Chapter Formation Rules & Benefits


The advantage in having chapters lies in keeping a section’s technical activities vital. Additionally, the IEEE compensates sections with an extra $200 US per chapter. However, there is no need to have separate one-society chapters. There is a great opportunity to increase IEEE Canada’s exposure to the funds available within the societies by creating joint chapters, especially when membership in each individual society is low. For example, joint chapters still only need to hold two meetings per year to qualify for these funds. However, now the section can draw upon multiple distinguished lecturer or visitor lists and possibly access multiple sources of funds from the central chapters.

Financial Help Available from Societies

Here is a partial list of the societies offering financial help to their chapters. (As of April, 2012: 27 of 38.) The following society benefits were available at the time this page was last updated (in April, 2012), but may change over time — please contact each society for their latest funding possibilities:

  • AESS – Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society up to $300 per year
  • APS – Antennas and Propagation Society up to $1250 for a distinguished lecturer
  • CAS – Circuits and Systems $500 “start-up”; $500 for ACTIVE chapters; $1,000 for special events / distinguished lectures
  • COM – Communications Society
    funding support for special projects deemed valuable
  • CMPT – Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology $1000 for special events for new chapters; $500 for special events for existing chapters
  • CIS – Computational Intelligence Society $1500 for distinguished lecturers
  • CS – Control Systems $1000 for approved technical activities
  • DEI – Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation chapter fund that supports lecture programs, workshops, & seminars
  • ED – Electron Devices Society up to $1000 for technical meetings and distinguished lecturers
  • EMCS – Electromagnetic Compatibility up to $600 for an Haislmaier Angel Program activity
  • EMB – Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society up to $1000 for a Distinguished Lecturer event
  • GRSS – Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society a $1000 Chapter Excellence Award; up to $1250/$2500 for a distinguished lecturer
  • IE – Industrial Electronics financial support for distinguished lecturers
  • IA – Industry Applications Society up to $750 for a distinguished lecturer
  • IT – Information Theory $1000 for chapter of the year; partial travel costs for a distinguished lecturer
  • IM – Instrumentation and Measurement support for chapter events and distinguished lecturers
  • M – Magnetics Society up to $1800 for travel for a distinguished lecturer
  • MTT – Microwave Theory and Techniques support for distinguished lecturer travel
  • NPS – Nuclear and Plasma Sciences support for distinguished lecturers
  • SPIE – Photonics Society chapter activity grants up to $1500, FOCUS conference grants of up to $7,000, officer travel grants of up to $2000
  • PE – Power and Energy Society travel reimbursements for distinguished lecturers, divisional professional development funds
  • RS – Reliability Society $800, $500, and $400 chapters award
  • RAS – Robotics and Automation Society chapter support grants and distinguished lecturer travel grants up to $3,000
  • SP – Signal Processing Society chapter of the year award in the amount of $1,000 and support for distinguished lecturers up to $3,500 / year
  • SSCS – Solid State Circuits Society annual subsidy of up to $2,000 a year, special event subsidy of up to $5,000
  • SMC – Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society subsidy of $500 for new chapters
  • VT – Vehicular Technology subsidy for speaker travel/lodging expenses for distinguished lecturers

A full list of society acronyms is available on this page.

Chapter Formation Opportunities

This section will be updated in mid-2012 once the new SAMIEEE system is on-line and the Chapter Support Chair can identify which sections have the best single and joint chapter formation opportunities in Region 7.

The key to forming a new chapter is to find a volunteer willing to take on the task of forming the chapter and acting as chair until a new chair can be elected. For a joint chapter, you want a petition organizer who will act as chair and a strong supporter who is a member of the other chapter who will act as vice chair, unless the volunteer is an active member of both societies.

Chapter Creation Process

The chapter formation process is described in the volunteers section of the main IEEE site on How to Create a New Chapter. The process changed in 2012 and, in addition to requiring

  • 12 active members (of graduate student grade or higher) willing to sign the petition,
  • a chapter member willing to serve as chair, and
  • the approval of the section executive

chapter formation now requires

  • the signed endorsement of the local section executive before the first signature is collected,
  • signatures from IEEE members who have been society members for a minimum of six months, and
  • a business plan summary sheet to indicate the planned meetings and activities for the initial six months of the proposed geographic unit.

If the intent is to form a joint chapter, then there is the additional requirement that

  • there are at least three voting members of each chapter willing to sign the petition.

If the (joint) chapter is to span two or more sections then

  • there must be members of (each of) the society(ies) in each section and
  • prior approval of, and a signature from, each section executive must be obtained.

Changing the Status of an Existing (Joint) Chapter

The status of an existing (active) Chapter may be changed from single to joint, and a joint chapter may be split into two single chapters, or joint chapters split and recombined without submission of a petition. This can be done upon the submission of a written request, with full details on the proposed change in Chapter status, by the Section Executive Committee to MGA. The change in status will become effective following approval of the change by the Regional Director, the Society Presidents and the involved Section Executive Committee(s).

Chapter Approval Process and Help

The chapter approval process is overviewed in this Chapter Formation Process PDF. Most of the work involves identifying members eligible to sign the petition, collecting the signatures, completing the documentation, having it approved by the local section executive, and insuring it gets to the right person in MGA. If everything is done right, the new chapter is typically approved in an MGA Board meeting within a few months.

The Region 7 chapter support volunteer will gladly help you with the paperwork and ensure that you get the answers to any questions you have in a prompt manner. This person will also indicate whether a joint chapter proposal is a good fit, if there might be any issues with your proposed business plan, or if there are other options you can look into. The name and contact information of the current Chapter Support Committee Chair can be found at the bottom of this page.

GOLD Affinity Group — An Advantage for Chapter Management

Every section should have a GOLD affinity group. A section is only required to have six GOLD members to have a GOLD affinity group, as described in this recent article on Starting Your Own Gold Affinity Group in The Institute, and the petition only requires the signatures of any six section members willing to organize GOLD activities and sign the petition. (In other words, a GOLD affinity group can be established simply with the signatures of a supportive ExComm.)

Establishing a GOLD Affinity Group can be a very effective volunteer recruitment tool for finding people to run technical chapters and organize technical events. There are many young engineers, when asked to participate, that would gladly do so but they are often not aware of the possibilities. All sections in Region 7 have more than 6 GOLD members which means that all sections in Region 7 should have GOLD affinity groups. If you want more information, or need help getting a GOLD affinity group started, feel free to reach out to the GOLD Chair for Region 7 at any time.

Can I Help You ?

If you have any questions or would like me to help with anything please do not hesitate to ask the Chapter Support Chair. I am here to assist you in forming more chapters and distributing society resources to as many sections as possible within IEEE Region 7.

Chapters Coordinating Committee

Useful Links

Technical Activities Board webpage
Volunteer Resources webpage
IEEE Societies webpages

IEEE Canadian Foundation

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IEEE Job Site

IEEE Member Discounts



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