Human Resources Strategy for Researchers ( HRS4R )

Introduction

In October 2011 Politecnico di Torino formally reiterated its commitment towards the implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers by joining the 3rd Cohort of the Institutional HR Strategy Group. Due to compulsory compliance to new national laws and to internal institutional changes, Politecnico started the implementation of the five steps of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers process in January 2013.

Following the formal approval of the Internal Gap analysis and of the Action plan by the Governing Boards (Academic Senate and Board of Directors), the documents have been sent to the European Commission for the acknowledgement.

In November 2013 the European Commission agreed to the award of 'HR Excellence in Research' logo, remarking the extremely thorough and wide-reaching work undertaken by Politecnico di Torino and its strong commitment to invest in HR policies.

Following the requirements of the HRS4R process (step 4), in December 2015, two years after the award, Politecnico di Torino conducted and sent to the European Commission a self assessment report on the progress in the implementation of the Charter and Code principles and an updated version of the Action Plan, approved from the Board of Governors of Politecnico.

The next step has been a very positive intermediate evaluation form the European Commission that has recongnised the engagement of Politecnico in including the HRS4R process and the OTM-R (Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers) practice into its policies, routines and organisational structures.

Therefore, Politecnico has been placed in the best category of Universities implementing the process, ha received an encouragement to continue along the path it has undertaken and has received confirmation, on 18 January 2016, about the possibility to use the logo "HR Excellence in Research"

Methodology for the implementation of the hr strategy process

In accordance with the HR Strategy process, in January 2013 Politecnico started the implementation of the five steps of the process.

In order to guarantee the support by institutional leadership, the involvement of all stakeholders (research and administrative staff) and a smooth and efficient coordination of the activities, the following internal organisation structure has been conceived:

Process organization

Internal gap analysis and Action Plan

In order to examine how current practices compare to the 'Charter' and the 'Code', Politecnico conducted a comprehensive gap analysis in light of the template provided by the European Commission.

The gap analysis was undertaken by the Steering Group, which was chaired by the Deputy Rector, through a Researcher Focus Group and an Administrative Working Group.

Members of the focus group of researchers were identified on the basis of an expression of interest addressed to all professors, researchers, research fellows and PhD candidates. They were selected on the basis of the following criteria: representation of the different scientific cultures, representation of all categories of staff conducting research and gender balance.

Members of the focus group of researchers

Institutional representatives
and First-segment Professors

LAURA MONTANARO - Deputy Rector

FLAVIO CANAVERO - Director of Doctorate School (DET)

Second-segment Professors

MILENA SALVO (DISAT)

RAJANDREA SETHI (DIATI)

Researchers

MONICA NARETTO (DAD)

GABRIELLA BALESTRA (DET)

Research Fellows

MARCO SIMONETTI (DENERG)

FEDERICO CAVIGGIOLI (DIGEP)

PhD Candidates

CHIARA GASTALDI (DIMEAS)

GIANVITO URGESE (DAUIN)

The choice to conduct the gap analysis through the parallel work of two groups was aimed at:

  • describing the practices already underway using clear University performance indicators (role of the group that brings together representatives of the administrative staff relating to areas and services involved)
  • making a qualitative evaluation of the researchers' perception of the implementation of the Charter (role of the researchers focus group listed in the table).

It appeared that most of the principles laid down in the 'Charter' and the 'Code' have already been largely put into practice within Politecnico. However, a number of aspects has been identified for which improvements can be implemented.
Therefore principles were divided into three different categories:

  1. Principles already implemented within Politecnico
  2. Principles that cannot be fully implemented due to national constraints
  3. Principles that can be improved through dedicated actions

Based on the outcomes of the gap analysis, 27 actions have been identified to implement the Charter and the Code more precisely, and to create an academic environment of high quality and more favorable for researchers from all over the world.

For any information, comments or contributions please refer to: Chiara Biglia, Research Fund Raising Division - europoli@polito.it

© Politecnico di Torino - Credits