The Institute

HR Excellence in Research

Through its managing body (FINBA), ISPA is seeking to obtain the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research award, which recognises good practice in recruitment and professional development in research.

This accreditation acknowledges the implementation of a series of good-practice initiatives by research organisations and R&D funding bodies in the recruitment of researchers, technicians and support staff, supporting their career progression within the organisation and promoting a stimulating working environment.

This recognition reflects FINBA’s commitment to continually improving its human resources policies, in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers published by the European Commission in 2005, to which both FINBA and ISPA have subscribed.

The European Charter for Researchers identifies the functions, responsibilities and rights of researchers and their employers. Its objective is to ensure that the relationship between these parties facilitates sound knowledge generation, transfer and sharing, while supporting researchers in their careers from the outset. The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers was developed to make the procedure for selecting staff fairer and more transparent. The HR Excellence in Research award would therefore certify that FINBA complies with the general principles of the Charter and Code.

With its Declaration of Commitment, FINBA took the first step in developing a human resources strategy based upon the principles of the Charter and Code. A working group was created in order to perform an internal audit, which will collect information directly from researchers, technicians and support staff through a questionnaire. Once this audit has been completed, a series of actions will be proposed to ensure continual improvement and an Action Plan will be produced, acting as the foundation for developing a strategy for excellence in HR.

A Suggestions Box for the HRS4R strategy has been put in place. Its aim is to collect feedback and suggestions on the strategy, submitted anonymously by any FINBA or ISPA collectives (researchers at any stage of their careers, technicians, managers, support and administrative staff).

To use the suggestions box, the required fields in the form must be filled out. This information is needed to analyse how well the service is operating (its effectiveness) through aggregate data analysis. The managers of the Human Resources and Research Support Services departments will be made aware of the suggestion or complaint, before proceeding to analyse it and identify the appropriate action to be taken in response. The results of this data analysis will be published at regular intervals on the website.

Recognition of ISPA’s efforts to establish a coherent, overarching HR strategy and to improve internal practice will increase its visibility at an international level and help to attract and retain talent, by providing a quality guarantee to researchers, technicians and support staff. It will also improve FINBA’s position when applying for competitive funding, not only at a European level (given that the European Union will value this kind of accreditation when granting research funding), but also at a national level, where it is also considered to provide added value.

We would like to thank all those working within FINBA and ISPA for their commitment to developing and implementing an HR Excellence in Research strategy.