HR Excellence in Research
Equality strategy and HR Excellence in Research award
The University of Warsaw received the “HR Excellence in Research” award, conferred by the European Commission. The award is granted to institutions that have committed to meet high standards and principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
The aim of both European documents is to create an attractive and open labour market for researchers. Among the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers there are, i.a. gender equality and the principle of non-discrimination. In the framework of the adaptation of the existing procedures at the UW to the principles set out in the Charter, a Strategy has been prepared (The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers at the University of Warsaw with Respect of the Principles of the European Charter and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers – Action Plan 2015-2019) that assumes execution of specific actions in the area of, i.a. equal treatment.
The implementation of anti-discrimination and equality actions listed in the Strategy lies in the competence of the Equal Opportunity Chief Specialist at the UW. The equality tasks set out in the Strategy, aiming at increasing knowledge and awareness in the area of anti-discrimination, include, i.a.:
1. carrying out general university research identifying possible barriers and inequalities standing in the way of implementing the principle of equal opportunities;
2. preparing, together with the authorities of UW and of the university faculties, gender equality plans, adapted to individual needs of particular units of the UW;
3. creating an equality website of the UW (www.rownowazni.uw.edu.pl), including comprehensive and practical information, i.a. in the area of: legal provisions and notification procedures of the cases of discrimination, institutions responsible for providing support and assistance, projects and equality and anti-discrimination researches carried out at the UW, as well as current events on equality and anti-discrimination;
4. developing an equality e-learning course for employees and students of the UW dedicated to the issue of anti-discrimination, whose aim is to raise standards at the University in the scope of ensuring the principle of equal treatment among the entire academic community;
5. issuing an Anti-discrimination Guidebook for students and employees of the University of Warsaw including practical information, i.a. in the area of proceeding in case of discrimination and unequal treatment at the University. DOWNLOAD;
6. organising debates and events dedicated to equality and anti-discrimination issues.
European Charter for Researchers
The European Commission understood that Europe’s competitiveness growth is strongly related to developments in research and the knowledge economy and therefore introduced recommendations for Member States of the European Union, whose aim is to create an attractive and open labour market for researchers including the entire community. The recommendations were published in 2005 in the form of The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
Rights and obligations of scholars and of their employers as well as of research funding institutions financing research through grant awarding are included in the Charter. The concept of the document’s authors contributes to the improvement of career prospects for researchers and increases their mobility, not only international, but also intersectoral – between science and business. The recommendations included in the Code ought to lead to an open, more transparent and comparable recruitment procedure on the international level.
In the principles of participation in the European Union framework programmes for research, development and innovation, including in the Horizon 2020 programme, there is an appeal to the provisions of the Charter and the Code, reflected in grant agreements with the institutions which implement the projects. Beneficiaries of the programme should endeavour to complete all recommendations included in the documents.
In order to stress the significance of the Charter and the Code, the European Commission gives a “HR Excellence in Research” logo to the research institutions that have aligned their internal rules and procedures according to its principles. The distinction confirms that the university, research institution or enterprise offer friendly research environment, while the recruitment principles in force therein are fully transparent.
Implementation of principles of the Charter and the Code at the University of Warsaw
Ideas, included in the recommendations of the EC concerning working conditions of researchers and their recruitment, are coherent with many documents that have been passed by the University of Warsaw in recent years, among others, the mid-term strategy of the University of Warsaw for the years 2014-2018. Adaptation of internal procedures to the recommendations included in the Charter are perceived by the University as a next step in the realisation of its strategic goals – to provide the best conditions of development for employees and to be an attractive institution for foreign researchers, engaged in research at the highest level.
On 4th July 2014 Prof. Marcin Pałys, Rector of the University of Warsaw, established a Committee for the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. On 28th August Rector of the UW signed the Declaration of endorsement of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
Firstly, the Committee established by the Rector conducted an audit of the internal regulations and procedures for the compatibility between the university’s regulations and European standards. Next, together with the Centre for Education Quality Evaluation at the UW, a survey among the employees and PhD students was conducted, whose aim was the evaluation of the implementation of the provisions of the Chart and the Code at the University of Warsaw. The survey was conducted from 15 December 2014 to 15 January 2015. The questions contained therein considered four topics: working conditions, recruitment, relations with supervisors and general rules and regulations binding the research staff. The works on the report summarising the survey were completed on 31st March 2015. Based on the internal analysis and procedures as well as the survey results, the Committee prepared an action plan, which explains in detail the changes which are necessary to be made at the University, so it fulfils all standards contained in both European documents.