Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)

Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)

Presentation

The University of Salamanca was awarded in July de 2019 with the HR Excellence in Research distinctive, being this way acknowledged at the European level as an institution that is actively involved in the creation of an stimulating and favourable environment for their researchers.

This logo reflects the USAL compromise with the uninterrupted improvement of its Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, according to the recommendations and principles established by the European Commission in the European Charter for Researchers & the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment, and with providing with an stimulating and attractive research environment through the implementation of these principles in the policies of this institution.

Moreover, this distinction has a competitive advantage in European programs, such as Horizon 2020.

Find out more about what are the HRS4R strategy and the ‘Charter & Code’, the stages of the process to obtain the HR award, and in how it is being carried out within the USAL.

What is the HRS4R?

The HRS4R strategy is a tool launched by the European Commission to support universities, research institutions and organizations that fund research in the application of The European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, which aim to contribute to the development of an European labour market attractive for researchers.

The ‘HR Excellence in Research’ logo Once an institution has made a significant progress in the ‘HR Strategy for Researchers’ process and the European Commission has acknowledged it, the institution acquires the right to use the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ logo to increase their visibility and attract the best researchers. With this widely recognised logo, a researcher can easily identify an employer committed to the principles of the ‘Charter & Code’.

The charter and the code of conduct are recommendations made by the Commission to Member States, which are invited to apply them voluntarily:

  • The European Charter for Researchers is a set of general principles and requirements which specifies the roles, responsibilities, and entitlements of researchers as well as of employers and/or funders of researchers. It constitutes a framework for researchers, employers and funders which invites them to act responsibly and as professionals within their working environment, and to recognise each other as such. (Learn more)
  • The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers consists of a set of general principles and requirements that should be followed by employers and/or funders when appointing or recruiting researchers. These principles and requirements are complementary to those outlined in the European Charter for Researchers. Institutions and employers adhering to the Code of Conduct will openly demonstrate their commitment to act in a responsible and respectable way and to provide fair framework conditions to researchers, with a clear intention to contribute to the advancement of the European Research Area. (Learn more)

Stages of the process

With the objective to adjust the research institutions practices to the principles established in the ‘Charter & Code’, the European Commission set a procedure through which the interested institutions could design their own Human Resources (HR) Strategy for Researchers.

This process is composed of five steps, distributed along three phases, as it can be seen in the image:

  1. Internal Analysis. The research institution carries out an Internal Analysis (usually consisting of a GAP analysis), with the objective of checking the aligning of the internal institution Human Resources policies to the 40 principles stated in the ‘Charter & Code’ in the four areas (Ethical and Professional aspects, Recruitment and Selection, Working and Social Conditions, and Training and Development).
  2. Action Plan. The research institution publishes Human Resources Strategy for Researchers in a section of their website, which must be accessible and in English. Therein, the results of the Internal Analysis must be presented. In the same way, a detailed Action Plan must be published in the website, containing the measures that the institution will adopt in order to make up for the encountered gaps, in order to achieve a better alignment with the principles and requirements of the ‘Charter & Code’.
  3. HR Awarding. The Internal Analysis and the Action Plan are evaluated by external independent experts. In the case that the evaluation is positive, the European Commission acknowledges that the research institution adopted the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, by giving it the HR award for the first time.
  4. Implementation and self-evaluation. The research institution develops its Human Resources Strategy for Researchers by executing the Action Plan. After two years, a self-evaluation 24 months after the HR award by means of its own mechanisms that ensure quality is carried out.
  5. External Evaluation. Five after following the concession of the HR award, and with a periodicity of 36 months, the institution progress in the pursue of the objectives of its Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, and its conformity with the principles and requisites of the ‘Charter & Code’ are subjected to external evaluation. With each periodic evaluation, the HR award is renewed.

Procedure to get the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ acknowledgement by means of a progress towards excelence in the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).

What is the OTM-R?

OTM-R stands for Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment. It is one of the pillars of the European Charter for Researchers and in particular of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

The OTM-R principles are devised for the Benefit of both the researchers, the institutions, and the nation research systems. More specifically, OTM-R makes research careers more attractive, ensures that the best person for the job is recruited, guarantees equal opportunities and access for all, facilitates the development of an international portfolio (based on the values of cooperation, competition, and mobility), and facilitates mobility. Overall, it may contribute to an increase in the cost-effectiveness of investments in research.

Among the plans of the University of Salamanca, one can find the analysis and integration of the OTM-R recommendations and principles in its selection and hiring policies, with the firm intention of guaranteeing the highest levels of transparency, equity, and the continuous pursuit of excellence in the recruitment of researchers. As a matter of fact, the USAL strengths and weaknesses regarding the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, were included in the GAP Analysis, and in the OTM-R checklist. The measures targeted to amend the insufficiencies found, are the actions included in the sections A6 and A7 of the Action Plan, as well as in the aforementioned OTM-R checklist.

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers at USAL

In July 2018, the University of Salamanca signed and sent to the European Commission, its Endorsement Letter to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, stating its will to adhere to these values and principles, ant its commitment to implementing a Human Resources Strategy for Researchers in agreement with them.

Along the course 2018-2019, USAL established an interdisciplinary committee, which involves the governing organisms of the institution, the management services, and researchers –permanent and temporary– from all the areas of knowledge, with the purpose of carrying out the Internal Analysis, starting up this way the initial phase of the Human Resources Strategy.

Such Analysis consisted on a GAP Analysis, that allowed to identify both the areas in which the internal policies of USAL in good alignment with the principles and requisites laid down in the ‘Charter & Code’, as well as those where improvements should be made to meet such requirements. Also, some measures to make up for the deficiencies found and to be applied along the successive years in order to progress and improve such areas were proposed. These measures are collected in the Action Plan.

After the positive Initial Evaluation, the 23th July 2019 the University of Salamanca obtained from the European Commission the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ award.

In the present, the University of Salamanca is actively working on its strategy, carrying out the activities planned in the Action Plan.

Action Plan implementation (ongoing)

9th October 2021 (A12)

The Docentia-USAL program for the 2021/2022 call has been updated and published.

20th October 2020 (A12)

The Docentia-USAL program for the 2020/2021 call has been updated and published.

26th February 2021 (A1)

On February 26th at 10:00 the seminar about the implementation of the HRS4R strategy in the University of Salamanca (USAL) took place. The purpose of this event has been to impulse and spread among the USAL community the tools and actions related to the ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research Award’.

Such implementation implies the continuous compromise of the institution with the principles stated in European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C), signed by USAL to the European Commission in 2018.

Susana Pérez, Vice-chancellor of Research and Knowledge Transference, was in charge of opening the seminar: “USAL, with the implementation of the HRS4R is making clear its compromise with the improvement of the researchers’ career and their working conditions”, she stated. Likewise, she insisted in the fundamental and indispensable implication of the USAL community along this process.

On her behalf, María José Gil, technician of the International Projects Office (OPI) of the USAL, presented the designed Action Plan: 15 measured grouped in institutional compromise, improvement of the researchers’ working conditions, continuous formation and development, and ethical aspects.

Besides, the director of the consulting agency Effectia, presented the European Space of Research, framework in which, among others, the C&C develops.

Finally, a round table took place, where different experts from other Universities participated, sharing their experiences about the ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research Award’. In all cases, they referred to the implantation of the HRS4R regarded as a process of continuous improvement for which the collaboration and close interaction among the different collectives of the institution is essential. All this translates to the creation of a stimulating environment for the development of the research career and talent attraction.

Among the challenges in this fields, it was pointed out the necessity that this awards goes beyond the purely management aspects, and has an impact in all the layers of the university community.

Session summary

On February 26th at 10:00 the seminar about the implementation of the HRS4R strategy in the University of Salamanca (USAL) took place. The purpose of this event has been to impulse and spread among the USAL community the tools and actions related to the ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research Award’.

Such implementation implies the continuous compromise of the institution with the principles stated in European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C), signed by USAL to the European Commission in 2018.

Susana Pérez, Vice-chancellor of Research and Knowledge Transference, was in charge of opening the seminar: “USAL, with the implementation of the HRS4R is making clear its compromise with the improvement of the researchers’ career and their working conditions”, she stated. Likewise, she insisted in the fundamental and indispensable implication of the USAL community along this process.

On her behalf, María José Gil, technician of the International Projects Office (OPI) of the USAL, presented the designed Action Plan: 15 measured grouped in institutional compromise, improvement of the researchers’ working conditions, continuous formation and development, and ethical aspects.

Besides, the director of the consulting agency Effectia, presented the European Space of Research, framework in which, among others, the C&C develops.

Finally, a round table took place, where different experts from other Universities participated, sharing their experiences about the ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research Award’. In all cases, they referred to the implantation of the HRS4R regarded as a process of continuous improvement for which the collaboration and close interaction among the different collectives of the institution is essential. All this translates to the creation of a stimulating environment for the development of the research career and talent attraction.

Among the challenges in this fields, it was pointed out the necessity that this awards goes beyond the purely management aspects, and has an impact in all the layers of the university community.

Session synopsis

Presentation of María José Gil (USAL)

Presentation of Lorena Muñoz (Effectia)

Presentation of Rafael Oliveros (UAM)

Presentation of Rogelio Conde-Pumpido (USC)

Presentation of María Llanos Carrión (UCLM)

Contacto

Investigación: +34 923 29 44 30
AGI: +34 923 29 44 00 Ext. 1052
OTRI: +34 923 29 44 90
OPI: +34 923 29 45 00 Ext. 1088, 6366, 1270
UCC+i: +34 923 29 45 00 Ext. 3025
Investigación: Patio de Escuelas, 1
AGI: Edificio I+D+i
OTRI: Edificio I+D+i
OPI: Edificio I+D+i, oficina 21.5
UCC+i: Edificio I+D+i