In order to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA), the European Commission is adopting the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter & Code), two documents oriented both toward researchers and toward funders and employers in the public and private sectors, designed to promote equal rights and obligations for researchers throughout the European Research Area, in an attempt to decrease fragmentation in the R+D+i sector locally, regionally, nationally, in the sector and in Europe.

The European Commission issued a recommendation for implementation of these measures 11 March 2015.

In order to promote adoption of the 40 principles defined in the Charter & Code, HR Excellence in Research came to being, public acknowledgement of research institutions that have accredited their efforts to align their human resources policies with said principles.

It acts as a tool so that institutions (employers and funders) who wish to put the principles of the Charter & Code into practise can do so, making it more attractive to researchers in the European Research Area.

In this context, and under its Strategic Plan 2016-2020, approved in December 2015, Biogipuzkoa HRI detected the need to design its own human resources strategy that includes the requirements set forth in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, beginning the process to tackle this project in July 2016 by sending the endorsement letter.

Lastly, and in order to verify implementation of an open, transparent and merit-based recruitment system, per the Commission’s recommendations, which includes the procedure to implement HRS4R, Biogipuzkoa HRI is working on developing an OTM-R policy.

The main phases of the HRS4R process are:

  • Initial Phase: Endorsement of the Charter&Code and Notification of Commitment
  • Implementation Phase: Preparing a Gap Analysis and an Action Plan for Human Resources Management
  • Initial Assessment by the European Commission via external Assessment Panel
  • Interim Assessment: Internal Review and External Assessment (2 years after the initial HRS4R award)
  • Award Renewal Phase (5 years after initial HRS4R award)
  • Continuous improvement and enhanced quality and assessment phases (a three-yearly cycle of renewal)

The Gap Analysis and the Action Plan can be downloaded from the links below:

Gap Analysis – Biodonostia HRI

Action Plan – Biodonostia HRI

OTM-R Policy

In September 2020, following the Internal Review carried out by the Biogipuzkoa HRI for the HRS4R Interim Assessment phase, the European Commission issued a Consensus Report, indicating that application of the Action Plan is firmly and systematically guaranteed and that the Biogipuzkoa HRI is making progress with the implementation of adapted and approved quality actions as described in its Action Plan.

The document developed for this Internal Review can be downloaded from the following link:

Updated Action Plan