1. Name and status
The name of the group shall be Defence Research Network (DRN) and has the legal status of an unincorporated association.
The DRN is a collection of interdisciplinary Masters, PhD and early career researchers, focused on a variety of defence, security and military related topics in relation to policy, strategy, history, culture and society. As a network, we strive to build professional connections to aid individual development, support each other in research and topic related issues, and bring together like-minded researchers, supported by senior academics.
The goals of the DRN are:
a. Community. Provide a community and a professional network where members can share ideas, foster collaboration, communicate about events, benefit from support and feedback, and be inspired and energized through interactions with their peers.
b. Collaboration. Provide a platform through which researchers and public and private-sector organisations can meet and establish new ties, with a view to fostering collaboration.
c. Practice. Help ECRs and PhDs work through the practicalities of their research by providing a platform for the sharing of methodological experiences, ethical considerations and experiences, and working the practical applications of the knowledge, methods and tools for research in these fields.
d. Career Development. Help members to pursue and develop their careers through mentoring by senior academics and external collaborators.
e. Bridging the Gap. Reach across artificial divisions between Masters students, postgraduate researchers and early career researchers as well as between academia and external organisations.
Membership currently takes the form of signing up to our mailing list (which includes GDPR appropriate privacy notifications) but will remain under review. Members may cease their membership by unsubscribing from the mailing list at any time.
Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further events or to resign from the group if an apology is not given or the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the management committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.
4. Equal Opportunities
The DRN will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, marital status or age.
5. Officers and committee
The business of the group is currently carried out by a voluntary Committee with positions assigned internally. An election will be held at the next Annual General Meeting to elect committee members and determine the Co-chairs.
The Committee will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year. The election will determine the committee members and then the following roles will be assigned by the Committee:
● Co-chairs, who shall chair both general and committee meetings (who will serve for two years and be replaced on alternative years for continuity).
● Secretary, who shall be responsible for the administration of the committee.
● Website manager, who shall be responsible for maintaining the website.
● Social media manager, who shall be responsible for the social media presence in particular Twitter.
● Collaborations lead, who shall coordinate with external agencies.
● Events manager, who shall be responsible for logistical preparations ahead of events.
● Newsletter manager, who shall be responsible for maintaining the mailing list and preparing the newsletter for distribution.
A treasurer, who shall be responsible for maintaining accounts, will be nominated if the group finds itself holding money.
In the event of an officer standing down during the year a replacement will be appointed by the Committee.
Annual General Meetings
An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM.
All members will be notified in writing at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time. Nominations for the committee may be made to the Secretary before the meeting, or at the meeting. The quorum for the AGM will be 10% of the membership or 10 members, whichever is the greater number.
At the AGM:
● The Committee will present a report of the work of DRN over the year.
● The Committee will present the accounts of DRN for the previous year (if the group holds any money).
● The Committee members and Co-chairs for the next year will be elected.
● Any proposals given to the Secretary at least 7 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.
Special General Meetings
The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the committee or at least eight other members giving a written request to the Chair or Secretary stating the reason for their request.
The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of the request. All members will be given two weeks notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post. The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 10% of the membership or 10 members, whichever is the greater number.
Committee meetings may be called by the Chair or Secretary and may be held in person or remotely. The quorum for Committee meetings is three Committee members.
7. Rules of Procedure for meetings
All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to. If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the chair of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote.
The DRN does not currently hold any funds. Should the need arise to hold funds a treasurer will be nominated and an account established. The account will be maintained on behalf of the Association at a bank agreed by the committee. Three cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee (one to be the Treasurer). The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household.
All payments will be signed by two of the signatories.
● For cheque payments, the signatories will sign the cheque.
● For other payments (such as BACS payments, cash withdrawals, debit card payments or cash payments), a requisition note will be signed by two signatories, and held by the treasurer.
Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting.
All money raised by or on behalf of DRN is only to be used to further the aims of the group.
9. Amendments to the Constitution
Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.
Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.
Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.
If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the group it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group.
If it is agreed to dissolve the group, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation. The organisation will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.
This constitution was agreed by the Committee on 2/12/2019. You are able to view the signed constitution here.