In 2005, the European Commission 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.

The aim of the Charter is to ensure that the nature of the relationship between researchers and employers is to get a successful performance in transferring, sharing, generating and disseminating knowledge and to the career development of researchers. The Charter also recognizes the value of all forms of mobility as a mean to enhance the professional development of researchers.

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) supports research institutions and funding organisations in the implementation of the Charter and the Code in their policies and practices. Its implementation make these institutions more attractive to researchers looking for a new job.

HRS4R culminates in the recognition of human resources excellence in research by the European Commission for institutions that have advanced adapting their human resources policies to the principles set out in the Charter & Code. Acknowledged institutions have the right to use the logo on their websites and other communication channels.

Last 17th December 2014 IRTA sent the Analysis Gap together with its Action Plan 2015-2018 to the European Union in order to obtain the logo “HR Excellence in Research”. On 21st January 2015 the European Union informed us we could use this logo because IRTA accomplishes the requirements to do so.

The logo “HR Excellence in Research” brings many advantages, among them the public recognition of our human resources management within the European Standards, a higher prestige at national and international level and an important improvement of IRTA’s image. It also implies that IRTA has to make an internal evaluation every two years -which means we have to follow up and, at this moment, we have our Updated Action Plan 2015-2016 which was approved by the external experts of the European Commission. This two-years internal evaluation (2015 and 2016) has brought many things. Two of the most important compromises was to make IRTA’s Ethical Code and IRTA’s Equal Opportunities Plan.

Since the 1st of January 2017, a new, more demanding procedure has been in place, being one of the key points the principles of Open, Transparent, Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R). As IRTA had started to implement the HRS4R before 2017 we had to adapt our systems to this new principle, so our IRTA’s OTM-R system is not yet the final one.

To have the HR Excellence in Research has meant to open us and published many internal documents, as are our Labour Cost, the Summary of the Collective Agreement and IRTA’s Human Resources Policy.

We are convinced that this experience, having achieved the seal of excellence, will allow us to enhance and deepen on our RDT human resources policies at the same time that it strengthens our Institute.

In this space we will be adding the information produced thanks to this European recognition.