European Charter for Researchers

Development context of the strategic statement

The European Commission has made recommendations to its Member States (OJ L75/67. 22 March 2005) pertaining to the rights and duties of researchers and their employers so as to generalize and harmonize good practices in terms of recruitment, employment and working conditions, in order to facilitate mobility and increase the attractiveness of the research profession by offering real career prospects. These texts, known as “European Charter for Researchers” (*) and “Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”, are not binding but the entities that adopt them commit themselves to improving their own practices up to the suggested ideal framework. Annex 1 offers to summarize them.

(*) eur_21620_en-fr.pdf)

To support the institutions that wish to implement this Charter and this Code of Conduct the European Union has introduced a tool, namely the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers incorporating the Charter and Code Principles:

This tool is designed to be an analytical description of the situation and evolution in this area within the institution. The underlying mechanisms are:
  •  individual implementation by the institutions on a voluntary basis
  • institutional self-assessment in compliance with the autonomy of the institutions
  • simplicity, flexibility and customisation in compliance with the global institutional strategy
  • a transparent and iterative process

The HRS4R approach suggested by Europe to institutions is comprised of 5 stages:
1. Internal analysis of current practices, involving the key actors in the field of research (gap analysis);
2. Publication on the institutional website of the main findings of the analysis, along with suggestions of action for the identified goals to be reached;
3. Request for recognition of the strategy by the European Commission;
4. Implementation within the institution through its quality assurance mechanisms, and self-assessment after 2 years;
5. External assessment after 4 years.

At their own request, the institutions committed to the process can therefore be recognised by the European Union for this approach. Official recognition is a guarantee of the quality of the institution and a real asset for the development of European projects, in particular for mobility actions (e.g. FP7 People programme).

The University of Poitiers's strategic statement

The adherence to the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and to the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers at the University of Poitiers is a strong message of commitment and innovation to all researchers but also to the whole academic community.

The Charter defines the rights and duties of researchers and their employers. The Code of Conduct aims at improving the recruitment conditions of researchers. The goal of these documents is to generalize good practices within the European Union in terms of recruitment, employment and working conditions, i.e. to harmonize the practices of Member States, facilitate the mobility of researchers and increase the attractiveness of research, as it is an unrivalled lever for the European economic competitiveness and employment, by offering real career prospects.

These recommendations are made by the European Commission to its Member States. These texts are not binding but they set the ideal framework that the State Members must aim at. The entities that adopt the Charter and the Code commit themselves to improving their practices up to the framework set by the texts. They will have to report their progress to the Commission every year.

The University of Poitiers is now focusing on career development and promoting mobility. It also commits itself to reinforcing the support scheme for young researchers and promoting the ongoing evolution in such fields as equal participation of men and women in selection and assessment committees.

Overall, the Code's recommendations regarding recruitment are already complied with in terms of job postings, of selection procedures and of transparency of the selection criteria. Yet the University of Poitiers also commits itself to rating researchers' merit using broader criteria than their sole publications, such as the recognition of mobility and its role in career development.
By subscribing to the principles of the Charter, the University of Poitiers will turn the attractiveness of research professions into one of the main challenges of its strategy so as to contribute to structuring the European Research Area.

Excellence cannot be declared

On this basis, the University of Poitiers outlines the importance of the field of research and of its attractiveness by offering real career prospects in order to harmonize and generalize good practices in terms of recruitment, training and coaching of experienced and early-stage researchers (PhD students) within the European Union.
The research community is an undisputed lever for the European economic competitiveness and employment. Poitier's entry into the 4th cohort of the HRS4R is an official commitment which leads to improved practices and an enhanced recognition of the work of researchers.

The approach to implementing the Charter at the University of Poitiers

Since October 2012 the University of Poitiers has committed itself to implementing this project after its recognition by the European Commission.
The first task has been to obtain an assessment of the current state of the implementation of the Charter and Code at the University of Poitiers, focusing on the 40 principles of the Charter and Code.
Very soon this initial report showed that several projects which have been started at the University of Poitiers perfectly matched the main lines of the Charter. We therefore formalised work groups called “Progress Groups”, which are currently at work.
The current Presidential team's stated priority aims at providing outside impetus to an approach that requires strong involvement from field players. This approach guarantees better daily appropriation and transposition by the people concerned, of the recommendations that will come out of their work.
To promote grassroots initiatives – in a bottom-up approach – and meet strategic choices – in a top-down approach – the University of Poitiers has chosen the following managing structure:

A Strategic Council, the purpose of which is:
  • To provide the Steering Committee with suggestions of priority areas of progress in line with the guidelines of the Charter
  • To validate the Progress Groups' work and proposals, consolidated by the Steering Committee
  • To ensure these proposals are passed on to the Management Board and implemented in the central administration and in the administration of the University's sub-components.
Members of the Strategic Committee are:
  • Frédéric Becq – Vice-President for research
  • Ludovic Thilly – Deputy Vice-President of international relations in charge of research
  • Serge Huberson – Vice-President in charge of infrastructures and sustainable development
  • Nicole Gontier – Director General of administration
  • Isabelle Holtzapffel – Director of human resources
  • Boniface Kokoh – Director of the committee of doctoral schools
  • 2 representatives of doctoral associations
  • François Baty-Sorel, coordinator of the project

An Operational Steering Committee, the purpose of which is:
  • To coordinate the work of Progress Groups
  • To validate grassroots initiatives that can be incorporated within the frame of the Charter
  • To ensure new work areas are implemented in line with the orientations given by the Strategic Council
  • To inform the Strategic Council of the Progress Groups' advances

Members of the Operational Steering Committee are:
  • Ludovic Thilly – Deputy Vice-President of international relations in charge of research
  • Olivier Forget, Human resources – Training and skills division
  • Boniface Kokoh – Director of the committee of doctoral schools
  • Eric Le Bourhis – Professor, Director of CPMEC (Centre de Préparation au Métier d'Enseignant-Chercheur, Training Center for future Faculty members) and former doctoral school director
  • Emmanuelle Chevrier – Research engineer – Graduate school assistant (Law and Political Science)
  • Pamela Abdallah – PhD student of biology and elected representative of doctoral associations
  • Charlotte Bouvier – PhD student in Law
  • Théophile Ngapa – PhD student in Law and elected representative of foreign PhD students
  • Bastien Bernela – PhD student in economics
  • François Baty-Sorel, coordinator of the project
Progress Groups
These Progress Groups are set up in line with the themes corresponding to the planning of actions as detailed in the strategic statement (see below).
They are comprised of staff members at all levels and from all services at the University of Poitiers who are involved in the ongoing project. Entities outside the University that are  involved in the project can also be represented. The coordinator in charge of the HRS4R implementation is an ex-officio member of each of these Progress Groups.

There are 8 currently defined Progress Groups:
  • Doctoral logbook and teacher-researcher awareness of PhD students' supervision needs
  • National and/or international mobility
  • Transparency in recruitment procedures
  • Health, safety and quality of lifeThe researcher's statusIntegration and diversity
  • Scientific communication
  • Intellectual property and commercialization of research findings

Euraxess Rights at the University of Poitiers : Schedule of the implementation of actions [XLSX - 23 Ko] [XLSX - 23 Ko]

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