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European Commission evaluates Hasselt University’s HR Excellence in Research label    Oct 02, 2018

European Commission evaluates Hasselt University’s HR Excellence in Research label
Oct 02, 2018

In 2011, UHasselt was the first Flemish university to obtain the Human Resources Excellence in Research label. This logo guarantees that researchers at our university can do their work under optimal conditions. Our holding of this quality label will be evaluated by a panel from the European Commission on 26 November 2018. The input of our researchers will be crucial to this procedure.

During the evaluation, a panel from the European Commission will engage in dialogue with our researchers about the HR topics on which the label focuses: recruitment & selection, ethics, working conditions and training. The University is therefore appealing to its researchers to ensure that the evaluation reaches a favourable conclusion. If all goes well, we will keep our label for another five years.

What exactly does the label mean?

With the HR Excellence in Research label, the European Commission encourages research institutions to ensure that their researchers work under optimal conditions. With this in mind, Hasselt University has in the past drawn up an HR action plan which was regularly updated on the basis of discussions between policymakers and researchers.

On the basis of the most recent suggestions from researchers and policymakers, the Board of Governors submitted a new action plan to the European Commission at the beginning of this year. In November, a panel of HR experts from other European research centres will come to Hasselt to audit our HR policy.

What actions is the University taking for this?

The latest action plan focuses on Recruitment & Selection. The University already offers many guarantees of an objective selection process, but there is still room for further improvement in the available tool. Communication via the jobsite will also be extended further.

In addition, Hasselt wants to offer its researchers training in selection processes, as well as investing in the development of clear competency profiles for researchers at various levels and with different statuses.

There have also been a lot of changes to do with ethics at Hasselt University in recent years, such as the establishment of ethics and integrity committees and an Ethics & Integrity Steering Group. An integrity charter has been introduced and there will be a continued focus on awareness-raising in the coming year. 

In the coming period, efforts concerning working conditions will focus on improved transparency of available information and the development of a welfare plan, with information about homeworking, mobility, working environment, etc. The University also wants to help researchers to manage their own careers with greater awareness, for example by means of a development centre and career discussions. Internationalisation is also being given due attention in this respect.

Finally, there is the training aspect. Because this is an inherent part of the job for researchers, significant efforts will be made in this area. Whereas in the past the main focus was on the substantive subject competencies, in recent years a range of broader competencies, the so-called soft skills (communication, coaching, project management, etc.) has been developed. The doctoral schools have played a major role in this and the range is being developed further all the time.

You can find more information about the action plan here. As well as the action plan, you will also find regular updates about the latest developments.