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 (52.79 KB)


419 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

11/06/2019 - 11/06/2019
Belgium, Brussels
Target Audience: B eginner and early intermediate assessors , who already performed desk-based evaluations before. Registrations : first come first...
29/01/2019 - 29/01/2019
Belgium, Brussels
REGISTRATION OPEN 10 seats still available on first come first served basis. To book your seat, please send an email...
01/10/2018 - 02/10/2018
Austria, Vienna
WORKSHOP in the margin of the MSCA conference (Vienna, Austria) - 1 & 2 October 2018 The workshop addresses universities,...
24/10/2017 - 24/10/2017
Belgium, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode (Brussels)
This event addresses all beneficiaries and potential applicants of H2020 contracts/projects who need to comply with article 32 stipulating the...


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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 (1.95 MB)


The HRS4R designated admin for the organisation account on EURAXESS will access the MY EURAXESS dashboard, the HRS4R section, and by clicking on the yellow button "Create a case & apply for the HR Award" will be able to fill in the required tasks of this stage.






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.

After the successful submission of the Internal Review using the HRS4R E-Tool, the institution proceeds to the next level of the process, which consists of two separate steps:



The administrative eligibility check is intended to validate an application in terms of its compliance with the application procedure (i.e. all formal requirements are met; i.e. templates are completed in the HRS4R E-tool: the OTM-R Checklist was also filled in by the institutions which joined the process before 2017 when the strengthened procedure entered into force; i.e. templates contain sufficient information for the application to be further assessed, etc). The check has nothing to do with the quality of the data provided, but with the quality of the application as a whole, as suitable or not for the interim assessment.

The institution will be informed if the application is compliant and has passed the administrative eligibility check within four weeks after submission.

If the application is considered non-compliant, the institution will be required to update it based on the feedback provided by the EC. In this case, the institution's task is moved backwards on the process flow and the templates of the initial application can be further edited.

If required to make changes in the application templates, the institution will have to resubmit the updated version of the application within two months, after it receives the outcome of the administrative eligibility check.