Inria obtains the Label “Human Resources - Excellence in Research”

Changed on 08/01/2020
Inria has just been awarded the Human Resources - Excellence in Research label by the European Commission, underlining the quality of its European Human Resources Strategy for Scientists (HRS4R). This label is an opportunity to highlight Inria's place in the European Research Area and its commitment to improving its attractiveness to the scientific community worldwide. Interview with Jean-Frédéric Gerbeau on Inria's commitment and its impact on research.
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The European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, also known as HRS4R, is based on the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, to which Inria has been a signatory since 2006. It is the subject of an HR Excellence in Research label awarded by the European Commission.

Inria has just obtained this label, underlining the ambition and quality of its human resources strategy for research. To strengthen the scientific potential of the institute but also to contribute to increasing its attractiveness, Inria wishes to focus primarily on the following projects:

  • Continue the initiatives and good practices put in place to comply with the principles proposed in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers;
  • Improve the dissemination of information on recruitment processes and career development;
  • Deploy the attractiveness component in all its dimensions: training, development, quality of life at work and career monitoring.

The label thus rewards the approach that Inria has chosen to implement with an action plan comprising 38 actions spread over the following areas:

  • Professional and ethical responsibilities (9 actions)
  • Recruitment and selection (11 actions)
  • Working conditions and social policy (10 actions)
  • Training and supervision (8 actions)

To organize and structure its HRS4R strategy, Inria has chosen a project-based organization, supported by a project manager, a steering committee, an implementation committee and action pilots. About fifty people from Inria are collaborating to implement the HRS4R strategy. 

This structuring project for Inria is under the responsibility of Jean-Frédéric Gerbeau, Deputy CEO for Science, whom we wanted to ask about this subject.

What is your reaction to the announcement that you have been awarded the label?

I am very pleased to see that Inria has obtained this label of excellence in HR policy for scientists. On behalf of the Institute, I would like to thank all those who have worked for several years to make this application a success. I am thinking in particular of Sylvie Inizan, Marion Chinchilla, Geneviève Lago and Bertrand Braunschweig who have made a significant contribution to the quality of our file. I would also like to highlight the remarkable work of Marie-Agnès Enard, the project manager, and the involvement of the implementation committee.

Why did Inria want to obtain the label?

Naturally, Inria did not wait for the HRS4R label to define a human resources policy for the scientific population. But the analysis of the institute's strengths and weaknesses enabled us to clearly identify the existing mechanisms, those that needed to be adjusted and our margins for progress. For researchers, it is important to know that this label meets the requirements of the European Commission for obtaining funding for European projects. And beyond regulatory considerations, having an HR policy that respects the principles of equity, transparency and quality of recruitment in all its dimensions is simply essential. Inria has also included the process of obtaining the HRS4R label in its 2015-2019 Target and Performance Contract and in the 2018 establishment project.

What are the expected benefits?

The label is a great opportunity for Inria to consolidate its human resources strategy for research while developing it, in line with the institute's overall policy. The proposed actions will have a positive impact on scientists, and more generally on all categories of staff.

They will make it possible to clarify recruitment processes, better circulate information, propose career support measures, promote values such as ethics and scientific integrity, attention to the environment and quality of life at work.

Who is concerned within Inria?

This label has an impact above all on the scientific populations, and the scientific bodies that concern them. More generally, some actions will be beneficial for all employees. I am thinking in particular of the actions proposed to better inform and raise awareness among staff members about the working environment and social policy of the Institute.

What happens now that we have obtained the label?

Now is the time to work to meet the commitments made to the European Commission, even if we did not wait for the label to implement a number of actions. This will involve continuing the work undertaken and rigorously monitoring the actions and deliverables expected. We will have to carry out a self-assessment in 2021, which will be sent to the European Commission. In 2022, an audit of the institute will lead, or not, to the renewal of the label for 3 years, on the basis of a new file.