Role of the Vice-President and Chair of Council
Note: “Council” refers to the group of 18 members while “NSERC” refers to the corporate and operating entity.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Act (Section 6 (1)) describes how the Vice-President of Council is appointed:
The Council may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, elect one of its members to be Vice-President of the Council.
In accordance with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) By-laws, the Vice-President of Council presides at (chairs) meetings of Council and its Executive Committee, and the President of NSERC, as mandated by the Act (Sections 3, 10 and 11), is the chief executive officer, has supervision over and direction of the work and staff of NSERC, and is a member of Council and the Executive Committee. The Vice-President and Chair and the President are ex-officio members of the other committees of Council (the Committee on Discovery Research and the Committee on Research Partnerships).
The Vice-President and Chair of Council may be contacted through NSERC’s Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-995-5896.
Role and Duties of the Vice-President and Chair of Council
The Vice-President and Chair is primarily responsible for leading and managing the Council. This is done in close collaboration with the President and with the active support of the Corporate Secretary, especially as it relates to the planning and organizing of Council and Executive Committee meetings and materials. The duties of the Vice-President and Chair primarily concern:
- Planning the work of the Council;
- Leading Council meetings;
- Working and liaising with the President;
- Managing the performance of the Council, its Committees and members;
- Planning succession of the Council members; and
- Representing the Council to outside parties.
The Vice-President and Chair, or his/her delegate, is also a member of the Independent Audit Committee.
The Vice-President and Chair may also carry out other duties as requested by the President or Council depending on need and circumstances. If the President is temporarily unavailable, then the Vice-President and Chair may act on the President’s behalf, as directed by the President. In accordance with the Act (Section 6 (2)), in the event of the absence or incapacity of the President, or if the office of President is vacant, the Vice-President has all the powers of the President.
In practice, under these circumstances, the Vice-President and Chair is the Interim President of NSERC, but may be unable to exercise all the responsibilities and powers of the President due to other commitments or the location of his/her home and/or business. He or she may assign responsibilities for the supervision over and direction of the work and staff of NSERC to a Vice-President of NSERC, to act as the Chief Operating Officer.