28.02.2018 13:43

European standards at the University of Economics in Katowice

The University of Economics in Katowice is trying to obtain the "HR Excellence in Research" distinction awarded by the European Commission. The distinction proves that the university provides the best working conditions for researchers and conducts recruitment processes in a transparent way in accordance with the guidelines of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct. This award would confirm the attractiveness of working conditions and the career development of researchers at the UE in Katowice.

"HR Excellence in Research" is one of the activities of the European Commission as part of the "Human Resources Strategy for Researchers" strategy (HRS4R), aimed at increasing the attractiveness of working conditions and careers of researchers in Europe. This sign is awarded to institutions operating in the R&D sphere (both public and private) and research funding organizations that effectively implement the principles of the Charter and the Code. Apart from the special distinction for the university, it is a confirmation of excellent conditions for research and scientific-research workers, as well as an atmosphere of safety and trust thanks to clear recruitment rules. Moreover, this is a basis for awarding the unit in international grant competitions of the European Commission within the framework program of the European Union known as Horizon 2020 in the field of research and innovation, national grant competitions of the National Science Center and the National Center for Research and Development, as well as in competitions and programs organized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. It also gives the right to post advertisements on the Euraxess platform.

The University of Economics in Katowice started the implementation procedure of "HR Excellence in Research" in October 2017 by sending to the European Commission a declaration of support for the principles of the Charter and the Code signed by rector Robert Tomanek, Ph.D., prof. at the UE. The EC sent the official reply a month later, encouraging the university to continue the implementation procedure. Now, the university must make an analysis that will allow assessing to what extent its functioning is consistent with the Charter and the Code, and prepare an action plan aimed at eliminating any identified deficiencies, along with a description of specific actions to be undertaken. It will also be necessary to assess the compliance of recruitment processes with the European principles of Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R). This is to be addressed by a special Team for the implementation of the Charter and the Code established by the rector, consisting of both research and teaching staff, as well as administrative staff. The first meeting of the team, on which a schedule of activities was agreed and specific tasks were divided between working groups, took place on January 12, and the next is scheduled for March 1, this year. - "Within a year of submitting the declaration, an internal analysis should be carried out in the institution to assess to what extent its functioning is consistent with the Charter and the Code." One of the tasks is to prepare a questionnaire concerning the compliance of internal procedures with their records. As far as possible, the questionnaire need to reflect the substantive content of the Charter and the Code, and the questionnaire must answer the questions whether the respondents believe that the principles and recommendations set out there are applied and respected in the institution. The target group is engineering-technical and Ph.D. students." - said Barbara Kos, Ph.D. prof. EU, Vice-Rector for Science and Academic Staff, initiator of the implementation procedure, during the first meeting of the team. The university has the time until 25 October 2018 to present the HR strategy and the action plan to the European Commission. After their assessment, the European Commission will take a decision concerning granting the "HR Excellence in Research" award. If the award is given, after 2 years the university should carry out a reassessment of progress and effects of implementing the Charter and the Code together with a plan for the next three years. After 5 years from receiving the award, the university will have to carry out a re-analysis, which will be assessed by the EC, and then it will decide whether to send designated foreign experts to the institution. The results of this analysis and the visits determine whether the right to continue using the HR award can be kept. The "HR Excellence in Research" distinction is a continuous process, which involves regular assessment of the progress in implementation and compliance with the principles of the Charter and the Code made by foreign experts. The results of the experts' assessment determine whether the institution can maintain the HR award. The assessment and the visit take place regularly every three years.