(s).

  1. Functions of the Executive Committee
    1. Membership. The Executive Committee will approve nominations for full, associate, trainee, and emeritus membership status.
    2. Biennial International Scientific Meeting of the Society. The Executive Committee will have general responsibility for the international scientific meeting including selection of the site, theme, and program. The International Scientific Meeting should occur approximately every 2 years or as determined by the Executive Committee.
    3. Annual Business Meeting of the General Membership: The Executive Committee will organize at least one general business meeting of the membership annually. These meetings will be held at the International Scientific Meeting and/or at other locations as determined by the Executive Committee.
    4. Communication. The Executive Committee will have general responsibility for making sure pertinent information is provided to the membership.
    5. Ad Hoc Committees. The Executive Committee will appoint ad hoc committees to deal with special issues. Ad hoc committee chairs will report directly to the Executive Committee. The President of the Society, if not already a member of an ad hoc committee, may communicate with the ad hoc committee to monitor progress.
    6. Special Awards. The Executive Committee will select recipients for the Macy-Gyorgy Award and the Ehrlich-Koldovsky Early Career Award.
    7. Visioning. The Executive Committee will recommend to the membership any activities or changes in the structure of the organization that are appropriate for meeting its objectives.
  2. Election of Councilors to the Executive Committee. Councilors will be elected by an annual ballot of the full members from a slate of nominees selected by the Nominating Committee. At least two individuals will be nominated for each open councilor position. The ballot will be made available to the full members by January 15. Election results will be announced by February 15. The two or three candidates (depending on the election cycle) receiving the highest number of votes will take office on April 1 and serve until March 31 for a total of three years. If for any reason a councilor vacates the position during his/her term, the nominee with the next highest number of votes (third or fourth runner up) in the most recent election ballot will be invited to serve the remainder of the term. If this person is not available, the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.
  3. Officers. The officers of the Society will consist of a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The President will serve for two years and cannot be re-elected. The President-Elect will serve for two years, after which he/she will become President. The Secretary and the Treasurer will serve for three years and can be re-elected for an unlimited number of terms. When a new Treasurer or Secretary is elected, the past officer may participate as a nonvoting ex officio member of the Executive Committee for one additional year if deemed desirable by the Executive Committee.
    1. Selection of Officers. The Nominating Committee will select at least two candidates for President-Elect. If the Secretary or the Treasurer is running for re-election, a write in ballot may be utilized in place of a second-named candidate if none is identified. The ballot will be made available to the full members by January 15. Election results will be announced by February 15. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes will take office on April 1 and serve until March 31. If a serving councilor is elected to be an officer, the councilor nominee with the next highest number of votes (third of fourth runner up) in the most recent election ballot will be invited to serve the remainder of the term. If this person is not available, the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term. If for any reason an officer is unable to complete his/her term, a replacement officer will be appointed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee to complete the term.
    2. Duties of the President. The President is responsible for ensuring that the society’s governance is consistent with the most recently approved bylaws and writing/updating the Operations Manual when necessary. The President, or in his/her absence the President-Elect, will also preside at annual meetings of the general membership and Executive Committee; organize quarterly conference calls of the Executive Committee; chair the Awards Committee; and oversee the preparation, distribution, and summarization of ballots for votes for changes in the bylaws.
    3. Duties of the President-Elect. The President-Elect will assist the President in his duties as needed; chair the Nominating Committee; coordinate the ballot for elections to the Executive Committee and TIG Governing Committee, oversee its distribution to the membership, serve as election teller, inform successful and unsuccessful nominees of the election results, and announce the election results to the general membership. The President-Elect will also chair or co-chair the organizing committee of the next international scientific meeting that would typically occur during his/her presidency.
    4. Duties of the Past President. The immediate Past-President will remain as a member of the Executive Committee to provide continuity and assistance as needed to the officers.
    5. Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer will oversee annual dues collections; prepare and propose an annual budget for approval by the Executive Committee; and manage the Society’s funds. This includes securing insurance policies for international meetings and liability coverage for the Executive Committee if asked to do so by the President. The Treasurer will present financial reports at the annual Executive Committee and general business meetings of the Society and give updates to the Executive Committee as needed throughout the fiscal year. The Treasurer will be responsible for filing the required annual financial report to the US Internal Revenue Service; this responsibility requires the Treasurer to be a US citizen.
    6. Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary will chair the Membership Committee and receive the initial applications for membership; maintain an updated membership list; and keep and distribute the minutes of annual business meetings and Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary will be responsible for oversight of communications to the general membership of the Society; this includes oversight for the maintenance and updating of the website. The Secretary will also be responsible for maintaining a repository of past documents pertinent to the Society’s operation and activities.

4. COMMITTEES

  1. Nominating Committee. The nominating committee will be chosen at the annual meeting of the Executive Committee to nominate replacements for the Society officers and councilors as required by the By-Laws. The Committee will be chaired by the President-Elect of the Society. Two other members at large who are not members of the Executive Committee will be appointed by the Executive Committee as members of the Nominating Committee. The members of this committee will not be eligible for election to the Executive Committee.
  2. Membership Committee. This committee will be chaired by the Secretary and constituted by 2 additional full members as appointed by the President. The Membership Committee will screen membership applications, forward materials from eligible applicants to the Executive Committee, communicate with applicants as to the outcome of their application, and advise the Society on issues related to membership. The Membership Committee will determine if new members from developing countries are eligible for reduced dues payments and evaluate Trainee Membership eligibility on a regular basis.
  3. Organizing Committee for Biennial International Scientific Meetings. In general, the international meeting will be held every 2 years. Depending on availability of appropriate sites, an attempt will be made to hold the international meeting at variable locations around the world. The selection of the site and the Organizing Committee for the international scientific meeting will be approved by the Executive Committee at least two years before the meeting. The Organizing Committee will be chaired by the President-Elect, include the Treasurer and a local site coordinator, and will serve until that meeting is concluded. The Organizing Committee is tasked with broad oversight of all aspects of the meeting, including the budget, fundraising, site-specific logistics, and the scientific program. The committee will provide periodic updates to the officers or the Executive Committee as appropriate, regarding progress and difficulties encountered in organizing the international meeting. The Executive Committee will approve the overall theme of the meeting and may assist in developing the scientific program as requested by the Organizing Committee.
  4. Awards Committee. The Awards Committee will be chaired by the President and constituted by 2 additional full members as appointed by the President. The committee will oversee the solicitation of applications for the Macy-Gyorgy and Erhlich-Koldovsky Awards and the awards ceremony for these awards at the biennial scientific meeting.
  5. Trainee Oversight Committee: This committee will work with the Trainee Interest Group (TIG) to organize trainee-relevant activities at ISRHML’s annual and biennial scientific meetings, explore additional activities related to advancing training related to human milk and lactation, and bridge communication between trainees and other ISRHML members and committees. The Trainee Oversight Committee will be chaired by the TIG President and will also consist of the TIG Secretary, 3 trainees-at-large (voted on by the trainees), and 2 full member-advisors. The two full member-advisors will be appointed for 2-year terms by the President of ISRHML.
  6. Additional Standing Committees. Formation of additional standing committees is a By-Laws change and requires a majority vote of the membership.
  7. Other ad hoc Committees: Additional ad hoc committees may be formed by the Executive Committee as necessary. Members of ad hoc committees will be determined by the Executive Committee but may include ISRHML members not currently serving on the Executive Committee.

5. TRAINEE INTEREST GROUP (TIG)

  1. Purpose. The purpose of the Trainee Interest Group (TIG) is to help foster the academic and professional growth of ISRHML trainees.
  2. Membership. Every trainee member of ISRHML can become a member of the TIG.
  3. TIG Governing Committee. The TIG Governing Committee will include a President, Secretary, and 3 trainees-at-large voted on by the trainee members. Each member of the TIG Governing Committee will serve a 2-year term.
    1. Selection of the Governing Committee. The TIG President, Secretary, and trainees-at-large will be elected by a ballot of the trainee members. If possible, at least two individuals will be nominated for each open position. Elections will be facilitated by the ISRHML Nominating Committee, and candidates can be self-nominated or nominated by other ISRHML members. The ballot will be made available to trainee members by January 15. Election results will be announced by February 15. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes will take office on April 1 and serve until March 31 for a total of two years, and can be re-elected for an unlimited number of terms. If for any reason a member vacates the position during his/her term, the nominee with the next highest number of votes in the most recent election ballot will be invited to serve the remainder of the term. If this person is not available, the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.
    2. Duties of the TIG President. The TIG President will serve as an ex officio nonvoting member of the ISRHML Executive Committee, chair the Trainee Oversight Committee, convene and chair quarterly meetings of the TIG Governing Committee, and oversee activities of the TIG.
    3. Duties of the TIG Secretary. The TIG Secretary will be responsible for overseeing general communications to ISRHML trainee members and keep and distribute the minutes of TIG meetings to the Executive Committee and trainee members of the Society
    4. Duties of the TIG Trainees-at-Large. The TIG trainees-at-large will, as needed, assist the TIG President and TIG Secretary with all activities organized by the TIG.

6. THE MACY-GYORGY AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN MILK AND LACTATION

  1. Purpose. The purpose of this biennial lifetime achievement award is to honor individuals who have made outstanding, original scientific contributions to the study of human milk and lactation.
  2. Qualifications. The awardee will be a senior scientist whose work has been recognized internationally and whose papers have appeared in excellent peer-review journals. Although membership and participation in the Society may be reasons for consideration, they are not essential criteria. Active members of the Executive Committee are not eligible for the award.
  3. Nomination Process. A candidate will be nominated by two members of good standing in the Society. The nomination will consist of primary and seconding letters of nomination that detail the qualifications of the candidate, the curriculum vita of the candidate, and three of the most significant research publications from the nominee. These documents will be sent to the President of the Society at least six months before the international scientific meeting of the Society.
  4. Selection of the Recipient. The Awards Committee will recommend nominees to the Executive Committee. The selection of a recipient will require a majority affirmative vote from the Executive Committee.
  5. Nature of the Award. The award will be a plaque and/or certificate from the Executive Committee indicating the significance of the award. The recipient will be invited to attend the next international research meeting of the Society; travel, lodging, and registration for the awardee will be paid for by the Society. The recipient will be introduced by the nominator and presented the award from the Society by the President.

7. THE EHRLICH-KOLDOVSKY EARLY CAREER AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN MILK AND LACTATION

  1. Purpose. The purpose of this biennial award is to recognize early-career investigators who have begun to make outstanding, original scientific contributions to the study of human milk and lactation.
  2. Qualifications. Nominees will be at the junior faculty level or will hold a similar position that includes independent research responsibilities. They will have obtained their Ph.D. or M.D. degree within the last 10 years. Their work will have been published in excellent peer-reviewed journals and will be beginning to be recognized internationally. The work in question will be due primarily to the efforts of the nominee and not to efforts of mentors or other colleagues. It is not required for nominees to be members of the Society.
  3. Nomination Process. A candidate will be nominated by a Society member in good standing, who may be a mentor or a senior colleague of the nominee. A nominator may be a current or past member of the Executive Committee. A nomination will consist of the curriculum vita of the candidate, the most significant research publication from the nominee, and a letter of nomination that details the qualifications of the candidate. These documents will be sent to the President of the Society three to six months prior to the meeting where the award is to be presented. In addition, the candidate must have an abstract accepted for either an oral or poster presentation at an International Scientific Meeting.
  4. Selection of the Recipient. The selection of a recipient will require a majority affirmative vote by the Executive Committee members who are in attendance for the presentation of the their research at the International Scientific Meeting.
  5. Nature of the Award. The award will be a plaque and/or a certificate from the Executive Committee indicating the significance of the award. The recipient will be introduced by the nominator (if she or he is in attendance), and the award presented by the President of the Society at the international scientific meeting at which the awardee presented his/her abstract. If funds are available from the society’s general fund, a travel grant will be given to defray the costs of attending the meeting; the amount of this grant will be determined by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Treasurer at the time the awardee is selected.

8. LIFE MEMBERSHIP AWARD

  1. Purpose. The purpose of this award is to recognize full members of the Society who have made an outstanding contribution to the objectives of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation.
  2. Qualification. The awardee must be as a senior full member of the Society. Active members of the Executive Committee are not eligible for the award.
  3. Nomination Process. Two full members of good standing in the Society will nominate a candidate. The nomination will consist of primary and seconding letters of nomination that detail the outstanding contribution that the member has made to promote of the objectives of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation. These documents will be sent to the President of the Society six months before the International Scientific Meeting of the Society.
  4. Selection of the Recipient. The selection of a recipient will require a majority affirmative vote from the Executive Committee.
  5. Nature of the Award. The award will include a framed certificate from the Society indicating the significance of the award and a waiver of all subsequent annual membership dues. The recipient will be invited to attend the next International Scientific Meeting of the Society to receive the award. The nominator will introduce the recipient and the President will present the award. If funds are available from the society’s general fund, a travel grant to defray the costs of attending the meeting may be supplied to the awardees.

9. FINANCES

  1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Society will run from April 1 of one year to March 31 of the following year.
  2. Annual Budget. An annual budget will be prepared and presented to the Executive Committee for approval at the beginning of the fiscal year. Upon joint approval of the Treasurer and President, other minor expenses may be paid up to a total of $500 per year without Executive Committee approval. Any additional expenses incurred that are not included in the annual budget need prior approval by the Executive Committee.
  3. Dues. Annual dues will be collected from each member by the Treasurer. No dues will be collected from emeritus members or those who have received a Life Membership Award. Reduced fees will be collected from members living or working in developing countries as overseen by the Membership Committee. No dues will be collected from one primary international conference organizer (local site coordinator or designee) for three years following the conference he/she organized.
  4. Change in Dues. Based upon the recommendations of the Executive Committee, any change in the amount of the annual dues must be approved by a majority of those voting on a ballot sent to the full membership.
  5. Accounting. There shall be an annual fiscal report to the Executive Committee by the Treasurer of all funds that are collected as dues or donations to the Society, and of all funds distributed for meetings or other events held under the auspices of the Society.
  6. Discretionary Expenditures for Officer Travel. When requested, the Society may pay the costs of travel to Executive Committee meetings for officers when this is deemed appropriate and approved by the Executive Committee.

10. GUIDELINES FOR ACCEPTING FUNDS FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES (adopted 1996)

  1. Background
    1. The ethical issues that are of concern to an organization established for the purpose of furthering the science practiced by its members include:
      1. Ethical principles in the reporting and dissemination of research results
      2. The ethical conduct of research
    2. There are certain ethical issues that lie outside of the purview of an organization established for the purpose of furthering the science practiced by its members. These include:
      1. The non-scientific conduct of its members
      2. Larger ethical issues of society that do not impinge on the ethical issues within the purview of the scientific organization. These larger issues may be of concern to many, even a majority of the membership, but should be addressed through other forums.
    3. A scientific organization may choose to make explicit the principles they collectively agree to with respect to one or more of these issues.
    4. Funding for scientific research and for the presentation of research results comes from many sources with different conditions attached to accepting the funding.
    5. Thus, one important issue for policy is sources of funding.

    ISRHML depends for many of its activities on governmental and private funds to complement the funds provided by membership fees. ISRHML proposes the following guidelines to accept funds over and above those derived from membership fees:

  2. Guidelines for accepting funds to complement the funds provided by membership fees.
    1. Funds will only be accepted to do those activities for which ISRHML is constituted (see Bylaws).
    2. Funds will not be accepted if they threaten the ethics under a-(i) above. In particular, funds that:
      1. Set condition above the inferences to be drawn from research by members of ISRHML.
      2. Set any conditions about the views to be presented in any ISRHML forum (including views of non-ISRHML members).
      3. Restrict the dissemination of any information about or from an ISRHML activity.
      4. Restrict acceptance of funding from other sources.
      5. Entail any obligation to support in any way the goals of the funding organization, except for those goals that are mutual with ISRHML for the specific activity funded.
      6. Could, through other kinds of coercion, result in conditions listed above. This is a possibility if:
        • ISRHML depends on funds for essential activities from one source, or from a group of sources that could together exert coercion.
        • ISRHML does not have clear guidelines that are part of the initial contract with the donor about what may be expected from the ISRHML activity.
        • ISRHML accepts to undertake any effort for a donor outside of those agreed upon at the time of the donation.
      7. Could be misconstrued to endorse the donors or their products. This includes funds to advertise donors or specific products of the donors.
  3. Implications
    1. ISRHML should seek funding from as wide a variety of donors relative to their objectives.
    2. ISRHML will make these policies clear to donors before accepting donations.
  4. ISRHML will acknowledge all sources of funding whether for an individual speaker or a particular session at all functions under its auspices.
  5. ISRHML acknowledgment of donors will follow the following format.
    “ISRHML gratefully acknowledges the unrestricted underwriting of all conference costs provided by the following foundations, agencies and organizations: […] Acceptance of these funds does not imply endorsement of the donor or its products.”

11. AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

Changes in the bylaws of the Society are first proposed by the Executive Committee. The proposed amendments are subject to approval by a majority of those voting on a ballot sent to the full membership before they are promulgated. Results of the by bylaws ballots will be communicated to the general membership by the President.

Last revised: March, 2015

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