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Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) supports research and research funding organisations with a structured process for the implementation of the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, inter alia to create better working conditions for researchers and to establish the research profession more firmly.

Any institution that employs or finances researchers (e.g. universities, private institutions, research centres, etc.) can take part in the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers.

The following participation requirements should be satisfied by candidates:

  • Participants should be employers or mentors of researchers or corresponding umbrella organisations of the above-mentioned institutions.
  • The participating organisations and institutions should already have implemented Charter & Code of Conduct principles. Failing this, the willingness to implement the principles ("endorsement") must be signalled to the European Commission in the form of an official letter.
  • There are five additional steps of the HRS4R strategy that participants have to go through. External international experts accompany and evaluate the implementation process from the very beginning:
    • The result of this step is the development of a dedicated HR strategy with a concrete, publicly accessible action plan based on the results of the analysis;
    • Once the action plan is analysed, in the best case it will be recognised by the European Commission, which will result in the release of the user rights of the logo "HR Excellence in Research";
    • An initial self-conducted internal review of progress in implementing the action plan will be conducted after two years;
    • The European Commission will carry out an external evaluation for the first time after 5 years and then continuously every 3 years.

The HR Excellence in Research logo lends visibility to the institutions and strengthens the incentive for researchers to conduct research at these institutions, as they ensure fair and transparent recruitment procedures and a positive and stimulating working environment.

Sixteen institutions in Germany display the logo so far:

  • Brandenburg University of Technology
  • Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel
  • Munster University of Applied Sciences
  • Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz
  • Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
  • Cologne University of Technology
  • Greifswald University
  • Potsdam University
  • University of Siegen
  • Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB)
  • University of Tuebingen (incl. Faculty of Medicine)
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
  • Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf
  • Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)
  • Cologne University
  • ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich e.V.

A list of all accredited facilities and information on how to participate in the HRS4R process can be found here.

The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) supports the HR Strategy and it has recommended that higher education institutions participate in it for quality assurance of human resources management.

The ongoing revision of the European Researchers' Charter will also have an impact on the criteria of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers.