The European Commission confers a prestigious HR Award, whose full title is the “HR Excellence in Research ”, for excellent care of personnel in research environments. The purpose of this initiative is to establish a strategic approach to human resources management in science and research, based on modern principles. The HR Award certifies that an institution has raised the quality of its personnel care, in turn raising its prestige and attractiveness, international reputation and chances of obtaining grant funding. Institutions who wish to gain the HR Award must subscribe to the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, which is a set of general principles and requirements that specifies the rights and responsibilities of researchers and their employers.
The HR Award identifies an institution as a workplace that excels in its work with human resources, and serves as a guarantee to that institution’s current and future employees that its recruitment is carried out in a transparent manner, that its working conditions correspond to European standards, and that it pays attention to employees’ career development and work-life balance. Receiving the HR Award is not only a mark of quality, but also of the institution’s long-term commitment to further development and to establishing favourable conditions for its staff.
By implementing modern HR principles suitable for the academic and scientific environment, we believe that we can achieve significant progress in employee care and human resources management. We reached this conclusion after extensive discussion and with the understanding that the CAO is not a typical research institute, whose goal is to provide R&D infrastructure and support activities, primarily to the Czech Academy of Sciences and its institutes. We have outlined how and why the CAO is seeking the prestigious HR Award for excellence in human resources management in the scientific environment (the HR Excellence in Research Award) in the document “The Centre of Administration and Operations – the CAS institutes’ first port of call”.
The CAO subscribed to the principles of the Charter and Code on 29 October 2020, with the aim of obtaining the HR Excellence in Research Award. Based on discussions with research, administrative, and technical staff, a “GAP Analysis” was performed, and an “Action Plan” was prepared. This initial process was monitored by the Steering Committee. In November 2021, we submitted all necessary application documents for the HR Award assessment. In March 2022, we received a report regarding the necessity to implement major revisions within one year. After extensive discussion as to whether it was realistic to meet the evaluators’ recommendations, it was decided we would continue to strive for the award by reworking our strategy.
However, the long-term implementation process for the CAO had already begun regardless, and some of the proposed measures had already been met. An overview of all 21 measures from the Action Plan and their timeline can be found in the document “Proposed Actions in the Action Plan”.
Keep your fingers crossed!