The Charter & Code

The HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) supports research institutions and funding organisations to implement the European Commission Charter and Code for Researchers in their research policies and practices and forms the basis upon which the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ logo is awarded.

The European Commission has adopted a European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. These two documents are key elements in the European Union's policy to make research an attractive career, which is a vital feature of its strategy to stimulate economic and employment growth.

Giving individual researchers the same rights and obligations wherever they may work throughout the European Union should help counter the fact that research careers in Europe are fragmented at local, regional, national or sectoral level, and allow Europe to make the most of its scientific potential.

In particular, the European Charter for Researchers addresses the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers and their employers or funding organisations. It aims at ensuring that the relationship between these parties contributes to successful performance in the generation, transfer and sharing of knowledge, and to the career development of researchers.

The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers aims to improve recruitment, to make selection procedures fairer and more transparent and proposes different means of judging merit: Merit should not just be measured on the number of publications but on a wider range of evaluation criteria, such as teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management and public awareness activities.

Implementation of HR Strategy for Researchers at the University of Limerick

Launched by the European Commission, HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) supports the implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code for the Recruitment of Researchers. In 2011, University of Limerick (UL) formally endorsed the 40 principles of the charter and code, which was acknowledged by the European Commission. The University of Limerick was successfully awarded the HR Excellence in Research logo in 2013, following completion of the gap analysis and submission of the action plan to the EC. In 2015 the University of Limerick submitted an internal review to the EC and successfully completed the interim assessment.

In 2022 the University of Limerick submitted the UL HR Strategy for Researchers Action Plan 2021-2024 to the European Commission for review as part of the internal review stage. This internal review was assessed by an external panel of expert peer reviewers appointed by the European Commission through desk based assessment, followed by a site visit. Following the site visit the EC accepted the University of Limerick's renewal of the HRS4R and the HR Excellence in Research was awarded to the University of Limerick in October 2022 for a further 3 year period, enabling the University of Limerick to continue to demonstrate its stimulating and favourable work environment for researchers.

The HRS4R award is renewed on a three year cycle and is subject to a process of internal institutional review, expert assessment and site visit. In October 2025 the University of Limerick will submit a revised action plan backward-and forward-looking and propose further quality actions to increase alignment with the implantation of all Charter and Code principles.

The University Research Committee (URC) acts as the steering committee for HRS4R adoption and implementation. URC is chaired by the Vice President Research and its members include senior research leaders across the organisation and researchers from different career stages. A HR Strategy for Researchers Working Group undertakes the renewal of the HRS4R award and oversees the implementation of the UL HR Strategy for Researchers Action Plan 2021-2024. This group includes representation across disciplines and career stages.

  • HR Business Partner AHSS & KBS (Co-Chair of Working Group), Caroline Lynn
  • Research, Strategy & Policy Manager (Co-Chair of Working Group), Christine Brennan
  • Assistant Dean Research Education & Health Sciences, Dr Elaine Kinsella
  • Assistant Dean Research Science & Engineering, Dr Ronan Courtney
  • Assistant Dean Research Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Dr Christina Morin
  • Assistant Dean Research Kemmy Business School, Prof Michael Morley
  • EU and External Funding Programmes Manager, Sharone O’Loughlin
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Bernal Institute, Dr Shubham Vishnoi
  • Assistant Director, REPPP Programme, School of Law, Helen Fitzgerald
  • HR Research, Executive Administrator, Charlotte Long
  • Project Manager, Graduate & Professional Studies, Dr Gerard Downes,
  • Transformative Pedagogy Lead, Centre for Teaching & Learning, Dr Michael Wride
  • Head of Learning & Development, Human Resources, Alison O’ Regan
  • UL Postgraduate Students Union, Cliodhna Condon, PhD and Research Officer
  • Director Human Rights - Equality Diversity & Inclusion, Dr Marie Connolly
  • Athena Swan / EDI Projects Officer, Michael O'Brien


HRS4R Action Plan Implementation / Impact and Reporting

HRS4R action plan has been embedded into University of Limerick strategic planning, UL@50. The action plan is part of the UL@50 implementation plan and therefore progress will be reported to the Executive Committee on an annual basis. The HRS4R Working Group report to University Research Committee with its co-chair sitting on URC providing updates on progress by tabling a detailed implementation plan tracker. The HRS4R working group will issue an annual report on progress to URC for their information in line with the UL@50 reporting. An impact statement will be incorporated into UL’s HRS4R Action Plan Annual providing qualitative and quantitative evidence of the impact of the programme. Annual Reports from the current action plan will also be available here on the HRS4R Webpage.

Open, Transparent and Merit Based Recruitment (OTM-R)

The University of Limerick is committed to fully implementing the EU recommendations on Open,Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment practices for researchers (OTM-R), in conjunction with the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, in our HR Strategy for Researchers.

By ensuring that the best person for the job is recruited, open, transparent and merit-based recruitment of researchers improves the effectiveness of national research systems, guarantees equality, especially for under-represented groups, and boosts transnational and international co-operation. This, in turn, promotes optimal circulation of scientific knowledge.  Individual researchers, employers, funding bodies, and ultimately the whole European Research Area (ERA), benefit from OTM-R.

The University of Limerick OTM-R Procedure is available here.

The University of Limerick OTM-R Checklist is available here

The University of Limerick Policy for the Recruitment of Staff which reflects the principals of OTM-R is available on the UL Policy Hub


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