NextGen Association Bylaws

Article 1: Name, Purpose, Membership

  1. Name: NextGen (short for Next-Generation) Association for Postdocs and Graduate Students (“NextGen” and “NGA”)
  2. Purpose: The NextGen Association serves to enrich the training experience for academic trainees at Broad. In this capacity, NextGen, in collaboration with the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA), sponsors social and community-building activities, implements professional development activities to meet the unique needs of this community (elaborated below), and serves as a liaison and representative between its members (defined below), Broad leadership, and the wider trainee community. The Association does not engage in collective bargaining.
  3. Membership: All Broad-affiliated postdoctoral associates, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students are eligible to be members of NextGen. This group shall include postdoctoral scholars and graduate students working in Institute Member or Associate Member labs at partner institutions, regardless of effort/hours spent at Broad. Postdoctoral scholars at the Forsyth Institute are also eligible to be members.
  4. Uniqueness of the Trainee Community at the Broad: a)Duration and progression: The trainee position has a limited duration, typically two to six years, over the course of which they are expected to scientifically and professionally mature towards a more advanced role. b)As a “training” position, support is required to foster clearly defined career progression into a diverse range of career paths.
  5. Organizational Structure a)The NextGen Association operates within the Broad Institute Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) and is administered by members of the OAA. b)The OAA is the administrative liaison to the NextGen Association and serves as staff to the Association. The OAA provides guidance and logistical support to the Association. c) The Association is led by two (2) co-chairs and at least one (1) vice-chair (elected in accordance with Article 5). d) The NextGen chairs convene a Board, consisting of formally appointed officers and actively engaged postdocs and graduate students who volunteer to participate in the planning and execution of activities and lobbying/advocating for the needs of the trainee community. e) Broad leadership includes Institute faculty and administration.

Article 2: Roles of the NextGen Association

In fulfillment of its purpose and eponym, the NextGen Association should be forward thinking about serving as a data-driven organization that is responsive to the needs of its constituency. Its responsibilities should include, but not be restricted to the following areas. 

  1. Establishing, maintaining, and modifying a set of core events that reflect social and professional needs
    1. Social events – foster inter-lab communication 
    2. Professional development events
    3. Board meetings
  2. Ideation, implementation, and evaluation of new events
  3. Maintaining a set of available resources that may include a
    1. Website
    2. Events database
    3. Career counseling
    4. Common resources with Pan-PDA
  4. Collecting feedback on community demographics, interests, and needs
    1. Annual survey 
    2. Event demographics
  5. Advocacy
    1. Meetings with Broad leadership to be held at least once a year accompanied with a summary report detailing activities, program proposals, and community concerns
    2. Representation to the Boston and nationwide pan-PDA community
  6. Facilitating connections between trainees in different labs and between alumni and current trainees
  7. Maintaining standards of practices for future NextGen leadership

Article 3: Delegated Responsibilities of the NextGen Chairs (Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs) and Officers

The NextGen Chairs are primarily responsible for the representation of the trainee community. They interface with Broad leadership and administration to advocate for trainee needs and develop new programs. They attend national and local meetings of trainee organizations. Finally, they elicit feedback from the trainee community to identify needs and generate creative solutions. 

Responsibilities can be divided amongst officers as needed. 

Article 4: Delegated Responsibilities of the Office of Academic Affairs 

The Office of Academic Affairs aims to foster the professional growth of all academic staff within the Institute, including trainees. To facilitate NextGen’s mission, the OAA assists with the following responsibilities. 

  1. The OAA appropriates the annual budget for the NextGen Association. 
  2. The OAA distributes and moderates communication to members of the NextGen community via e-mails, a monthly newsletter, and the NextGen website.
  3. The OAA publicizes NextGen events via e-mails and flyers.
  4. The OAA offers guidance and supervision in maintaining the NextGen website. 
  5. The OAA organizes and executes monthly social activities. 
  6. The OAA organizes and executes the career development timeline consisting of a series of speakers and workshops based on previously successful events.

Article 5: Elections 

  1. Elections will be held annually for two co-chair and at least one vice-chair position. Each position is held for a one-year term spanning October to September of the following year. 
    1. To promote continuity within the NextGen Association, it is desirable that co-chairs and vice-chairs be willing and able to serve for two consecutive one-year terms. There are no maximum term limits for co-chairs or vice-chairs.
    2. Due to the transient nature of the trainee role, co-chairs and vice-chairs may step down during the course of their term. If a co-chair steps down, a vice-chair will be promoted and if six months or more remain in the term, the open vice-chair position will be offered to the candidate who received the next highest votes in the previous election. The Board may decide, at its option, whether or not to hold a special election if there are no candidates for an open position.
    3. The four chair positions shall include at least one postdoc and one grad student.
  2. Nominations accepted during the first two (2) weeks of September
    1. Nominations shall be sent to OAA
    2. Self-nominations are acceptable
    3. Nominees must have attended at least one (1) NextGen planning meetings prior to nomination
  3. Elections will be held during the 3rd week of September (official National Postdoc Appreciation Week).
    1. Elections managed by OAA via online vote, i.e. Google Survey.
    2. Each member (Broad-affiliated postdoc or grad student) may vote.
    3. Voting survey will be arranged as a list of candidates, and each voter may cast up to three votes (i.e. 1, 2 or 3).
    4. Votes will be tallied by OAA; the two highest ranking candidates will be offered the co-chair positions; the remaining candidates will be offered vice-chair positions.
    5. The assumption with this system is that candidates will be willing to accept either a co-chair or a vice-chair position. If a candidate declines a position, the next-ranked candidate will be offered the position.
    6. Elected candidates assume responsibilities as the new elected leadership at the subsequent monthly NextGen planning meeting.
    7. Outgoing leadership will be expected to assist incoming leadership with the transfer of responsibilities and in planning the next meeting.
  4. Officer Positions
    1. Interested postdocs and graduate students may volunteer for an official officer position of their choice.
    2. Appointments must be approved by the chairs and vice chairs.

Article 6: Amendment of the NextGen Bylaws

  1. The Bylaws are reviewed annually in August.
  2. The Bylaws may be amended by majority decision by the Board (including all current co-chairs and vice-chairs). 
  3. The OAA exercises veto authority on any amendment to the Bylaws.

Bylaws last updated August 2019; approved by unanimous vote on August 21, 2019.