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  • 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.

    Key steps

    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.

    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’, 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
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