I. Purpose and Amendment Procedures

This document supplies many of the operating procedures of the Executive Committee of the Division of Soft Matter. It can be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Committee at any scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee.

II. Official Year

The year of service begins after the conclusion of the March Meeting of the American Physical Society.

III. Additional Duties of the Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall serve as a committee of the whole on matters of broad interest to the Unit.

  2. The Bylaws call for the Executive Committee to meet each year. These Unit Operating Procedures recommend at least four meetings each year. One in-person meeting will occur at the March Meeting. At least three other meetings should occur in the 12 months that follow and may be conducted by video conference. The Unit Chair may schedule additional meetings of the Executive Committee as needed.

IV. Additional Duties of the Officers

  1. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and Business Sessions of the Unit. The Chair shall notify the Executive Committee of matters requiring the decision of said Committee and shall prepare the agenda of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions. The Chair shall keep the Council of the Society informed of the activities and needs of the Unit through an Assigned or elected Councilor. The chair shall appoint members to the Program and Fellowship Committees, and shall form and appoint members to other ad-hoc committees as necessary. The Program Chair should be appointed 3 years prior to the meeting they will chair.

  2. The Chair-Elect shall be a member of the Program Committee and Early Career Award Committee ex officio. The Chair-Elect shall also serve as Unit Diversity Officer, both as a member of the Nominating Committee and more generally to canvas for a diverse pool of Fellowship and Early Career Award nominations.
    The Diversity Officer shall work with committees (APS Fellowship, the Early Career Award, and Nominating) to ensure that nominations reach a diverse pool of potential recipients, in terms of scientific and personal representation, including women, members of underrepresented minority groups and scientists outside the United States.

  3. The Vice Chair shall serve on the Fellowship Committee ex officio.

  4. The Secretary-Treasurer shall maintain the records of the Unit including minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions, activities of the Unit, and membership lists. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare minutes of Executive Committee meetings and Business Sessions and shall submit these minutes to each member of the Executive Committee. Following elections, such minutes are to include the results of the election and a roster of the current Executive Committee membership. The APS Corporate Secretary shall also be informed of the names of the newly elected officers and their positions as soon as possible upon completion of the election.

In accordance with Article VIII.1 of the Society Bylaws, The Secretary-Treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds in the custody of or placed at the disposal of the Unit and shall authorize disbursements from such funds for expenses in a manner that is consistent with the general policies of the Society and the Unit.

The approval of the Executive Committee shall be required for disbursements in excess of $1000 per expenditure unless otherwise specifically delegated by the Executive Committee. Financial records shall be kept on an annual basis consistent with the fiscal policies of the Society. The Secretary-Treasurer shall present a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Committee and at the annual Business Session of the Unit.

  1. The Secretary-Treasurer shall oversee the regular APS Email Communications with membership of the Unit and shall perform such other functions as may be explicitly provided in the Bylaws and the Unit Operating Procedures.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall remain in the capacity as Past Secretary/Treasurer for one year after the election of their replacement. Their role will be to provide guidance to the new officer to ensure an orderly transition.

  1. Two Members-at-Large will be elected each year for three-year terms and will serve on two additional committees of theUnit. Each Member-at-Large from a given year will follow one specified track and serve on committees in each year of their term as indicated:

Awards Track (Track A):

Year 1: ESME Award Committee

Year 2: ESME Award Committee, Travel/Sponsorship Awards Committee

Year 3: Travel/Sponsorship Awards Committee (Chair)

Meeting Track (Track B): 

Year 1: Gallery of Soft Matter Committee, Program Committee

Year 2: Gallery of Soft Matter Committee (Chair)

Year 3: Program Committee (short course)

  1. One Student Representative will be elected each year for a two-year term. The student representatives will serve on the Student Affairs Committee. In addition, they will serve on the Gallery of Soft Matter Committee (in Year 1) and Travel and Sponsorship Awards Committee (in Year 2).

V. Additional Committees of the Unit

Each committee shall maintain a set of best practice documents that describe the role of the committee to provide a roadmap for future committee members; this document should include sample emails. The Secretary/Treasurer shall ensure that these documents are maintained, collected, and re-distributed to committee chairs during each changeover to new leadership.

  1. Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee shall be chaired by the Past Chair and shall include the Members-at-Large and Student Representatives of the Unit, plus one member appointed by the Chief Executive Officer for a one-year term. The Chair shall ascertain through the APS Corporate Secretary the identity of this member. The chair-elect will serve as a diversity officer on the committee. If the Past Chair is unable to serve, the Chair may nominate a member of the Executive Committee as a replacement. The Secretary-Treasurer will send a communication to the Unit membership soliciting names for consideration by the Nominating Committee and will provide the Nominating Committee with the history of previous ballots. In consultation with the Secretary-Treasurer, the Nominating Committee shall rule on the validity of any nominating petitions. In addition to those names supplied by the petition process, they may supply additional names for any vacancy. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of candidates to stand for election. There shall be at least two nominations for any vacancy. The committee will endeavor to nominate candidates who reflect an appropriate degree of diversity, both in gender and ethnicity as well as in career stage, work environment, and other characteristics.

  1. Program Committee: The Program Committee will have a Chair, Chair-Elect, and Vice Chair. At the end of each year (after the annual Business meeting) the Chair will retire, the Chair-Elect will become Chair, the Vice Chair will become Chair-Elect, and a new Vice Chair, appointed by the Unit Chair, will assume the role. This appointment will be made no later than January 31 for the following year's March Meeting. The Unit Chair-Elect will serve on the Program Committee ex officio.Two Members at Large will serve on this committee, as noted under §IV.5. The Chair-Elect, 3rd-year Member-at-Large, and the two Student Representatives shall lead the organization of the Short Course, including evaluating proposals, as well as advertising, organizing, and managing the event. If the committee as constituted does not include members with close ties to other Units with which DSOFT typically co-organizes sessions (DBIO, DFD, DPOLY, GSNP) it is recommended that additional members with connections to those Units should be added to the Program Committee. 

The Vice-Chair shall lead the poster prize judging and selection during the March Meeting, including identifying judges and overseeing the selection process.The Program Committee shall be responsible, in cooperation with the Executive Committee, for arranging sessions of Society meetings sponsored by the Unit, and from time to time may organize special meetings and workshops. The Program Committee will be responsible for soliciting and selecting invited sessions and focus sessions at the Regular Meeting, and for sorting all contributed sessions sponsored or co-sponsored by the Unit at the sorters meetings. The Program Chair shall ensure that all invited speakers are notified of their selection (or non-selection) in a timely fashion, that symposia chairs are found, and corrections and adjustments to the list of the invited speakers, symposia, and focus sessions are made.

The Program Committee may also jointly co-organize meetings that are co-sponsored with other societies or organizations.

  1. Fellowship Selection Committee: The Fellowship Committee shall include four or five  members of the Unit appointed by the Chair to two-year terms. If the Chair is not a Fellow, the appointments may be delegated to the Past Chair or Chair-Elect. Committee appointments shall be made in consultation with the members of the Executive Committee. Following APS Honors Policies, the appointed members should not (if possible) be involved in Fellowship nominations as either nominators or participants. One of the Unit members (usually in Year 2 of their term) will serve as Chair and a second will serve as Vice Chair (usually in Year 1 of their term). Two or three  new members are appointed each year as two or three rotate off, with one selected to serve as Committee Vice Chair and then Committee Chair The Unit Vice Chair will serve as a non-voting member of the committee. The Fellowship Committee shall review the qualifications of candidates for Fellowship and report its recommendations to the Head of the APS Honors Program to the Fellowship Committee of the Society.

  2. Student Affairs Committee: The Chair and Vice Chair of this committee shall be the two Student Representatives of the Executive Committee, in order of seniority. The Unit Chair-Elect will serve on this committee along with students and postdocs in staggered two-year terms, as appointed by the Unit Chair. This committee will solicit feedback from student members of the Unit with regards to programming at the March Meeting, tutorials and special programs of interest to the student members, and other issues related to the education, networking and career development of our student members. The goal of the committee is to best serve student members of the Unit through programming and other offerings at the March Meeting and throughout the year. The Student Affairs Committee will endeavor to reflect an appropriate degree of diversity. The Unit Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will appoint one new student member every 3 years (to a 3-year term), or as needed to keep the membership of the committee at a total of 5. Students who graduate during their term of service may continue to serve through the close of their appointment.

  3. Early Career Award Committee: The Early Career Award Selection Committee will have a Vice-Chair, Chair, Past-Chair and at least 2 other unit members appointed by the Unit-Chair. At the end of each year, after the annual Business meeting, the Vice-Chair will become Chair and the Chair will become past-Chair. The committee members will serve for three years. The Committee will select the Annual award recipient, in accord with the timetable and procedures specified by the APS. Executive Committee members should not be voting members of the Awards Committee; the Chair-Elect will serve ex officio.

  4. Membership Committee: A membership committee will consist of two faculty-level members and two to three members who are either students or postdocs. Each year the unit chair will appoint one faculty-level member to the committee. The more senior faculty member will chair the committee. The committee will work with the Unit Chair and Past-Chair to enroll and retain members of the unit.

  5. Publications Committee: A publications committee will consist of members willing to serve as a conduit between DSOFT and the APS Journals, including promoting initiatives that would benefit our community. Each year the unit chair will review the committee membership to ensure there is broad representation from members with experience across the various journals, and name a committee chair from that group.

  6. Outreach and Communications Committee: An outreach and communications committee will consist of members eager to engage the DSOFT community and the general public through any or all of social media, the DSOFT Engage website, and outreach events. Each year volunteers will be solicited through an open call to staff this committee.

  7. ESME Award Committee: The ESME Awards Committee shall consist of two Members-at-Large (Track A, Years 1 and 2) and the Program Vice Chair. The committee will select twelve students as finalists for the ESME Awards from among the complete packets submitted by the Award deadline (typically, one week after the closing of the abstract submission window for the March Meeting). The committee members will notify applicants of their status (selection or not) and will serve as judges to select the awardee based on the finalists’ presentations at the designated March Meeting focus session. The committee will also provide the Secretary-Treasurer with finalist information to process certificates and stipends.  

  8. Travel and Sponsorship Awards Committee: The Travel and Sponsorship Awards Committee will consist of two Members-at-large (Track A, Years 2 and 3) and a Student Representative (Year 2). The committee  will meet monthly to evaluate and select applicants for DSOFT Future Investigator Travel Awards and Event Sponsorship Awards, following the selection guidelines detailed on the DSOFT Engage website. The committee will also notify applicants of their status, organize post-award materials, to be given to the Outreach and Communications committee for publicity, and provide award information to the Secretary-Treasurer to process payments. The committee may also propose changes to the application materials, evaluation process, timeline, and requirements to the Executive Committee as needed.

VI. Nominations and Elections

  1. Not later than April 30, the Secretary-Treasurer shall invite all members of the Unit to suggest to the Nominating Committee candidates for election for Vice Chair, two Member(s)-at-Large . one Student Representative, and and, only during the fourth year of the term of the current Secretary-Treasurer, Secretary-Treasurer.

  2. Not later than July 31, the Nominating Committee shall submit to the Secretary-Treasurer nominations for each post to be filled on the Executive Committee. The nominating committee will endeavor to nominate candidates who reflect an appropriate degree of diversity, both in sex and ethnicity as well as in career stage and work environment.

  3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall poll the Unit membership by electronic ballot no later than August 31, stating a closing date of no later than October 15. The membership will have four weeks to submit their ballots. Electronic ballots are counted automatically by the balloting system. Election shall be decided by a plurality of those voting. If there is a tie, the Executive Committee shall decide the election, with the Chair voting only in the case of a tie among the other Executive Committee members. The Secretary-Treasurer shall communicate the results of the election to the Chair prior to November 15 and shall publish the results of the election in a regular communication to all members.

  4. Central to the nomination procedure is that the members should play as large a role as possible. In particular, if five percent of unit membership as of June 30 of the previous year suggests the same person for any office, that individual will be included on the ballot.

  5. The format and instructions, including deadline dates, for nominations, will be posted on the unit website at all times.

VII. Annual Business Meeting

The Business Meeting held annually at the March Meeting will include reports of the officers and committees, election results, and financial reports. No scientific program of the Unit shall be presented simultaneously with the Business Meeting. A majority vote of those Unit members present at the Business Meeting shall be sufficient for approval of actions. All transactions at the Business Meeting are to be considered as advisory to the Executive Committee.

VIII. Other Meetings

Special scientific meetings of the Unit may be initiated by the Executive Committee and arranged by the Program Committee, subject to the rules and regulations specified in the Society Constitution and Bylaws. The rules of the Society shall apply to scientific sessions of invited or contributed papers held in conjunction with a meeting of the Society. The Program Committee shall have the responsibility for all arrangements concerning such sessions.

External Event Sponsorship: As discussed in §IV.10, the Unit will allocate funds each year to sponsor non-APS workshops, conferences, and other events organized by DSOFT members. The application process, eligibility, and requirements for receiving sponsorship funds are detailed on the DSOFT webpage. Applications will be evaluated monthly by the Travel and Sponsorship Awards Committee, and funds of up to $500 per application/event will be made until allocated funds are spent. Each year the funds allocated for sponsorship will be decided based on the available budget and other spending priorities. Sponsored events will be featured on the DSOFT webpage, and the required post-award materials submitted by the conference organizers will be used by the Communications Committee in promotional materials at their discretion.