SSRLUO Executive Committee Charter

SSRLUO | Committee Members | Committee Meetings 

A. Overview

The purpose of the SSRL Users' Organization (SSRLUO) is to provide an organized framework for interaction between the scientists who use the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) for their research and the SSRL and SLAC management, as well as to provide a channel for communication with other national laboratories, funding agencies, and the public in general. The SSRLUO shall advise the SSRL Director and the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on matters of interest to users. Responsibility for the SSRL and the research programs carried out at the SSRL resides with the SSRL Director.

The SSRLUO is broadly concerned with representing the interests of the SSRL users. The SSRL Users’ Executive Committee (SSRL UEC) is the formal organizational unit of the SSRLUO.

The UEC communicates the needs and desires of users regarding operating policies, use of the SSRL, user support, and other relevant issues of concern to those engaged in research at this facility. The SSRL management will engage SSRLUO in discussions regarding current and/or future strategic plans for the facility to ensure evaluation of user interests and the most efficient and optimal utilization of the facility.

The UEC members are elected by the SSRLUO, and they meet several times each year to carry out the business of the SSRLUO. The UEC coordinates periodic surveys to obtain user feedback and suggestions, and they organize an annual Users' Meeting which provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of recent user developments and experimental results as well as future plans.

The UEC represents SSRL to numerous constituencies and coordinates activities with representatives from other user facilities to promote awareness and public support for user facilities and more broadly for basic sciences in the United States.

B. Organization

1. Membership

The SSRLUO membership will be comprised of all scientists who are interested in research at the SSRL, including students, staff, and all researchers who have used the SSRL facilities in the past or plan to use the facilities in the future.

2. Standing Committees

a. The SSRL Users' Executive Committee (SSRL UEC) is charged with conducting the day-to-day business of the SSRLUO. The UEC shall consist of at least 17 individuals representing the broad techniques and disciplines which comprise the SSRL user community, including 3 representatives from materials/chemistry, 2 from environmental/geosciences, 2 from biospectroscopy/bio SAXS, 3 from macromolecular crystallography, 1 from ultrafast science, 1 from industry, 1 postdoctoral associate (in any discipline) and up to 4 student representatives (in any discipline). Candidates for open UEC positions shall be solicited from the SSRLUO each summer, and a ballot with candidate biographies will be distributed to the SSRLUO each fall during the Annual Users’ Meeting. UEC representatives will be elected by majority vote of the SSRL user community. UEC members serve for a three-year term, beginning immediately after the Annual Users’ Meeting.

The Chair and Past Chair of the LCLS Users’ Executive Committee (LCLS UEC) will be invited to serve in an Ex Officio capacity on the SSRL UEC, and the Chair and Past Chair of the SSRL UEC will be invited to serve in an Ex Officio capacity on the LCLS UEC to facilitate awareness of synergies and coordination of activities between the user facilities.

The SSRL User Research Administration Manager will serve as Liaison to the SSRL UEC, in a non-voting capacity. Additional non-voting, ex officio members of the SSRL UEC may include representatives of the SLAC users’ organization and representatives from the SSRLUO appointed as representatives of broader user outreach groups such as SSURF, NUFO or SNUG; these representatives will be invited to SSRLUO meetings to facilitate information flow among user groups at  other national laboratories.

b. The UEC may appoint other subcommittees comprised of UEC or SSRLUO representatives as it deems appropriate.

3. Officers

a. The Chairperson of the SSRL Users' Executive Committee shall also serve as Chairperson of the SSRLUO. The Chairperson's term of office shall be for 1 year. Under normal circumstances the Vice Chairperson automatically become the Chairperson beginning immediately after the annual users’ meeting. To assure continuity and to realize benefit from the experiences gained as an officer of the UEC, the Chairperson shall continue to serve on the UEC for two additional years after concluding their term as Chairperson in the role of Past Chair. The Chairperson shall serve in an ex officio capacity on the SSRL Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and the LCLS Users’ Executive Committee (LCLS UEC).

b. The Vice Chairperson of the SSRL Users' Executive Committee shall also serve as Vice Chairperson of the SSRLUO. The Vice Chairperson shall stand in for the Chairperson if he or she is unavailable and shall assist the Chairperson in the discharge of his or her duties. His or her term of office shall be 1 year, upon expiration of which term he or she shall assume the position of Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson, along with SSRL and LCLS scientific staff appointed by the SSRL and LCLS Directors, shall co-chair the annual users’ conference. The Vice Chairperson shall be elected by the Users' Executive Committee from among its members by majority vote. The nominations and elections shall normally take place within two months of the annual users’ meeting either at the next UEC meeting, during a phone conference call, or electronically via email or internet polls.

C. Meetings

1. A general meeting of the SSRLUO will be held annually. The annual users’ conference will be co-chaired by the Vice Chairperson of the SSRL UEC along with the LCLS UEC Vice Chair, and SSRL and LCLS scientific staff appointed by the SSRL and LCLS Directors.

2. The Users' Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairperson to transact all such business as shall be required between general meetings of the membership of the SSRLUO, usually 3-4 times a year. The meetings shall normally be held at SLAC in Menlo Park, California, but other sites may be selected by the UEC including virtual meeting space and conference calls. Except under unusual circumstances, notice of meetings shall be given to the membership three weeks in advance. An agenda for each meeting shall be provided by the UEC in advance of meetings. During the meeting, SSRL management and staff may be invited to discuss the current status and future developments of the SSRL, and the SSRLUO will have an opportunity to add walk-in items to the agenda at the discretion of the Chairperson. All users are invited to participate in UEC meetings, and sessions are generally open (closed session for executive committee discussions will be announced when necessary).

D. Procedures

1. Notes or minutes of meetings shall be recorded by the SSRL Liaison and shall include a brief summary of the discussions and results of the meeting. After circulation and approval by the Chairperson and the committee, SSRL UEC meeting minutes shall be made available to the SSRLUO by posting them on the Internet.

2. In the event that a position on the UEC should be vacated before expiration of its term, the committee shall appoint a member of the SSRLUO to fill the vacant position.

3. The UEC shall advise the Director of the SSRL with regard to the membership of relevant committees that may be established. The SSRL Director shall keep the UEC advised of proposed changes in the operation of the SSRL and of future plans; the committee shall bear responsibility for making appropriate recommendations to the SSRL Director regarding such matters, including future directions, major equipment, and changing user needs.

4. The UEC will work with members of other SLAC or LCLS user committees to facilitate communications and coordination of activities in areas of mutual interest.

5. The UEC can appoint representative(s) from the SSRLUO to serve as their liaison to broader user outreach groups such as the “Society for Science at User Research Facilities” (SSURF), and/or other user advocacy groups. The appointed representatives do not need to be a current member of the UEC and, at the discretion of the UEC Officers, can serve for multiple years in order to maintain and enhance the experience and representation of the SSRLUO in general educational efforts promoting the importance and impact of the user research.

6. Amendment to this charter may be suggested by any member of the SSRLUO. The actual changes are to be discussed and ratified by the UEC.

E. Awards

1. The UEC has primary responsibility for the selection of the Farrel Lytle Award recipient.

a. The Farrel W. Lytle Award was established in 1998 by the SSRL Users’ Organization to promote important technical or scientific accomplishments in synchrotron radiation-based science and to foster collaboration and efficient use of beam time among users and staff at SSRL.

2. Representatives of the UEC will participate with SSRL scientific staff in the selection committees for the William Spicer Young Investigator Award, the Melvin Klein Scientific Development Award, and the Joe Wong Outstanding Student Poster Awards, which are presented during the annual meeting.

a. The Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award was established in 2006 by the SSRL Users' Organization in memory of Melvin P. Klein (1921-2000). The Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award honors a pioneer at the forefront of accomplishments in NMR, EPR, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy who was dedicated to the pursuit of the structure of the Mn complex characterized by the interplay of these methods.

b. The William E. and Diane M. Spicer Young Investigator Award was established in memory of William E. Spicer (1929-2004), was an esteemed member of the international scientific community as a teacher and researcher in electrical engineering, applied physics and materials science. Bill spent the past 40 years as a professor at Stanford where he pioneered the technique of ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy and its subsequent expansion into the use of synchrotron radiation. In 1972, Bill together with Sebastian Doniach founded the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project (SSRP) which evolved into today's SSRL. He was a prolific author with over 700 works and the recipient of many honors and awards including the Lifetime Mentor Award by the AAAS in 2000, reflecting his tireless effort on the behalf of under-represented minorities and women. Though retired for some years, Bill continued to actively advise students at SSRL up until his death. In honor of his many professional and personal contributions to our community, SSRL and the SSRL Users' Organization established the William E. Spicer Young Investigator Award in 2004. The award was modified in 2009 to accept additional donations to acknowledge and honor Diane M. Spicer, who passed away in April 2009.

c. In 2016, the SSRL Users' Executive Committee (SSRL UEC) created the Joe Wong Poster Awards to promote multi-disciplinary interactions among the lightsource user community, to recognize the best poster presentations at the Annual Users' Conference, and specifically to help students in preparing for their science careers. The poster awards are open to users of both the SSRL and LCLS based on research results from either facility. Awards will be given to the most exciting, novel and compelling science as presented during the poster session. The poster competition will be judged by members of the SSRL UEC, LCLS UEC, the Users' Conference Organizing Committee, and scientists from either facility to cover the broad scientific areas represented by the user community.

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