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Rhododendron Research Network


Charter Documents  (Revised April 2023)

1. Sub-committee purpose

  1. The Rhododendron Research Network is a sub-committee of the Research Committee of the American Rhododendron Society.
  2. Mission statement: The Rhododendron Research Network (R-RN) is a collaborative working group that enhances participation, value and dissemination of scientific discoveries in Rhododendron, with the express intentions of 1) promoting and enhancing research objectives of ARS, and 2) increasing opportunities for ARS members to conduct community science and gain access to scientific findings on Rhododendron.
  3. Areas of Interest: The R-RN will conduct projects within specific areas of interest, these are listed below.

2. Organization rules and procedures

  1. Guiding documents and their revision: These Charter Documents set out the rules and procedures of the R-RN. This document should be revisited once every five years, or more often as deemed necessary by R-RN leadership.
  2. Code of Conduct:
    1. Research conduct: The R-RN ascribes to, and expects members to abide by, industry standards for responsible research.
    2. Personal safety: The R-RN Policy on Discrimination and Harassment (Appendix 1) outlines expectations for personal conduct among members, procedures for reporting discrimination and harassment, and releases R-RN Coordinator and Working Group Leaders from liability associated with discrimination and harassment arising out of R-RN activities.
  3. Annual reporting: Coordinator will submit an annual report to ARS board of directors on or about April 1 These are archived on the R-RN website for public viewing.

3. Organization structure

  1. Leadership
    1. ARS Research Committee Chair is nominated by The Trustees of the Research Foundation and appointed by ARS President in consultation with the Executive Committee.
    2. ARS Research Chair supervises activities of the Rhododendron Research Network and is the grant program coordinator for the Research Foundation Grant program.
    3. The R-RN Program Coordinators defines Working Groups, and in consultation with ARS appoints Working Group Leaders, and will recruit participants for limited terms to lead or conduct specific activities.
  2. Participants
    1. Criteria for participation: Anyone actively involved in some aspect of Rhododendron research can participate in the network.
    2. Community-based scientists - those not officially affiliated with a research-based organization are recognized as community-based scientists. i.e. people interested in contributing to or conducting research on Rhododendron as a past-time.
    3. Definition of participant: Participation is constituted by adding one's name, research description and contact information to the participant list via the fillable web form.
    4. Participation duration: Participation has no expiration date. Participant information will be retained on the R-RN website indefinitely, but can be removed from the R-RN website at the request of the participant. The leadership of R-RN retains the right to remove individuals from the participant list as deemed necessary.
    5. Membership benefits:
      1. Permission to display contact and information about personal research goals/interests on the R-RN webpage.
      2. Open invitation to promote publications/projects in the newsletter.
      3. Open invitation to take part in activities and events organized by the R-RN.
    6. Participation fees and recruitment: There is no charge to join the network, and ARS membership is not required to join. Membership in ARS is encouraged and promoted via newsletters and other venues where the benefits of ARS membership can be highlighted.
  3. Working Groups
    1. Working Groups are formulated, as needed, by the R-RN Program Coordinator under the supervision of the American Rhododendron Society Research Committee Chair and the American Rhododendron Society Board (ARS) of Directors. There are currently four Working Groups:
      1. Research Resources
      2. Conferences and Networking
      3. Grant Writing and Publications
      4. Community-based Research
    2. Anyone may suggest a new working group for consideration.
    3. Working Group Leaders are appointed by the R-RN program coordinator under the supervision of the ARS Research Committee Chair. Anyone with the following qualifications can apply to be a Group Leader:
      1. A member of the American Rhododendron Society.
      2. A positive recommendation by a current or former R-RN Working Group Leader or another ARS member.
      3. An idea for a specific Working Group Activity
    4. Group Leaders are appointed for 2-year terms, with indefinite possibility of renewal, given satisfactory outcomes of Activities.
    5. There may be more than one Group Leader per Working Group.
    6. Working Group Activities are formulated on an annual basis by the Working Group Leader(s) in collaboration with the R-RN Program Coordinator.
      1. Anyone may offer suggestions for Activities for consideration by Working Group Leader(s).
      2. There may be more than one Activity in a Working Group, and these may be managed in concert or separately.
      3. Working Group Activities are proposed to the R-RN Program Coordinator from July to December for implementation in the following year.
      4. Working Group Activities are shared with and receive feedback from all R-RN Working Group Leaders.
      5. Decisions about Working Group Activities rest with the Group Leader(s) in collaboration with the R-RN Program Coordinator.
    7. Working Group Participants are sought for Activities, as needed, by the Group Leader(s).
      1. Participants may or may not be ARS members.

      Participants are listed on the R-RN website Participant page which will be revised to include their leadership and/or participation in Working Group activities.

      Research Committee and Research Network Working Group Structure

      Research Committee and Research Network Working Group Structure

      Appendix 1. Policy on harassment and discrimination
      The Rhododendron Research Network (R-RN) is intended to foster the exchange of scientific ideas, providing participants with an opportunity to establish/renew collaborations, to learn, teach, and network with a diverse community of professional and citizen scientists. R-RN organizers are committed to creating an environment where everyone can participate without harassment, discrimination, or violence of any kind. All participants must be treated with respect and consideration. Registration for the network is considered an agreement to abide by this policy.

      Harassment of any R-RN associate or participant will not be tolerated, either in person or online. Unacceptable behavior includes (but is not limited to) unwanted verbal attention, unwanted touching, intimidation, stalking, shaming, or bullying. Discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity will not be tolerated. Harassment presented in a joking manner is still harassment and constitutes unacceptable behavior. Retaliation for reporting harassment is also unacceptable, as is reporting an incident in bad faith.

      People wishing to report a violation of this code of conduct should contact the R-RN Coordinator. Incidents of harassment and discrimination are taken extremely seriously. Confidentiality will be maintained unless disclosure is legally required. When a violation is reported, R-RN Coordinator will work with the offended party to identify an appropriate solution. Anyone violating the code of conduct may be: (a) asked to stop, (b) prohibited from participating in network activities, and/or (c) expelled from the network.

      R-RN Coordinator or Working Group Leaders shall not be responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of any R-RN participants, and shall not be held liable for personal injury, property damage, intellectual theft or damage of any kind suffered by the participants in connection with R-RN. By registering as an R-RN participant, each participant acknowledges that they have read this Disclaimer, and expressly releases R-RN and its agents from any and all liability in connection with such activities as provided herein.

      The R-RN Coordinator reserve the right to enforce this policy in any manner deemed appropriate. Establishing this policy is intended to prevent incidents of harassment, discrimination, and violence, and to maintain the high quality of scientific discourse that our participants should expect.


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