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Sigma Xi Ambassador Tip Sheet

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Thank you for agreeing to be a Sigma Xi Ambassador on your upcoming trip. The ultimate goal is for the Sigma Xi Ambassador to help generate enough interest in the Society and the Packard Initiative that a new networking group forms and is awarded the US$2500 as a result of the Ambassador's visit.

Things to remember:

  1. Please contact the local researchers before your trip to schedule your meeting. The International Program Coordinator will give you the contact information for any Sigma Xi members in that location. Be sure to send copies of all communications to the International Program Coordinator.
  2. Let the International Program Coordinator know approximately how many people you plan to meet with, how many copies of promotional brochures you think you will need, and your address in that location to which the promotional materials can be sent (so that you do not have to carry them with you). In addition to brochures, back issues of American Scientist and CDs with PowerPoint presentations on Sigma Xi and the Packard Initiative are available for distribution.
  3. Read the Ambassador Questionnaire before your meeting so that you can get answers for all of the questions. The International Program Coordinator can review the questionnaire with you before you depart.
  4. Make sure to keep receipts for all expenses over US$25, otherwise we cannot reimburse you.
  5. Remember to return the completed questionnaire, lists of contacts, and travel expense form (WITH RECEIPTS) to the International Program Coordinator. Your reimbursement will be processed once all of these items are submitted.

Additional suggestions for your visit are listed below.

Suggested uses of SX funds (up to US$500):

  • If you are meeting with only a few researchers, invite them for a snack or a meal. For larger groups, see if you can host a small reception (e.g. at the place where you will make your presentation).
  • Small gifts (e.g. Sigma Xi t-shirts, copies of American Scientist, etc.) for those who attend the meeting. Sigma Xi staff can assist you with procuring Sigma Xi items.

Selling points for Sigma Xi:

  • Multi-disciplinary society
  • Networking with fellow researchers
  • A way to keep up with developments outside one's field
  • An opportunity to honor and encourage students and other researchers
  • Prestige
  • American Scientist magazine
  • Activities to increase the public understanding of science
  • A way to help promote the greater good of science and engineering

Summary of the Packard Initiative:

  • The aim is to promote international science networking opportunities with a focus on researchers in developing or transitional countries.
  • The initiative is designed to create networks of scientists and engineers in developing countries and to foster long-term partnerships of those communities, established Sigma Xi chapters, and scientists and engineers throughout the world.
  • It will provide financial assistance for those groups interested in developing local and global networking opportunities as well as exploring the establishment of Sigma Xi chapters at their institutions/in their countries.
  • Up to US$2500 may be awarded to support, among other things: lecture programs, awards, paying dues, local meetings, internet access, public outreach and science fairs/poster sessions.
  • The steps are listed below:
    1. An individual or group expresses interest in the Packard Initiative or Sigma Xi by contacting the International Program Coordinator at the Society's headquarters (executiveoffice@sigmaxi.org).
    2. When the initial group (10-20 people) meets, they can consider what international networking activities they could fund with a US $2500 award. Sigma Xi encourages the use of the US$2500 award for activities that are multi-disciplinary and will have long-term benefits to the local research community.
    3. The group transmits a list of initial members, a proposal of the planned activities and a budget. It is not a requirement that the group forms a formal Sigma Xi chapter.
    4. The proposal is reviewed by Sigma Xi's International Committee. The group is then notified of the committee's decision.
    5. Sigma Xi drafts a Memorandum of Understanding between the Society and the organizing group explaining exactly how the group will use the money and what are their intentions.
    6. It is not a requirement that the group forms a Sigma Xi chapter or International Partner. Groups that are selected to receive the networking awards are then eligible to apply for a subsidy to bring a Distinguished Lecturer and possibly holding a workshop. They will also be connected with a companion Sigma Xi chapter for additional networking.

Suggestions for closing your visit:

  • Summarize the meeting with your primary contacts so that they can confirm your conclusions.
  • If there was interest in Sigma Xi and/or the Packard Initiative, find out what the group needs to get to the next step. Make sure you transmit this information to the International Program Coordinator.
  • Let them know that they will be hearing from the Sigma Xi staff.

For More Information Contact:
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P. O. Box 13975, 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
Telephone: 919-547-5246 or 800-243-6534 (within the U.S.)
Fax: 919-547-5263
E-mail: executiveoffice@sigmaxi.org


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