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Constitution and Terms of Reference



for the
(Revised & Approved:  September 15, 2010)

1.    Statement of Purpose and Mission

1.1.    The purpose of this association is to represent all clinician-investigator trainees across Canada. This includes MD/MSc, MD/PhD, and CIP trainees, among others (e.g. Surgeon Scientist Programs, etc) at all accredited academic centers.
1.2.    This organization shall be called the Clinician-Investigator Trainee Association of Canada (CITAC).
1.3.    Mission Statement: The mission of CITAC is to organize and promote activities that support clinician investigator trainees in Canada, with the intention to improve academic and post-graduate career opportunities, expand institutional and public awareness of clinician investigator programs and develop a nationally accessible information database of student and program development. CITAC aims to improve the early-career conditions of clinician investigators in order to expand and advance innovative research initiatives within Canada.

2.    Membership & Representation

2.1.    All students in Canadian MD/MSc, MD/PhD, or CIP programs shall be eligible for membership in CITAC. Approved members will have access to all online resources and programs available through CITAC. For a full list of membership benefits see 'Benefits of Membership'.

2.1.1.    Membership eligibility begins upon entry to the clinician investigator program and continues throughout the period in which the trainee is registered in a Canadian clinician investigator program. Formal membership finishes upon graduation from the clinician investigator training program and may be resumed upon enrollment in a subsequent clinician investigator training program (e.g. enrolling in the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) after having completed an MD/PhD program).    For academic centres at which an MD/PhD, MD/MSc, and/or CIP program is not established or does not clearly exist, medical students or residents with a strong interest in the clinician-investigator career path may be assigned Associate Membership by contacting the CITAC Executive Committee through the online communication system located at

2.1.2.    Alumni Membership: Alumni membership is automatically granted upon completion of the trainee's clinician investigator training program and is indefinite, although a member may request termination of alumni membership at any time by contacting the Membership Committee chairperson.
2.1.2.    International Membership: Clinician investigator trainees registered in accredited training programs outside of Canada are eligible for Associate Membership within CITAC. This upon approval of Associate Membership, International members will have access to most online resources offered to full members of CITAC and are welcome to register for and attend the Annual Conference.

2.2.    Application for Membership: To obtain membership, members must register via an online system located at Approved members will be notified and requested to accept an offer of membership through an electronic web portal community. Members may acess their account information using this online system.
2.3.    Members are expected to participate in selection of a representative for their institution as well as the annual elections for the executive.
2.4.    Institutional Representation of Members: Representatives will act as a conduit between CITAC as well as members at their institution.

2.4.1.    There shall be up to 2 CITAC representative per institution (i.e. University), serving for a term typically lasting for a period of two years.
2.4.2.    The length of term of each representative is determined by the members at the institution.
2.4.3.    If applicable, one "incoming" representative is that person elected for the coming year. The "outgoing"member is the representative from the previous year, who may advise the "incoming" rep, but whose role is to support and advise the incoming representative.
2.4.4.    Representatives shall be named by the institution each year by one week prior to the annual meeting including contact information as well as a small biographical paragraph.
2.4.5.    Representative terms of reference:    Participate in CITAC teleconferences throughout the year    Provide information regarding CITAC to members at their institution    Act as the advocate for the members at their institution    Attend annual CITAC meeting in cooperation with CSCI    Identify new and graduating members at their institution to the Membership Committee for recruitment as new CITAC members

2.4.6.    At centres with more than one type of MD/MSc, MD/PhD and CIP program, the centre and program directors shall determine whether to assign representation for each program independently, or in one position representing the two. At the time of writing, contact with CIP programs at many centers is lacking. Therefore, the task of establishing contact with the centre's CIP program is assigned to each representative, and the representation of CIP programs is an issue to be elaborated in future drafts.

3.    Advisory Board & Board of Directors

3.1.    The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise and govern CITAC by assisting the Executive Committee. The principle role of the Advisory Board shall be to provide guidance to the Executive Committee and assist the Excutive Committee with long term goal-setting, project planning and internal policy development.

3.1.1.    All members of the Executive Committee and the Advisory Board shall comprise the Board of Directors and have voting priviledges. The Advisory Board shall not override the decision making of the Executive Committee and may only participate in voting as members of the Board of Directors.
3.1.2.    The Board of Directors (Executive Committee + Advisory Board) shall meet as a whole at least twice annually (ideally once in the Fall term and once in the Spring term) to discuss current and long-term goals for CITAC and assess progress with ongoing projects.

3.2.    The Advisory Board shall be renewed on an annual basis and consist of at least 3 members:

3.2.1.    A chairperson will be appointed by the Executive Committee. The chairperson should have experience as a past Executive Committee member and have extensive knowledge of CITAC programs and activities. The role of the chairperson will be to call and conduct meetings of the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors, request votes, resolve disputes and assist the incumbent President.
3.2.2.    Past CITAC President.
3.2.3.    Faculty Advisor (e.g. a clinician investigator training program director, CIHR institute director, current clinician investigator career faculty member, etc.). Shall be ex officio (non-voting) member.
3.2.4.    Additional trainee or faculty representative board members may be appointed at any time as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.

4.    Executive Committee

4.1.    The Executive Committee shall be elected annually from CITAC members self-nominated to any of the 5 available positions. Elections will be conducted in accordance with the Elections Processes Terms Of Reference (see Section 6).

4.1.1.    President and Vice President (Internal and External) positions shall be elected one year prior to entering their role as incumbent. The elected positions shall be referred to as President-Elect or Vice President-Elect (Internal or External) during the year prior to entering the incumbent position and President or Vice President (Internal or External) during the following year as incumbent.
4.1.2.    Treasurer and Secretary positions shall be elected on an annual basis and will not progress through an 'Elect' year prior to incumbency.
4.1.3.    Executive positions may be elected from the members at large and need not have prior experience as Representative, Administrative Committee Chairs, etc.

4.2.    The Executive positions and terms of reference are as follows:

4.2.1.    President    Call meetings    Resolves disputes    Represent to larger professional organizations    The President shall additionally serve as Past-President during the year immediately following the term as incumbent President as a member of the Advisory Board and Board of Directors.    Oversees the activities of all Administrative Committees

4.2.2.    Vice President External    Responsible for acting in cases where President is absent    Represents the CITAC to external organizations    Oversees the operations of the Policy Committee, Mentorship Committee and Special Projects Committee

4.2.3.    Treasurer    Oversees CITAC financial affairs    Create an annual budget at the beginning of the electoral year    Responsible for CITAC bank account    Oversees the activites of the Finance Committee

4.2.4.    Secretary    Records proceedings of all CITAC meetings and teleconference calls    Organizes meetings as necessary and communicates with each member of the Executive Committee on behalf of the President

4.2.5.    Vice President Internal    Responsible for upkeep of website    Organizes newsletter    Coordinates publications & media    Oversees the activies of the Communications Committe, the Membership Committee and the CIM Editorial Committee

4.2.6.    President-Elect    Elected one year prior to becoming President    Assists the executive and participates in activities of the President    Attends all meetings of the Executive Committee

4.2.7.    Vice President-Elect (Internal and External)    Elected one year prior to becoming VP    Assists the Executive Committee as necessary    Attends all meetings of the Executive Committee

5.    Administrative Committees

5.1.    Administrative Committees shall be established according to need as determined by the Executive Committee to address specific challenges facing Canadian clinician investigator trainees. Any CITAC member may participate in the activities of the Administrative Committees.
5.2.    The role of Committees is to advise the Executive and inform decisions as well as to execute tasks and organize events specific to the mandate of each committee.

5.2.1.    The mandates of each Administrative Committee shall be determined annually based on the mandate of the previous year's Committee and the goals of the Executive Committee for the current year. Committee mandates must be agreed upon by the Executive Committee and the chairperson of the Committee under consideration.

5.3.    Committee Chair positions are open annually and can be renewed by incumbent chairpersons or filled by new, interested members. Chairpersons will be appointed at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
5.4.    Participation in any activity relevant to that Committee constitutes membership of that Committee for the year during which the activity was carried out.
5.5.    Current Administrative Committees include (but are not limited to):

5.5.1.    Finance Committee: Oversee financial activities of CITAC and work with the Executive Committee to raise additional funds for operations, the Annual Conference and special projects.
5.5.2.    Annual Meeting Committee: Oversee and conduct the planning for the Annual Conference including attendee recruitment and registration, program planning, budget planning and use of available funding, communication with speakers and venue reservation and planning.
5.5.3.    Mentorship Committee: Oversee the activities of the CITAC Mentorship Program and communicate with retained mentors.
5.5.4.    Communication Committee: Develop and distribute communications to CITAC members including the semi-annual newsletters and ad hoc email news features.
5.5.5.    Membership Committee: Responsible for CITAC member recruitment and retention, communication with members as necessary and approval of new members applications.
5.5.6.    Policy Committee: Overseeing and executing development and modification of CITAC policy documents including internal operations and organizational structure and position statements on issues of concern to clinician investigator trainees.
5.5.7.    Special Projects Committee: Overseeing and conducting ad hoc projects as determined by the Executive Committee. This may include publication of results of studies, white papers and annual meeting proceedings.
5.5.8.    CIM Editorial Committee: Overseeing the submission and peer-revision of articles submitted to the Trainee Section of the journal 'Clinical and Investigative Medicine'. See the CIM Editorial section at for full details.

6.    Elections Processes

6.1.    Elections shall take place annually, during the annual meeting currently held in concurrence with the CSCI. All members of CITAC are eligible to vote.

6.1.1.    Each CITAC member may cast only one vote per position.

6.2.    The President, VP-Internal and VP-External will be replaced by President-elect and VP-elect individuals one year following their election.

6.2.1.    Secretary, Treasurer and Administrative Committee Chair positions may also be elected if multiple candidates are nominated.

6.3.    All students in MD/MSc, MD/PhD, or CIP programs are considered members of CITAC and, as such, may run for all eligible elected positions.
6.4.    Candidates interested in a position shall declare their intentions to the Elections Officer during the nomination period. It is recommended that the candidate provide a small statement of intent (Max 300 words) describing their interest in the position.
6.5.    Candidates for each position shall be announced via e-mail to all members, and listed on the CITAC website, at the close of the nomination period.6.6. An online election will occur beginning at the close of the nomination period.

6.6. An online election will occur beginning at the close of the nomination period.

6.6.1. Votes will be cast via a secure online poll available to members-only on the CITAC website.

6.6.2. The election period will last no more than one week from the close of the nomination period.

6.6.3 The elections will be overseen by the Elections Officer.

6.6.4 Successful candidates will be announced shortly after the close of the nomination period.

6.7.    If, in a particular year, a position is not filled, the Executive Committee will select a candidate from the available representatives for that year.
6.8.    Ad hoc by-election process.

6.8.1.    An ad hoc by-election process may be undertaken in the event that an elected Executive Committee position becomes vacant prior to the regularly scheduled annual election.

6.8.2.    If the President position becomes vacant between regularly scheduled elections, the VP External will assume the role as Interim President, in compliance with the VP External Terms.    The President-Elect will still assume the President position as usual, following the end of the previous President's term.    In the event that the VP External cannot immediately assume the position of Interim President, the President-Elect may assume the position of Interim President until the beginning of their official term as President.

6.8.3.    If either of the VP-External/Internal positions become vacant between regularly scheduled elections, the corresponding VP-Elect will assume the position for the remainder of the current VP's term in addition to fulfilling their subsequent, scheduled term following the election.
6.8.4.    If any other Executive Committee position (including President-Elect or VP-Elect) becomes vacant between regularly scheduled elections, a by-election will be held to appoint a new Executive Committee member.    Only CITAC members currently or previously holding an Executive Committee or Chair of an Administrative Committee position are eligible to submit their candidacy for the position of President-Elect through a by-election process.    If the position becomes vacant less than one month following the regular election, Institutional Reps are also eligible for the position of President-Elect in a by-election.    All CITAC members are eligible to submit their candidacy to fill the following vacant Executive Committee positions through a by-election process:    VP-External-elect    VP-Internal-elect    Treasurer    Secretary    A by-election will only be held if more than one eligible person submits their candidacy for a vacant Executive Committee position. Otherwise, the candidate will be acclaimed to the position if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.    If there are no candidates for the vacant position, the Executive Committee will appoint a suitable candidate with appropriate experience from the current CITAC membership.

6.8.5.    All members of CITAC are eligible to vote in a by-election process.    Each CITAC member may cast only one vote per position.

6.8.6.    Candidates must declare their interest in a vacant position to the Elections Officer. It is recommended that they provide a small biographical paragraph (Max 200 words) describing their interest in the position.
6.8.7.    An online election will occur, lasting no more than one week, and will be organized by the Elections Officer. The Elections Officer will take full responsibility for governing the rules of the election.

7.    Communications and Information Exchange

7.1.    The CITAC shall have a website that will serve as the primary means to share and disseminate information (
7.2.    An annual newsletter shall be sent out shortly before the annual meeting.
7.3.    Email-based news features and other electronic forms of communication will be utilized by the Executive Committee or Administrative Committees (as directed by the Executive Committee) as necessary using the database of CITAC members. All communications will be executed in accordance with the CITAC Privacy Policy and Terms of Use documents (available in the Policy Documents Section at

8.    Policy Changes

8.1.    Policy development and modification shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee and/or the Board of Directors, carried out by the Policy Committee or appropriate members of the Executive Committee. Approved policy documents shall be made available for viewing by all CITAC members and, as appropriate, by the general public by posting the Policy Documents Section of the web site located at
8.2.    All new and modified policy documents must be approved by a majority of Executive Committee members as determined by a vote, held during a meeting in which a majority of the members of the Executive and/or Board of Directors is present.

9.    Financial Support

9.1.    Initial support for the establishment and development of CITAC was provided from Institute of Genetics at the CIHR.

9.1.1.    The current CIHR Institute of Genetics Scientific Director maintains veto capacity over decisions of the board concerning any use of the funding they provide to CITAC.

9.2.    Additional funding shall be sought by the CITAC Executive and Finance Committees and applied for on an ad hoc basis. All sources of awarded financial support must be acknowledged on the front page of the CITAC web site for the duration in which the funding has been granted.
9.3.    Please see the financial support and Interactions with Industry policy documents for further information.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 18 May 2011 14:25)

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