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NLBKA Research Committee

 Members:

Peter Armitage, Dr. George Carayanniotis, Dr. Barry Hicks, Gerard Smith, Dr. Steve Walsh

Contact:

Research Committee
Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association
429 Windgap Road,
Flatrock, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, A1K 1C4

 email research@nlbeekeeping.ca

NLBKA research priorities (pdf version)

Click here for a pdf version of the Research Committee's Terms of Reference and Modus operandi

Research Committee Terms of Reference

 Whereas the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association (NLBKA) requires research related to honey bees, wild pollinators, and beekeeping in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to facilitate understanding of domestic populations of Apis and non-Apis pollinator species and to promote sustainable beekeeping in the province;

Be it resolved that the NLBKA hereby establishes a research committee called the “Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association Research Committee” (the “Research Committee”) with the following Terms of Reference.

 Purpose

 Duties include:

  1. developing a terms of reference, objectives and list of topics and issues of importance to  beekeeping and the health of native bees in Newfoundland and Labrador;
  2. developing priorities for these programs and identifying parameters for the research by working with the province and educational institutes in the province.

 To assist the NLBKA Board of Directors (the “Board”) in the following matters related to research on honey bees, wild pollinators and beekeeping:

  1. provide strategic technical and scientific advice to the NLBKA with respect to honey bee, wild pollinator, and beekeeping issues;
  2. identify research topics and priorities, and facilitate honey bee and native bee research efforts; and
  3. organize symposia, an online data archive, workshops, conferences, seminars and other activities involving scientific research related to honey bees, wild pollinators, and beekeeping.

Membership

Membership in the Research Committee is open to members in good standing of the NLBKA.  At least one member of the Research Committee (“Member”) shall be a member of the Board, and this person shall act as the Chairperson of the Research Committee.

There is no limit to the number of NLBKA members who may be members of the Research Committee.

No member of the NLBKA shall be a member of the Research Committee without the approval of the Board. The Board may remove or replace members of the Research Committee at any time at its discretion.

Accountability

Members with a conflict (or who think they may have a conflict) must disclose the conflict/potential for the conflict of interest to the Research Committee.  Members will recuse themselves from committee deliberations and are prohibited from voting on any committee decisions in which there is a conflict of interest. Should that person be the Chair, he or she may designate an alternate (neutral) member to chair the meeting or a portion thereof, upon consent of the majority of members.

The Research Committee will, in general, communicate with the Board through its Chairperson, however, should it be necessary  to present (speak or write) to the Board on a specific research topic then the Committee Chair can be accompanied by a member(s) possessing the relevant expertise.

All symposia, workshops, conferences, seminars, research and other activities planned by the Research Committee shall be approved by the Board.

Individual Research Committee Members have a responsibility to notify the Committee of any significant communications they intend to engage in as individuals to government or other entities. Members are expected to exercise their best judgment with respect to communications.

The Research Committee shall not communicate with the news media without the approval of the Board.

The Research Committee can at any time request the Board for a change in its Terms of Reference.

Meetings

The Research Committee shall communicate and meet informally by way of e-mail, telephone, face-to-face meetings and other means to discuss and plan activities related to its purpose.  It shall communicate the content of its discussions and planning to the Board through its Chairperson and, when necessary,   shall be accompanied by other member(s) of the Research Committee during the meetings of the Board or by other means.

Quorum

No business matters shall be transacted at any meeting of the Research Committee unless a quorum of Members is present. The presence of fifty-percent (50%) plus one of the number of Members at the meeting, in person, or by telephone/conference call shall be a quorum. Business matters can be discussed via email but still require a quorum of responses for decisions to be made.

The Research Committee will reach decisions on the basis of consensus to the greatest extent possible.  However, where consensus cannot be reached, a vote of the members shall be taken, and a decision will be made on the basis of a majority vote.  The Chairperson shall have only one vote. Where there is a tie vote, the matter will be referred to the Board for resolution.

Research Committee Modus Operandi

The following describes the manner in which the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association’s (NLBKA) Research Committee (RC) will conduct its affairs in keeping with its Terms of Reference (TOR).  The RC is not a scientific peer review body; that is the responsibility of institutional and funding bodies, and subject to the ethics protocols of these same bodies. Nonetheless, the RC encourages prospective researchers of NL bees to submit their Expression of Interest proposals to the RC for review prior to sending them to funding agencies. A letter of support/endorsement from the NLBKA may provide “social license” to researchers, and facilitate their access to NLBKA members should their involvement in the proposed research be required. Furthermore, a letter of support could assist researchers in their efforts to secure funding.  Should it be necessary, the NLBKA/RC may work cooperatively with researchers with respect to some types of joint funding (e.g., NGO, government funding, etc.).  Where possible, the RC could also facilitate networking among researchers, and provide access to beekeeping expertise especially for researchers with little if any beekeeping experience.

The intent of the RC is to review each Expression of Interest proposal to ensure that the research is credible and ethical, and that the methods and results will be public domain, after which the RC will make its recommendation to the NLBKA Board with respect to supporting or not supporting the proposed research.

Calls for Expression of Interest proposals

According to its TOR, one of the purposes of the RC is to “identify research topics and priorities, and facilitate honey bee and native bee research efforts.” Recognizing the importance of research to the advancement of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) bee health and beekeeping, the NLBKA RC would like to call annually for Expression of Interest proposals  for research  related to NL honey bees and wild pollinators.  RC calls for Expression of Interest proposals will be made in December for the next calendar year.  The RC will acknowledge receipt of Expression of Interest proposals immediately, and will provide a formal response to the submitting researcher(s). In its annual call for proposals, the RC will state the research priorities of the NLBKA and invite researchers to develop Expression of Interest and funding grant proposals in line with these priorities.

RC protocols and processes will be transparent. The TOR, names of RC members, research priorities, and other relevant documents will be published on the NLBKA website.

The RC will prioritize Expression of Interest proposals whose research methods and results will be in the public domain and free of patent restrictions. The RC is not inclined to support proprietary research the methods and results of which cannot be shared with the entire research and beekeeping communities.

Confidentiality

The RC TOR says that “[m]embers are expected to exercise their best judgment with respect to communications.”   Nonetheless, deliberations concerning proposals submitted to the RC will be confidential in keeping with best practices for ethical, scientific peer review. Submissions may form part of the RC permanent records.  By submitting information electronically, researches accept that any personal or sensitive data may not be fully secure.

Conflict of interest

The RC TOR states that “[m]embers with a conflict (or who think they may have a conflict) must disclose the conflict/potential for the conflict of interest to the RC.  Members will recuse themselves from committee deliberations and are prohibited from voting on any committee decisions in which there is a conflict of interest. Should that person be the Chair, he or she may designate an alternate (neutral) member to chair the meeting or a portion thereof, upon consent of the majority of members.”  This means that RC members who make submissions to the RC must recuse themselves from committee deliberations.

Submission Guidelines

Expression of Interest proposals (summary of the proposal, curriculum vitae, and a cover note highlighting relevant experience) should be made to:

Research Committee
Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association
429 Windgap Road,
Flatrock, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, A1K 1C4

email research@nlbeekeeping.ca