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Boosting your research career with EU HR award Excellence in research

14 December 2017
Logo HR Excellence

September 2015 the University of Groningen received the ‘HR award Excellence in research’ by the EC because of its HR strategy and action plan.  Recently an internal review document was published on the website in order to keep this award for the coming three years. The HR award ensures researchers can enjoy the same rights and obligations in any European country. In addition the HR award is an important advantage for researchers of the UG applying for EU funding.

The UG has to show the implementation of the European Charter for researchers and Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers within the policies and practices of the UG. In 2005, the European Commission adopted a European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. These two documents, addressed to researchers as well as research employers and funders in both the public and private sectors, are key elements in the EU's policy to boost researchers' careers. Research careers in Europe are fragmented at local, regional, national or sectoral level, not allowing Europe to make the most of its scientific potential. The Charter and Code ensures researchers can enjoy the same rights and obligations in any European country.

Great workplace to be

The procedure for organisations to apply for the award HR excellence in research (HRS4R) is a voluntary process to align the policies and practices to the principles of Charter and Code. All Dutch universities agreed to apply for the HR award. It is an opportunity to show how the UG bridges gaps between C&C and the local practices. Since 2015 the UG can use the logo on the website and in all relevant policy documents for research/researchers. See also the  academic job adverts on Academic Transfer, Euraxess jobs. Every staff member of the UG is entitled to use the logo in his/her email signature (dotoffice). Actually it is a sign for prospective staff that the UG is a great workplace for a researcher.

Important for applying for funding

In addition the HR award excellence in research is a very important advantage for researchers of the UG applying for EU funding. They can easily refer to the activities of the UG on this matter and do not need to give additional information.

The procedures for the HR excellence in research award have been strengthened since the beginning of 2017.  Apart from the internal review document also a checklist about recruitment is required by the EC. After three years (2020) there will be a side visit for the assessment of progress by the EC. In 2020 there will be the risk of losing the HR award for the first time. The UG does not risk losing the HR award now.

The options after assessment by the European Commission are:

  1. The organisation is progressing with appropriate and quality actions as described in its Action Plan. There is evidence that the HRS4R is further embedded.
  2. The organisation is, for the most part, progressing with appropriate and quality actions as described in its Action Plan, but could benefit from alterations as advised through the Assessment process. There is some evidence that the HRS4R is further embedded.
  3. The organisation is not deemed to be implementing appropriate and quality actions and this raises some concern for the future efforts to implement actions closely aligned to the Charter and Code. There is a lack of evidence that the HRS4R is further embedded.

The internal review document was discussed in a meeting of the Steering Group (chair: Marion Stolp, HR director) on 2 October and was approved by the Board of the University.

Last modified:14 December 2017 4.38 p.m.

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