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 are:
- Developing and disseminating nutrition science: publishing, organising conferences
- Providing advice/opinion on nutrition matters to external agencies
It is key that to maintain the Society’s reputation as an independent learned society that any support is kept separate from science.
Successful and appropriate support is an important element in the sustainability, affordability and continuing success of the Society’s current and future scientific conferences.
Aims and objectives
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Recognise that extended support is a key element to the sustainability, affordability and continuing success of the Society’s conferences.
- Protect the Society from being associated with inappropriate partners.
- Enable the Society to raise funds ethically and efficiently.
- Help Trustees to oversee this aspect of the Society’s affairs.
- Establish guidelines for Trustees, local organisers and staff, to ensure fair and consistent practice across all the Society’s activities.
The Society currently depends for most of its income on publications. Conferences also attract a modest amount of support from restricted commercial activity such as exhibition stands.
Possible means of future support are:
- For the Society in general (Benefactor or Corporate Benefactor)
- For conferences, including connected Commercial Activities
- For other Projects
To help organise conferences at a reasonable rate of registration, and to sustain new activities, these and additional supporting activities are important.
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 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, Secretary, Chief Executive and President as representatives of the Trustees and by the Local Organisers of the relevant event or meeting. In the case of deadlock, the final decision will be made by the President.
Policy for benefactors
- Funds are provided in the form of “unrestricted educational grants” to support the overall aims and activities of the Learned Society (There are tax breaks but this needs careful advice from accountants in each country of claim)
- Benefactors are acknowledged on the website
- Benefactors may mention that they have provided grants to the Society, but must not imply that the Society endorses the Benefactor
- Benefactors and in particular, Corporate Benefactors must not use the name of the Society in connection with any other activity
- Benefactors have certain agreed benefits (e.g. on-line journal access) at the discretion of the Society
- The Society reserves the right to refuse funds from prospective Benefactors.
Policy for conference support
- No direct commercial sponsorship or endorsement is permitted for scientific programmes, abstracts, speakers or symposia.
- Supporters are not permitted to direct the content of scientific programmes or symposia or, except in the case of Satellite Symposia, direct 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.
- 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.
Companies 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 organised by the Company but must be approved by the Society’s Science Committee
- All publicity material is separate from that of the Society’s 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
Policy for other projects
Operational Responsibilities and Administration
Support including sponsorship, is the responsibility of the Chief Executive and the Honorary Treasurer, with support from the Honorary Secretary and President. Consideration of support for individual conferences is shared with the Honorary Programmes Secretary, with the Programmes Committee and Local Organising Team. Trustees and members may also be involved in sponsorship generation via personal contacts. Once contacts are established, the Chief Executive and Honorary Treasurer should be made aware.
Definition of terms
‘Benefactor or Corporate Benefactor’ is an individual or organisation that provides funds in the form of unrestricted educational grants.
‘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, not to conferences or meetings or symposia it co-hosts and often publishes in PNS (examples include BAPEN FSA, Vahouny, BS, Immunology Society, BDA). Less formal meetings, conferences or workshops that do not lead to a publication may also be arranged (eg with BNF).
‘Society’ is reference to The Nutrition 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.
- Social events.
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 is 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 company 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.
Companies can support students to attend. In return, their logo is printed in the programme as with other supporters. Support of the bursary should be acknowledged in the annual report, on the website, and in the back of the conference programme booklet.