The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)


On 11 December 2018 the European Commission granted the 'HR Excellence in Research Award'  to the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf for which HHU applied in the context of the European initiative ‘Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)’. The HRS4R is based on the ‘European Charter for Researchers’ and the ‘Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers’ (Charter & Code). The documents constitute a framework which specifies the responsibilities and entitlements of researchers as well as their employers. This includes issues such as fair recruitment procedures, career development, equal opportunities, transnational mobility and research ethics as well as a set of general principles and requirements to be followed when recruiting and appointing researchers.

The principles of ‘Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R)’ form a further core element of HRS4R and consist of a number of requirements to be followed by employers when recruiting researchers. Most importantly, they have to ensure fair and transparent selection and appointment procedures following clear guidelines and regulations.

By implementing its own HRS4R, HHU shows its commitment to improve the working conditions for its researchers at all career levels and to make HHU more attractive for researchers from all around the world.

As part of the HRS4R process the Vice President for Research and Transfer established a working group in spring 2017 in order to identify gaps in those areas addressed by the ‘Charter & Code’ and to agree on concrete steps to improve the working conditions of its academic staff. Particular attention was paid to the involvement of a wide variety stakeholders, such as researchers at all career levels, standing committees and relevant administrative units.

Based on this feedback a gap analysis and action plan were drafted and submitted to the European Commission at the end of May 2018. The report was evaluated by international experts in a peer review process and HHU was granted the ‘HR Excellence in Research Award’ in December 2018, which recognises HHU’s commitment to ensure good working conditions as well as fair and transparent recruitment procedures.

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