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Hr excellence in research

European Charter for Researchers & Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

The European Commission adopted in 2015 the European Researchers' Charter and the Code of Conduct for Researcher Recruitment, drafting two documents aimed at researchers as well as employers and providers of public and private sector funding. Both documents have become key elements of European Union policy, making research an attractive career and stimulating economic growth and employment in Europe.

Specifically, the European Charter for Researchers outlines the functions, responsibilities and rights of investigators and their employers. The aim is to ensure that the relation between these parties contributes to successful performance in the generation, transfer and shared use of knowledge, as well as the professional development of researchers from the early stages.

Moreover, the Code of Conduct for the hiring of researchers was drawn up to improve enrolment, so that selection procedures are fair and transparent. The researcher's merit should be measured not only by the number of publications, but also by a wider range of evaluation criteria such as education and teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management and public awareness-raising activities.

Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment (OTM-R) practices has been included as a key part of this process. The ‘OTM-R Package’ is a set of practical and useful tools for implementing Open, Transparent and Merit-based recruitment practices in Research Performing Organisations and brings benefits to researchers, institutions and a country's research system. More specifically, OTM-R makes research careers more attractive, ensures equal opportunities for all candidates and facilitates mobility. Overall, it may contribute to an increase in the cost-effectiveness of investments in research.

To help accommodate the research institutions to the Charter and Code principles, the Commission set out a procedure through which those institutions interested in including them, could design their own Human Resources (HRS4R) Strategy.

HRS4R is a mechanism to support the implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C). This procedure consists of five steps:

  • Preparation of a rigorous Internal Analysis.
  • Publication of the Institution Strategy in the corporate website to maintain and improve the Charter and Code.
  • Evaluation and approval of the Strategy by the Commission.
  • Application and continuous self-assessment of the process by the institution.
  • And finally, have the Strategy and its deployment evaluate externally by the Commission every four years after initiating the process.

The initiative of defining and deploying this Strategy is carried out in collaboration with the Commission and other institutions and members of the pilot group, including the other institutions that already have this acknowledgement and those in the process of obtaining it, which constitutes the best forum for exchanging and sharing best practices.

HR Strategy in BC3- Strengthened HRS4R

BC3 endorsed the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C) principles in December 2013 and in April 2015 was recognized with the "HR Excellence in research" award. Since 2013, BC3 has been working on its European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) approach and currently BC3 is conducting the Internal Review for Renewal Assessment (deadline: Nov 2020).

The first step of the procedure proposed within this framework was the preparation of a rigorous Internal Analysis of the "HR Strategy for Researchers" (HRS4R) fostered by the European Commission.  The outcome of that Internal Analysis was our first 2015-2017 Action Plan (AP1) to support the implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C). As a consequent of this, in April 2015, BC3 was awarded the "HR Excellence in Research" logo and recognition.

At early 2017, BC3 underwent a self-assessment process for reviewing and following-up the implementation of the Action Plan designed in 2015. After completing that self-assessment, the 2017-2020 Revised Action Plan (AP2) was developed, focused on the implementation of initiatives internally identified, and the recommendations suggested from the EC. In 2017, BC3 also implemented its first OTM-R Policy engaging into the Strengthened HRS4R Process (See next section for details).

5 years after the “HR Excellence in Research” acknowledgement was received, BC3 is currently under the Internal Review for Renewal Assessment. For that purpose, BC3 run a new self-assessment process in May 2020 (GAP Analysis 2020), which resulted in the 2020-2023 Improved Action Plan (IAP1). The self-assessment process was coordinated by the BC3 HR Excellence Working Group, and each of the 40 principles of the Charter & Code were revised and aligned with the reality of BC3 including the review of the OTM-R policy (OTM-R Checklist 2020). BC3 is now expecting an external evaluation by independent experts of the European Comission for the "HR Excellence in Research" award renewal.

Related document: HR strategy 2020 -2023

OTM-R Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers

As member of the 6th cohort of organisations involved in the development of HRS4R, BC3 analysed, assessed and integrated the recommendations and principles of OTM-R into the internal recruitment policies. The result was the first BC3´s OTM-R Policy dated in November 2017; firstly reviewed on October 2018 2nd edition of OTM-R Policy (October 2018) and secondly, on February 2019 3rd edition of OTM-R Policy.

Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment (OTM-R) brings benefits to researchers, institutions, a country's research system, contributes to the full implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) and to an increase in the cost-effectiveness of investments in research. More specifically, OTM-R ensures that the best person for the job is recruited, guarantees equal opportunities and access for all, facilitates developing an international portfolio (cooperation, competition, mobility) and makes research careers more attractive.

Related Document: OTM-R Policy (Last update, February 2019)



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