Background to the HR Excellence in Research Award

IMPORTANT - The HR Excellence in Research Award UK process is changing

In 2005 the European Commission launched the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers which set out some principles for good working conditions for researchers.

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (also known as HRS4R) is the mechanism through which the European Commission (EC) seeks to ensure that concrete steps are put in place by institutions to enhance working conditions for researchers across Europe as set out in the European Charter and Code. The strategy encompasses a 5 step implementation process for gaining EC recognition for commitment to implementation of the European Charter and Code principles. The European Commission recognition is the 'HR Excellence in Research' Award. This process is designed to be ‘light touch’, respecting institutional autonomy and making public information on institutional action plans and progress in their implementation.

The Human Resources Strategy is a voluntary tool and the EC highlights that ‘all initiatives which comply with the key features and the institutional requirements in the implementation steps mentioned above may be considered as equivalent to the "HR Strategy for Researchers", provided that they serve the same purposes with respect to the Charter and Code. Such measures can therefore also be acknowledged as a Human Resources Strategy for Researchers by the European Commission.’

Read a blog about HRS4R in Europe, written by Justin Synnott, University College Dublin

Specific arrangements for the UK

Vitae have agreed with the European Commission that commitment to implementation of the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers alongside meeting the requirements for research degrees set out in the UK QAA Quality Code is considered as equivalent to implementing the principles of the European Charter and Code.

A UK-specific process that ensures synergy with current UK mechanisms has been developed and is managed by Vitae, following the same five steps and requirements as the standard process. Check the home page for current submission deadlines

for further information.