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Human Resources Strategy
for Researchers (HRS4R)

The European Commission recognizes with the ‘HR Excellence in Research Award‘ the institutions which make progress in aligning their human resources policies to the 40 principles of the Charter & Code, based on a customized action plan/HR strategy grouped into four areas:

    1. Ethical and Professional Aspects
    2. Recruitment
    3. Working Conditions and Social Security and
    4. Training and Career Development.

Launched in 2008, the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) was created to support institutions and funding organizations in the endorsement and implementation of The European Charter for Researchers & The Code of Conduct for Recruitment policies. The implementation of the Charter & Code’s strategy and practices aims to ensure that the nature of the relationship between researchers and employers is conducive to successful performance in generating, transferring, sharing and disseminating knowledge and technological development, and to the career development of researchers.

The HR Excellence in Research award gives public recognition to research institutions that have made progress in aligning their human resource policies with the principles set out in the Charter & Code. Institutions that have been awarded the right to use the icon can use it to highlight their commitment to implement fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers.

To aid those organizations committed to implementing these guidelines, the European Commission (EC) set out a process consisting of five steps:

Step 1: Preparation of a rigorous internal analysis (Gap Analysis).
Step 2: Publication of the institution’s strategy in the corporate website to maintain and improve the Charter & Code (Action Plan).
Step 3: Evaluation and approval of the strategy by the EC.
Step 4: Application and continuous self-assessment of the process by the institution.
Step 5: Have the Strategy and its deployment evaluated externally by the EC five years after initiating the process.

On 18 December 2023 the Council Adopted the “Council Recommendation on a European framework to attract and retain research, innovation and entrepreneurial talents in Europe”.

The Centre de Recerca Matemàtica signed the letter of commitment to the Charter & Code in February, 2014, thereby committing to follow the European Commission initiative towards promoting and improving the centre’s recruitment policy, the working environment and the careers of researchers while also actively participating to the development of the European Research Area. In May of the same year, an examination of the centre in accordance to the 40 principles of the Charter & Code was conducted, resulting in the Gap Analysis.

Since July 2015, the CRM has held the HR Excellence in Research award, with an internal work group being establish to implement the actions detailed on the centre’s action plan, created to reduce the gaps detected in the CRM procedures regarding the professional welfare of its employees, the acquirement of better skills and competences, and the development of their career in agreement with the HRS4R recommendations.

Since the 1st of January 2017, a new and more demanding procedure has been in place, in which institutions apply to the European Commission for this award. The revised HRS4R implementation process describes a strengthened procedure of organisational implementation and review, supported by continuous external peer assessment, sponsored by the European Commission.

One of the key points of the procedure is that it places a lot of emphasis on the need for institutions to make progress towards the principles of Open, Transparent, Merit-based Recruitment.

In May 2018 the CRM submitted its interim assessment to be evaluated by the European Commission: CRM’S HRS4R Interim Assessment 2018. The assessors from the EC concluded that the implementation of the Action Plan is ensured in a robust and systematic way. According to their report the CRM is progressing with the implementation of appropriate and improved quality actions as described in its Action Plan. You can find the consensus report here: Implementation Phase Interim Assessment – EC Consensus Report.

In March 2023 the CRM hosted its first onsite assessment by experts from the European Commission. The centre received the renewal of the HRS4R award to continue with the next phase of its implementation. The result of the onsite assessment can be found here: Renewal Phase Assessment With Site Visit – EC Consensus Report

2022-2024 HRS4R Action plan

The internal review of the CRM Action Plan during the implementation phase has been conducted by the HRS4R Steering Committee, formed by representatives from different staff categories at the institution.  The Steering Committee oversaw the development and completion of each action, consulted the different stakeholders involved and designed the action plan for the next three-year period.

The actions proposed arise from the needs and weaknesses identified during the implementation phase, and the feedback collected through an anonymous survey distributed among the CRM research community. The actions contained in the CRM Action Plan 2022-2024 strengthen the commitment of the CRM to comply with the principles of the Charter & Code to provide a professional environment and attract international talent to join our research staff.

You can find the detailed CRM 2022-2024 HRS4R Action Plan below: 

Action Plan 2022-2024


Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan 2015-2017


Open, Transparent and Merit-based


Researcher’s Documentation Package