Statutes

The Human Frontier Science Program is implemented by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO), which is constituted as a society ("association") under the law of Alsace. The Statutes are a legal document defining the mission and structure of the HFSPO.

Article 1. Names, Status and Domicile

1.  The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO; hereinafter, “the Organization”), is an international non-governmental non profit association devoted to the promotion of basic research.

2. The seat of the Organization is in Strasbourg (France), “12, quai Saint-Jean”. The registered seat of the Organization may be moved within the conurbation of Strasbourg by a decision of the Board of Trustees (Assemblée Générale) (see Article 6).

It is registered on the “Registre des Associations du Tribunal d’Instance de Strasbourg”, and subject to Articles 21 to 79 of the local Civil Code, maintained valid through the law introducing French civil legislation of June 1, 1924.

 

Article 2. Objectives of the Organization

1.  The objectives of the Organization are to implement the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP; hereinafter, "the Program”). This Program aims to promote, through international cooperation basic research focused on the elucidation of the sophisticated and complex mechanisms of living organisms and to make the fullest possible utilization of the research results for the benefit of all humankind, in accordance with the implementing scheme of the Program established by the Economic Summit member countries and the European Communities at the intergovernmental meeting held in Berlin (West) on July 26-28, 1989, and subsequently revised by the Original Members and Switzerland at the intergovernmental meeting held in Tokyo on January 21-22, 1992 (see Annex)

2.  The resources of the Organization shall be used solely to achieve the objectives set out in this Article

3.  The Organization shall abstain from any political and commercial activities.

  

Article 3. Activities of the Organization

The Organization conducts the following activities:

 i)       to provide research grants to international joint research teams

ii)      to provide fellowships to researchers;

iii)     to organize and/or subsidize workshops; and

iv)     to conduct other activities necessary to achieve the objectives of the Organization.

Importance is attached to “scientific merit”, “internationality”, especially “intercontinentality”, and “interdisciplinarity” in implementing the Program activities.

 

Article 4. Membership

1.  The Organization is composed of the members of the Board of Trustees

2.  The members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by  the Management Supporting Parties (see paragraph 3 of this Article).

3.  A country or an organization which supports, takes part in and appoints persons who participate in the management of the Program is referred to as a Management Supporting Party (hereinafter, “MSP”).

4.  The MSPs are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and the European Communities.

On the basis of the principle that the opportunity to become an MSP be basically open to all interested countries, the Board of Trustees decides as to the acceptance of those desiring to join the MSPs after deliberation on such factors as the country’s scientific capacity in basic research in the research areas of the Program and the degree of support to the Program.

5.  Membership is lost under the following circumstances:

i)       resignation in writing

ii)      exclusion pronounced by the Board of Trustees motivated by an act entailing materially and morally wrong effects to the Organization. In this case, the member involved may be invited to provide explanations.

 

Article 5. Organs of the Organization

The organs of the Organization are as follows :

i)      Board of Trustees

ii)     Council of Scientists

iii)    Secretariat

 

Article 6. Board of Trustees

1.  The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall policy concerning the conduct, management and operation of the Program.

2.   Members of the Board of Trustees will be the two persons  appointed by each MSP; the term of each member is to be decided by each MSP.

3.   A President and two Vice-Presidents are elected by the members from among the Trustees for a three-year term. Their terms are renewable once for further three years.

The President chairs the Board of Trustees. The Vice-Presidents support the President, and, in the event of the President’s absence, Vice-Presidents will carry out the President’s duties on his/her behalf.

4.   The President and the Vice-Presidents as in the last day of their respective terms will remain the President and the Vice-Presidents continuously until their respective successors are elected.

5.   The disbursements are authorized by the President. The President represents the Organization in court and on every legal occasion. He may delegate his powers to the Secretary-General. The representative of the Organization must be in full possession of his civic rights.

6.   The President will convene regular meetings at least once a year. The president shall call a meeting whenever two-thirds of the members of the Board of Trustees so request. For a quorum, a meeting of the Board of Trustees requires the attendance of two-thirds of the membership. Members must be given written notification to attend the meeting by mail, fax or other means at least thirty days in advance.

7.   Duties and authorities of the Board of Trustees, in addition to those specified elsewhere, consist of the following:

i)      To approve and revise, as appropriate, policies, procedures and statutes of the Organization ;

ii)     To approve the program activity plan as well as the budget proposal for each fiscal year (including revisions)

iii)    To approve the annual activity report and the financial statement for each fiscal year;

iv)    To present its advice, as appropriate, to the Council of Scientists (see Article 7) on the operation of the program ;

v)     To decide on the acceptance of countries desiring to join the MSPs;

vi)    To appoint and dismiss members of the Council of Scientists giving due consideration to recommendations from the Council of Scientists;

vii)    To appoint and dismiss the Secretary-General giving due consideration to the advice of the Council of Scientists;

viii)   To determine, in conjunction with the Council of Scientists, the arrangements to be followed for the independent evaluation of the scientific achievement and management effectiveness of the Program; for which purposes the Board of Trustees may obtain additional scientific or other consultation and advice;

ix)      To appoint and dismiss Auditors;

x)       To deliberate and decide other basic matters regarding the management of the Program; and

xi)       To decide on the establishment of branch offices.

8.   The Chairperson of the Council of Scientists attends meetings of the Board of Trustees, as observer.

9.    The Secretary-General attends meetings of the Board of Trustees in a non-voting capacity.

10.  Auditors may, by invitation, attend meetings of the Board of Trustees as observers.

11.  Decisions are made by a two-thirds majority vote. However, decisions on sections i, ii, v, vii and xi of paragraph 7 of this Article  are  made on a consensus basis.

The Trustees may delegate their rights to vote to their proxies from their respective MSPs by giving written notification by mail, fax or other means to the Organization in advance of the meeting of the Board of Trustees. The Chairperson of the meetings also has the right to vote.

 

Article 7. Council of Scientists

1.  The Council of Scientists deliberates and decides on scientific matters related to the current operation of the Program.

2.   i) The Council of Scientists consists of no more than 26 members. Each MSP nominates one Council member.The term of appointment will be for two years, renewable once for a further two years.

ii)Additional members are recommended as necessary by the Council and/or the MSPs and are approved by the Board.

iii) However, in case a member is elected as the Chairperson of the Council of Scientists, as defined in paragraph 4 of this Article, during the fourth year of his/her term, a further one year extension of his/her term may be granted.

3. The Secretary-General attends as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Council, withdrawing from Council during consideration of any matter related to his/her appointment or dismissal.

4.  A Chairperson and two Vice-Chairpersons will be elected by the members from among the Council members, each for a term of one year, renewable once for one year. The Chairperson  chairs the Council of Scientists. The Vice-Chairpersons support the Chairperson and in the event of the Chairperson’s absence, the Vice-Chairpersons will carry out the Chairperson’s duties on his/her behalf.

 5.  The Chairperson and two Vice-Chairpersons as in the last day of their respective terms will remain the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairpersons continuously until their respective successors are elected.

6.  The Chairperson will convene regular meetings once a year and may convene extraordinary meetings if necessary. Members must be given written notification to attend the meeting by mail, fax or other means at least thirty days in advance.

7.  The duties and authorities of the Council of Scientists, in addition to those specified elsewhere, consist of the following:

i)     To decide matters related to the evaluation of the applications and the selection of awardees; namely, the membership and duties of Review Committees, the operation of the mail review, the review criteria, selection procedure; and the size and term of awards to be recommended to the Board of Trustees;

ii)    To review the scientific achievements of the Program and the appropriateness of the priority areas, and to advise the Board of Trustees accordingly;

iii)    To give recommendations to the Board of Trustees on the appointment and dismissal of Council members; and

iv)    To give advice to the Board of Trustees on the appointment and dismissal of the Secretary-General.

8.   If, in its advice to the Board of Trustees based on section ii of  paragraph 7 of this Article, the Council of Scientists recommends any changes to the current Program, the recommendations will be considered by the Board of Trustees in consultation with the Council of Scientists. The implementation of any such changes will be decided by the Board of Trustees.

 9.   Auditors may attend meetings of the Council of Scientists as observers.

10.  For a quorum, a meeting of the Council of Scientists requires the attendance of two-thirds of the Council’s membership, and any decisions by vote at the meeting will require a two-thirds majority of those present.

11.   The Council of Scientists may invite non-member persons to participate in its meetings for advice.

 

Article 8. Secretariat

1.  The Secretariat consists of the Secretary-General and staff members.

2.  The Secretary-General will be appointed for a three-year term. The term is renewable once  up to three years.  The successful candidate will be expected to devote the high level of commitment necessary to secure the development of the Program.

3.  The Secretary-General selects, appoints and dismisses the senior permanent staff members in line with the following principles:

i)   Candidates for the posts of Research Directors should demonstrate a satisfactory level of knowledge concerning research in the Program science areas, and appropriate experience in the administration of research support systems in basic science;

ii)  Appointments policy should be such that over time the interests of MSPs and their contributions to the Program be reflected fairly; and

iii)  Appointments to senior permanent Secretariat posts should be on the basis of the Secretary-General's selection from a choice of candidates, conforming to appointment procedures and job requirements to be drawn up by the Secretary-General and approved by the Board of Trustees.  Appointment procedures should provide for early consultation with, and endorsement by, the Board of Trustees on appointments and dismissals of senior permanent staff.

4.  The Secretary-General appoints and dismisses all other permanent staff members.

5.  Candidates for all Secretariat staff positions may be nominated by MSPs/Trustees and/or the Secretary-General.

6.  The Secretary-General supervises the Secretariat and is accountable to the Board of Trustees for the execution of the Program in accordance with the decisions of the Council of Scientists and the Board of Trustees according to their duties and authorities.

7.   Among the responsibilities of the Secretariat are :

i)     To draw up the program activity plan, as well as the budget proposal for each fiscal year (see paragraph 8 of this Article);

ii)    To draw up the annual activity report and the financial statement for each fiscal year (see paragraph 8 of this Article)

iii)   To provide the Council of Scientists and Board of Trustees with background documentation and logistic support;

iv)   To solicit applications for research grants, fellowships and workshops;

v)    To be responsible for arranging all administrative aspects of the review procedures :

vi)    To issue and administer the awards.

8.  The documents listed in sections i and ii of paragraph 7 of this Article will be prepared with full regard being given to the advice by the Council of Scientists.

 

Article 9. Auditors

1.  Three Auditors will be appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Auditors are part-time and will remain in office for a one-year term.  The term  is  renewable.

2.  The Auditors conduct the internal auditing on the Organization’s financial status and activities, and report to the Board of Trustees, which may inform the Council of Scientists.

 

Article 10. Duty to Report to the Management Supporting Parties

It is the duty of the President of the  Organization to report to the MSPs on the progress of the Program activities, the financial status of the Organization, and other matters, by conveying to the latter the program activity plan, the budget proposal, annual activity report, the financial statement, auditing report, etc. In order to facilitate the evaluation of the scientific achievements of the Program by the MSPs, the President of the Organization will also submit the annual report on the review of scientific achievements.

 

Article 11. Financial Resources and Accounts

1.  The financial resources of the Organization include:

i)      the contributions and/or support from the MSPs and persons and/or parties other than the MSPs such as countries, districts and public institutions.  Supports include subsidies, gifts and donations;

ii)     the income derived from its assets.

2.  The Program will be supported by contributions from all MSPs.  A desirable goal to be achieved over time, and as soon as feasible, is an equal match between the contributions of Japan and that of the other MSPs.

3.  Regular accounts will be kept, stating receipts and disbursements.

 

Article 12. Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Organization starts on April 1st and ends on March 31st of the following year.

 

Article 13. Amendment of the Statutes

The Statutes may be amended at any time by decision of the Board of Trustees, on a consensus basis in accordance with paragraph 7 of Article 6.

 

Article 14. Dissolution

1.  The Organization may be dissolved at any time by a resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees on a consensus basis.

2.  If, upon dissolution of the Organization, there remains, after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, this shall be dealt with in accordance with the decision of the Board of Trustees.

 

Article 15. By-Laws

By-laws may be amended after the approval of the Board of Trustees. If newly drafted amendments to the By-laws have to be applied for any urgent reasons, prior to the approval of the Board of Trustees, they may be provisionally effective with the approval of the President until the next meeting of the Board of Trustees.

 

Article 16. Reference to English Version

In case there should be any uncertainty in the interpretation of the provisions of the Statutes (French version), the English version should be referred to in order to clarify the meaning.

 

Article 17. Transitional Arrangements

1.  Members of the Board of Trustees at the end of March 1992 continue to be members of the Board of Trustees as of 1st April 1992.

2.  Members of the Council of Scientists at the end of March 1992 continue to be members of the Council of Scientists as of 1st April 1992.

3.  Notwithstanding the provision set out in paragraph 2 of Article 7, half of the members of the Council of Scientists from April 1992 may be appointed for a one-year term to promote both continuity and turnover of membership.

4.  Those holding the post of Auditor at the end of March 1992 continue to be Auditors as of 1st April 1992.

5.  Notwithstanding the provision of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 8, extensions of contracts of employment for all Secretariat staff, from 1st April 1992 to 31st March 1993, have been offered.

6.  The Program will continue to be reviewed by various means, including through regular reports.  A review of the effectiveness of the Program from the scientific viewpoint will be carried out some five years after the start of the initial phase (i.e. by the end of 1994). A major review of all aspects of the Program will be conducted and reported by the end of March 1996 to the MSPs as a basis for considering the future of the Program.