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The European « Human Resources Strategy for Researchers » (HRS4R)

The University of Lille, an institution that values quality and diversity, supports global mobility, particularly within Europe, and deploys the HRS4R strategy to ensure the best working environment for its research personnel.

Why participate in the HRS4R procedure?

By formally entering the approval process on January 26, 2023, the University of Lille reaffirms its policy and commitment toward its research staff by working to create and maintain a stimulating work environment that is open and responsive to working conditions.

The University of Lille wishes to participate in the HRS4R initiative alongside the other 701 institutions and organizations already committed to the process (on May 1st, 2023).

By earning the “HR Excellence in Research” approval, the university will be able to:

  • Strengthen its attractiveness within the European Research Area
  • Benefit from recruitment prospects.
  • Reiterate its commitment to being a responsible employer
  • Make research careers more appealing
  • Better foreground the quality of actions taken so as to welcome research employees in comfortable circumstances

The "HR Excellence in Research" award is a key indicator of the quality measures put in place for research workers, enabling them to:

  • Benefit from a set of hiring practices that ensure an open, transparent, and merit-based recruitment process
  • Progress and develop in a workplace that cares about the quality of work life
  • Continue to be trained thanks to a large gamut of training programs
  • Be guided towards ethical and deontological practices
  • Be accompanied in the search for European subsidies

What is the European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)?

The “Human Resources Strategy for Researchers” (HRS4R) was launched by the European Commission in 2008. The HRS4R approach aims to improve the practices of organizations and institutions working in the field of research in the recruitment and framework of the practice of research, building on the principles of the European charter for researchers and the Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers.

Institutions that actively pursue and achieve success in aligning their human resources policies with the 40 principles of the Charter and the Code are awarded the "HR Excellence in Research" approval/label by the European Commission.

The European charter for researchers and the Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers


The European Commission published its recommendations for improving the working conditions of researchers in the form of a "European Charter for researchers" and a "Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers" in 2005 in order to make the European research area more attractive to the best European and international researchers and to encourage young people to begin a research career.

A collection of guidelines known as the "European Charter for Researchers" outlines the obligations, rights, and prerogatives of both employers and researchers. Employers should follow the guidelines outlined in the "Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers" while hiring researchers.


How does the University of Lille engage in the HRS4R process?

The process was officially launched when the letter of commitment was accepted on January 26, 2023, reaffirming the University of Lille's commitment to using the “European Charter for Researchers” and the “Code of Conduct for Recruitment” in its policies.

An examination of the discrepancies between our actions and the 40 principles of the Charter and the Code was conducted during the first year in order to build an action plan, and the viewpoint of our researchers has been considered via:

  1. The formation and consultation of four working groups, each of which was given the duty of reflecting on one of the four themes of the Charter and Code. Each working group held two 3-hour meetings 15 days apart.
  2. A survey that was sent out to the entire scientific community.

In July 2022, the University of Lille launched the HRS4R process. Its official enrolment in the application procedure for the award occurred when the European Commission accepted its letter of commitment on January 26, 2023.

Important project milestones:

  • From July to December 2022: The process was launched.
    Three steering committee meetings (COPIL), a request for volunteer researchers to join working groups (WG), and the organization of working groups were all scheduled.
  • January 2023: Official University Commitment
    On January 12, the university submitted its letter of commitment to the European Commission; on January 26, the EU approved it.
  • From March to July 2023: Establishment of the action plan for 2024–2028
    March–May 2023: the creation of the action plan (2024–2028), based on the practice gaps found during the gap analysis, in collaboration with the presidential team and the various departments.

    June 2023: the mailing of the questionnaire to the university's entire scientific community with the goal of gathering the opinions of researchers on the suggested actions.

    June–July 2023: Validation of the action plan by the scientific committee and the COPIL.

    Mid-July 2023: Presentation of the final action plan to the working groups and submission of the file to the European Commission


HRS4R project team

If you have any questions, please contact the HRS4R project team at hrs4r-ulille2022univ-lillefr