Specialist Groups

APSA is open to the formation of Specialist Groups that can assist members to network and cooperate in their sub-fields of political science.

Formation of a Specialist Group

For a Specialist Group to be formed, APSA requires:

  • A written proposal outlining the rationale for, and organisation of, the group.
  • The proposal to set up the group should:
    • name and provide contact details for its officers for the year up to the next conference. Each Research Group should have at least a convenor who will also act as the treasurer, or a convenor and treasurer
    • include a list of existing and possible members
    • provide a statement of proposed research activities (workshops, conferences, newsletter, publications)
    • state the membership fee (if applicable, membership fees for Research Groups for APSA are optional.).
  • An agreement either to adopt the rules of the Specialist Group as its constitution, or the written submission of an alternative constitution to the APSA Executive Committee for approval, ensuring that the provisions of that draft constitution do not contradict APSA’s own constitution.

Code of Conduct

After the formation of a Specialist Group, the APSA Executive Committee requires that the Specialist Group will undertake the following:

  • Specialist Groups are affiliated to APSA. They do not represent APSA as a whole and all communications with outside bodies should make that clear.
  • All members of the Specialist Group must also be members of APSA.
  • The Specialist Group will set up and maintain its own page on the APSA web site, which should be updated regularly. Specialist Groups can liaise with the National Office for assistance with web design and to minimise costs.
  • The Specialist Group will run panels either within an existing theme or as a separate theme at the Annual Conference.
  • Activities outside the conference are encouraged, but joint ventures should be agreed with the Executive Committee before they are badged as APSA events.
  • All Specialist Groups should liaise in good time with the National Office when organising an event, for publicity purposes.
  • The APSA logo should be displayed prominently on all group correspondence, newsletters and publications.
  • All groups must submit a report of their activities annually (to the AGM), whether or not they made any financial transactions in that year.
  • Specialist Groups should be willing to circulate information to members on behalf of all APSA members.

Financial arrangements

  • All rules relating to the management of expenditure relate only to the management of funds received from APSA. Specialist groups are free to use funds received from other bodies according to the terms set by those third parties, while at all times recognising the general restrictions that arise from being affiliated to APSA.
  • Each Specialist Group can bid for funds annually from the Executive Committee to fund their programme of activities. They can apply separately for workshop funding. For Specialist Groups charging a fee,  APSA will look for matching funding for any event.
  • If the plans of the Specialist Group change from what was specified in the grant application to APSA, this should be clearly highlighted in the next annual report to the AGM.
  • APSA will not normally award a grant to groups who have not spent the majority of a grant received in the previous calendar year, unless compelling reasons are given.
  • Specialist Groups must not pay the conference fees, conference accommodation or costs of travel of committee members to attend a workshop or conference they have organised, unless those members have played a major role in organising the event.
  • Specialist Groups must not pay the conference fees, conference accommodation or costs of travel of committee members to attend the annual APSA conference.
  • The Specialist Group should submit an annual report and account to the Treasurer and Auditor for all income and expenditure, including the submission of receipts and invoices for all expenditure (required by the auditor). Funds may be a carried forward but any surplus is the property of the Association.
  • The Executive Committee will review the work of every Specialist Group during the annual funding cycle and can revoke the group’s membership of the Association at that time. All outstanding funds must be returned to the Association.

Closing Specialist Groups

  • Any Specialist Group that no longer wishes to be affiliated with APSA should notify the National Office in writing of their intention to leave.
  • Any Specialist Group that leaves APSA is required to remit the balance of any grant paid by APSA to APSA.