Just when you thought that election issues were finally over, I want to engage you in a new election cycle – that of the SRS.  T-o use a phrase you heard a lot last fall, your participation counts! The Sleep Research Society belongs to its members, and our election process is your opportunity and responsibility to determine who shapes and leads the vision and mission of our society by serving on the Board of Directors.  Every voting member will receive a ballot, but you may not understand how the ballot is created.  Here’s the process and how you can participate.

Starting in January, the SRS puts out a Call for Nominations to all members. Regular and Emeritus members are eligible to self-nominate or be nominated by other members. The Board of Directors is acutely aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion in our society and leadership and we actively approach individuals with an eye toward diversity in its broadest definition. This includes but is not limited to sex/gender, race/ethnicity, geographic location, expertise, and degree types.  Understandably, not all members whom we approach or are nominated are able to make the time and travel (hopefully!) commitments required for Board participation.

After the Call for Nominations closes in February, and nominees have submitted the required paperwork, the files are reviewed by the Conflict of Interest Committee to determine if any conflicts would preclude a nominee from serving on the board. Simultaneously, the Nominations Committee reviews the nominations (excluding the the Conflict of Interest form) as well as membership status to ensure that each candidate qualifies to be placed on the ballot. In some instances, the Nominations Committee may recommend to the Board of Directors that a nominee not be considered for the ballot, but these cases are infrequent and if they occur, the individual is notified.

The list of nominees, Conflict of Interest Committee Report, and Nominations Committee Report are submitted to the Board of Directors for review and to create a slate for the ballot. The Board reviews the nominees balancing qualifications with the goal to achieve diversity, inclusion, and balance as to subject area expertise.

The Board is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the SRS. Last year the SRS formed a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, chaired by Board member Namni Goel, PhD. The Task Force is charged with helping the Society create a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment to its members. Members are encouraged to communicate their ideas about increasing the diversity of the Sleep Research Society to the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, through our Executive Director John Noel (jnoel@srsnet.org ),

Stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic!
H. Craig Heller, PhD