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HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)

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 principles of the charter and code . The University of Limerick has successfully participated in the HRS4R process, first awarded it in 2013, successfully completed the interim assessment in 2015.

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 was established to undertake the renewal of the HRS4R award, this group included representation across disciplines and career stages. Membership as follows:

  • 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, Prof Ann MacPhail
  • Assistant Dean Research Science & Engineering, Prof Jeff Punch
  • Assistant Dean Research Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Dr Niamh NicGabhann
  • Assistant Dean Research Kemmy Business School, Dr Deirdre O’Loughlin
  • EU and External Funding Programmes Manager, Sharone O’Loughlin
  • Representative of Postdoctoral research community, Dr Angelika Holzinger
  • Senior Research Fellow, Dr Paul Beecher 
  • 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

The University of Limerick is now at the internal review stage of the HR Strategy for Researchers process and the UL HR Strategy for Researchers Action Plan 2021-2024 has been submitted to the European Commission for review. This internal review will be assessed by an external panel of expert peer reviewers appointed by the European Commission through desk based assessment, followed by a site visit.