In March 2005, the European Commission issued the Recommendation to follow the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, the Charter & Code. The aim of the charter is to strengthen European research by improving researchers conditions, clarifying the conduct of responsible research, as well as to support and give structure to European research policy.
In January 2019, Lund University decided to apply for the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award. This award is given to organisations that follow the Charter & Code.
In accordance with the European Commission’s ambition to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, the charter aims to improve the conditions for research freedom. The Commission also wishes to support an open labour market for researchers by increasing mobility, countering all kinds of discrimination, supporting access to and exchange of knowledge as well as facilitating ongoing quality-assurance work at European universities.
An attractive workplace for researchers
The Charter & Code is aimed at researchers at all stages of their careers and covers all areas of research within both the public and private sectors. The Charter & Code consists of general principles and requirements that specify roles, responsibilities and entitlements and act as a framework within which researchers and employers can work.
Employers – such as Lund University – in adhering to the Charter & Code will openly demonstrate their commitment to act in a responsible and professional way toward their employees. They agree to support equality and transparency of recruitment processes as well as to provide fair conditions for researchers, with an intention to contribute to the development of the European Research Area. The aim is to become an attractive workplace for researchers looking for a new employer or host for their research projects.
Decision at Lund University
On 10 January 2019, the vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz took the decision that Lund University shall apply for the HR Excellence in Research Award.
The work is led by a steering committee with pro vice-chancellor Stacey Sörensen as chair. Gunilla Thylander from the Human Resources Division is the project manager.
Prior to the application, the work is to take place according to the steps shown in the image below.
The analysis of the research charter consists of 40 principles within four different areas:
- Ethical principles and professional responsibility
- Working conditions
- Research, training and career development
Initially, the project is to focus on producing a gap analysis to assess which areas of the University need to be developed and improved to comply with the Charter & Code. The work is to be based on the EU Commission’s e-tool HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). Representatives from all levels of research at the University will be involved in carrying out this analysis.
Based on the results of the analysis, Lund University will develop an action plan with measures to ensure the University has a research environment with working conditions that adhere to the Charter & Code.