Crag News

CRAG renews the 'HR excellence in Research' award

The award recognizes institutions that provide a stimulating and favorable work environment for researchers

This week, CRAG has received the official notification from the European Commission on the renewal of the “HR excellence in Research” award for the next three years. This distinction, which CRAG first obtained in 2015, recognizes institutions that present an action plan to improve their human resources policies in line with the European Charter and Code.

CRAG signed the Declaration of Commitment to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in 2012, acquiring the compromise to implement their principles, which specify the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers as well as of their employers and funders. In 2015, and after a thorough internal analysis, CRAG set up its first "HR Strategy for Researchers" (HRS4R) Action Plan and received the “HR Excellence in Research” award from the European Commission (EC). An internal working group with representatives from all research professional categories at CRAG, as well as the director, the general manager and the head of human resources was set up to continuously monitor the implementation of the Action Plan. 

“Some of the actions that were developed during that first period were the creation of CRAG’s guide on research integrity and good scientific practices, the implementation of regular actions for its promotion and dissemination, and the creation the ombudsperson figure, which allowed us to strengthen ethics and professional aspects”, explains Lara Cejudo, head of the Human Resources office. 

In 2020, an inclusive and open process -which included an internal assessment covering aspects such as gender equality, training opportunities and professional responsibility- was conducted to guide the development of CRAG’s 2021-2023 HRS4R Action Plan. 

“The new HRS4R Action Plan strengthens aspects such as mentoring for young researchers, career development, the implementation of a Women in Science specific plan, or open science”, describes Lara Cejudo.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the EC-designated external evaluators did a virtual visit to CRAG, in which they talked with members of the HRS4R working group, as well as other representatives of research and administrative personnel. 

“The overall EC Consensus Report has been very positive, highlighting some best practices such as the Women in Science initiative or the Welcome Guide, and also providing useful recommendations,” explains CRAG director José Luis Riechmann. “It is a recognition to the continuous improvement of our Centre, and it helps us in continue attracting the best possible international talent”, he adds.