HR Excellence in Research

In October 2013 NUI Galway was awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award (HRS4R) by the European Commission in recognition of our continued commitment to adopting and implementing the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, otherwise known as the Charter and Code.  NUI Galway has successfully achieved retention of this award in both 2015 and more recently under the revised EU guidelines in 2020.

The Charter and Code includes 40 principles to support and establish the guidelines for European universities and institutions to improve the recruitment and working conditions of researchers, making research careers more attractive and accessible in Europe. 

What is the Charter and Code?

The European Charter for Researchers outlines the functions, responsibilities and rights of researchers and their employers. The aim is to ensure that the relationship between these parties contributes to a successful performance in the generation, transfer and shared use of knowledge, as well as the professional development of researchers from the early stages of their contracts.

The European Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers was drawn up to improve selection procedures, ensuring that they are fair and transparent. The researcher’s merit should be measured not only by publications, but also by a wider range of evaluation criteria, such as education and teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management experience, and public awareness-raising activities.  The Code of Conduct was further strengthened in 2017 with the introduction of the Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R) Policy to which all applicants for the HRS4R award must show evidence of implementation.

Our progress at NUI Galway

For 2013 and 2015 application and renewal phases the applications were reviewed remotely by EU assessors.  Under the new HRS4R strengthened process a site visit by three EU assessors was planned to take place in March 2020 but due to the pandemic this visit had to take place virtually in September 2020.  The assessors reviewed past performance and the new strategy and action plan. 

The assessors report reads – ‘It is very good that the Institution has gone beyond the planned activities and raised additional actions, besides the ones that are identified in previous gap analyses and action plans. The integration of C&C in other activities, that are not directly linked to the Strategy and Action Plan, show that the Institution has perceived the C&C and HRS4R process in its essence.’

The assessors also made some recommendations which were added to the submitted strategy and action plan.

‘The HR strategy has been verified and supplemented with the comments/suggestions included in the report. There have been both changes to the structure (new working group) and also technical adjustments.
The Action plan is ambitious and goes beyond the planned activities. Additional actions have been taken beyond those identified in previous gap analyses and action plans. The goals that the entity has set for themselves are ambitious but achievable.’

Our next review is due in October 2023 and information on our current Strategy-and-Action-Plan-2019---2022 can be found here.

Further Information:

HR Excellence in Research

HR Excellence in Research