SERG International

SERG International

A partnership in forest pest management research

SERG-I
Executive

Terms of
Reference

Field Testing
Guidelines

Reporting
Policy

Graduate Student
Award Application

2018
Workshop

Order
Reports

SERG International

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Preamble

SERG International (SERG-I) is an association of forest management, regulatory and research agencies, and pesticide suppliers, interested in forest pest management. The primary aim of SERG-I is to improve application technology and pest management methods associated with the use of pest control products in the context of integrated forest pest management. SERG-I facilitates efficient use of resources for collaborative research to meet the needs and priorities of pest managers.

SERG-I is not a funding agency. Rather, SERG-I provides a means for the members to work cooperatively on research projects through the sharing of expertise, financial resources, in-kind resources, staff, and the results to achieve common goals in the areas of spray efficacy and pest management methods.

Through this co-ordinated approach, members of SERG-I are able to pool their resources, leverage other sources of funding, and work cooperatively to conduct research and share results amongst the members.

General Areas of Research that are coordinated by SERG-I

  1. Forest Pest Management Products:
    Product efficacy - including conventionally applied products as well as the development of alternative products such as viruses, nematodes, pheromones and biological herbicides, etc.
  2. Improvement of Application Technology and Techniques:
    Application technology - including aerial and ground based application techniques which provide improvements in environmental and efficiency goals.
  3. Environmental Impact and Benefit to Forest Pest Management:
    Fate of applied products in terms of deposit, drift, impact and behaviour in the environment including impacts on biodiversity and ecological processes.
  4. Developing Forest Pest Management Strategies:
    Develop working strategies for the management of forest pests.
  5. Technology and Information Transfer:
    Transferring results of SERG-I supported research to forest managers through annual workshops, the SERG-I web site and stakeholders meetings.

 

STEERING COMMITTEE

The SERG International Steering Committee consists of Executive and Associate Committee members.

Membership:

Executive Members

Provincial representatives, along with the SERG-I Executive Director and a Director-level representative of CFS and the USDA-FS shall form the Executive. Membership fees for Executive members are set at $6000/year.

Executive Members presently include:

Province of Alberta (Alberta Sustainable Resource Development)
Province of British Columbia (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations)
Province of Manitoba (Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship)
Province of New Brunswick (Forest Protection Limited)
Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (Department of Natural Resources)
Province of Nova Scotia (Department of Natural Resources)
Province of Ontario (Ministry of Natural Resources)
Province of Quebec (SOPFIM 1)
Province of Quebec (MRNFQ 2)
Province of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment)
Canadian Forest Service (Director)
USDA-Forest Service

1 Société de protection des forêts contre les insectes et maladies

2 Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec

Executive Members will contribute equally to the cost of maintaining the SERG-I Executive Director and the administrative expenses to run SERG-I. Executive Members have voting privileges on the Steering Committee. In addition, they set the strategic direction for SERG-I and participate in the annual prioritisation of work areas.

Associate Members

Associate Members of the Steering Committee shall include representatives of organisations able to conduct, benefit from or support pest management research and interested in co-ordinating their efforts. Associate Members neither have voting privileges, nor do they participate in establishing either the strategic direction or research priorities of SERG-I. They do, however, participate in the evaluation of SERG-I Proposals and may provide funds according to their individual interests.

Associate Members do not contribute to the cost of administering SERG-I but are encouraged to sponsor research projects.

Associate Members presently include:

AEF Global
BioForest Technologies Inc.
Canadian Aerial Applicators Association
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Canadian Forest Service – Atlantic Forestry Centre
Canadian Forest Service - Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Canadian Forest Service – Laurentian Forestry Centre
Canadian Forest Service - Northern Forestry Centre
Canadian Forest Service – Pacific Forestry Centre
Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc.
Micron Sprayers Limited
Monsanto Canada Inc.
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Sylvar Technologies Inc.
USDA-ARS (College Station)
Valent BioSciences Corp.
Winfield Solutions

Other organisations may be invited by the Executive to participate as appropriate.

Steering Committee

The Executive Director of SERG-I will be the Chair of the Steering Committee.

SERG International activities are directed by a Steering Committee which will:

  1. Develop and maintain the SERG-I Long-Term Plan.
  2. Identify and prioritise research, development and technology transfer on an annual basis.
  3. Identify and develop potential partnerships for SERG-I particularly in the areas of pest management, regulation, economic benefit, communications, new technology, and stakeholder needs (e.g. forest industry).
  4. Request and review proposals (Appendix A,B) and funding for project priorities.
  5. Co-ordinate application technology and efficacy research
  6. Promote outreach activities such as workshops, a SERG-I website and distribution of research reports to interchange information amongst SERG-I, researchers, user groups and participating organisations.
  7. Provide advice and recommendations to various organisations which either participate in or have an interest in SERG-I activities.

Each organisation shall have one representative (or its designated alternate) on the Steering Committee. Additional representatives may attend as observers and to provide expertise as needed. Additions can be made to the member organisations of the Steering Committee subject to approval by the majority of the Executive. Additional individuals or organisations may be associated with SERG-I (without becoming Executive (voting) Members or Associate Members of the Steering Committee) by writing to the Executive Director with a request to be included on the SERG-I mailing list. All those included on the mailing list will be notified of the Annual Workshop and will receive the updated SERG-I publication list and the annually updated Long-Term Plan and Research Priorities.

Overhead and Administration Expenses:

Overhead costs for SERG-I, including the fees for the Executive Director, the Executive Director's travel expenses and administrative costs, will be shared equally by the Executive Members of the Steering Committee. The budget for the coming year will be established by the Executive previous to March 31 of the current year.

Disbursement of Surplus Funds:

  1. A majority approval by the SERG-I Executive Committee members (see Note 3 for exception) is required for SERG-I surplus funds to be disbursed.
  2. Any proposal by an Executive Committee member for use of SERG-I funds must be circulated to the Executive Committee and the Executive Director at least two weeks prior to the SERG-I meeting at which it is to be tabled. Members who will not be present at the meeting will have up to one week prior to the meeting to submit their votes to the Executive Director.
  3. Any absentee Executive Committee member who does not submit a vote by the due date, will lose his/her voting right on the proposed motion. Majority approval will then be based on the remaining voting membership. In the event of a tie, the Executive Director may cast the tie-breaking vote.

 

Meetings:

Meetings of the Steering Committee shall be called by the Executive Director, after consultation with the Executive, and shall be held at least twice per year. Special Issue conference calls may be held at the request of an Executive Member.

  1. Each year, $2500 of each Executive Member's annual SERG-I fee will be set aside for that Member to use for SERG-I travel to any Steering Committee meeting including project evaluation meetings. Travel to attend the SERG-I project evaluation meeting (Feb) shall take precedence over attending other meetings.
  2. Each member's travel funds will be carried to a maximum of 2 years to a total of $5,000.00. Any surplus will be transferred to SERG-I general revenues.

 

The agenda for meetings shall be determined by the Executive Director, in consultation with Steering Committee members. Minutes shall be taken of all meetings and distributed by the Executive Director to all members of the Steering Committee.

Workshop:

A formal SERG-I Workshop will be held annually. The Annual Workshop will normally be scheduled in early February. Final or interim written reports will be submitted to the Executive Director prior to the Workshop (mid January). An oral presentation delivered in person preferably by the Principal Investigator on the current year's research will be made at the Workshop. Immediately following the Workshop, research proposals for the upcoming year will be evaluated for member's acceptance and support.

The Executive Committee will meet to update the SERG-I Long-Term Plan.

The location of the Workshop will rotate amongst the member provinces/and or agencies (i.e. the Executive). The host province or agency will co-ordinate the Workshop including the provision of secretarial and related services (such as registration desk and temporary custody of registration fees).

APPENDIX A

Proposal Format Specifications

Concept Proposal

A concept proposal should be no longer than 2 pages using font sizes no smaller than 10. Multi-year projects require a concept proposal each year.

General:

  1. Title:
  2. Principle Investigator or Agency:
  3. Contact Person:
  4. Telephone Number:
  5. Address:

 

Executive Summary

 

Objective:

Clear and concise statement of objective (s).

Financial:

Budget requirements clearly identifying funding sought from SERG-I and other potential funding sources. Forecast budget requirements for future years (where applicable) including level of investment by all participants (to the extent possible).

Funding details should include potential funding sources and funding level
Provide details for Year 1* (and future years of multi-year proposals)
Funding runs from April 1 to March 31

Proposed Funding Sources
  Year 1
(ie 2010/11)
Year 2 2011/12 etc etc
Identify all potential and secured funding sources including in-kind level of funding      
and        
         
SERG-I funding sought      
Total        

* For new projects, Y1 starts the year when the full proposal is accepted.

Final Proposal

Final Proposals should be no longer than 4 pages using font sizes no smaller than 10
Multi-year projects require a final proposal each year.

General:

  1. 1. Title:
  2. 2. Principle Investigator or Agency:
  3. 3. Contact Person:
  4. 4. Telephone Number:
  5. 5. Address:

 

Executive Summary

 

Objective: Clear and concise statement of objective (s).

Financial:

Budget requirements (by year for multi-year projects) clearly identifying funding sought from SERG-I and other potential funding sources.

  1. Provide details of expected expenditures, i.e. casual/student salaries, related travel, materials, printing, etc. for current year using budget template below.
  2. Identify committed funding and in-kind contributions from all sources.
  3. Forecast budget requirements for future years (where applicable) including level of investment by each participant (to the extent possible).

 

Funding details should include potential funding sources and funding level
Provide details for Year 1* (and future years of multi-year proposals)
Funding runs from April 1 to March 31

Proposed Funding Sources
  Year 1
(ie 2010/11)
Year 2 2011/12 etc etc
Identify all potential and secured funding sources including in-kind level of funding      
and        
         
SERG-I funding sought      
Total        

* For new projects, Y1 starts the year when the full proposal is accepted.

Include funding details for Current Year

Funding Details
Casual employee/ student salaries  
Field Trials  
Vehicles  
Field equipment supplies  
Travel, meals, lodging  
Lab  
Materials and Supplies  
etc  
etc  
Total  

Note: Full-time employee salaries/travel and administration fees will not be funded by SERG-I but can be noted as in-kind contributions.

Background:

Identify the problem/opportunity of concern and how it relates to SERG-I's Areas of Research in its Terms of Reference. Outline the magnitude of the impact of the project if successful and if not undertaken. Identify the specific solution required. Identify any previous funding received and progress to date.

Participants/Co-operators:

Identify the roles of researchers and user agencies involved in the project as well as the level of support and participation throughout the project.

Methodology:

Identify all relevant details including method of implementation, number of personnel involved, location, anticipated completion date, etc.

Deliverables including Timing and Reporting Milestones

Identify measurable outputs to be produced by which the success of the project may be evaluated and the manner in which these will be presented. Note: Reporting requirements include a final SERG-I report due by mid-January of the year following acceptance of the proposal and an oral presentation preferably by the Principal Investigator at the annual SERG-I workshop.

 

APPENDIX "B"

SERG International Proposal Review Procedures

The Executive will review the SERG-I Long-Term plan annually, update it as required, and set research priorities for the following year. Specific priorities, and the level of funding anticipated for each, will be identified whenever possible. The updated Long-Term Plan and Research Priorities will be distributed normally by early October, at the time of the call for SERG-I Concept Proposals. Specific agencies or individuals may be asked to submit proposals for certain projects or an open public call for proposals may be used for other work areas.

Call for Proposals

Concept and final proposals (in the formats detailed in Appendix A) will be accepted up to the date set by the Executive Director in his call letter. The research proponent may be invited at the discretion of the Executive to be available either in person or via telephone when a particular proposal is being reviewed.

Stage I Review

Members of the Steering Committee will review the executive summaries of the Concept Proposals to determine the proposal's compliance with the Long-Term Plan and Research Priorities, and to identify the funding potential for the proposed research. This review will be completed no later than the end of the National Forest Pest Management Forum week (usually first week in December). Only Concept Proposals approved at this stage will receive further consideration at Stage II.

Stage II Review and Funding

The Executive Director may obtain at least two reviews of each Proposal – one from a scientist and one from a user. The final proposals and the reviewers' comments are then provided to the Steering Committee to determine which projects will receive support for funding in the upcoming year.

Conflict of Interest Guidelines

Recognizing that members of the SERG-I Steering Committee may also be participants on SERG-I-supported projects, the following rules will apply:

  1. Said members will declare themselves in conflict when evaluating SERG-I proposals (Stage II – Terms of Reference) of which they are collaborators or which have the same scientific goals as SERG-I proposals/ projects of which they are a collaborator.
  2. Project-team members will be excluded from the Stage II evaluation of their SERG-I project.

 

Rules for SERG-I Stage II Evaluation

  1. Prior to the Stage II evaluation meeting, principal investigators will be notified of the date – time for the SERG-I review.
  2. Principal investigators will avail themselves, either in person or by telephone, for questions that may arise during the Stage II review.
  3. Attendance to the full review meeting will be restricted to the SERG-I Steering Committee, their alternates and invitees.
  4. The Stage II review meeting may also have an open format during which specific questions relating to project proposals will be discussed.

 

SERG-I is not a funding agency with an allotment of money to be awarded through a competitive-process. Rather, SERG-I provides a means for the members to work cooperatively on research projects through the sharing of expertise, financial resources, in-kind resources, staff, and the results to achieve common goals consistent with specified SERG-I General Areas of Research.

At Stage II, the Steering Committee will review the final proposals and the comments of the reviewers in considering the proposals for funding by the members. Each member will decide which specific proposals to support, and what type (e.g., financial, in-kind, coordination, advisory) and amount of support will be provided. Opportunities for cooperation and efficiencies will be explored and encouraged by the Steering Committee.

Proposal Endorsement and Conditions

The Executive Director will inform each proponent in writing of the status of the Proposal (e.g. approved, not approved, approved with conditions, or revise and re-submit). Proposals approved at Stage II will be assigned a Project Number.

SERG-I research projects will be completed according to SERG-I Field Guidelines available on the SERG-I website (www.sergreport.net).
For most projects, SERG-I will arrange for a holdback of 30% of funds. This holdback will be released upon receipt and acceptance by the funding agencies of the final or interim report and a presentation preferably by the Principal Investigator at the SERG-I Workshop. Proponents are expected to manage their finances by taking this 30% holdback into consideration. Each year, a project report must be received and accepted by the funding agencies before funding will be granted for subsequent years.

APPENDIX C

Reporting Policy for SERG-I

1. Introduction

SERG International (SERG-I) has an excellent reputation for supporting applied research and technology for use in forest pest management and other related fields. As a service to the technical community, SERG-I maintains on-line access to reports produced through the SERG-I process and distributes these as PDF files upon request. Typically, SERG-I facilitates some 30 research and development projects annually.

2. SERG International Reporting Requirements

As part of the agreement with a Principal Investigator (PI) who participates in the SERG-I process, a final report (and yearly interim reports in the case of multi-year funding) is required by mid-January of year following acceptance of proposal and an oral presentation at the annual Workshop. Final acceptance of report submissions is the responsibility of SERG-I funding members.

Final Reports


Copies of final reports will be distributed by the PI in the following manner:

  1. All Executive Committee members and funding agencies will receive one hard copy each (names and addresses of members can be obtained from the Executive Director) bound between SERG-I covers.
  2. The SERG-I Executive Director will receive 2 bound copies and a PDF version. A copy of the report will be filed with CISTI and distributed (PDF version) upon request.

 

Interim Reports

All formats discussed above (with a bilingual abstract) are appropriate for interim reporting. It is suggested further that reporting requirements be discussed in the proposal and upon funding. As a minimum reporting requirement, an interim report will be required every year. Interim reports include

Proprietary Research

Proprietary industrial projects (as opposed to proprietary academic rights in order to protect publication potential) will be handled as a separate entity. In this case, an explicit contract will be entered into between funding members and Principal Investigator and the deliverables will be stated. This is the only case where a final report may not be required based on the specific contract.

3. Acceptance of SERG-I Reports

For most Projects, SERG-I will hold back 30% of allocated funds. These will be released upon acceptance of reporting requirements. Ultimately, acceptance of all SERG-I reports rests with the funding members. If a majority of the funding members accept a Final Report then the project is considered complete. If there is a dispute or in the unusual case of a deadlock, the SERG-I Executive Director will cast the deciding vote. The balance of project funds will be withheld and released only on report completion unless negotiated beforehand (i.e. in the case of the prospect of a long peer review process, the letter of submission to a journal would release the final balance of funds).

4. Delinquency

It will be the responsibility of the Funding members working with the Executive Director to obtain project reports. Reporting delinquency is a problem and can, in some cases, result in the inability of a funding member to generate additional funds for contribution to SERG International. Principal Investigators who don't fulfil yearly interim or final reporting requirements will not receive further funding from SERG-I until reporting requirements have been completed.

In the event a delinquent report is not 'in the works' (i.e., actively being worked on by data analyses and writing, and has a scheduled reporting date), or is not likely to be prepared as acknowledged by the original PI, then that PI will be obliged to provide the raw data and associated results that were collected, the objectives of the project, and as much detail as possible about the material and methods that were used. This information may be made available to one or more of the original funding members of the project and subsequently made available by them to another researcher duly recognized by them and/or the SERG-I Executive who has interest in further analyses and reporting, though not necessarily to the exclusion of the original PI.

 

APPENDIX D

SERG-I Executive Director Responsibilities

Overall Responsibility

Under the authority of the Executive Members of SERG-I, the Executive Director has the responsibility to plan, organize, manage and control all the activities defined in SERG-I's Terms of Reference.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Chairs the SERG-I Steering Committee: liaises with other research organisations/ networks; ensures that meetings of the Steering Committee are held as required, workshops are held annually, research proposals are submitted for review either by request or letter call, and research reports are submitted and distributed.
  2. Maintains milestones for all new research projects to ensure compliance to report production schedules.
  3. Calls periodic meetings of the Steering Committee and sub-committees as required to identify problems and opportunities, prepare research proposals, plan research activities, and recommends priorities accordingly.
  4. Ensures distribution of research reports and facilitates communication and collaboration among scientists, applicators, and forest managers.
  5. In consultation with the Steering Committee, assists the Executive in updating annually a Long-Term plan which includes each activity area addressed by SERG-I, clearly identifying individual studies and defining general and annual objectives.
  6. Maintains and circulates to the Steering Committee a status report on publications and reports prepared or anticipated from studies supported by SERG-I.
  7. Represents SERG-I at meetings and submits reports to the Steering Committee.
  8. Ensures that minutes for Steering Committee Meetings are taken and distributed.
  9. Reviews progress on current research studies supported by SERG-I.
  10. Presents new research proposals recommended by the Steering Committee and distributes them to the membership.
  11. Identifies potential sources of funding for research proposals and, where appropriate, assists the Steering Committee in obtaining commitments from these sources.
  12. Relays the decisions and recommendations of the Steering Committee to the SERG-I mailing list and proponents.
  13. Stimulates communication among the members to share resources.
  14. Produces an annual workshop proceedings summarizing SERG-I activities and distributes it to SERG-I members and other stakeholders through the SERG-I web site.
  15. Maintains the SERG-I website.
  16. Prepares an annual Executive Director's operating budget for consideration by the Steering Committee prior to the commencement of the next fiscal year.

 

APPENDIX E

SERG International
Graduate Student Awards Fund (GSAF)

Context

SERG International (SERG-I) would like to honour the hard work and dedication of many practitioners of forest pest management by establishing an annual Graduate Student Awards Fund (GSAF) to support graduate students who are doing research directly related to SERG-I's areas of interest [www.serg-i.org]. The main purpose of the Fund is to support students early in their careers by providing an opportunity to attend the annual SERG-I Workshop where they can present their own research and interact with many of the key researchers and managers responsible for forest pest management in Canada and the United States as well as some of the leading manufacturers of pest control products and related services. The Annual Workshop is hosted by different member agencies; hence, its location varies annually across Canada and northern United States.

Terms of Reference

  1. Annual selection of GSAF Honourees
    1. On or about October 1st of each year, the Executive Director of SERG-I will canvass by email the Steering Committee Members and universities/colleges for nominations for the GSAF.
    2. All GSAF applications received by the Executive Director by the November 15th deadline (as noted in 4e of the Application Process) will be forwarded within a week to Executive Committee members for review. The Executive will evaluate all applications and make their recommendation(s) known at the SERG-I Annual General Meeting, normally held in the first week of December in conjunction with the annual Forest Pest Management Forum.
    3. The Executive Director will subsequently communicate with the successful student(s) regarding their awards and the requirement to attend and participate at the SERG-I Annual Workshop normally held in February of the ensuing year.

  2. Award Value
    1. Annual awards of up to $2 000 each may be made available for up to 5 students (i.e., maximum of $10 000 annually subject to Executive approval). The Executive may approve, subject to funds available and/or other relevant circumstances, additional awards in years when there are more than 5 students who qualify based on recommendations by the Selection Committee.
    2. SERG-I reserves the right to modify the conditions of the GSAF or to discontinue the initiative entirely.

  3. Application Process
    1. The availability of the SERG-I GSAF will be made known to potential applicants through the Steering Committee members and university contacts and will be posted on the SERG-I website.
    2. Awards are open to post-graduate students who are engaged in research in one or more of the four themes of research specified in the Terms of Reference for SERG-I. Students may apply more than once during their degree program.
    3. The major supervisor of the student applying for an award must provide a Letter of Support outlining the merits of the nominee and this Letter must be included in the application which is due by November 15th.
    4. Each applicant must enclose, along with the Letter of Support, a Student Summary Statement in which they discuss, in no more than two pages, their research interests, enthusiasm and interest for attending and presenting at the SERG-I Workshop, and how their project adheres to one or more of the SERG-I research themes.
    5. Complete applications, including the Letter of Support and the Student Summary Statement must be submitted by email to the Executive Director of SERG-I by November 15th in each award year. The Executive Director will forward applications to the Executive Committee in advance of the SERG-I Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the annual Forest Pest Management Forum (usually the first week of December). Successful GSAF winners will be notified by the SERG-I Executive Director shortly thereafter as noted in 2c above.
    6. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  4. Award Conditions
    1. Award to consist of $500 cash, waiver of SERG-I Workshop Registration Fee and up to $1 500 towards reimbursement of expenses incurred for attending the Workshop including: economy return air fare; hotel; taxi; and per diems (at federal rates). (Note: all original receipts are required except for per diem items).
    2. Each successful Award winner is required to attend the annual SERG-I Workshop and make an oral presentation of their research work. Associated abstracts and summary reports are to be provided for inclusion in the SERG-I Workshop Proceedings and may be posted on the SERG-I website.
    3. Awards will be presented at the SERG-I Annual Workshop.

  5. Award Restrictions
    1. A candidate can only receive a Graduate Student Award once during each graduate degree.
    2. A candidate receiving funding as PI for a SERG-I project can not apply for a Graduate Student Award.

  6. Generalized Timeline
January February March April May June July August September October November December
   

-------------- Student study & research period -------------

Letter of Support & Student Summary Statement to be prepared with Application to be submitted by deadline of November 15th.

Applications received by SC by Nov. 15th; Reviews done. GSAF Awards announced at AGM.F
                       

 

SERG International Terms of Reference January, 2014