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The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

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Fondazione Bruno Kessler has joined and initiated the process of endorsement for The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), a series of steps to obtain European certification for excellence in HR services.

In October 2016, Fondazione Bruno Kessler officially communicated to the European Commission its commitment to implementing an HRS4R, and, in particular, a human resources strategy that would:

  • promote the professional development of researchers throughout their careers
  • recognize the value of geographical and interdisciplinary mobility as a strategic asset to strengthen scientific knowledge and enhance the professional development of researchers;
  • encourage researchers to pursue the goals set out in the Charter, implementing them during the course of their profession

At this stage, following the issue of the Survey to the Research Community and IRVAPP Research Centre analysis of the responses, Fondazione Bruno Kessler performed a Gap Analysis (Step 1). On the basis of the Gap Analysis results, Fondazione Bruno Kessler defined the HRS4R Action Plan for 2018-19 (Step 2).

On October 18th, 2017, Fondazione Bruno Kessler has submitted the required documentation to obtain the "HR Award" Certification.

In particular, the improvement actions will focus on accountability, dissemination, evaluation / appraisal systems, career development, access to career advice, namely the five areas that have received a lower agreement from the internal survey.

The initiative stems from the will to implement throughout the organization the European Charter of Researchers and the Code of Conduct, the set of principles and guidelines in support of all researchers at every stage of their career (recruitment, working and social security conditions, professional and ethical aspects, training). In particular:

  • Freedom of scientific research
  • Observance of ethical principles
  • Professional and financial accountability
  • Effort to disseminate and enhance achieved results
  • Commitment to continuous professional growth
  • Recognition of the profession of all researchers
  • Prohibition of all kinds of discrimination
  • The guarantee of a stimulating research environment, flexible working conditions, stability and continuity of employment, fair and attractive funding and wages

On October 4th 2018, The European Commission has awarded the Foundation the HR Excellence in Research  certification, rewarding the commitment and policies in favor of its staff and allowing the use of the HR Excellence in Research logo, which certifies FBK as a positive and favorable environment for researchers, with a fair and transparent recruitment and evaluation process and paths for professional development and growth.

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers: What Is It

The certification process is voluntary and open to all research organizations and funders who intend to commit themselves to concretely implement the 40 principles enshrined in the European Charter of Researchers and the Code of Conduct, integrating a strategy for managing and developing human resources within the broadest mission of the organization.

The certification process consists of 5 steps.

1 - The Foundation initiates an internal analysis to the end of comparing its operational practices with the principles listed in the Charter and in the Code. The analysis is conducted by topic areas and concerns:

    • Professional and ethical aspects
    • Recruitment procedures
    • Work and social security conditions
    • Training

    The internal analysis is carried out by submitting to the Foundation's researchers, tecnologist and PhD students a questionnaire to assess their level of agreement with each of the listed statements in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Foundation's policies when compared to the Principles set out in the Charter.

    2 - Based on the results of the internal analysis, the Foundation then prepares its own Human Resources Strategy by developing an action plan (which will be available for consultation on the FBK website), with which it undertakes to bridge any gaps that might have emerged from the internal analysis by aligning with the principles of the Charter and the Code and, more generally, improving its performance in terms of human resources management and development.

    3- The action plan is submitted to the European Commission for assessment. In the case of a positive evaluation, it releases to Fondazione Bruno Kessler an Acknowledgment for the Foundation's effort and commitment that entitles it to use the HR Excellence in Research logo. This acknowledgment certifies that Fondazione Bruno Kessler is a positive and favorable environment for researchers, guarantees fair and transparent recruitment and evaluation, offers career development and professional growth.

    4- After two years, Fondazione Bruno Kessler is required to carry out an internal evaluation to verify the progress and implementation of the Human Resources Strategy Action Plan.

    5- Finally, the European Commission conducts an external evaluation every three years to check the progress of the implementation of the action plan and on the goals actually achieved by Fondazione Bruno Kessler compared with those set out in the HR Strategy.

     HR4S process


    Resumbission - minor revisions May 2018:

    Cover letter - Declaration of committment

    Description of FBK HRS4R Process

    Revised Action Plan - Signed

    Revised Action Plan

    Revised Gantt

    Responses to the Consensus Report

    Last updates:  May, 16th 2018