Operational Guidelines for Study Groups

Study Group Operational Guidelines (PDF)

1. Formation, Renewal and Termination

a. An application to IAG Council for the creation of a study group is to be submitted to the IAG Honorary Secretary and to provide the following:

 (i) an initial membership list that includes a minimum of 15 current financial members of the IAG;
 (ii) a statement of intent to remain active for a minimum of four years, including meeting the annual minimum threshold of 15 financial IAG members and encouraging diversity within the IAG membership;
 (iii) an explanation of how the area of focus is clearly geographical, different from any existing study group and broadly relevant to Australian geographers; and
 (iv) a Constitution that outlines the formal title of the group and its relevance to the six objectives of IAG study groups, arrangements for the election of office bearers (including at least one Convenor), and arrangements for the holding of a General Meeting, whenever possible to coincide with an IAG Conference. A model Study Group Constitution is appended to these guidelines.

b. It is recommended that proposals for the creation of a new study group be promoted through the IAG-List, IAG Newsletter, IAG website and, if possible, at the IAG Conference, so as to reach as many members as possible.

c. The approval of a new study group will be 4 years in the first instance, subject to approval of annual reports documenting membership, expenditure of any IAG funding and outcomes over the past year. Annual reports are submitted using the Annual Report template to IAG Council via a means and at a time determined each year by the IAG Council and communicated in advance to all study group convenors. Study Group status and eligibility for funding will be conditional upon receipt and acceptance of a completed Annual Report.

d. IAG Council reserves the right to withdraw study group status from any group on the basis of information provided in annual reports, failure to submit an annual report or on the basis of demonstrated failure to abide by the operational guidelines herein. In addition, a study group may at any time be dissolved at a General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting of the IAG by two-thirds of those present.

e. While there is no maximum limit on the number of study groups, approval for new study groups and applications for study group renewal will take into account possible duplication and overlap between study groups, size of group membership, level of effective group activity and the overall number of study groups relative to the membership base of the IAG.

2. Membership

a. Study Group Convenors are responsible for submitting a membership list, including the names of office bearers, as part of the Annual Report (at a time determined each year by the IAG Council and communicated in advance to all study group convenors). These details will be reported at the Annual General Meeting. Study group convenors are required to keep accurate records of any non-IAG members of the study group.

b. Study Group Convenors are responsible for ensuring that the study group maintains a minimum of 15 financial IAG members at the time of each Annual Report. Study groups are free to include non-IAG members in study group activities, but are encouraged to promote the benefits of IAG Membership to the group.

c. IAG members are able to be members of a maximum of three study groups.

d. The IAG is responsible for maintaining accurate and up-to-date financial membership lists via the IAG website as part of wider IAG membership record keeping. This information will be made accessible to study groups for membership monitoring and reporting purposes.

e. Study groups are not permitted to require a membership fee for study group membership, in addition to that of IAG membership, but are permitted to levy a charge related to a study group activity in which members can choose to participate.

3. Funding           

a.  All study groups are eligible to apply for annual IAG funding so as to meet the objectives of study groups, subject to having submitted an Annual Report. Funding applications may include the opportunity for study groups to make a competitive bid for IAG Keynote Speakers at the IAG Annual Conference. Applications are due at a time determined each year by the IAG Council and communicated in advance to all study group convenors. Funding applications must be accompanied by a completed annual report. Applications and annual reports are assessed by IAG Council or a Sub-committee of IAG Council and applicants will be notified of the results in a timely fashion. In addition to the assessment of the merit of proposed activities against the objectives of the IAG and of the Study group, allocation of funding shall be dependent upon submission and approval of an annual report for the previous year. In addition, the assessment may also take into account the following:

 (i) the total of any IAG funding provided over the prior 2 year period;
 (ii) and co-investment from other organisations, which may be cash and/or in-kind.

b. Study groups are required to create their own financial account to receive and disburse funds and to manage the account on an ongoing basis. IAG funding will be paid directly into this account. Study groups must detail how allocated funds have been expended in the subsequent annual report.

c. IAG Council cannot undertake to underwrite losses by a study group arising from its activities but equally profits from such activities can be retained by the study group to further the aims of the group.

d. Upon the termination of a study group any unspent IAG funds allocated to the group will revert to the IAG.

4. Administration

a. The organisation of a study group’s activities shall be entirely a matter for its elected office bearers.

b. Each study group will be provided an online platform through the IAG Website, for which Convenors will have administrative access and the ability to directly email Group members, and are also encouraged to use the IAG-List, IAG Newsletter and IAG Annual Conference to give wide publicity of their activities to the membership of the Institute.

c. Publications and other academic outputs arising from study group activities must identify the IAG as the host organisation of study groups and acknowledge any funding provided by the IAG. Study groups are encouraged to contact the Editors of Geographical Research at an early stage of planning to ascertain the possibility of participating in the formal Institute publication program as a themed issue of the Institute’s journal.

d. Study groups are encouraged to hold their meetings in conjunction with the IAG Annual Conference, in order to provide the maximum opportunity for IAG members to participate in study group activities, and to increase Conference attendance.