Appendix B: NIF User Group Charter and Bylaws

National Ignition Facility User Group Charter and Bylaws

Revised 2015 Version

A. Overview

The purpose of the NIF Users’ Group (NUG) is to provide an organized framework and independent vehicle for interaction between the scientists who use the NIF for “Discovery Science” experiments (DS users) and NIF Management. Responsibility for the NIF and the research programs carried out at the NIF resides with the NIF Director. The NUG shall advise the NIF Director on matters of concern to users, as well as provide a channel for communication for the NIF users with funding agencies and the public in general. The NUG is thus broadly concerned with representing the interests of the NIF users in order to facilitate the availability and effective use of the NIF for the broader research community.

The NIF Users’ Group Executive Committee (NUG UEC) is a formal organizational unit of the NUG. The NUG UEC members are elected by the members of the NUG, and they typically meet several times each year. The UEC communicates the needs and desires of users regarding NIF operating policies, use of NIF, user support, and other relevant issues of concern to those engaged in research at this facility.

NIF management has agreed to engage the NUG (through the NUG UEC) as follows. The NUG Chair (or a designee) shall be included in discussions regarding current and/or future strategic plans for the facility to ensure evaluation of user interests and the most efficient and optimal utilization of the facility. To this end, a representative of the NUG UEC shall be invited to attend selected meetings where issues impacting users are discussed. The NUG UEC shall be provided an opportunity for input regarding the proposal solicitation, the selection process, and governance for the Discovery Science Program. NIF management shall appoint, in consultation with the NUG Chair, a liaison scientist with experience performing shots on NIF, who will serve as an ex-officio member of the NIF UEC, to make available knowledge regarding technical details of NIF and its procedures to the UEC.

B. Functions

The NUG shall be advisory to the NIF Director. Toward this end, the Users’ organization shall:

• Serve as an advocacy group for the Facility and its user community;
• Provide a channel of communication between the NIF user community and NIF management; and
• Provide advice to the NIF Director.

C. Membership

All scientists involved in a “Discovery Science NIF proposal” and all participants in any resulting experiments will be automatically enrolled in the NUG. All scientists who attend workshops of the NUG will be automatically enrolled in the NUG. In addition, members will be welcome to join via a NUG website. Every member of the NUG may opt out at will and shall receive instructions regarding how to do so.

The NUG UEC has authority to adjust the terms of membership, in the event that open enrollment leads to unforeseen difficulty.

D. Executive Committee

The NUG UEC will conduct the business of the NUG, including organizing an annual users’ meeting. There will be 11 members of the UEC plus the past Chair and two ex-officio members. Ten of these will normally serve rotating three- year terms. The eleventh member will be a student or post-doctoral fellow, who will serve a two-year term. Member terms will be staggered so that ideally about 30% of new members will be elected to the NUG UEC each year.

The Executive Committee is to be composed of 11 members of the following types:

  • Four representatives, each from either a U.S. university or a small business (three- year term each, having staggered end dates)

  • Three representatives, each from either a U.S. national laboratory or major industrial laboratory (three-year term each, having staggered end dates)

  • Three non-U.S. researchers (three-year term each, having staggered end dates)

  • One junior researcher (two-year term)

  • The past Chair

  • An (ex officio) representative appointed by NIF (the liaison scientist)

  • An (ex officio) representative from the Executive Committee of the Omega Laser Users Group

There may normally be no more than one member of the UEC from any specific institution. Any exceptions must be approved by the UEC annually.

In the event that a position on the UEC should be vacated before expiration of its term, the UEC shall appoint a member of the NUG to fill the vacant position. The NUG UEC may appoint other subcommittees composed of UEC or NUG representatives, as it deems appropriate.

The ex-officio members will include the NIF liaison scientist, described above, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Omega Laser User Group (when feasible).

E. Elections

Members of the NUG UEC are elected as follows:

  1. The Chair of the NUG UEC shall appoint the chair of the Nominating Committee (NC) by July 1 in each year. The UEC chair and NC chair shall jointly recruit four additional members. At least two members for the NC must not be current members of the UEC.

  2. The NC shall solicit candidates for open UEC positions from the NUG membership in August and September, with an open nomination period of a minimum of four weeks.

3. The NC shall solicit additional candidates as needed to assure adequate breadth of representation across all elements of the community and adequate candidates of each type identified above. As far as practically possible, the NUG NC will aim to have diverse representation covering the broad range of techniques, disciplines, and scientific interests that comprise the NUG community.

4. The NC shall prepare a slate of candidates, balancing the desires of the membership with item three. If eligible and from a needed type of institution, the candidate receiving the most (and a minimum of 10) nominations from the membership at large shall appear on the slate.

5. The open election period shall occur during November, and shall last no less than two weeks. A brief biography of each candidate will be distributed to NUG membership prior to the election or as part of the online voting material.

6. All NUG members are eligible to vote.

7. Candidates are elected through an electronic voting procedure on a “first past the post” basis: the candidates with the highest number of individual votes are selected for membership of the NUG UEC.

8. New members of the NUG UEC will be announced at the annual users’ meeting or before it.

F. Meetings

An annual NUG meeting will be held. The NUG UEC shall be responsible for the meeting program, and shall provide appropriate advance notice of the meetings to NUG members. A general meeting of the NUG will be held annually, to coincide with the annual NUG Users’ meeting. The NUG UEC shall meet, either in person or electronically, at the time of the users’ meeting and at such other times as called for by the Chair or by a majority of the UEC membership. A quorum consists of a majority of the NUG UEC membership. NIF management will be responsible for providing coordinated administrative and financial support for the NUG annual users’ meetings.

The Vice-Chair of the UEC will assume primary responsibility for organizing the annual users’ meeting, in collaboration with local organizers and other members of the UEC.

G. Officers

The officers of the NUG UEC will be a Chair and a Vice-Chair. The Chair of the NUG UEC will also be Chair of the NUG. The UEC shall set the term of the UEC chair. A new Chairperson’s term shall begin immediately after an annual users’ meeting. To assure continuity and to realize benefit from the experiences gained as a UEC officer, the past Chair shall continue to serve on the NUG UEC until the next election of a new Chair. The Vice-Chair shall be elected by the Users’ Executive Committee from among its members at the first NUG UEC meeting following the election of new officers. The Vice-Chair shall stand in for the Chairperson if he/she is unavailable and shall assist the Chair in the discharge of his/her duties. The term of office for Vice-Chair shall equal that of the Chair, upon expiration of which term the Vice-Chair will normally succeed the Chair at the first meeting following the election of new UEC members. In the event that a Chair or Vice Chair is unable to complete the term of office, the remaining officer will serve as Chair and Vice Chair, and a new Vice Chair will be elected by the NUG UEC.

H. Amendments

Proposed changes to the bylaws shall be presented to the NUG membership, who will cast votes through electronic means. An open voting period of no less than two weeks is required. These bylaws shall be amended by a favorable vote.