RENALMRI.org aims to be the go-to place for researchers active in the field of renal MRI world-wide, organising a bi-annual international meeting, providing links to other groupings active in the field, and maintaining up-to-date lists of resources for researchers and other stakeholders in renal MRI. The network is informal, but a minimal governance structure is set up to ensure sustainability and continuity.
RENALMRI.org is led by an elected Governing Committee consisting of a Past Chair, a Chair and a Vice Chair.
On 1 january of each year, the Past Chair rotates off the Governing Committee, the Chair becomes Past Chair, the Vice Chair becomes Chair, and a newly elected Vice Chair comes in. Hence joining the Governing Committee entails effectively a 3-year commitment. This mechanism ensures continuity and transfer of knowledge to the new Vice Chair in the first year of their role, while the Past Chair remains available to support the current Chair as needed.
Election of the Vice Chair
The Vice Chair is elected by the RENALMRI.org members from among the current RENALMRI.org members. Any member of RENALMRI.org can self-nominate to be placed on the ballot, and every year in October the current Governing Committee organises an electronic vote among the members of RENALMRI.org. The candidate with the highest proportion of votes will be the new Vice Chair.
RENALMRI.org promotes and supports diversity in its leadership along the dimensions of gender, professional background, and country of work. While it may not always be feasible to achieve a perfect balance in any individual Governing Committee, the expectation is that the Committee membership over the years presents a balanced picture. RENALMRI.org members will be asked to consider that during their vote but hard requirements are not imposed.
RENALMRI.org has an open membership which consists of all participants listed in the database and the mailing list. Anyone interested can become a member by a simple request to the Chair of the Governing Committee. A member can unsubscribe in the same way by notifying the Chair.
Responsabilities of the Governing Committee
The Chair of Governing Committee, supported by the Past Chair and the Vice Chair, should accept the following responsabilities:
Maintain the website renalmri.org and its content. This includes (but is not limited to) removing obsolete content or inactive groupings, keeping lists of resources up to date, or responding to update requests from members. This also includes reformatting the website as necessary and find the funding required for hosting the website.
Send a quarterly RENALMRI.org newsletter detailing the activities in the community, important events, job opportunities, new initiatives, etc.
At each bi-annual meeting on renal MRI, ensure that a committed organiser is identified for the next meeting, and work with the organiser to advertise and disseminate the meeting. Current members of the Governing Committee can adopt the role of organiser, but the aim should be to identify an organiser outside of the Governing Committee.
Maintain the membership list and organise elections of a new Vice Chair as laid out in this governance document.
Beyond these minimal activities the Chair would also be expected to lead on new activities that grow and develop the RENALMRI.org community, for instance by leading collaborative grant proposals or creating new task forces that address unmet needs, follow up on activities in other societies and workgroups in the field (ESUR, EDTA, ISMRM, etc), or update the existing resources such as consensus papers.
Changing this governance policy
Any member of RENALMRI.org can propose a change or modification of these governance procedures. After a period of public consultation, the Governing Committee will organise an electronic vote on submitted change requests among the members. The modification will be adopted when more than two thirds of the voting members support it.
This governance structure was discussed on the last management committee meeting of PARENCHIMA (COST Action CA16103) and during the 4th bi-annual meeting in Renal MRI (Lisbon/Philadelphia) and was finalised after a one-month period of open consultation. It was adopted by the membership of the founding network PARENCHIMA after an electronic vote showed unanimously support by 68 voting members.