The UdL is firmly committed to improve the quality of teaching and research activities by developing the structures, facilitating the access to new methods and instruments and boosting international collaboration. The Research Plan proposes a set of actions to strengthen and develop UdL’s research strategy as well as to increase the visibility of UdL in the international context, by promoting the activity of individual researchers, research groups and centres in order to highlight their areas of expertise. The plan organizes the research structure of UdL in four Institutes according to the corresponding four research areas recognized as strategic for the institution: Agri-Food, Biomedicine, Sustainability, and Social and Territorial Development. Some of the main actions described in this Research Plan include the promotion of the Institutes, the development of a complementary plan to consolidate research groups, the participation and leadership in European and national projects, the support to the recruitment of postdoctoral researchers through the participation in national and regional calls and the promotion of an institutional program of PhD students.
UdL endorsed the European Commission’s “European Charter for Researchers” and “Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers” in June 2013, with the commitment to respect the entitlements and fundamental principles described in both documents (http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/rights/index). Thus, the objective of UdL is to apply these principles within its human resource policy and to promote transparency, accessibility, equity and pursuit of excellence in the recruitment of researchers. At the same time, this initiative facilitates the creation of the best possible framework for its researchers’ career development.
Within this context, UdL aims to obtain the "HR Excellence in Research" logo, which gives public recognition for institutions that progress in the alignment of its human resource policies with the Charter&Code (C&C) principles.
The logo implementation comprises five steps:
- Internal Analysis of the institution according to the Charter&Code principles
- Development and publication of an Action Plan
- Review and approval of the logo by the European Commission
- Implementation and self-assessment (every two years) of the Action Plan
- External evaluation (every four years)
A commission comprising members of different research units and administrative structures was created in order to carry out the internal analysis during the last months, as well as to prepare the action plan for the HRS4R acknowledgement.
The HRS4R project has been disseminated to UdL’s research community throughout the project development. The active collaboration of the University collectives, especially those related with the research area, has been key for the development and submission of the project and will be fundamental to carry out the successful implementation of the action plan during the forthcoming years.
An Internal Gap Analysis (legislation review and survey) led to the detection of the most relevant actions that must be implemented at UdL and resulted in an Action Plan that will cover the next two years, 2017-2018. This Action Plan is mainly focused on the review of the dissemination rules for recruitment and selection, redefining the good practices in research and the selection and recruitment protocols, improving the research environment, promoting the career development and specific training and revising the mechanisms of complains and appeals for researchers.
The Vice rectorate for Research has successfully submitted the project to the European Commission on the second week of November with the aim of obtaining the HRS4R acknowledgement.