Republic of Poland

European Charter for Researchers at WUELS

19th September 2016

“Human Resources Excellence in Research” logo is awarded to institutions that apply the recommendations of European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct in Recruitment of Researchers. Both documents were issued by the European Commission in 2005 and define rights and obligations of both researchers and their employers. Special attention is paid to employment stability on every stage of a researcher's career.

To be awarded this logo is, first and foremost, a very prestigious matter. Only selected research units in Europe got it. In Poland alone merely 30 institutions were granted the logo and none of them fit WUELS' profile – says Krzysztof Kafarski, head of International Relations Office and one of the project's coordinators. – Benefits are tangible: more points in research unit's evaluations, easier access to national and European grants. For University itself it is a great opportunity to review its internal rules and procedures and achieve a more transparent recruitment process. We'll be obliged to go for the best, raise our own bar.

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Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences has already declared support for the principles of the European Charter for Researchers. A Committee for Implementation of the Charter has been appointed by HM Rector's disposition. It consists of scientific and administrative staff who prepare the documentation, deal with legal issues, develop HR strategy and an appropriate schedule. Right now the priority is to evaluate and analyse University's internal regulations and their compliance with European recommendations.

All employees are required to fill in the survey regarding work conditions, that will be sent out 3rd of October. It is really important, literally crucial for everybody to fill in and send back the survey, as its results are analysed by officials of the European Commission, who will evaluate our University accordingly – says Dominika Mańkowska, coordinator of the Committee for the Implementation of the European Charter for Researchers. – The HR logo is initially only granted for a limited period of time. That's the time for the correction of all potential shortcomings. We are aspiring to European standards and after two years our progress will be assessed. Only then will we stand the chance to be given the logo permanently.

The survey consists of 40 questions and for each one of five possible answers should be given. Questions regard 4 areas of researcher's work: ethical and professional aspects, recruitment and evaluation, working conditions and social security as well as training. The survey will only be available for a week, as our deadline by which we need to send the European Commission the documentation is November 15th.

Schedule is tight, but the reward is worth the effort. Specifically since rules change, starting 2017. – Now we can benefit from other institutions' experience and strategies. From 2017 we would have to implement our own, act as pioneers. It would probably turn out to be a lot harder, so it's really worth mobilizing now – says Mańkowska.

Prof. Jarosław Bosy, Vice Dean for International Relations and Chairman of the Committee for Implementation of the European Charter believes that now is a great time to test the way University operates – to check matrix structure management we will be relying on in the years to come and to see if we are capable enough, as the project requires a great deal of mobilization and rapid action. It engages virtually everybody at the University.

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