LOFAR-Sweden Constitution

Approved 21st September 2009

Text of Adopted Constitution

1. A consortium shall be formed from scientists/engineers in Sweden with an interest in exploiting and developing LOFAR (the LOw Frequency ARray). LOFAR is a new low frequency array radio telescope whose elements are, or will be, located in the Netherlands and several other Europeans countries including Sweden. The Swedish consortium covers only the exploitation and development of the radio-antenna portion of LOFAR, excluding any other sensor arrays that might be attached to the LOFAR network infrastructure. In addition to encouraging and managing Swedish interest in LOFAR the consortium will also provide a national forum for sharing information on other low frequency radio astronomy projects such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).

2. The full name of the consortium shall be ‘The consortium for LOFAR in Sweden’ (Abbreviated LOFAR-SWEDEN).

3. Membership. Full consortium membership is open to any interested scientist/engineer (including PhD students) who is employed at a Swedish university or other academic research organisation. Associate membership is open to anyone in Sweden or abroad with an interest in Swedish LOFAR (this includes but is not limited to representatives of companies in Sweden, former full members who have moved abroad and foreign adjunct professors at Swedish universities). Full and associate members differ only in their voting rights and eligibility to serve on the executive committee. After the initial establishment of the consortium and its initial list of members (see 4) new applicants may mail the consortium secretary and ask to be registered as either a full or associate member. Disputes about eligibility for membership will be adjudicated by the consortium Executive committee.

4. Initial membership, After this constitution is established but before the consortium becomes operational the ad-hoc drafting committee will create an initial membership list from the attendees to the Stockholm interest meeting and contact list. Potential members on this list will be informed and additionally a general mailing to the Swedish community will be made advertising the availability of membership.

5. Executive committee. The consortium shall have an executive committee. Initially five members will represent science areas covered by the LOFAR Key Science Projects which are judged to have significant Swedish interest, namely Surveys, Epoch-of-resionisation, Transients, Cosmic Rays, Solar and Space weather. In future the number of special interest areas and their titles may be amended at the discretion of the Executive committee (by majority vote) after consultation with the members of the consortium. For any newly established seats nominations will be sought and (if needed) a special election held. The term of office of such newly established seats will end at the same time as other sitting members. Additionally to the above seats there will be two ‘at large’ members to represent other scientific areas and provide geographical balance. Finally the committee will have a member appointed by each station operator in Sweden which is a fully operational supplier of data to the central LOFAR correlator (or which prior to final station construction has a standard LOFAR station on order).

6. The Executive committee shall elect a Chairperson and a Secretary. The Chairperson will call and prepare agendas of meetings and be the chair of such meetings. The secretary will keep minutes, keep track of the membership list, administer a website and organise elections to the Executive committee.

7. The Executive committee will appoint Swedish representatives to serve on all the international bodies of LOFAR which request such representatives. For any boards or executive bodies of central LOFAR which are responsible for dispersing funds partly or wholly drawn from contributions to central operations costs this representative should be drawn from those Swedish institutions which contribute significantly to those central operating costs. For other technical or advisory bodies representatives can be drawn from the executive committee or the membership at large. All representatives will keep the Executive committee members informed about developments and discussions within international LOFAR. On issues of station operation and financial issues the Executive committee will be advisory to the station operators on the best policies to follow in the interest of the Swedish LOFAR community.

8. The Executive committee (or any sub-committee it should appoint) will make all decisions on the allocation to observing projects of any LOFAR observing time rights that are earned by Sweden in return for its contributions to the LOFAR project.

9. The Executive committee will attempt to adopt all decisions and recommendations by consensus. If that is not possible a vote will be taken of all those attending the meeting. Executive committee members who cannot attend may appoint a proxy by informing the secretary prior to the meeting. In the case that votes within the executive committee are tied the chairperson has the casting vote.

10. Executive committee members will be elected for terms of 2 years. All full members of the consortium are eligible to stand for election. The Secretary will inform all members at least 4 weeks before the terms of sitting members expire that an election is due and ask for people to nominate themselves (deadline 2 weeks before end of term). Nominations should be made separately for each of the seats representing subject areas and for the two at-large member seats. The sitting Executive committee will act as ‘Valberedning’ committee in encouraging candidates to stand (prior to the establishment of the consortium the ad-hoc drafting committee will perform this function).

If there is more than one nomination for a science area position or more than
two for the at-large positions the secretary will organise an election by email. This election should be held at the latest 2 weeks before the expiration date of the term of sitting members. For each of the science area positions being contested each full members will be able to cast one vote for their preferred candidate (note there is no restriction that an elector is active in that science area in order for them to cast a vote for a particular science area seat). In the case of the election of the ‘at -large’ members, each full member will have two votes to cast, both of which cannot be given to the same person. For science area positions the candidate with the largest number of votes is elected. For the open positions the candidates receiving the largest and second largest numbers of votes will be elected. The information on who voted for which candidate will be kept by the secretary and this information will be made available to members of the Executive committee on request.

In the case of an election resulting in a tie the candidate that receives the votes from the largest number of scientific departments/institutions within Sweden is elected. in the case that this is also tied the person who received the earliest vote cast will be elected.

11. Face to face meetings of the whole membership will be held periodically (target once per year). The executive committee will meet a minimum of twice per year either by telecon or face-to-face.

12. The consortium shall not have any budget and shall not apply to be a full legal entity under Swedish law.

13. Legal owners of hardware in Sweden to be used as part of the LOFAR array (e.g
antenna ‘stations’ whose signals will be combined into LOFAR, or hardware for data transmission) will retain operational control of such hardware, no operational control of such hardware is ceded to the consortium.

14. Proposals for modification to this constitution can be submitted by any full member to the secretary of the Executive committee. The submitted proposal must also be seconded by another full member. The secretary will then distribute this proposal by email to the whole membership and will within one month organise a vote by email of all full members -voting either to accepting or reject the proposal. In the case of a tie the proposed amendment is not  accepted.