Constitution

THE MERCAT CONSTITUTION

STRUCTURE

  1. The organisation is led by an executive committee comprising:
    • Chair person
    • Specialty Leads
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Information Technology lead
    • Consultant Directors
  1. The executive committee is supported by:
    • Consultant Trust leads from each of the eleven hospital trusts within the East Midlands Deanery.
    • Trainee Trust leads from each of the eleven hospital trusts within the East Midlands Deanery.
  1. All trainee members of the executive committee and its supporting representatives must hold membership of MERCAT.

MEMBERSHIP

  1. Any trainee may become a member of MERCAT by completing the application form and receiving approval from any member of the executive committee. Data collected as part of this application will remain confidential to the executive committee and will not be distributed.
  2. Consultant committee members are elected by the executive committee and receive ‘honorary’ MERCAT member status.
  3. Trainee committee members are elected by a vote of all active MERCAT members.
  4. Trainees may only remain full members of MERCAT until their CCT date.
  5. Other healthcare professionals and medical students may also become members of MERCAT. Their role will usually be limited to Local Trust Project Contributors as detailed in Section 7.
  6. MERCAT membership may be terminated following:
    • Breech of authorship rules detailed in Section 8
    • Breech of research governance principles as outlined by ICH GCP guidelines
    • Breech of data protection
    • Breech of ethical principles
    • Fraudulent use or omission of data
    • Resignation of the member from a recognised training post
    • A permanent move of the member to another region. In this instance, the member may retain an informal link to the organisation as a ‘Friend of MERCAT’.
  1. Termination of membership is at the discretion of the executive committee and requires a majority vote of committee members.

COMMITTEE ROLES

  1. All committee members will be jointly responsible for:
    • Establishing and coordinating research projects
    • Presenting MERCAT data at conferences
    • Organising a regular Annual General Meeting
    • Organising and attending quarterly Committee Meetings
    • Arranging educational sessions for MERCAT members
    • Mediating in disputes amongst MERCAT members
  1. The specific roles for each member are detailed below:

Chairman

  • Figurehead of the organisation
  • Promotes the organisation at a national level
  • Resolves any conflicts arising between the MERCAT committee and its members
  • Chairs committee meetings
  • Steers development of the organisation
  • Promotes the organisation at a national level

Secretary

  • Drafts and distributes agenda for committee meetings
  • Records and distributes minutes for committee meetings
  • Manages membership database
  • Distributes newsletter

Treasurer

  • Manages the organisation accounts
  • Collates receipts and provides data for audit if required
  • Takes responsibility for paying invoices
  • Monitors the availability of organisation funds

Information Technology lead

  • Manages Basecamp system
  • Maintains MERCAT website
  • Develops IT solutions to keep pace with the evolution of the organisation
  • Liaises with Trust leads to solve IT technical issues

Consultant Director

  • Provide continuity for the organisation when trainee committee members change
  • Provides guidance for strategic development of the organisation
  • Use existing research links to facilitate initiation of projects

Consultant Trust Lead

  • Promotes MERCAT at a local level
  • Provides a point of contact for MERCAT members at local level
  • Escalates any issues to the executive committee

Trainee Trust Lead

  • Promotes MERCAT at a local level
  • Provides a point of contact for MERCAT members at local level
  • Escalates any issues to the executive committee

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  1. All MERCAT members may put forward research project proposals, irrespective of grade.
  2. Project proposals will be invited periodically via the MERCAT website and newsletter. There will be an opportunity to present the proposal to MERCAT members at a suitable venue, such as the Annual General Meeting.
  3. Projects will be selected for support by the MERCAT collaborative using a standardised scoring matrix which allocates a point score in a number of different categories. Each MERCAT member has one vote. Examples of the scoring matrix can be downloaded from the MERCAT website.
  4. The executive committee withholds the right to veto a project which provokes any concerns. It also has the right to recommend some projects over others.
  5. Once a research proposal has been selected for support by MERCAT, the proposer will be designated the Regional Project Lead for that project unless he/she wishes to delegate this to someone else.
  6. The Regional Project Lead will be advised by suitably experienced members of the executive committee if needed.
  7. The Regional Project Lead may request the assistance of other MERCAT members to achieve some of the tasks detailed in Section 7.1.
  8. The above steps should be accomplished within a pre-defined timeframe. If there is a significant departure from this, the executive committee has the right to withdraw support for the project.