RNA Society Sponsorship of Local/Regional ‘RNA Salons’

Guidelines for Application
Academic year - 2019/20


Objectives:
In the fall of 2016, the RNA SOCIETY launched an initiative to financially support recurring local and/or regional RNA science-based gatherings - to be collectively referred to as “RNA Salons”. Society support of RNA Salons serves as a mechanism to cultivate year-long interaction, engagement, and sharing of knowledge among RNA researchers. This program will continue for the 2019/2020 academic year.

For consideration of RNA SOCIETY support, a proposed RNA Salon must be broadly aimed at enhancing interaction between RNA researchers with diverse expertise and interest in RNA science, so as to facilitate communication and training opportunities in RNA research and/or to promote scientific professional development for RNA scientists.

Applicants can request a maximum of $1,500.00 USD in support by the RNA SOCIETY for their proposed activities. The increase in sponsorship amount (from $1,000.00 USD in initial years of this program) is made possible through an agreement with our corporate sponsor Lexogen to provide $500.00 USD to each successful RNA Salon application. Proposals will be reviewed solely by the RNA SOCIETY and selected based on the nature and perceived benefit of described activities to RNA scientists (and to junior researchers, in particular). Budgets may be modified based on the activities and/or number of applications to be supported. Successful applicants must agree to the ‘Terms of Sponsorship’ to receive RNA Society support, and may ‘opt-out’ of accepting funds provided by Lexogen (those that ‘opt-out’ will thus be eligible for a maximum of
$1,000.00 USD for their Salon events; see below for details). RNA Salons supported by the RNA SOCIETY will represent the international diversity of RNA SOCIETY members and, thus, funding will be distributed in accordance with member demographics. RNA Salons funded previously can re-apply for funding in 2019/2020, but must do so through the formal application process; no preference will be given to RNA Salons funded previously.

Supported Activities:

All programs that involve recurring activities falling into the broad mandate of RNA Salon sponsorship as outlined above are welcome to apply. These activities may include, but are certainly not limited to, one or more of the following examples:

  • RNA Journal Clubs and RNA Seminar Series (including internal and/or external speakers) held multiple times throughout the academic year.
  • Recurring workshops on, for example, Experimental or Computational Methods in RNA Research (excluding workshops offered by professional entities).
  • Professional Development Activities such as Workshops on scientific writing or oral presentations, CV development, alternative careers, etc., targeted specifically to a community of RNA researchers.
  • Women in Science or other events promoting diversity in RNA research.
  • Discussion Rounds on trends in RNA research or other relevant RNA-related topics.


Application Guidelines:

  • Requests for sponsorship of an RNA Salon must be submitted through the formal application (provided) which requests the following information:
    • a detailed description of the year-long activities (including speakers, if applicable) and how these activities will be organized and promoted.
    • a clear statement that addresses how the proposed RNA Salon activities align with RNA Society objectives for this program and how funding will benefit participants in the short- and long-term (also, see below for requirements for consideration of support).
    • a description of the anticipated RNA Salon members (i.e. number of participants; stage of training [i.e. student/post-doc, PIs, etc]; affiliation of participants, etc.).
    • evidence for organizational and leadership experience of the applicant(s).
    • a budget proposal and outline how funds (a maximum of $1,500.00 USD) will be utilized.
  • The application deadline for requesting support of an RNA Salon is September 10th, 2019. \Applications should be send by email to Dr. Ute Kothe at [email protected]


Requirements for Consideration of Support:

  • Applications must be submitted by a Principal Investigator (or equivalent) who is a Full and current member of the RNA SOCIETY. Involvement and leadership by students/post-doctoral fellows (together with the PI) in the organization of the RNA Salon is highly encouraged and will be considered favorably during evaluations. Students and post-doctoral fellows are not, however, eligible to apply as lead organizers.
  • RNA Salons must hold no less than three qualifying events per year to successfully meet the requirements for support.
  • RNA Salons should foster engaging relations among local/regional RNA researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds, experiences and/or interests, and must, therefore, include members from multiple laboratories/research units.  Where applicable, this should include members from different departments and/or institutions. Accordingly, only a single RNA Salon proposal within an institution or geographical location is likely to be supported within a given program year. 
  • A maximum of $1,500.00 USD can be requested by each applicant per year. These funds may be used for promotional material, student recognition/awards, catering, and/or invited speakers. However, no more than 40% of the funding shall be used for speaker-related expenses (i.e. travel, reimbursements, and/or honorariums for outside speakers). In addition, no more than 20% of the funding is allowed to be used for the purchase of alcohol. Funds used inappropriately or outside the scope of these guidelines must be returned to the RNA SOCIETY. 
  • The RNA SOCIETY promotes ethnic, gender and geographic diversity. It is expected that RNA Salon organizers make every effort to ensure that Salon participants and invited speakers reflect the diversity within the disciplines represented in the local/regional RNA community. Efforts to expand the diversity of Salon participants will be viewed favorably during the evaluation process.

Exclusive Lexogen Sponsorship:
Each successful RNA Salon is eligible to receive up to $1,500.00 USD to support their events (up to $1,000.00 from the RNA SOCIETY and $500.00 provided through Lexogen, the exclusive industry sponsor of the 2019/2020 RNA Salon series). To qualify for the full amount, RNA Salon applicants must, at the time of application, agree to the ‘Terms of Sponsorship’ which include terms provided by Lexogen that are outlined below. In the event that applicants wish not to engage in this relationship with Lexogen, they can choose to ‘opt-out’ and their application would, therefore, be eligible only for the maximal $1,000.00 USD of support from the RNA SOCIETY.
  • RNA Salon proposals will be reviewed solely by the RNA SOCIETY. Successful applications that also agree (i.e. ‘opt-in’) to Lexogen co-sponsorship will then, and only then, be made available to Lexogen.
  • Successful RNA Salons will receive a single payment from the RNA SOCIETY in the amount up to $1,500 (or up to $1,000 USD if applicants ‘opt-out’ of the Lexogen co-sponsorship).
  • For those applicants that agree to the full Terms of Sponsorship (including those outlined by Lexogen; i.e. ‘opt-in’), RNA Salon organizers agree to:
    • display the Lexogen corporate logo alongside the RNA SOCIETY’s logo on the Salon’s web-site, print material, and all advertising of RNA Salon events.
    • allow a representative from Lexogen to contact, via e-mail, the RNA Salon organizer once during the academic year to arrange for Lexogen either to present a promotional seminar at an RNA Salon event or to organize (and pay for) an academic speaker who has used Lexogen products to present at an RNA Salon event. These two opportunities are optional, and agreement to these opportunities is not required to receive the supplemental funding provided by Lexogen. In addition, any arrangement will be based on mutual agreement between Lexogen and the RNA Salon organizer and will in no way involve the RNA SOCIETY.
    • display product literature provided by Lexogen at a minimum of one RNA Salon event. Material will be mailed at the expense of Lexogen. RNA Salon organizers agree to provide to Lexogen a shipping address and an approximate number of Salon participants to facilitate this process.
    • agree to announce and display (at a minimum of one event) printed entry forms for a prize drawing for Lexogen products (e.g. RNA sequencing products and services). Participation (i.e. completion of the entry form) by Salon participants is completely voluntary.

Application Evaluation and Administration:
  • RNA Salons supported by the RNA SOCIETY will represent the international diversity of RNA SOCIETY members. Therefore, funding will be distributed in accordance with member demographics.
  • Funding decisions will be made by the Membership Committee of the RNA SOCIETY. Proposals will be considered based on perceived impact to RNA researchers according to the objectives and guidelines outlined above.
  • Funding decisions will be announced by October 1st and funds disbursed by October 31st for activities during the 2019/2020 academic year.
  • Funding for RNA Salons will be distributed by direct deposit, check, or wire transfer to the institution hosting the respective RNA Salon (note, funds will not be issued to individual payees).
  • Sponsorship funds in their entirety are to be used to support RNA science-based events. No administrative, overhead or indirect costs will be provided or allowed by the hosting institution of RNA Salon events. 
Successful Applications:
  • Successful applicants for funding of an RNA Salon by the RNA SOCIETY will be expected to sign a Sponsorship Contract outlining the terms of the RNA Salon funding and defining the roles and expectations of all parties involved (including the RNA Salon applicant/organizer, RNA SOCIETY, and Lexogen).
  • At each event, support by the RNA SOCIETY must be acknowledged. The RNA SOCIETY requires that the organizers display the Society logo on their website and in any print material provided to participants at the event. Additionally, any electronic promotion of RNA Salon events (i.e. Departmental/Institutional websites, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Facebook, etc.) must include acknowledgement of RNA SOCIETY support for the event(s). 
  • The RNA SOCIETY does not assume responsibility for activities supported by the RNA Salon. The organizers will be responsible for complying with the outlined regulations pertaining to the use of the funds.
  • At the completion of the academic year, each successful RNA Salon applicant will be required to report their activities via an on-line survey. These data may be used by the RNA SOCIETY on their website and/or the RNA SOCIETY Newsletter and will be provided to Lexogen. Failure to complete the survey will disqualify that RNA Salon program for funding in the subsequent academic year.
  • By December 10th, 2019, the names and e-mail contacts of all participating RNA Salon members must be made available to the RNA SOCIETY. Participant information will be used for the sole purpose of communicating RNA SOCIETY membership information. At that time, RNA Salon participants will be offered an exclusive discount on a 2020 RNA Society membership. Please note, participant information will not be used for any other purpose and will not be given to any third party (including Lexogen).