HRS4R certification: A quality initiative that is key to our academic human resources strategy

Université PSL places a premium on the quality of both its recruiting and the work environment it offers its communities. In tandem with its member institutions, PSL embarked on the HRS4R initiative (Human Resources Strategy for Researchers) in January 2019 with the goal of ensuring that all of its component schools obtain HRS4R certification by the fall of 2021.

The HRS4R label

logo label hrs4r

The HR Excellence in Research Award is a certification given by the European Commission in accordance with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers released in 2005.
The certification is based on 40 principles grouped into four main categories:

  • Ethical principles and professional responsibility
  • Recruitment, career development and mobility
  • Working and safety conditions, workplace environment
  • Training

Its goal is to improve the quality of HR practices and the working conditions for researchers and research professors while enhancing the appeal of those professions.

Certification will soon be required for all European Union calls for proposals.

Our initiative

PSL has adopted a two-phase joint initiative that reflects the maturity and size of its component schools. That initiative draws on the experience of the schools (such as Institut Curie) and institutes (CNRS, INSERM, INRIA) that have already obtained certification. To ensure the initiative can be carried out consistently across PSL and help its component schools exchange best practices and conduct technical transfers, a steering committee is supplementing and coordinating the work of the committees at each school. Each school is conducting a self-assessment and developing an action plan. The project managers from each school serve on an operations committee.

This collaborative approach yielded an action plan with 29 actions to be taken across the University.

Université PSL HRS4R action plan (joint actions and school-specific actions)

Key dates:

  • November 2018: HR Conference – Decision-making process – The heads of Université PSL schools and institutes approve the objective for the certification process and the procedures for its implementation (phases, appointment of the steering committee and project group).
  • January 25, 2019: HRS4R initiative kick-off workshop – Université PSL.
  • March 21, 2019: PSL Steering Committee meets.
  • June 19, 2019: PSL Steering Committee meets.
  • Septembre 2019: End of gap analysis work
  • October 2019: PSL focus groups meet (to discuss mentoring and monitoring/observer programs).
  • November 5, 2019: The PSL HR Conference approves PSL’s joint actions.
  • December 17, 2019: PSL Steering Committee meets.
  • November 13, 2019: Université PSL issues a letter of commitment to the HRS4R initiative.
  • June 16, 2020: The PSL HR Conference approves the Université PSL action plan.
  • July 9, 2020: The plan is presented to the PSL Board of Directors.
  • July 2020: PSL Charter of Academic Recruitment
  • January 2021: HRS4R awareness and information campaign, establishment of the address for continuous updating and co-construction of the action plan.

Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of researchers (OTM-R)

Université PSL is aware of the need to open its positions to everyone. This guarantees that, for a given job, the best possible recruitment is made, considering the personal merits of the candidates and without discrimination.

The Université PSL's Academic Recruitment Charter, approved in July 2020, reflects our commitment in this area and declines it into concrete actions that constitute an integral part of our institution's action plan.