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Constitution of the Blair Bell Research Society

1. Blair Bell Research Society constitution

The Blair Bell Research Society was established in 1962 by Carl Wood and Jack Pinkerton as an “informal but informed research society”. Over the years, RCOG Presidents have acted in turn as President of the Blair Bell Research Society although in recent years, the College has appointed the President of the Society through its usual honorary appointment process.

1.1. The Society shall be known as ‘Blair Bell Research Society’.

1.2. The purpose of the Society is to encourage research in any manner which is deemed by law to be charitable.

1.3. The Society will work with the RCOG Academic Board to:

  • specifically support and encourage trainee researchers,
  • support the exchange of relevant information in Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
  • promote knowledge in the science of reproductive biology.

1.4. The Society will be governed by the Blair Bell Committee.

2. Membership of the Society

Membership of the Society is open to members of the scientific community who satisfy the Blair Bell Committee that they are interested in the purpose of the Society, and that their professional careers are, in a major part, devoted to reproductive science. With the exception of the President, prospective members of the Society must apply to the Committee and be seconded by two existing Society members. The seconding members are responsible for forwarding the candidate’s name and qualifications to the Secretary.

2.1. The President of the Society will be appointed by the RCOG and will attend RCOG Academic Board meetings ex-officio.
2.2. The President of the Society will normally serve for a period of three years with the possibility of a one year extension.

3. The Blair Bell Committee

3.1. The Blair Bell Committee consists of the President of the Society and the elected Secretary, Meetings Secretary, Treasurer, six general members and one trainee member.

3.2. Each officer and general member shall hold office until the end of the third Annual General Meeting (AGM) following his/her election.

3.3. After serving for three years (with the exception of the president and treasurer) officers and committee members are not eligible for re-election in the same capacity for at least another year. The treasurer may be re-elected to a maximum of six years.

3.4. The trainee shall be a member of the Committee for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. If the trainee member completes their training during their tenure, they will become ineligible to remain as trainee representative and will have to demit office at the next available AGM. Trainee members are not eligible for re-election.

3.5. Those holding office at the date of the adoption of this Constitution shall remain in their role and their period of tenure shall be calculated from the date of their election.

3.6. Nominations for election to vacant positions on the Committee shall be made in writing and signed by two members of the Society. Postal/electronic ballot forms will be sent to all members not less than 28 days before the AGM.

3.7. The Committee shall meet as often as necessary. Five committee members shall constitute a quorum.

3.8. Casual vacancies on the Committee may be filled by co-opting members until the next time an election takes place.

4. Annual General Meetings

4.1. Each AGM of the Society shall be held within 15 months of the preceding meeting. The AGM usually takes place at the RCOG Annual Academic meeting organised between the RCOG and Blair Bell Research Society.

4.2. The AGM and other general meetings of the Society will be held at a time and place within the UK determined by the Committee.

4.3. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society shall be called, if requested in writing by at least four members (including officers) or by the President.

4.4. The business of the AGM shall include the announcement of the election of officers and other members of the Committee.

4.5. The President or in his absence, his/her nominee, shall chair all meetings of the Society and the Committee.

5. Finance

5.1. Subscription for ordinary Society membership shall be agreed by the Committee and is subject to confirmation by an AGM. Alterations in subscription fees shall be announced at least six weeks before the AGM. If the subscription of a member is more than one year in arrears he/she shall cease to be a member.

5.2. The income and the property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the purpose of the Society as set out in this Constitution. No part shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise to any member of the Society. The exception being:

  • the repayment of reasonable out of pocket expenses to those taking part in scientific activities of the Society, or
  • the repayment of reasonable out of pocket expenses of members of the Blair Bell Committee incurred in attending committee meetings.

5.3. Any investments from time to time belonging to the Society shall be held in the names of the chairman, the secretary and the treasurer but the Committee shall retain the power to decide that they may be held in the name of a trustee corporation.

5.4. The Society may be dissolved at any time by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting at an AGM or a special meeting of the Society of which at least 21 clear days’ notice shall have been sent to all members of the Society. Such resolution may give instructions on the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of or in trust for the Society, subject to any property remaining after the payment of all debts and liabilities. Such property may be given or transferred to other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the object of the Society as the Society may (with the approval of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction) determine.

5.5. Notice of any proposal to amend or alter the Constitution, or to make new rules, must be sent to the Secretary at least six weeks before the AGM, and must appear on the agenda in the form of a motion. No alteration shall be made unless two-thirds of voting members are in favour.