HRS4R Strategy

On August 17, 2023, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis was awarded of "HR Excellence in Research label" by the European Commission following its commitment in September 2021 to the HRS4R strategy. This label rewards the university’s commitment to the continuous improvement of its human resources policy, and in particular its commitment to implementing fair and transparent recruitment and assessment procedures.


What is the HRS4R Strategy?

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) is a tool used within the broader context of European research policies. Through the EURAXESS Programme, the European Commission is working to consolidate European research, specifically through four areas of activity:

  • the free circulation of knowledge and researchers through the provision for travel allowances and administrative support when travelling (as a researcher) to another country in the European Union (at Paris 8 University, this is organised by Access Paris-Nord)
  • access to the research market via a recruitment tool
  • setting up a network of researchers working outside Europe
  • establishing a Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) based on certification

The aim of the HRS4R strategy is to help research institutions in several overarching areas, such as legal and ethics issues, professional issues ranging from recruitment to career guidance, research training, etc. This guidance is based on four key principles taken from the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and the European Charter for Researchers. Respectively, the Code of Conduct sets the standard for recruitment procedures by ensuring an optimal level of fairness and transparency, while the Charter provides a list of rules relating to the roles and responsibilities of researchers, their employers and their funding organisations. It also aims to ensure that relationships between the various parties contribute to successful projects, cross-border collaboration, information sharing and the exchange of knowledge.

Institutions interested in the HRS4R strategy voluntarily enrol in the scheme to receive the “HR Excellence in Research” certification, which is awarded following self-assessment of a university’s internal research administration practices. An action plan is then drawn up to improve procedures in accordance with the forty principles of the Charter and Code of Conduct in four areas: ethics and professional issues, recruitment, working conditions/social security and training.

The HRS4R Strategy at Paris 8 University

The University has voluntarily signed up for this certification scheme and has set up an Operational Committee composed of:

  • Nabil Belkouch, Quality Specialist at DPABF (Paris 8 University’s Finance and Management Directorate)
  • Romain Bijeard, European Project Engineer at the Research Services Directorate
  • Arnaud Laimé, Vice President of the Administrative Council (CA)
  • Karim Mazouli, Vice President of Human Relations and Human Resources
  • Maité Oyarzabal, Director of Human Resources at DIPEFAS (Directorate of Staff, Employment, Training and Social Action).

The various discussions that have since been held within Paris 8 University’s governing bodies (Research Commission, Technical Committee, Academic Council, Doctoral College, Administrative Council) highlighted several ways in which the University could further strengthen this commitment:

  • to get a large number of stakeholders (e.g. elected representatives, administrative and teaching staff, young researchers) from the community to work together to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Paris 8 University’s HR policy for researchers, as well as actions to improve it;
  • to highlight Paris 8 University’s role as an international university by welcoming overseas researchers and doctoral students, and sharing HR best practice Europe-wide;
  • to use a tool aimed at the professional integration of young researchers (doctoral and post-doctoral students) designed to support researchers through their careers;
  • to work towards having a more consistent European policy throughout the University (using networks involved in implementing European projects, such as Horizon Europe, and continuing to participate in ERUA, the European Reform University Alliance).

Action Plan HRS4R

In September 2021, the University of Paris 8 officially embarked on a major project: the HRS4R (Human Resources Strategy for Researchers) labelling process with the European Commission. This process is part of the general context of the construction of European research policy and is linked, in particular, to the Human Resources component of the Euraxess program for strengthening European research.

On September 20 and 30, 2022, the Technical Committee and the Board of Directors of the University of Paris 8 voted on the HRS4R action plan that the university is committed to implementing over the next two years. This action plan, which is the result of an analysis carried out by specific working groups and a broad internal consultation (Doctoral College, Board of directors of research units, Board of Teaching Departments, Administration Board, Academic Council, Technical Committee, Research Committee), European Commission awarded Université Paris 8 of the HR Excellence in Research label on August 17, 2023.

Obtaining the HR excellence in research label implies : 1) conducting a Gap analysis regarding our institution’s internal practices in terms of "research administration", 2) developing an action plan to improve our HR procedures in accordance with the forty principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. These forty principles are divided into four areas:

  • Ethics and professionals aspects;
  • Recruitment and selection;
  • Working Conditions and Social Security;
  • Training and Development

On the basis of Gap analysis of internal practices, Université Paris 8 has developed an action plan that includes:

  • enriching the training portfolio for doctoral students, post-doctoral students and tenured teachers and researchers;
  • improvement of the career follow-up of tenured teachers and researchers;
  • to better communicate on the procedures and services that exist within the university to facilitate research projects, particularly on recruitment procedures;
  • to improve the prevention of discrimination.

Action Plan
Endorsement letter
15 septembre 2021

OTM-R policy - Recruitment policy and processes based on OTM-R principles

As part of the implementation of the HRS4R approach, the university is also committed to respecting and promoting the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, thereby ensuring excellence in human resources for research and teaching. The university’s recruitment policy meets the standards required by the European Commission and complies with the principles of Open, Transparent, Merit-based-recruitment (OTM-R).
Based on the OTM-R policy, it aims to make recruitment practices and procedures more transparent, increase the attractiveness of our university at European and international level and improve recruitment procedures for fixed-term contract researchers. These ambitions are set out in concrete terms in the Action Plan that the university is committed to implementing over the next few years.

OTM-R policy
Recruitment policy and processes based on OTM-R principles

Job description template
Post-doctoral / Researcher