As an internationally oriented university, the University of Potsdam aims to offer an attractive and stimulating working environment for researchers from Germany and abroad. Against this background, the university has decided to implement the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (in short: Charter and Code). The University of Potsdam has thus committed itself to implementing the Charter and Code in a strategic process and is actively participating in this procedure at the European level.
For this purpose, the human resources management for researchers at the University of Potsdam was analyzed with regard to four thematic core areas, both in the faculties and at the central level of the university:
1. Ethical and professional aspects
(e.g., ethical principles, accountability, contractual and legal obligations, public engagement, dissemination and exploitation of results)
(e.g. selection, transparency, recognition of mobility experience)
3. Working conditions and social security
(e.g., stability and permanence of employment, funding and salaries, gender balance, reconciliation of work and family life)
4. Training and development of early-career researchers
(e.g., supervision, training opportunities)
Based on this analysis, the University of Potsdam developed an action plan to obtain the “Human Resources Excellence in Research” Award and submitted it to the European Commission. In February 2016, the University of Potsdam received the award; in July 2018, the university’s progress in implementing the action plan was evaluated positively by reviewers of the European Commission.
In January 2022, the implementation of the HRS4R at the University of Potsdam was again evaluated by the European Commission, this time in conjunction with a (virtual) site visit by the reviewers to the University of Potsdam. In May 2022, the European Commission renewed the HR Award of the University of Potsdam for a further three years. A milestone on the way to the renewal of the HR Award is the University of Potsdam’s OTM-R strategy, published in July 2021, which is intended to serve as a guideline for open, transparent personnel selection procedures based on aptitude and performance criteria.
HRS4R process at the University of Potsdam
- Internal analysis of the status quo – December 2014
- Strategic action plan and application for the HR Award to the European Commission – September 2015
- "Human Resources Excellence in Research" Award – February 2016
- Interim evaluation of the implementation of the action plan – February 2018
- Self-report to the European Commission for external evaluation and award renewal; publication of the OTM-R strategy – 2021
- Evaluation by the European Commission – January 2022
- Renewal of the "HR Excellence in Research" Award – May 2022
In September 2022, we welcomed six colleagues from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, who are responsible for implementing the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers in their faculties. The aim of the visit was to exchange practical experiences on all topics of HRS4R and to draw inspiration from the different approaches at the universities. Over the course of two days, the members of the HRS4R Steering Committee of the University of Potsdam spoke with their colleagues from Masaryk University about the design of working conditions, the recruiting of researchers, support in research matters, offers for further education and individual profiling, as well as equality and the work of ombudspersons. The exchange with our EDUC partner university was very profitable for all participants and will be continued in the coming year.