Human Resources for Research (HRS4R)

The European Commission's Human Resources for Research (HRS4R)

The European Commission (EC) adopted the 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. Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers (OTM-R) is one of the pillars of the European Charter for Researchers and in particular of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. OTM-R brings benefits to researchers, institutions and a country's research system. More specifically, OTM-R makes research careers more attractive, ensures equal opportunities for all candidates and facilitates mobility. Overall, it may contribute to an increase in the cost-effectiveness of investments in research.

To help accommodate the research institutions to the Charter and Code principles, the Commission set out a procedure through which those institutions interested in including them, could design each one’s own Human Resources Strategy.

This EC initiative, carried out throughout the European Research Area, invites the participation of leading research centers including the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC) to promote the training, career development, and mobility of scientists across Europe.

UOC is fully committed to participating in this important initiative – not only to continuously strengthen its own policies, but also to contribute to incentivizing research of excellence throughout Europe in support of recognised international practices and quality standards.

In February 2017 UOC took the first step to promote the development of a Human Resources Strategy aligned with the principles set out in the Charter and the Code with its Declaration of Commitment. Since then HRS4R process at UOC has been carried out under an inclusive and active-participatory approach, involving the whole research community, the governing bodies, and all management departments and administrative and services staff.

A Gap Analysis of the UOC’s policies and practices against the principles of the Charter & Code has been carried out. Following the Gap Analysis, an Action Plan has been completed, identifying a number of key areas for change and further development, and submitted alongside the Gap Analysis. The UOC's human resources excellence in research strategy is fully aligned with our current strategic plan, to the extent that all of their actions are related and will be monitored by the Executive Board.

The aim of the HRS4R is to constantly improve. Therefore, we will regularly update our action plan to observe recommendations from the European Commission as well as the ongoing assessments and reviews carried out with the help of all the UOC R&I team.

On 2018 August 21th, the European Commission has awarded the UOC the distinguished HR Excellence in Research Award, a quality seal recognizing the University's ability to attract talent, create a favourable work environment, encourage research and promote the careers of researchers in Europe.