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Servizio Speciale Ricerca di Ateneo

HRS4R: "Human Resources Strategy for Researchers Incorporating the Charter & Code



More than 1000 european institutions have already subscribed the "European Charter and code for reseachers".

The charter is a basic document to drive European institutions towards the creation of a european Research Area: an open and clear job market for researchers.

The subscription of the Charter has not brought in the short term any visible action. For this reason the European commission has created a new tool theough a bottm up approach to support the C&C implementation: the project "Human Resources Strategy for Researchers Incorporating the Charter & Code”.


The University of Palermo is one of the first 40 european institutions that has taken part to the project and in march 2010 has been awarded the logo HR from the european commission for the progress made in the HR strategy for reserachers.


The project goes through 5 steps:

  • Internal analysis;
  • Action plan;
  • Evaluation of the AP and Logo “HR Excellence in Research”;
  • Internal evaluation after 2 years;
  • External evaluation from the european commission after 4 years.


In the time between november 2009 and january 2010, an internal analysis has been carried out through a questionnaire to teaching and administrative staff, aiming at the identification of the major obstacles in the implementation of the Charter and Code.

From the analysis of the results an Action Plan has been designed, classified in short term actions and long term actions. Some of the short term actions concern the young researchers.

In the council of the Academic Senate of march 16th 2010, the short term actions have been approved and the university strategical plan has been issued.

The european commission has given our università the logo ‘HR excellence in Research’ due to the implementation of the first two steps.

The whole report of the Group taking care at UNIPA of the European charter for reserachers can be found here. The national legislation has recently made compulsory through the ministerial decree n. 45-(8-02-2013) some of the short term actions implemented at UNIPA within the project.

The results of the internal evaluation can be found here REPORT

In June 2014 the university of Palermo hosted 3 external peer reviewers entitled by the European Commission and an expert from DeLoitte. The visit was aiming at verifying if the implementation procedure of the actions from the Action plan had been successful and if there was a real progress. The reviewers opinion was positive and the entire report on the University of Palermo achievements allows to keep the logo HR (Excellence in Research) as quality label for researchers recruitment and researchers careers support.

In 2017, the Rector of the University issued a commitment letter for the strenghtened HRS4R process, described in this document.

In 2017, a new Action Plan approved by the European Commission integrates the OTMR (Open Transparent and Merit based Recruitment). The approval from the European Commission has started the implementation of the described actions.

An OTM-R guide for the University of Palermo is available, while waiting for further decisions at national level about recruitment regulations in Italian universities