Steering Group members are asked to contribute their time and expertise, and to adhere to the following principles:
- An interest in the Centre, its purpose, operation, outcomes and wider context
- A commitment to working with other members respectfully and constructively
- Acting as a champion for BRACE, its work and outcomes
- Maintaining the confidentiality of any information provided on a confidential basis.
Membership and operation
- The Steering Group will consist of no more than 15 members, at least 75% of whom must be independent (i.e. not part of the same institution as any of the applicants or members of the Centre team).
- Membership is individual, not institutional. Therefore, in a situation whereby a member of the steering group is unable to attend, they are not permitted to ask a colleague from their organisation to attend on their behalf.
- Members will serve for a period of at least three years; they can serve for the full five years of the Centre’s operation if they wish.
- Membership of the Steering Group will be reviewed periodically. New members will be invited to join the Steering Group in consultation with existing members of the Group.
- Members may terminate their post by writing (by email or letter) to the Chair of the Group.
- The Group will meet three times a year, with informal communication and consultation by telephone or email in between these meetings.
- Meetings of the Group will be quorate if at least the following are present: Chair or Deputy Chair, four independent members, two representatives of the BRACE team.
- The BRACE research administrator will be responsible for arranging the administrative support for Steering Group meetings.
- At the beginning of each meeting, members must declare any conflicts of interest that may exist e.g. applications for funding, formal working partnerships with NHS providers and other relevant organisations.
- If Steering Group members are unable to resolve any concerns raised within meetings, it will be the responsibility of the Chair to approach the NIHR for further guidance.
- The role of Steering Group member is unpaid, but the Centre will reimburse members for all reasonable costs members incur in fulfilling their role (e.g. travel and subsistence costs).
- All proceedings and action points will be minuted; minutes will be formally signed off by the Steering Group Chair and BRACE Director before being made publicly available.
- BRACE will publish details of its Steering Group on its website including membership, terms of reference, agendas and minutes.
Duties of the Steering Group
- Ensure clarity in the direction and focus of the Centre, ensuring that it delivers against its key objectives.
- Advise on strategic and operational plans, and oversee delivery against those plans, including helping the Centre team to identify and pre-empt problems.
- Provide oversight in relation to financial management, use of resources and staffing.
- Assess and assure the role and extent of stakeholder (including public and patient) involvement in the work of the Centre.
- Provide an independent, experienced opinion if conflicts arise between the needs of the Centre, the funder, participating organisations and/or any other agencies.
- Provide critical challenge and input into processes of project selection and scoping/design, including advising on the approach taken to prioritising innovations for evaluation.
- Comment and advise on project proposals and outputs/reports, ensuring that BRACE projects and their findings meet the core aims of rigour, relevance and responsiveness.
- Ensure appropriate independence and robustness of the research and analysis undertaken within individual projects and across the work of the Centre.
- Provide advice and guidance to help maximise the reach and impact of dissemination activities, and support those activities by cascading information (e.g. about new reports/outputs) through their organisations and associated networks.
- Being available to provide advice and expertise as required, not just when Steering Group meetings are scheduled.