This version of the Constitution was accepted by membership April 2011 and subsequently approved by the Research Committee of the RGS-IBG. The Postgraduate Forum of the RGS-IBG was established in 1984, and the Constitution was previously updated in January 2001.
Introduction to the Postgraduate Forum
The Postgraduate Forum (PGF) is a ‘branch’ of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and must satisfy the aims and policies of the Society, including Equal Opportunity policy, and the legal Charity Commissioner requirements.
The aims of the PGF are to:-
- represent postgraduates and their interests in Council and other relevant Committees of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and, to an extent, in the wider circles of academia
- foster communications, both formal and informal, among postgraduates
- provide information about the Society, events, learned activities, funding, and other information that may be relevant to postgraduates
- offer support and opportunities for postgraduates to further develop their professional skills and credentials.
Duties of the PGF
The PGF must deliver an Annual Report which includes a summary of activities and statement of accounts to the Society demonstrating that these aims and policies are being adhered to, normally by the 31st January each year.
Membership of the PGF
Membership of the PGF shall be open to all Fellows (including Postgraduate Fellows) of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) who elect to join the Research Group, but shall never be less than forty. All Postgraduate Fellows that join the RGS-IBG automatically become members of the PGF and their details will accordingly be passed to the PGF for this purpose.
Membership of the PGF is free of charge to postgraduates. The RGS-IBG allocates an annual budget to the PGF. Other interested persons who are not Fellows of the RGS-IBG may also join the PGF free of charge by contacting the PGF directly.
The business of the PGF shall be conducted by a Committee of no less than three members. Specified roles within the Committee include the following:-
- Conferences Co-ordinator(s)
- Website Co-ordinator(s)
- Ordinary Member(s)
Each of these roles shall be undertaken by Postgraduate Fellows of the RGS-IBG and elections will occur on an annual basis.
Ordinary Members will be allocated Committee activities at the discretion of the Chair, for example: moderating the PGF mailing list, coordinating social events, supporting the Mid-Term Conference, and supporting PGF involvement in the RGS-IBG Annual Conference. In the spirit of the PGF, volunteers may also be co-opted from the PGF membership or host institutions for the Mid-Term Conference to further support PGF activities.
Committee members may stand for subsequent terms up to a maximum of four years and individuals may hold more than one position, the only exception being that the Chair and the Secretary may not concurrently perform the role of Treasurer. Serving committee members are especially encouraged to stand for the position of Chair to ensure continuity.
Elections to the Committee will be held at the Annual General Meeting. Members will be informed in writing or by email 30 days prior to the AGM of all vacancies to be filled. Formal handover by current incumbent to the newly elected will take place in June each year, after the RGS-IBG Annual General Meeting, enabling a handover period of approximately three months.
Nominations for Committee membership will be accepted both before and during the AGM. The outcome of any elections to Committee Positions and/or Annual Mid-Term Conference Host Candidate Departments will be publicised to the Membership.
The Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting shall normally be held at the Annual Mid-Term Conference.
Changes to the Constitution
The constitution can be changed only by two-thirds majority vote of those present at an Annual General Meeting, provided that the membership has been individually notified of the proposed changes in writing or by email at least 30 days in advance.
Termination of the PGF
The PGF may be terminated only in accordance with the rules of the RGS-IBG.