HUMAN RESOURCES STRATEGY FOR RESEARCHERS (HRS4R)
Karlstad University received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research award September 2020. The award is issued to employers with a stimulating work environment and good conditions for researchers and it's continuous improvement. The award also conveys the university’s commitment to fair and transparent recruitment as well as favourable professional development for researchers.
The award Karlstad University’s systematic implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (called “the Charter and Code”). The Charter and Code, issued by the European Commission, provides recommendations and guidelines for good practice in the recruitment and employment of researchers at all career levels and covers all research areas in the public and private sectors. To help employers to implement the Charter & Code, the European Commission has developed the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), a tool that contains fixed templates and mandatory steps for implementation. The implementation process is a long-term commitment and is in line with the university’s goals to increase internationalisation and be an attractive employer.
In March 2005, the European Commission issued a recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The goal of the Charter and Code is to create the world’s most competitive knowledge-based economy through European research activities.
By improving the conditions for free research, promoting an open labour market for researchers and enabling recruitment and retaining outstanding researchers, a strong European Research Area can be established and with it an attractive and sustainable labour market for researchers. The aim of the Charter and Code is also to ensure that the relationship between researchers and employers contributes to successful research achievements, as well as access and exchange of knowledge, technical development and career development.
Content of the Charter and Code
The Charter & Code consists of general principles and requirements that determine roles, responsibilities and rights of researchers and employers that should serve as a framework for researchers and employers.
Employers embracing the Charter and Code thereby demonstrate their commitment to act responsibly and professionally towards their employees. Employers undertake to promote equal treatment and transparency in recruitment processes, offer fair conditions for researchers and clearly contribute to the development of the European Research Area. The aim is, of course, to become an attractive place of work for researchers seeking a new employer or a host for their research projects.
OTM-R and related documents
To ensure an open- transparent and meritbased (OTM) culture through everything we do, be it recruiting, career services, internationalisation or gender mainstreaming we have a number of steering documents listed on the right hand side to support our work and together constitute the implementation of OTM-based recruitment:
- Regulations for the Appointment and Promotion of Teaching Staff
- Procedures for the Recruitment and Promotion of Teaching Staff
- Strategy and Action Plan for Recruiting Academic Staff
The HRS4R Process at Karlstad University
In May 2017, the process was initiated by decision of the vice-chancellor. A steering group was tasked with overseeing the process and a working group with driving and executing the practical steps in the process. The steering group was later replaced by the management council.
All employees at KAU have been invited to participate in workshops or contribute with their views in other ways. The gap analysis is carried out on the basis of materials from these workshops with researchers at all levels and from all faculties as well as with university managers.
In the analysis of Policies and Regulations, the 40 principles determined in the Charter and Code are divided into four areas:
- Ethical and Professional aspects
- Recruitment and Selection
- Work conditions and Social Security
- Training and development
In February 2018, KAU endorsed the principles of the Charter and Code. During the summer of 2018, the European Commission launched a digital platform for the HRS4R process and KAU registered the Letter of Endorsement and Notification on the digital platform on the Euraxess website in September 2018. In September 2019 the application was sent and is currently under review by external experts contracted by the EU. We received a partial approvement in March 2020.
In September 2020 Karlstad University received the HR Excellence in Research Award. The next step is a reviewed action plan by September 2022 as well as an assessment from the EU commission.
The long-term process is outlined at the bottom of the page.
A working group that supervises the implementation of the Charter & Code has been appointed:
- Fredrik Kessler, Project leader and HR strategist, HR Office
- Eamonn McCallion, Research Advisor, External Relations
- Magnus Lestelius, Professor, Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences
- Christer Clerwall, Docent & Head of Department, Department of Geography, Media and Communication
- Christina Olin-Scheller, Professor in Pedagogical Work, Head of Subject General Literary Studies, Department of Educational Studies