Terms of Reference

Revised Terms of Reference
(CERN/SPC/313/Rev.6)

Introduction

  1. Pursuant to Article V, paragraph 12, of the Convention, the Council established a Scientific Policy Committee (SPC) at its first Session in October 1954. Since then, the terms of reference and composition of the SPC have steadily evolved.
    This document defines the new terms of reference and composition of the SPC.

Terms of reference

2. The terms of reference of the SPC shall be as follows:

(a) to make recommendations to the Council on the priorities of research programmes and the allocation of research effort both within the Laboratories of the Organization and extramurally;
(b) to examine annually the medium-term plan which defines the objectives and activities of the Organization for the following five budget years, and to make recommendations to the Council in that regard;
(c) to assess annually the achievements of the Organization with regard to the annual goals set for the previous year;
(d) to advise the Council from the point of view of scientific policy on the management and staffing of the Organization, including the programmes concerning the fellows and associated members of the personnel as well as senior staff appointments by the Council;
(e) to advise the Council on any other matters which affect the scientific activities of the Organization.

Membership

  1. The SPC shall consist of two categories of members:
    (a)  The appointed members shall be individuals with the highest standing in the scientific community.
         They shall be appointed by the Council on the recommendation of the SPC.
         Their number shall reflect the range of expertise required for the SPC, as defined by the Council.
         They shall act ad personam and not as representatives of their countries.
     Their term of office shall be three years, normally renewable once. Reappointments for further periods shall be exceptional.

    (b) The ex-officio members shall be the following:

          - the Chairmen of the CERN Experiments Committees and of the major Machine Advisory Committee;
          - the Chairman of the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA).
    They shall act ad personam and not as representatives of their committees.
    The Council may decide to add other ex-officio members on the recommendation of the SPC.

     

Chairmanship

  1. The SPC Chairman shall be appointed by the Council on the recommendation of the SPC, normally from among the current appointed members.
    The term of office of the SPC Chairman shall be one year, renewable for not more than two consecutive periods of one year.

Selection procedure for the appointed members

  1. The SPC shall establish its recommendations to the Council for the appointed members taking into account the range of expertise to be covered by the SPC, as defined by the Council, and according to the following procedure:
    (a) The SPC shall maintain a confidential rolling long-list of at least twenty candidates. Each candidate shall normally remain on the long-list for a maximum period of three years. The Council Scientific Delegates may suggest to the SPC members names to be included in the long-list.
    (b) Each time it is necessary to replace an appointed member, the SPC shall draw up a short-list for this position based on the aforementioned long-list. In the event of equal qualifications, preference should be given to candidates whose membership would reduce under-representation of, for example, a geographical or gender nature.
    (c) For each position, the SPC shall then conduct a secret ballot to select the candidate to be recommended by the SPC for appointment by the Council.
    (d) The candidate to be recommended for appointment by the Council must obtain the support of at least two-thirds of the SPC members present and voting (abstentions not counted).
    (e) All recommendations to the Council for new appointed members shall be accompanied by a list of the current appointed members specifying their terms of office and fields of expertise.

Selection procedure for the Chairman

  1. Each time it is necessary to select a new Chairman, the SPC shall first draw up a short-list from among but not limited to the current appointed members.
    The SPC shall then conduct a secret ballot to select the candidate to be recommended by the SPC for appointment by the Council.
    The candidate to be recommended for appointment by the Council must obtain the support of at least two-thirds of the SPC members present and voting (abstentions not counted).

SPC Meetings

  1. The SPC shall meet at least five times per year. The SPC meetings can be held in the following three modes:
    (a) Normal: presentations of, and discussions on, scientific issues and the activity plans of the Organization.
    Attendance:
    - the SPC members;
    - the President of Council, the Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Director-General;
    - the Scientific Secretary of the European Strategy Session of Council;
    - any other person invited by the SPC Chairman to attend all or part of the meeting, as appropriate;
    - the Council Scientific Delegates, as SPC observers.

    (b) Restricted: discussion of proposals concerning CERN senior staff to be appointed by the Council; selection procedure for membership and chairmanship of the SPC; information on the outcome of deliberations held in closed mode.
    Attendance:
    - the SPC members;
    - the President of Council, the Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Director-General;
    - the Scientific Secretary of the European Strategy Session of Council.

    (c) Closed: discussions on issue(s) proposed by the SPC Chairman, for example assessments on scientific issues and the activities of the Organization.
    Attendance:
    - the SPC members.

  2. The meetings are minuted.

Decision-making process

  1. Except in the cases specified in paragraphs 5 (d) and 6 above, the SPC shall take its decisions by simple majority of its members present and voting (abstentions not counted). Consensus is desirable.

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