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The European Charter for Researchers


Italian version

...As stated in the general principles of the European Charter of Researchers and of Code of Conduct….

 To realize the future of Europe, to realize the Europe of the future, the Europe of young people, the Europe of research, it is necessary to adopt a system of rules for researchers and their employers that also takes into account ethical aspects and equal opportunities.



The European Charter for Researchers, established by the European Commission in 2005, is a set of general principles and requirements specifying the role, responsibilities and rights of researchers and those who employ and/or fund researchers. The aim of the Charter is to ensure that the nature of the relationship between researchers, employers and funding bodies is conducive to the achievement of positive outcomes in the production, transfer, sharing and dissemination of knowledge and technological development.



The European Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers is an integral part of the European Charter for Researchers and consists of a set of general principles and requirements to ensure open, transparent and internationally comparable procedures for both recruitment and career advancement ('Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers', OTM-R).


The 'Human Resources Strategy for Researchers' (HRS4R) process aims at involving European research institutions and universities in the adoption and concrete implementation of the European Charter for Researchers (Charter) and Code of Conduct (Code) for their recruitment. The process develops in 3 phases: initial phase, implementation phase, renewal phase.



1. The Institution starts the process by endorsing the principles of the Charter and Code (C&C) and sending a letter of commitment to the European Community. Within 12 months after sending the letter of commitment, the Institution carries out an internal GAP analysis, which compares national legislation, regulations and internal guidelines with the principles of the Charter and Code (C&C), and draws up a mapping of the recruitment process (Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers (OTM-R) check-list).

2. On the basis of the results of the internal analysis, the Institution draws up an Initial Action Plan outlining the concrete actions to be implemented in order to align strategies and regulations with the principles and prescriptions of the C&C; to implement the recruitment of researchers in line with the principles of the OTM-R and, more generally, to foster all those processes and initiatives that can promote researchers and meet their expectations in terms of working conditions and career development.

3. The EU Commission carries out an initial assessment and verifies whether the conditions for awarding the "HR-Excellence in Research" recognition are met. The recognition implies the right to use the 'HR-Excellence in Research' logo.


4. The Institution carries out a self-evaluation two years after the awarding of 'HR-Excellence in Research' and proposes possible changes to the initial action plan (revised action plan) .

5. The Institution receives a new external evaluation 5 years after obtaining the "HR-Excellence in Research" award and proposes an improved action plan.


This is followed by a three-year cycle of self-evaluation and external evaluation, involving a review and improvement of the action plan.



The University of Palermo has among its founding values and principles the education of the younger generations and the dissemination of knowledge for the progress of society, the promotion of scientific research in the most diverse fields of knowledge and the economic and social growth of the territory in which it is located.

The HRS4R process is a tool for UNIPA to affirm its founding values and principles and to adapt its development strategies to the needs of a rapidly changing society - in terms of the need for higher education and innovation through "research".

It is a path that leads the university into the European network of research institutes, enabling it to contribute to the achievement of important goals such as ecological, social and economic sustainability.

It is a tool for monitoring the effectiveness of actions to protect inalienable values, such as those of freedom of research, the free movement of 'knowledge', ideas and their bearers, and in defence of human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.


UNIPA's HRS4R process started in 2008 with the approval of the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

In January 2010, we applied for and obtained the prestigious 'HR-Excellence in Research' award by submitting the internal needs analysis and initial action plan. To follow the processes of implementing the principles of the Charter and the Code, the Acting Rector appointed his Delegate, who in turn formed a Working Group. Which assists him in the activities.

The implementation phase of the initial action plan took place between 2010 and 2014. In May 2012, the two-year internal evaluation was carried out and the initial action plan revised.

In June 2014, the first external evaluation took place with a visit by experts from the European Community. Following the external evaluation, the 'HR Excellence in

Research' award was confirmed. A new action plan was then drawn up that incorporated the 'recommendations' of the external examiners.

For some years now, the HRS4R process has been 'strengthened' to also include recommendations on recruitment policies (OTM-R). In July 2017, we therefore presented an updated version of the action plan that also includes the OTM-R checklist

In 2022, following the installation of the new Rector and a new Gorvernance, a new Delegate for the implementation of the principles of the European Charter and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers was appointed and a new working group (Charter and Code Working Group) was formed. A new needs analysis was conducted and the action plan revised and implemented. Both documents were submitted for evaluation by the European Community experts for the renewal of the 'HR-Excellence in Research' certification.