IAPS EC – General tasks & requirements

No matter which position in the EC you are running for, they all have a lot in common. We have collected what you need to know before running below:


“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi (misattributed?)

Do you remember that thing you thought of but which noone could or wanted to support? Well, that can now happen. The EC is the highest authority in IAPS outside of the General Meetings and is, as such, your opportunity to move IAPS in the direction where you have always wanted it to go. During your service as an EC member you will also learn a lot about the world and about yourself.

Before running, consider what you want to change.

Useful skills:

  • time: The EC usually meets twice a month and you also need to do your tasks outside of the meetings. Noone blames you for prioritising your studies but having other large positions of trust at the same time is not recommended.
  • fluency in written and spoken English
  • the ability to work as part of a multicultural team with common goals
  • new ideas and initiative
  • treating others well: You do not need to be super charismatic but an understanding of how other people feel and how you should behave towards them is important
  • being able to discuss with others in a respectful way while keeping your head cool
  • reliability and the ability to follow agreements
  • taking responsibility for IAPS and being able to admit mistakes
  • answering emails: EC members are usually far apart so it is essential that you actually answer people that write to you – also the ones not in the EC. For non-urgent topics, roughly 2 days to answer is fine but some emails might require faster responses. All EC members should check their emails on a daily basis.
  • Being honest when you need help and offering help when you can
  • The ability to include and lead volunteers: Nine people aren’t enough for a worldwide organisation. Getting people to join in and make an impact themselves is the only way for us to grow.
  • Being welcoming to new people: Related to the previous skill, many know the feeling of being new in an association and having the older members tell you that your ideas won’t happen. Nothing is more demotivating. Always remember to listen to new ideas and discuss them, even if you can’t immediately see how it can work. That new member could end up doing great things for IAPS.
  • Being ready to travel: As an EC member, you will at least travel to attend two ICPSs as well as a meeting at the IAPS headquarters in Mulhouse, France. Your ICPS travel is on you but the IAPS budget always has some room for Mulhouse and other possible IAPS trips.
  • The wish to make the world a better place: If you want a fancy title for your CV, there are far easier ways of doing it. What you do, you do for the world’s physics students and not for yourself. But having fun while doing it is definitely allowed :)

What to expect at the AGM:

  • During the AGM at each ICPS, you will be able to defend your candidacy and the AGM might ask questions.

What to expect right after the AGM (if elected):

  • Your first official EC meeting occurs still during ICPS after the AGM. It is when the old EC will have a lot to hand over. Other topics usually include how often you will meet and when you will visit the IAPS headquarters in Mulhouse.
  • The rest of the time at the ICPS, you will be introduced to many new people by the old EC and you will get to know your new colleagues.
  • At the Closing Ceremony, the President-elect will present the new EC to the ICPS participants.
  • After the ICPS, you will have a handover meeting with the previous person in your position. It is important that you are ready to take over on the 1st of September after your election. Note that there will be a lot of decisions and projects that you will need to take over.

What to expect during the year:

  • Each EC member gets at an email account via Google for Non-Profits. Through this service, you will also be able to upload documents, have meetings, etc.
  • The EC can also use Facebook, Hangouts, Slack and/or Trello to communicate and handle tasks. It is up to each EC to decide how to handle communication better.
  • The EC needs to meet several times online during the year but can fully decide when and how.  It usually meets every other Sunday via Google Hangouts.
  • At some point during the year, you must visit the IAPS headquarters in Mulhouse. We share them with the European Physical Society which is always happy to host us. The Mulhouse meeting is usually held at some point before New Year’s as an extended weekend where the EC can work more focused and get to know each other a little better.
  • Making decisions: What you are here for. Both in and out of meetings, making things happen is of course a key part of the job.
  • Preparing for the Delegate Day, the Annual General Meeting, and the IAPS workshops: A lot of things happen during and around the ICPS and, as the EC, you need to prepare them.
  • At the end of your term, it is important that you do a good handover to the succeeding EC, just like the EC before you did for you.
  • Even after your term has ended, the EC succeeding you might have questions which they will appreciate you being available to answer.
  • After your term has ended, the EC needs to close the ledger and send it to the Auditors which check whether the EC has acted correctly. Based on the Auditors’ report, the AGM decides whether you can be resolved of liability. Don’t worry, that is usually not a problem but the Auditors’ check is important for IAPS’ democracy.

How to further prepare yourself:

  • Become a volunteer. We have several working group offers.
  • Attend an EC meeting. The Meeting Calls are received through the annoucements IAPS list. Write to ec@iaps.info if you wish to attend and to know when is the next meeting.
  • Send questions to a current EC member. The email addresses are of the form: firstname.lastname(at)iaps.info

Does all this sound like a lot of responsibility? Well, it is but that comes with the added opportunities. Just remember why you do it and make sure to have fun.

We believe in you.

For position specific information, click the EC role that interests you:

President, Treasurer, SecretaryMembership & Alumni Manager, Events Manager, PR Manager, IT Manager, Advocacy & Outreach Manager and Recruitment Manager.