Örebro University is applying for approval by the European Commission for the implementation of the Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. An approval allows ORU to display the "HR Excellence in Research" award. This award indicates that Örebro University is an employer with a stimulating and benevolent working environment. The award also indicates the University's commitment to fair and transparent recruitment and assessment procedures in employment and to the career development of researchers.
Systematic work is underway at Örebro University to implement the European Commission's guidelines in the Charter & Code as part of the work of the ongoing internationalisation process.
Background – the world's most competitive economy
In March 2005, the European Commission issued a recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The aim of the Charter & Code is to help create the world's most competitive knowledge-based economy through European research activities.
By improving the conditions for free research, promoting an open labour market for researchers and enabling recruitment and retaining outstanding researchers, a strong European Research Area can be established and with it an attractive, sustainable and attractive labour market for researchers. The aim of the Charter & Code is also to ensure that the relationship between researchers and employers contributes to successful research achievements, as well as access and exchange of knowledge, technical development and career development.
Content of the Charter & Code
The Charter & Code is aimed at researchers at all different stages of their careers and covers all research areas in the public and private sectors. The Charter & Code consists of general principles and requirements that determine roles, responsibilities and rights of researchers and employers. The basic concept is that the principles should serve as a framework for researchers and employers to work within.
Employers embracing the Charter & Code thereby demonstrate their commitment to act responsibly and professionally towards their employees. Employers undertake to promote equal treatment and transparency in recruitment processes, have fair conditions for researchers and clearly contribute to the development of the European Research Area. The aim is, of course, to become an attractive place of work for researchers seeking a new employer or a host for their research projects.
HR Excellence in Research – an award to employers
To help employers implement the Charter & Code in their own policies, the European Commission has developed a tool to support the process. The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers tool (HRS4R) contains fixed templates and mandatory implementation steps. The HR Excellence in Research award is awarded to the applicant organisation (employer) after a thorough internal analysis of the institution’s personnel policy and conditions through legislation, agreements and other guidelines, as well as an external assessment. Employers who receive the award are expected to have, maintain and develop a stimulating and beneficial working environment for researchers.
What is happening at Örebro University?
On 16 May 2017, the Rector decided that Örebro University should accede to the Charter & Code (ORU 1.5-02360 / 2017). A steering group and a project group for the work were then appointed. On 3 October 2017, Örebro University sent an endorsement & commitment letter to the European Commission as part of the mandatory initiation process of HRS4R. This sets the starting point for the implementation of the Charter & Code at the university. With the above letter, Örebro University commits to following the principles of the Charter & Code and the University's management sees this as part of the work of increased internationalisation.
The different processes in HRS4R are described by the diagram below.
The work on conducting a gap analysis based on HRS4R was started during the autumn of 2017 and is nearing completion. In carrying out the gap analysis, representatives from all levels of the research community at the university have been consulted.
In the analysis of personnel policy and other regulations, 40 principles are divided into four areas:
- Ethical principles and professional responsibility
- Working conditions
Based on the results of the gap analysis, Örebro University will draw up an action plan with measures to ensure that the research environment and working conditions as expressed in the Charter are guaranteed. We expect to be able to submit our application for the "HR Excellence in Research" award to the European Commission during the first quarter of 2018.