The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers are two European CommissiThe European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers are two European Commission (EC) reports, published as Recommendations in 2005, incorporating a set of general principles and requirements which specifies either the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers (according to OECD definition) as well as of employers and/or funders of researchers and that should be followed by employers and/or funders when appointing or recruiting researchers.

The final purpose is the improvement of European research competitiveness at international level through a gradual and slow process of cultural change, discussion and comparison among all the stakeholders.

The adoption of a Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), incorporating these principles, allows public or private research institutions to assure a more sustainable career of researchers, according to the EU recommendations, and to be acknowledged as Human Resources Excellence in Research.

The early strategy of the University of Foggia, adopted on 9 March 2010, after the approval of the Academic Senate, included only few priority principles. During the time, it was integrated and modified in accordance with the self and external assessment requested by EC.
On 9 May 2018 an update HRS4R was approved in accordance with the EC guidelines of "strengthened HRS4R”, entered into force on the 1st of January 2017. These latter asked for incorporating all the abovementioned principles, if not already present in the university system.

Consequently, the current HRS4R is constituted of:

  • the HR strategy, an action plan for implementing the principles included in the European Charter for Researchers;
  • the OTM_R (Open, Transparent and Meritorious Recruitment of researchers), an action plan for implementing the principles included in the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
University of Foggia commitment

The University of Foggia (Italy), recognizing itself in the inspiring principles of these important documents, on the 17th of November 2008, along with others seven Italian universities, signed a declaration commitment for the implementation of a HRS for the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, according to the European Commission Recommendation of 11 March 2005. The same declaration was subsequently signed by each institutions and notified to the European Commission on 18 June 2009.

University of Foggia purpose

The University of Foggia, with the implementation of an HRS for researchers incorporating the C&C, aims to receive the acknowledgement of HR excellence in research in order to:
improve its visibility in the European Research Area (ERA) and at international level; obtain more credibility internally and externally, towards researchers, national authorities, funders, etc
become part of a growing group of institutions, many of very high international standing, adding to its institution’s status
Furthermore, this strategy is going to be an integrated part of the general wider strategy of the Foggia institution, which is addressed to a substantial repositioning of research activity at international and national level. It, also, represents an adaptation to the new European and national directives in this field (i.e. Italian proposed law by the present Education Ministry). 

Work methodology

The main steps of the process for defining and adopting a HRS are the following:

  1. an Internal Analysis (IA), through the distributing of a questionnaire to all researchers, to assess the state of adoption of C&C principles
  2. the main results of this analysis will be made public and translated into a strategy (HRS) for the sustainable career of researchers
  3. the HRS will receive an “acknowledgment” by the European Commission and so the authorization in using the logo HR excellence in Research
  4. the HRS will be implemented by the institution, and self-assessed by its internal quality assurance mechanism, every 2 years, at least
  5. an external evaluation will take place every 4 years
  6. an internal review after three yeras of successful assessment and site visit, inlcuding a dedication section on the new OTM_R policy.
Step by step
  1. in February 2009, a Technical Working Group (TWG) was formed, chaired by Prof. Lorenzo Lo Muzio (Rector Delegate for Research) and coordinated by Dr. Mariarosaria Lombardi (scientific responsible for internal coordination and for liaison with the European Commission). It was composed of some researchers, administrative staff (experts in recruitment, social security, internationalization and training) and vice-president of ADI (Association of Italian PhD students). The TWG have had to draw up a draft proposal of HRS according to the IA results
  2. in April 2009, the IA, for a wider possible diffusion, was matched with the “research quota 2009” (provided by the institution after the monitoring of each researcher activities) and so diffused to 164 researchers, 93 associated professors and 93 full professors. For early stage researchers (postgraduate students or researchers) the vice-president of ADI was delegated
  3. in June 2009, a draft proposal of HRS was drawn up according to the data analysis of IA and the recommendations of TWG. In this way, the main gaps were identified and actions were planned to address these issues
  4. in September 2009, the University of Foggia organized the “Service Conference on Research” where the University of Camerino (coordinator of Italian C&C network) presented the state of art and the working in progress of the involved institutions
  5. in October 2009, according to the indications suggested by University of Camerino and by the 1st Meeting of Institutional Human Resources Strategy Group, held in Warwick (UK) on 7th September 2009, a final proposal of HRS was sent to all Departments of Foggia University to receive their approbations or eventual integrations/modifications
  6. on 10th February, the final proposal HRS was discussed in Senate
  7. on 25th February, the TWG met again to indicate who/which department is responsible for and what is the timeline for HRS as suggested by Dr. Dagmar Meyer in occasion of the 2nd Meeting of Institutional Human Resources Strategy Group, held in Heidelberg (Germany) on 9th February 2010
  8. on 9th March 2010, the HR Strategy was published on the UNIFG website
  9. on 10th March 2010, there was the acknowledgement by European Commission and the use of logo “HR Excellence in Research”
  10. on 3rd August 2012, the European Commission approved the UNIFG's self-assessment, drawn up according to the recommendation arisen by the two last meeting of the Institutional Human Resources Strategy Group, the first held in Oslo (Norway) in May 2011 and the second in Palermo (Italy) in April 2012. This document has integrated and changed some actions. The positive feedback by the European Commission allowed continuing to use of HR log
  11. on 14th November 2012, the new version of HR Strategy was discussed and approved in Senate
  12. on 13th November 2013, the HR strategy was updated and approved by the Academic Senate
  13. on 14th May 2014, the HR strategy was again updated and approved by the Academic Senate
  14. on 22nd July 2014, evaluation of HR assessors to confirm the acknowledgement of the title HR (Institute for Excellence in Human Resources Management
  15. on 22nd December 2014, the final report of the three "judges"  emphasized that, although there was still a margin of improvement, the University of Foggia succeeded in implementing its action plan and some new actions were recommended to implement
  16. on 22nd January 2015, the European Commission, in the name of Irmela Brach (senior policy officer of the EU Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate), communicated to the University of Foggia the positive outcome of the inspection and so the confirmation of its recognition as Human Resources Excellence in Research and the possibility to continue of using the "HR" logo
  17. on 21st November 2017, the Academic Senate approved the update HRS4R 2017, integrated and elaborated in accordance with the assessor’ recommendations and the " strengthened HRS4R” entered into force on 1 January 2017, which incorporates the principles of open, transparent and meritorious recruitment of researchers (OTM_R)
  18. on 9th March 2018, the European Commission, in the name of Irmela Brach (senior policy officer of the EU Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate), communicated to the University of Foggia the update HRS4R was “Accepted pending minor alterations”
  19. on 9th May 2018, the Academic Senate approved the revision of HRS4R 2017, improved in some parts according to the suggestions of the European Commission of March 2018, and the internal review related to the period 2015-2017.

Scientific coordination and liaison with the European Commission
Prof. Mariarosaria Lombardi – Researcher at the Department of Economics

Staff coordination
Dr. Michele Mazzone - Responsible for Planning and Strategic Control Area