The Nutrition Society Supporter Policy
The Nutrition Society is an independent organisation, the largest learned society for nutrition in Europe and a leading world authority in the field of nutritional science. Members of the Society are individuals who have a genuine interest in nutrition and who work in a wide array of roles (or are retired from such roles) or are studying nutrition on a recognised course.
The mission of the Society is to ‘advance the scientific study of nutrition and its application to the maintenance of human and animal health’.
Currently, the main activities of the Society are:
- Developing and disseminating nutrition science: publishing, organising conferences, and scientific communications
- Professional Development, through the Society’s platform The Academy
- Providing advice/opinion on nutrition matters to external agencies
Sources of Income
As a registered charity the Society depends primarily upon the income generated from its scientific publications to fund its charitable objects. However, the Board of Trustees recognise that additional external support is an important element in the overall sustainability, affordability and continuing success of the Society’s current and future scientific activities.
The Society’s strength, over its 82-year history, is its independence. This independence builds trust, and enables the Society to be uniquely placed to bring together, in an environment of equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion, a wide range of people and organisations who share a common interest in nutrition science.
It is essential that to maintain the Society’s reputation as an independent learned society that any external fiscal support the Society may receive is not able to, or be perceived to, influence the scientific content or activities of the Society.
Supporter Policy Aims
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Recognise that extended support is an important element to the sustainability, affordability, and strategic collaborative potential of the Society, and continuing success of the Society’s global activities.
- Enable the Society to raise funds ethically, transparently and efficiently.
- To help manage, and communicate, the often difficult aspect of external support: perception.
- Help Trustees to oversee this aspect of the Society’s affairs, through the establishment of transparent guidelines for Trustees, local organisers and staff, to ensure fair and consistent practice across all the Society’s activities.
Support may be received from four distinct sectors:
- The private sector
- The non-profit sector
- The public sector
Accepting support can imply mutual endorsement. This means that what is accepted and offered require judgement. This is not the case with the Society. Support or sponsorship is separate from, and is not permitted to influence, the science of the Society. This is critical to maintain the Society’s reputation as an independent learned Society. Decisions whether to accept support or not are made jointly by the Treasurer, Honorary Training Officer, Chief Executive and President as representatives of the Trustees, and by the Local Organisers of the relevant event or meeting.
Policy for conference support
- No direct commercial sponsorship or endorsement is permitted for Society organised scientific programmes, abstracts, speakers or symposia.
- Supporters are not permitted to direct or influence the content of scientific programmes or symposia or, except in the case of Satellite Symposia, direct or influence the choice of speakers at conferences
- Supporters are not permitted to engage in commercial activity at conferences other than as permitted under the agreed terms of sponsorship or commercial activity (such as exhibitions).
- Supporters are acknowledged in an agreed format in the programme and at the conference
- Supporters shall not refer to or use the Society’s name in activities without prior written permission.
- The Society reserves the right to refuse donations, sponsorship or commercial activity proposals should it deem it necessary to protect the reputation of the Society.
Support of conferences may include the following:
Funds given with no stipulation
Supporters are acknowledged on the Society’s website, in the provisional programme (provided an agreement exists before publication date) and in the full programme that is distributed at the conference.
A supporter may pay in full for a contribution to the cost of a social event (eg lunch, tea and coffee, dinner, an evening reception or social event). In return, a sign may be displayed bearing the company logo and informing delegates that the refreshments were sponsored by the supporter. If the events are ‘invitation’ only, then the company logo should appear on the invitation.
In kind contributions
A supporter may choose to donate a product (e.g. soft drinks, beer, wine, sandwich lunches or snacks for meals or refreshment breaks). Their support would be displayed on a sign or menu if appropriate.
Student travel bursaries
Supporters can finance students to attend. In return, the organisation logo is printed in the programme as with other supporters. Support of the bursary should be acknowledged on the Society’s website, and in the conference programme booklet.
Organisations may propose to organise a Satellite Symposium if the conference programme permits.
The Policy is as follows:
- These proposals are accepted at the discretion of the Society
- The scientific programme is planned by the organisation but must be approved by the Society’s Science Committee
- All publicity material is separate from that of the Society’s main conference programme
- Publication in PNS is at the discretion of the Society’s Publications Committee and all papers are subject to full peer review
- Each page of material published in PNS shall bear a disclaimer expressed in words that are at the sole discretion of the Society
The Society’s Academy provides a platform, based on access through the payment of fees and subscriptions, for webinars (both live and on-demand) and online learning modules.
Support for the Academy may include:
- Organisations are able to request to produce a webinar to be used by the Academy on the platform
- Organisations are able to request to sponsor an individual speaker/webinar on the platform
- Organisations are able to request to sponsor a catalogue (e.g., professional skills) on the platform
- Organisations are able to request a joint webinar with the Society on the platform
- Organisations are able to request to produce a workshop to be delivered at one of the Society’s conferences
- Organisations are able to request to sponsor one of the Academy’s existing workshops held at the Society’s conferences
The following restrictions apply to the Academy webinars, and to the above requests:
- No direct commercial sponsorship or endorsement is permitted for Society organised webinars.
- Supporters are not permitted to direct or influence the content of Society webinars
- The scientific content of an organisation’s webinar is to be planned by the organisation but must be approved by the Society’s Academy
- The scientific content of joint webinars between the Society and external supporter organisations must be pre-approved by the Academy. In such circumstances the Society’s partnership in the webinar will not imply any endorsement or support of the organisation and/or its products and services.
- The Academy will remain, in the use of its delegated approval powers, subject to oversight jointly by the Treasurer, Chief Executive and President as representatives of the Trustees, to ensure consistency and transparency in the application of the Supporter Policy.
- The Society reserves the right to refuse support through donations, sponsorship or commercial activity proposals for its Academy should it deem it necessary to protect the reputation of the Society.
Definition of terms
‘Sponsor’ means an individual or an organisation that pledges money in advance to support either the Society in general or a particular project.
‘Donation’ means a gift in cash or kind.
‘Endorsement’ means declare approval of an activity or opinion etc.
‘Commercial Activity’ – means utilising Exhibition space at a conference or circulating information/promotional material to delegates.
‘Conferences’ mean scientific meetings and symposia organised by the Society. Where this policy applies to conferences, it applies only to the Society’s conferences.
Effective: 19 May 2023. Subject to regular review