European charter for researchers
HR Excellence in Research award – UTC recognized for its HR approach to continuous improvement, asks for maintaining the European award “Human Resources – Excellence in research”.
In 2016, the European Commission, after examining UTC’s Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), awarded UTC the "HR Excellence in Research" label. After examining the renewal application and carrying out an on-site audit in January 2023, the European Commission experts agreed to extend UTC's accreditation. UTC therefore retains the label for a further three years (until early 2026).
Implementing HR strategy
Promoting research-intensive careers in Europe
In 2005 the European Commission published its European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. In agreeing to abide by the recommendations of the Charter and Code, research institutions (both private and public) undertake to improve recruitment procedures and to provide the best possible working conditions. Possessing the "HR Excellence in Research" label has become a requirement for obtaining certain types of European funding, in particular under the Horizon 2020 programme.
These two documents of the European Commission are structured in fourr main axes with 40 principles:
- Ethical and professional aspects (11 principles)
- Recruitment (10 points)
- Working conditions and social security (14 principes)
- Formation tout au long de la carrière (5 points)
In order to be eligible for the label, institutions must adopt the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), which lays down guidelines for implementing good recruitment and management practice.
An Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment
The award HR Excellence in Research linked to the HRS4R incorporates relevant OTM‑R principles (open, transparent and merit-based recruitment). These principles aim to improve recruitment practices for resarchers.
The HRS4R strategy is a continuous improvement strategy with regular self-assessment phases to improve at the end of time.
It must be part of the institution’s overall strategy and be supported by the Direction.
A first self-assessment was carried out in 2018 to review the actions carried out, then in 2022–2023 the European Commission will send a committee of experts to carry out an on-site evaluation for the renewal of the label, in parallel with the renewal file submitted.
HR Strategy at UTC
Since 2008 UTC has chosen to align its recruitment policy with the guidelines set out in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
In December 2016 UTC became the first engineering school to be awarded the HR Excellence in Research accreditation by the European Commission on the basis of its human resources strategy for researchers (HRS4R).
In December 2018, after a self-assessment carried out after two years and validated by the European Commission in February 2019, the 2016–2021 action plan led to the completion of nearly 90% of the actions (complete, ongoing or extended) at the end of 2021.
After the end of this implementation phase (2017−2021), the UTC requested the renewal of the label, with a new action plan that will be implemented for three years (2022−2024).
The UTC HRS4R strategy is part of the overall UTC strategy.
Strategic documents at UTC
What has happened since 2016? – Implementation of the process
Initial phase (1 year)
- Posting on the web site of UTC and submission to the European commission of the HRS4R of UTC and its GAP-Analysis
- Assessment and recognition of the UTC HR strategy by the EC and award of the HR Excellence in Research
- Recognition of UTC with the award HR Excellence in Research : 16 décembre 2016
- Lettre by the President of UTC: Acknowledgment letter
Implementation phase (5 years)
- Implementation of the action plan (2 years) and self-assessment by UTC.
- OTM‑R review with analysis of the OTRM‑R checklist
- Assessment by experts from the EC and validation of the updated Action Plan : 13 February 2019
- Implementation of the updated action plan (3 years)
- HRS4R Internal review UTC 2021 and writing of a new action plan (2022−2024)
- Application for renewal of the label: 8 february 2022
- On-site visit by experts for the assessment for the renewal of the award : end 2022 – beginning 2023
Renewal phase, with site-visit (3 years)
UTC has also been strongly involved in the exchange of good practices related to the HRS4R approach, by being invited to participate to different events and meetings, as well as responding to interviews (leading to articles).
Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment of researchers (OTM‑R)
UTC was involved in the HR Excellence in research labeling process before the European Commission recommended that the elements of an open, transparent and merit-based recruitment policy be incorporated into the HRS4R.
UTC has, however, long been committed to the principles required in the OTM R policy and is also committed to continuing its efforts in this direction for researchers, and by extension, all university staff.
UTC’s OTM‑R policy is based on open, transparent and merit-based recruitment processes. These principles apply as soon as job profiles are defined, offers are published and applications are submitted (recruitment platform on the UTC website). Moreover, during the selection and evaluation phase such as the return to candidates.
The UTC also has a strong staff integration policy (welcoming newcomers, training to facilitate knowledge and integration within the UTC but also throughout their career at the UTC).
The UTC also encourages the support and maintenance of staff with disabilities by deploying its disability management plan. In addition, the plan for professional equality for women and men and actions to combat discrimination.
HRS4R project management
Head of the HRS4R project
Dr. Stéphanie Rossard (Research Direction) et Aurélie Germonprez (Human Resources Direction) perform and coordinate:
- The steering the implementation of the action plan;
- the coordination between the contributors to the actions and the steering committee;
- the link with the European Commission (reports, audits…);
- the internal and external communication.
A steering Committee
With 8 staff (head of the research direction*, head of the HR Direction, head of the international relations*, head of the doctoral school*, director of the internal services, one PhD candidate who represents all R1 category of researchers, and the head of HRS4R project).
*They are researchers
The steering committee ensures:
- the validation of the planning of actions;
- critical and objective analysis of the gaps between projection and realization;
- monitoring of actions;
- submission for validation by the bodies of UTC;
- authorization for publication on the UTC and EURAXESS website.
The Researcher Representative Focus Group
In addition to a survey of all researchers (R1, R2, R3 and R4 categories) through a questionnaire (spring 2021 for the current plan), a panel is set up on a voluntary basis with a representation of each category of researchers.
This panel is invited to discuss the actions resulting from the analysis of the survey. These researchers are also invited to review the actions, propose new ones in order to develop the next action plan or to revise the current plan.
- Translation into English of French legislation with respect to the 40 items in the Charter and Code (original document provided by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research, together with the Conférence des Présidents d'Université (CPU) and translated by David Lewis). Dissemination of the English translation among other French universities and institutions.
- Contributions to web conferences, presentations and panel discussions aimed at fellow institutions:
- AMUE/CPU/MESRI web conference – feedback from UTC, Paris, January 2017
- CPED/UNS/MESRI presentation – panel discussion on HR Excellence for Research accreditation and the Equality and Diversity labels – feedback from UTC, Nice, June 2017
- French Universities' Human Resources Director's Day / HRS4R – panel discussion, feedback from UTC, November 2018
- Replying to queries by other universities and institutions embarking on the accreditation process
- Articles linked to the interviews:
- Un label européen pour les ressources humaines, Interaction UTC, February 2017
- UTC, première école d’ingénieurs labellisée pour l’excellence de sa stratégie de ressources humaines, la Lettre de l’ANRT.asso.fr, May 2017
- Le label HRS4R à l’UTC, Lettre interne de l’URCA, July 2019
- HRS4R : au-delà d’un label, une démarche qualité pour les chercheurs, Campus Matin, November 2020
- Stéphanie Rossard took part in the 2018 Erasmus Staff training (HRS4R assessment) organized by the University of Liège.
- Participation (Stéphanie Rossard) au Erasmus Staff training 2018 (HRS4R assessment) organisé par l'université de Liège.
- Internal communication through articles on UTC News