The Masaryk University Faculty of Science received the HR Award certification. The award is given by the European Commission to research institutions that foster and develop an international and transparent work environment. By receiving the award, the faculty committed itself to further improve conditions for researchers and other employees. Other faculties and parts of the university are currently working towards obtaining the HR Award, too.
The certification and – most importantly – the new HR strategy will help the Faculty of Science create a prestigious work environment open to both Czech and international researchers. The faculty plans to focus on the professional guidance of young researchers by developing mentoring programmes for PhD students. Other areas of focus include improving the process of onboarding new employees and developing better internal communication.
“Receiving the HR Award is a major step for the Faculty of Science on its way to the internationalisation that will help it attract international employees and students. The clue is in our name – science is international and knows no boundaries. Therefore, it is essential not to become isolated at the local level. Our researchers have been publishing their results in major international journals for many years. The next step to becoming more involved in international science is to attract highly regarded experts from other countries and this HR Award should significantly boost this endeavour. While it will not be easy to implement all the new methods and rules required, I feel that the academic community at our faculty is supportive of our actions because the intended result will profit everyone involved,” says Tomáš Kašparovský, dean of the MU Faculty of Science.
The faculty worked towards obtaining the certification for over a year, developing an HR management strategy based on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The HR Award makes it possible to create a sustainable and transparent work environment for both Czech and international researchers and to apply for grants that require this certification.
The process of obtaining the HR Award logo at the MU Faculty of Science was funded by a project from the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education – HR4MU, which is co-financed by the European Union.
Other faculties and parts of the university, including CEITEC, are also currently working towards obtaining the HR Award. CEITEC was built on the belief that people are the most important element in a successful top research centre and has already started implementing the steps outlined in its HR management strategy. One of these is a career system that defines career growth and change options for researchers, technical and administrative employees of the institute and includes measures to eliminate inbreeding (graduates staying on to work at the same university). This marks a significant change in the current practice in the Czech Republic for building research teams.
The HR Excellence in Research Award, or HR Award for short, is given by the European Commission to research institutions that are in the process of implementing the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). Implementing the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers should make these institutions more attractive to researchers seeking a new position and for research project hosts. The principles of this include career growth requirements, prioritising mobility, rules for employee recruitment, and selection criteria. Obtaining the certificate marks the start of the process of implementing the strategy and action plan. The results of the process will be evaluated by the Commission over the coming years.