The American University of Beirut (AUB) is a private, independent, non-profit institution of higher learning, functioning under a charter from the State of New York. Its mission is to enhance the education primarily of the peoples of the Middle East, to serve society through its educational functions, and to participate in the advancement of knowledge.
The Nature Conservation Center includes AUB academics who are committed to explore and develop biodiversity related economic opportunities through multidisciplinary research activities. The center’s mission is to create an enabling environment to explore and develop economic opportunities associated with the sustainable use of the biodiversity existing in the region, relying primarily on biotechnology and multidisciplinary approaches.
The name of this committee shall be The Nature Conservation Center Research and Patent Committee.
The objectives of this Committee shall be:
To cultivate research activities that lead to patentable innovations;
To assist members in the filing of patents;
To assist, when necessary, in the equitable subdivision of shares to a patent among individuals within a working group;
To submit inventions on behalf of members, through University channels;
To ensure the implementation of the Research and Patent Committee Terms of Agreement (Appendix A);
To perform a scientific review of manuscripts of articles intended for peer review and publication in scientific journals, to prevent the disclosure of confidential information.
Review of proposals: the Research and Patent Committee reviews all proposals for sponsored research projects or programs before submission to the Office of Grants and Contracts, checking for conformance to and University policies, as well as sponsor guidelines. Review criteria reflect those of the Faculty Research Committee, and include:
The substance and merit of the proposal, including the academic appropriateness of the proposed research or other sponsored activity;
The verification that the proposal format complies with sponsor guidelines;
Requirements for space and facilities;
The verification that all budgeted costs reflect sufficient resources and costing detail to accomplish the project, as well as the objectives and tasks included in the proposal; the verification that indirect costs are provided for, that all items are realistically estimated, and that items included are not contrary to the policies of the center, the University or the sponsor;
The identification of special conditions requiring further review such as the use of human subjects, animal use, radioactive material, radioactive drugs, intellectual property rights, and patent rights;
Checking the correctness of the filled out application and sponsor agency requirements.
Selection of Research and Patent Committee Members and Terms of Office
Membership in the Research and Patent Committee is open to any AUB faculty member who is a Full or an Associate Member of the center.
The Research and Patent committee shall consist of 6 members including the Chair
All members can nominate themselves. The Executive committee should recruit nominations from the members for all positions.
Members serve a (renewable) three-year term. Terms of the Executive Committee members shall be staggered on a rotational basis with 2-3 members changing each year.
Election of Officers
The election of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary shall take place at the first meeting of the Research and Patent Committee every year, or immediately after a vacancy occurs. Officers shall serve one-year terms and may be re-elected.
Duties of the Chairperson of the Patent Committee
The Chairperson of the Research and Patent Committee shall preside over meetings of the Committee, and enforce the Bylaws. The Chairperson shall oversee the formation of subcommittees, based on recommendations by the Committee, and shall be an ex-officio member of any subcommittee organized by them. The Chairperson is a non-voting member on matters coming before the Patent Committee, except as a tie-breaker.
Duties of the Vice Chairperson
In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall act in his or her place. A new Vice Chairperson shall be elected at the first meeting of each year.
Duties of the Secretary
The role of Secretary shall be filled by one of the Research and Patent Committee members or by a hired research assistant. The Secretary shall attend all sessions of the Research and Patent Committee and act as a clerk thereof and keep a record of minutes of all proceedings and all actions and recommendations of the Committee in books to be kept for that purpose. The minutes of the Research and Patent Committee meetings shall be made available to the members. Minutes should be edited to ensure confidentiality. In the absence of the Secretary, a volunteering member of the Research and Patent Committee shall take his or her place.
All issues should be resolved by consensus. In the event where a consensus cannot be reached, the matter at hand shall be referred to the Executive Committee, who shall select appropriate resources to resolve the issue in question.
Procedures, Expenditures and Reporting
The Research and Patent Committee shall develop working procedures including an annual meeting.
The Research and Patent Committee, when required, shall request funding from the Executive Committee to cover possible expenses.
Meetings and Records
Section 1. Written notice of meetings shall be given to all members of the Research and Patent Committee, and shall include the agenda, date, and time of the meeting. The agenda shall be prepared by the Chairperson. Members may raise issues to be placed on the agenda, in which case the Chairperson shall present the issues in question at the meeting.
Section 2. Meetings shall be held at least twice a year, or at the call of the Chairperson of the Research and Patent Committee, or as often as required for the proper planning and implementation of specific activities.
Section 3. Members attending by telephone or teleconferencing shall be considered present at meetings of the Committee.
Section 4. All business of the Research and Patent Committee shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise provided.
Section 5. Minutes shall be kept for all the meetings and shall be mailed to the members of the Research and Patent Committee before the meeting for their review.
One more than 50% of current Research and Patent Committee members (excluding ex officio members) shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of meeting and conducting business.
Conflict of interest
Research and Patent Committee members shall declare any conflict of interest publicly and for the record at the Committee meeting at which a particular issue is considered, and shall excuse themselves from that meeting while the Committee discusses the issue in question.
Amendments to Bylaws
The bylaws shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of those present, and shall be reviewed when necessary. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be sent to all the Patent Committee members at least thirty (30) days in advance of a scheduled meeting. Discussion of proposed amendments shall appear as a separate item on the meeting agenda. Passage of amendments shall require a unanimous vote of a Research and Patent Committee quorum as defined above.