27/01/2017

PRESS RELEASE on the workshop in the Brno CEITEC Center – Czech Structural EU-Funds offer 25 million Euro for HRS4R-actions

Categories: HRS4R News


« Not only toys for boys »

Czech and Slovak Research Managers discussed opportunities of Career Development for science professionals during a workshop in the Brno CEITEC Center – Czech Structural EU-Funds offer 25 million Euro for HRS4R-actions

 

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'Where can I get support from?', 'Can universities as a group enter the Human Resources Strategy process?', 'Could one faculty apply on its own?', and 'How long will it take to receive the HR Award?'– These were the key questions of research managers during a workshop in the CEITEC Center, the Central European Institute of Technology - Brno University of Technology,.24 January 2017 in the Czech city of Brno. The conference, joining over 100 representatives of universities, academies and research institutions from the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, had as a theme 'How to best attract talented researchers', aimed at briefing research managers on the benefits to offer well-organized Career Development for their academic professionals.

 

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These need 'to be better prepared for the challenges of an ever more complex scientific, technological, economic and societal development', as many high-level speakers highlighted during the meeting. The workshop which was organized by Ms. Jirina Frycova, Research Department of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport with the support of the European Commission, informed the participants on the opportunities of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, HRS4R, being a long term strategic instrument to which the institutions commit and with which will start concrete Career Development measures in a coherent and well-guided way. Karen Vandevelde, experienced research manager from the Belgian Gent University, was appointed as HR Ambassador to advise the Czech and Slovak institutions upon request.

 

25 Million Euro EU Funds dedicated for HR measures at Czech research institutions

 

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Jiri Nantl, Director of the CEITEC Center and the host of the conference, explained to the participants, why his institution will soon introduce the HR-Strategy at CEITEC: 'Today researchers need to improve their skills over the whole lifetime of their career. This applies not only to young researchers, but also to the senior levels and principal investigators. The HR process will create an environment to enable researchers to make the right career decisions at the right time.'

 

CEITEC will start first with the revision of its institution-wide recruitment policy and with an improvement of the doctoral skills training.

'The key to success will be frankness, honesty and fairness to researchers', the Director highlighted, pointing out the gaining of better visibility of his institution by endorsing the principles of the EU-guided HR strategy process and to be part of a pan-European network of research managers working on Career Development.

 

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To complement the excellent physical infrastructures installed at Czech RTD centres, HR Strategy will not only lead to preserve domestic talent at the institutions but also to attract scientific excellence from other countries. Without the investment in human resources, 'the physical infrastructure otherwise will only serve as toys for the boys and funds could be wasted', stressed Lukas Levak, Director of the Department of Research and Development at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. For the Ministry, strongly encouraging the Czech institutions to apply for the HRS4R process, this instrument can lead 'to crucial positive changes in the national development and to a change of mindset in the Czech research organizations', Levak said, 'concrete people will convey this and introduce the institutional reforms needed'.

 

Doctoral skills trainings, transparent recruitment policies, improved working environments

 

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As the first country in Europe, the Czech Republic opened the EU Structural Funds and its national Operational Programme to implement action under the HRS4R-Strategy with a call of 25 million Euro. This call will offer money only to those Czech regions whose research institutions will implement a wide range of activities reaching from the introduction of open and transparent recruitment policies, improved soft skills trainings and supervisory schemes for doctoral students, better working conditions including social security and decent contractual terms for researchers, etc. The funds for the HR activities will run up to 10 % of the Czech research budget, as Ministry representative Levak detailed at a press conference during the Brno workshop in the CEITEC center.

 

 

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On their way to strive for institutional changes with an excellent management to be put into place locally, the participating universities and research institutions can receive the 'HR EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH' award consisting of a trophy and a quality label to be put as a visible icon on all documents and communication/promotional material of the organizations. More than 800 institutions across Europe already have signed into the HR strategy. Over 300 institutions on the European continent so far were awarded the 'HR Excellence in Research' award. Experienced HR Managers from Europe`s leading research institutions have drafted implementation guidelines, including the modalities to apply for the award on the way of moving from progress to quality. Assessment and monitoring of the process are based on peer reviews.

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