Governance and Management

BRAINnet Foundation was established in 2010 as a 501(c) 3 US based Tax Exempt research Foundation. The structure of the foundation governance consolidates the governance of BRAINnet.

Composition: The inaugural BRAINnet Executive comprises –

Inaugural Chair and CEO: Professor Lea Williams

Executive Director: Professor Steve Koslow

Non-executive Director: Dr Evian Gordon (Brain Resource Representative)

Nominated Director: Dr David Whitehouse

BRAINnet Administrator: Michelle Wang

Responsibilities: The Chair and CEO is responsible for the general affairs of BRAINnet. The Chair calls meetings of the BRAINnet Executive Committee, sub-committee meetings, and other meetings of the total membership twice a year, with at least one face-to-face.

The BRAINnet Executive Committee is responsible for the scientific coordination of BRAINnet.

The BRAINnet Executive Committee is responsible for the operations of BRAINnet and its functioning via the website; These operations always relies critically on the input of BRAINnet members. Decisions regarding new research proposals and requests for data are made by the members. Because BRAINnet is a self-governing network, the procedures have been designed to ensure maximum transparency of information to all members of the network. Transparency is supported by making all guidelines and documentation available via the BRAINnet website, and by providing members with the procedures to contribute to the decision making in regard to each new proposal and request for data.
The specific duties of the BRAINnet Executive Committee are to organize with the membership subcommittees to:

  • Develop and maintain a rolling plan for BRAINnet’s strategic scientific directions and activities.
  • Procure funding for the consortium, in collaboration with membership.
  • Coordinate an annual scientific meeting
  • Coordinate publication of the annual special issue of the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience (JINS) and other special issue outcomes.
  • Oversee effectiveness of BRAINnet policies and operations, including those covering membership applications and eligibility, requests for data and publication.
  • Call meetings of the membership as required (for instance, if feedback from membership calls for a review of terms and/or processes of BRAINnet).
  • Prepare reports and newsletters updating the members on progress and various new issues
  • To create subcommittees as necessary

Elections and Voting: The term for members of the BRAINnet Executive Committee will be 5 years. Three months from the end of their term, the BRAINnet Executive Committee will call for e-mail nominations from members. E-mail nominations will be accepted during a one month period.  Voting by e-mail or online (website) will take place over a period of two weeks following the closing of nominations. The nominee receiving the most votes will be elected. Outgoing members may be reappointed.

Should the Inaugural Chair and CEO retire or become unable to continue in the role, the Chair will be elected or selected by the members of the BRAINnet Executive Committee. Should the Executive Director be unable to continue, this position would be filled by nomination from remaining Executive Committee members. Vacancies for the Brain Resource or Scientific membership representatives would be filled by nomination from Brain Resource and BRAINnet members, respectively.

Office Holders

To be appointed

Databasing management committee: A subcommittee of the BRAINnet Executive Committee is the Databasing management committee, established at the time the Executive comes into existence. It is responsible for managing the quality control of the data and the inclusion of ongoing new datasets. The committee will report monthly to the BRAINnet Executive Committee. Its composition will be:

Inaugural Head: Dr Chris Rennie

Representative from BRAINnet Executive Committee: Executive Director, Professor Steve Koslow

BRAINnet Administrator: Michelle Wang

The responsibilities of this Board are:

  1. Oversight for secure storage of the original raw data files, provided from the Brain Resource International Database to the BRAINnet Foundation.  From these raw data files, processed data are made available to BRAINnet members.  The purpose of holding the raw data will be to maintain a secure record of the original datasets, should an issue of scientific quality require checking with the original data files.
  2. Ensuring subject anonymity by checking that disseminated data  contain no directly identifying information, and by encrypting any identification keys present in the data.
  3. Reviewing and documenting the scientific integrity and quality of the data provided to BRAINnet. Documentation will include manuals detailing the methods used to generate processed data from the original raw data files.

Relationship between BRAINnet Foundation and Brain Resource Ltd

Brain Resource Ltd has established and owns the rights to the Brain Resource International Database.

However Brain Resource is unable to do justice to the multitude of potential scientific outcomes emerging from this database. It is also unable to generate scientific outcomes that would be perceived as transparently independent from its commercial outcomes, and thus deemed to contribute independently to identifying the cause and treatment of major health conditions.

For this reason, in 2003, BR decided to provide access to the Brain Resource International Database for scientific purposes, to researchers from recognized research and/or academic institutions.  This access was for non commercial scientific use.  It was administered via the originally established format of BRAINnet, described in the preceding BRAINnet Background section.

As part of the 501(c)3 establishment, BRAINnet Foundation and Brain Resource Ltd have an explicit agreement about the ongoing donations Brain Resource will provide the form of ongoing data access. A copy of non-proprietary datasets will be providing and updates to that data every 6 months.

Disputes & Disclaimers

Disclaimer: Insofar as permitted by law, members of BRAINnet Foundation and their institutions will accept no liability in respect of the accuracy, usefulness or completeness of any information contained in any dataset, and expressly disclaim any and all responsibility for any liability, loss, injury, damage, expense or risk which may be or is incurred by any party as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of any use and application of any data or any reliance placed on the data delivered via BRAINnet.

Disputes. Should any dispute arise in connection with BRAINnet terms and conditions the researcher(s) must use their best endeavors to negotiate a resolution with the relevant BRAINnet Administrator. Failing that, members may request that the matter be considered by two members of the BRAINnet Executive Committee or failing that by the full committee. All BRAINnet members agree to accept the decision of the full BRAINnet Executive Committee as final.