SAC Terms of Reference

 

1.    Name

The Committee shall be known as the ANZMUSC Clinical Trials Network Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

2.    Role

The role of this multi-disciplinary committee is to provide scientific and methodological advice on proposals that have been submitted for presentation at an ANZMUSC Scientific Meeting Open Forum and research protocols submitted for (potential) endorsement. The group will be responsible for providing feedback and opinions about the merit of proposed trials and assisting trial development. The committee will also perform other evaluations including PhD application reviews for partner organisations as needed.

3.    Accountability

The SAC is accountable to the ANZMUSC Executive Committee and will have a nominated Chair. The ANZMUSC Office/Executive Officer will coordinate and support all activities of the group, including meetings and research support.

4.    Responsibilities

4.1 Service

The SAC will support the following:

  • review of research protocols for (potential) endorsement
  • review of seeding grants and PhD/Masters scholarship applications as needed
  • review of relevant policies and procedures (including endorsement policy)
  • participate in concept development and other workshops

SAC Chair responsible for the following:

  • developing the SAC meeting agendas with ANZMUSC Executive Officer
  • conducting SAC meetings
  • distributing proposals to other SAC members for review with sufficient time for review
  • providing the Executive Committee with endorsement reviews from SAC members

4.2 Reporting

The ANZMUSC Office/Executive Officer will distribute Agendas and Minutes to SAC members. The SAC Chair will liaise with the ANZMUSC Office/Executive Officer to contribute to the ANZMUSC Annual Report and any other communications. All SAC members will contribute to reports as required.

5.    Membership

5.1 Eligibility

Only ANZMUSC full members are eligible for SAC membership

5.2 Composition

  • SAC Chair
    • Chair to be appointed from within SAC
    • SAC Chair to sit on Executive Committee
  • ANZMUSC full members (minimum of four, with a multidisciplinary profile)

5.3 Process

ANZMUSC members are invited to nominate themselves via an Expression of Interest process which outlines the applicant’s discipline and qualifications; experience in the design and conduct of MSK trials including any experience in health economics or biostatistics; success in attracting competitive national peer-reviewed funding for MSK research; and experience as an external reviewer for national peer-reviewed funding schemes. Applications are reviewed and applicants are selected by the Executive Committee. The SAC Chair retains the power of veto. The SAC may invite reviewers where expertise is lacking on the SAC (e.g. external statisticians, health economists).

5.4 Length of term

Members are appointed initially for two years, with the option of re-appointment for two further terms of two years each (maximum six years). Optional re-appointment will accommodate a staggered turnover to maintain corporate knowledge and retain expertise. Membership will be reviewed annually by Executive Committee for composition, capacity and participation.

5.5 Conflict of Interest

Group members must declare all conflicts of interest as per NHMRC guidelines (https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/guidelines/developers/nh155_coi_policy_120710.pdf). The SAC Chair to advise if a member is to refrain from participation in discussions or decision making. Any conflict of interest will be declared in the Minutes.

6.    Operating Procedures

6.1 Meetings

The meeting interval is a minimum of one teleconference per year, with additional meetings scheduled as required. Proxies are not permitted and members are expected to have the capacity to attend 75% of scheduled meetings. Motions will be carried with a simple majority.

 

7.    Guiding Principles

The SAC will adhere to the following:

  • Feedback and/or review of trial proposals and protocols will be provided within the agreed time frame as indicated in the endorsement policy
  • Decision making will be a transparent process and records will be readily accessible
  • Group deliberations will result in collective decisions that are actioned with the consent of group members
  • Resolution of dissenting issues shall be achieved by a vote of members, with SAC Chair having the casting vote in the event of a tie

8.    Adoption and Amendment

These Terms of Reference shall be reviewed periodically. Changes shall be approved by the ANZMUSC Executive Committee.

9. Version

Version 2: July 2019. Approved by ANZMUSC EC October 2019