Whether you want to enrol in the process to obtain the HR award ,or your institution has already been awarded and you need to transfer your file to the HRS4R e-tool, the HRS4R e-learning module will help you understand the process, the timelines and the forms to fill in for each and every HRS4R phase.

This e-learning module is composed of 6 chapters and 70 videos, each of them containing detailed step-by-step instructions and information to help you along the way.

Each chapter consists of one or more videos. By selecting a specific video in one of the chapters, you will navigate to a playlist, from which the rest of the videos of the same chapter will play automatically. You can return to the table of contents anytime you want to watch a different chapter, based on your interest.

Enjoy the HRS4R e-learning experience!

HRS4R e-learning module

Select one of the chapters from the menu to begin.



Following completion of this section, you will be able to

  1. Have a clear overview of the initial phase
  2. Create the endorsement letter
  3. Initiate the application to the HR Award on behalf of your organisation
  4. Fill in the three mandatory documents and submit your file for review
  5. Understand the assessment process and the possible outcomes

You’ve passed the first important step and your are now ready to dive deeper into the HRS4R process. Your first duty is to run a gap analysis.

The gap analysis, together with the OTM-R checklist and the Action Plan, are the three mandatory documents required to be completed by organisations, within the 12 months' period after the confirmation of their endorsement letter.

It is important to note that the three documents, as standard templates to be completed in the HRS4R e-tool, make up together the application for the "HR Excellence in Research Award". The submission of these documents through the HRS4R e-tool is possible only as a package.

Your organisation will get indications in the HRS4R dashboard about the expected deadline by which the submission should take place. You can request an extension, before the deadline is due. Provided that sound justifications are offered, the European Commission will approve the extension and a standard period of one month will be added to the previously established deadline.

The gap analysis seeks to answer the questions "where are we?" (current state) and "where do we want to be?" (target state), as an institution, with regard to the 40 principles of the Charter and Code.

The gap analysis will provide a clear picture of the development needs, while identifying any deficiencies or shortcomings to be overcome. Once the gaps are identified, it becomes easier to prioritize and quantify them, and establish the work effort that will be required to address them.

There should be a clear connection between the gap analysis and the subsequent measures outlined in the action plan.

The gap analysis consists of two parts:

  • The process : this first part has to establish how your organisation organised itself to consult and involve the required internal and external stakeholder groups for the design of the gap analysis. They will typically include all management departments directly or indirectly responsible for researchers’ HR-issues, for example the Vice-Rector for Research, the Head of Personnel, and other administrative staff members. In addition, your organisation must consult and involve a representative community of researchers ranging from R1 to R4, as well as appoint a Committee overseeing the process and a Working Group responsible for implementing the process. For a detailed description of R1-R4 researcher levels, please see the description document: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/europe/career-development/training-researchers/researchprofiles-descriptorsYour organisation can choose its own channels and tools to consult and involve stakeholders (i.e. surveys, workshops, etc.), but they should detail these in their methodology in the "Process" section of the Gap Analysis.
  • The overview: this second part has to establish how your organisation rates its performance with regard to the 40 principles of the Charter & Code, what corresponding gaps are identified, how they will be addressed and if any barriers are currently impeding implementation. The 40 principles are listed under the four thematic headings of the C&C: Ethical and professional aspects, Recruitment and selection, Working conditions and social security and Training and development

The potential options to rate the performance or the states of achievement in terms of the implementation of the 40 principles of the Charter & Code are the following:

  • Fully implemented
  • Almost but not fully implemented
  • Partially implemented
  • Insufficiently implemented

If your organisation is already fulfilling some of the principles, the rating will be "fully implemented". Nevertheless, you need to provide evidence of the specific case. If the rating is "almost but not fully implemented", "partially implemented" or "insufficiently implemented", they should be accompanied by the description of the gap, as well as by details about the measures your organisation will undertake in order to fill the gap and address it.

The template of the gap analysis can be found in the last chapter of this tutorial. We recommend working on it offline together with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders whom your organisation intends to consult and involve in the process. The Gap Analysis should not be the outcome of a unilateral approach, but of a participative, collaborative cumulated feedback, comprising the overall views and needs of the stakeholders involved in working groups and committees.

Once the preparatory phase of the template is considered completed, the HRS4R Organisation Admin can proceed with the integration of data in the HRS4R E-tool.

After filling in the gap analysis template in the HRS4R E-tool, it is essential to click the "Save" button, in order to be able to review and update data, at later stages, if needed. The "Submit" button will be enabled only after the OTM-R checklist and the Action Plan sections are completed.