Scientific Affairs Committee / Comité des affaires scientifiques

2021 – 2022 Committee / Comité

Chair / Président

Jean Saint-Aubin

Members / Membres

Ken Craig
Sean Kidd
JoAnne Lefevre
Randall Jamieson
Debra Pepler
Sophie Bergeron
Cheryl Harasymchuk
Lindie Liang
Andrea Howard
Elise Reiter
Michel Dugas
Sandra Byers
Audrey Brassard
Shahnaz Winer
Alejandra Botia
Annie Roy-Charland
Vina Goghari
Martin Drapeau
Allison Ouimet
Natalie Mota
Lisa Votta-Bleeker (ex-officio)

Contact the Committee / Contactez le comité

governance@cpa.ca

The Scientific Affairs Committee’s mandate is to advance psychological science by working on matters of importance to the psychological research community, CPA members and groups of researchers.  It is also responsible for the policies and practices of the CPA’s journals and other publications.[1]

Goals

  1. To promote scientific values and to advocate for and protect academic freedom.
  2. To work to increase research funding in general and to increase research funding in post-secondary institutions.
  3. To promote a synergy between research, education/training and practice and between different areas of psychological research.
  4. To promote publications of high-quality research and scholarship in psychology.
  5. To provide advice to the Board of Directors in support of its decision-making about policies and practices related to science and the CPA’s journals and other publications.
  6. To provide advice and support to the Editors and Managing Editor of the CPA’s journals.

Terms of Reference

  1. To work to improve the understanding of scientific values and academic freedom by university administrations and others in positions of power with respect to research.
  2. To work to improve the understanding of scientific values and academic freedom by the general public.
  3. To advocate to and work with agencies who develop, disseminate and/or impose ethical principles on research, to help them understand psychology and its modes of investigation. We would hope to work co-operatively with the Committee on Ethics.
  4. To lend support in specific cases where academic values and academic freedom, particularly with regard to psychologists, are under threat. We would hope, if such occasions arise, to co-ordinate our efforts with other interested parties such as the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
  5. To advocate to government on behalf of researchers, emphasizing the need for increased funding and equitable distribution of funds to the research community.
  6. To advocate to increase funding for SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR.
  7. To strengthen research in smaller post-secondary institutions. This involves reversing shrinking government support for smaller universities and encouraging those universities to give more weight to research as opposed to heavy teaching loads in faculty positions.
  8. To emphasize the value of the scientist-practitioner model, in which practice has an empirical base.
  9. To emphasize interdisciplinary connections within psychology and between psychology and other research communities.
  10. To promote and support the contribution of psychology graduates and scientists working in various sectors and domains, and the career paths available to them.
  11. To make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding proposed changes that go beyond normal operational adjustments (such as market considerations and inflation) in the number of pages allocated to each Journal, editorial office expenses, journal subscription prices, prices of authors’ reprints, and honoraria for Editors.
  12. To make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the number of Associate Editors and the publication of special issues, when these decisions require an additional financial commitment beyond what the Editors can achieve through their normal budget allocations.
  13. To provide advice, at the Boards’ request, on any emerging matters relevant to the publishing of the CPA’s journals.
  14. To report to the Board of Directors, through regular reports from the Chair, regarding the ongoing operation of the journals.
  15. To report to the Membership, through an annual report from the Chair, regarding the ongoing operation of the journals.
  16. To deal with unresolved complaints regarding authors, reviewers, Editors or Head Office, and to refer any complaints that cannot be resolved by the Committee to the Board of Directors.

Accountability

The Scientific Affairs Committee is a Standing Committee of the Board of Directors and reports to the Board through the Director Responsible for Scientific Affairs, who is the Committee Chair.

Membership

The Scientific Affairs Committee is composed of the Director Responsible for Scientific Affairs (Committee Chair) and those CPA members who volunteer or who are invited to sit on the Committee by the Chair.

Committee Size and Activity

CPA committees are important membership recruitment and retention vehicles. The goal of each committee chair is to recruit a minimum of 10 committee members from a diverse cross section of CPA members. The committee shall be comprised of at least 3 members whose research falls within the mandate of NSERC, 3 members within the SSHRC mandate, 3 members within the mandate of CIHR, and the three Editors of the CPA’s journals.

The Committee needs to be active, with communications occurring at a frequency of once a month at a minimum. Committee membership is a good training and recruitment tool for senior positions within the Association and Committee members are excellent informed ambassadors for the CPA and about the CPA’s activities.

Responsibilities of Committee Members

Committee members are responsible for pursuing the vision and terms of reference of the Committee. To this effect, members participate in all discussions pertaining to Scientific Affairs addressed by the Committee, and work on projects or issues brought forward by the Committee, the Board of Directors, the sections and/or the members as appropriate.

Membership Term

Committee members are appointed by the Board of Directors through the Board member responsible for the Committee for one year with the intention that members will serve for a three (3) year term. Membership recruitment and retirement is staggered to ensure continuity and Committee institutional memory.

Meetings and Reporting

The committee meets throughout the year, with an in-person meeting taking place during the CPA’s Annual Convention.  Throughout the year communication will take place primarily through e-mail. Conference calls will be arranged as needed by the Chair. Meetings are minuted. Regular communication of the plans and activities of the Committee will be provided to the membership through the Committee’s Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting, articles in Psynopsis and information on the web site and to the Board of Directors through reports to each Board meeting by the Committee Chair/Co-Chair.


[1] In 2021, the CPA’s Publications Committee was folded into the CPA’s Scientific Affairs Committee.

The Board of Directors of the Association is ultimately responsible for all matters related to its publications. The Board of Directors must see to it that the Journals contribute to the objectives of the Association. The Board of Directors assigns its authority to determine the scientific merit of submitted manuscripts to journal editors (whom it appoints) but reserves the authority to make policies pertaining to journals and to maintain publishing standards. Such policy initiatives are made in consultation with the Editors and Editorial Boards through the Scientific Affairs Committee.

The Board of Directors of CPA assigns its’ Editors authority regarding all actions relative to the publication or rejection of manuscripts submitted to the journal in question. Within this context, Editors are responsible for the content of their Journals; matters of style and format of the articles, as well as content and dates of publication, shall be subject to general agreements reached by SAC with the approval of the Board of Directors of CPA.