Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)




The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers


The ‘HR Strategy for Researchers’ supports research institutions and funding organizations in the implementation of the Charter & Code in their policies and practices.

The implementation of the Charter & Code principles by research institutions render them more attractive to researchers looking for a new employer or for a host for their research project.

The European Commission recognizes with the 'HR Excellence in Research Award' the institutions which make progress in aligning their human resources policies to the 40 principles of the Charter & Code, based on a customized action plan/HR strategy.


Download the HRS4R procedure chart



17 organisations have received the HR Excellence in Research award.


Willing to apply for the HR Award?

Are you in the Implementation/ Award Renewal phase?



Special information for UK institutions entering the process as newcomers, or switching from ‘The Concordat’ to the HR implementation via the European HRS4R.

Submitting your applications to HRS4R assessment will commit you to implementation under the rules of the strengthened procedure and assessment by international peer reviewers.





Visit the Policy Library:

  • Brochures

    Download brochures about the HRS4R in multiple languages


  • Documents

    Find additional documentation and templates on the HR Strategy process.

    Strengthened HRS4R process

HRS4R Events & News

Image of (154780) ddd
29/12/2016 - 30/12/2016
Austria, hhh
Image of (125913) How to attract best talented researchers
25/04/2017 - 25/04/2017
North Macedonia, Skopje
The purpose of this regional workshop is to fully inform ‘newcomers’ (research performing institutions and research funders) on the principles...
Image of (24749) Promoting gender equality and diversity for researchers : is the task finished ?
07/03/2016 - 11/03/2016
Belgium, Liège
Early November 2015, the 7th EU Gender Summit took place in Berlin.This was a good opportunity to measure how far...
HR Excellence
29/10/2015 - 29/10/2015
Belgium, Brussels
This Info Day addresses all beneficiaries and potential applicants of H2020 contracts/projects who need to comply with Article 32 stipulating...


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HRS4R Acknowledged Institutions

The "HR Excellence in Research" award gives public recognition to research institutions that have made progress in aligning their human resource policies with the principles set out in the "Charter & Code". Institutions that have been awarded the right to use the icon can use it to highlight their commitment to implement fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers.












HRS4R New Application Modalities


Please note that as of 15 May 2018, ALL institutions interested to initiate the application for the "HR Excellence in Research Award" shall use the HRS4R E-tool - the European Commission's official platform, facilitating the management of the HRS4R process.

Enrolment in the HRS4R is voluntary and non-binding.

HRS4R implies a long-term commitment throughout many years, including joint efforts and coordination with various internal and external stakeholders. It is nevertheless a rewarding process as it ensures institution's transition from progress to quality, in terms of the implementation of the 40 principles of the Charter and Code.

For detailed information regarding the application process, please consult the technical guidelines below. Further questions should be addressed to the functional mailbox


Download the  Technical Guidelines for the Initial Phase



The outcome of the assessment is officially announced via email (the email address provided as contact when completing the first step of the application process), where the "HR Excellence in Research" emblem is also attached, together with the branding guidelines. Experts' comments and recommendations can be found in the detailed consensus report which can be found in the HRS4R Organisation Admin's dashboard.  

From this moment on, the institution can use the "HR Excellence in Research" emblem associated to its name on the institution's website, on social media, on marketing materials and collaterals, etc. in order to promote its stimulating and favourable work environment for researchers.

As a EURAXESS member institution, the award emblem will be activated on the EURAXESS portal as well. Every time the institution will publish a vacancy on EURAXESS, the "HR Excellence in Research" icon will appear next to its name.

The institution will be also listed on the EURAXESS portal under the header of "HR Acknowledged Institutions" together with a link to your HR Strategy published on the institution's website.






After the “HR Excellence in Research Award” is granted, the participating organisation must document progress and quality of the actions and accompanying measures (such as embedding the HRS4R process into their current policies and practices).  

The organisation must submit to the European Commission an Internal Review on how its Action Plan has been implemented. The first Internal Review must take place within 24 months after the award was acknowledged (for Interim Assessment). The second Internal Review will be performed within 36 months after the outcome of the Interim Assessment. The HRS4R process will continue in a cyclical way, with new Internal Reviews every 36 months for Award Renewal (alternating the organisation of site visits).

Starting 20 September 2018, ALL institutions enrolled in the Implementation and Award Renewal processes of the HRS4R procedure can use the HRS4R E-tool for reporting purposes.


What phase is your institution in?

Check the specific process flows for details about responsibilities and timelines.





Preparing the Internal Review for the Implementation or Award Renewal Phase?

Secure your access to the HRS4R E-Tool.

The purpose of the Internal Review is two-fold. It allows the participating organisation to assess own activity and report on the status of achievement for each of the actions previously planned, alter actions or timing of actions if necessary, also to create new actions for the upcoming years.

If the deadline for the Internal Review is approaching (at least 3 months before), the institution should contact for assistance regarding access to the HRS4R E-tool and online management of the reporting process.