The European Commission´s Human Resources for Research (HRS4R) strategy enables research institutions of excellence to actively implement and uphold the requisites of The European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (hereinafter referred to as the Charter and Code) for their HR policies and practices. This EC initiative, carried out throughout the European Research Area, invites the participation of leading research centers including the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) to ultimately and collectively promote the training, career development, and mobility of scientists across Europe. VHIO is consequently committed to participating in this important project - not only to strengthen its own policies, but also contribute to spurring research of excellence throughout Europe.
VHIO welcomes and fully supports the general values and principles as stated in the European Charter and Code highly respects the work of the European Commission in the crucial area of recruitment of researchers – representing an important forward step towards improved conditions for European investigators, and applauds the initiative of the HR Excellence in Research Award.
One of our strategic objectives is to better define, finely-tune and manage researchers’ recruitment and promotion polices by means of a professional career and assessment system. Therefore, in accordance with VHIO´s Internal Policies and within its legal scope, we hereby commit to applying the stated principles to our human resources policies for researchers and to promoting transparency, accessibility, equity and the pursuit of excellence in the recruitment of researchers.
By adhering to the Charter and Code, VHIO recognizes the importance of providing an adequate framework, within which its researchers can further their careers to a high quality standard, contributing to the development and consolidation of the European Research Area.
The decision to implement HRS4R within VHIO was taken by its Board of Trustees and has so far involved all VHIO´s governing bodies, all of which have been directly and fully informed regarding steps taken during their respective meetings (Board of Trustees – 08 May 2017/ Executive Board – 29 March 2017).
As an initial step, we conducted the HRS4R survey encouraging the participation of all VHIO research faculty (130 researchers) – irrespective of position or seniority – in order to perform internal analysis and in so doing, identify areas for improvement according to the principles stated both in the Charter and the Code. The survey consisted of 40 statements surrounding the 40 principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. VHIO researchers were asked to score each from 1 to 5 based on their levels of agreement. The survey was approved and launched on 10 April 2017. The results have been analysed in detail by VHIO’s Deputy Managing Director and HR Manager, and presented to VHIO´s HRS4R Committee, which was constituted on 13 July 2017 as the body responsible for designing and monitoring the HRS4R implementation process.
The survey results were utilized as principal input for elaborating the Gap Analysis, and analyzed according to 7 different categories (gender, nationality, research program, professional category, VHIO seniority, research program, professional category and international exposure) in order to draw up a more tailored, and thus effective, Action Plan. VHIO´s HRS4R Committee convened again in July 2017 to approve the subsequent Gap Analysis and Action Plan.