Human Resources policy for researchers at Université de Rennes 1 : a continuous improvement approach

Université De Rennes has been committed since january 2019 in the European strategy « HRS4R » (Human resources strategy for researchers). This strategy, launched in 2015, aims to clarify recruiting processes, and improve career management of Research staff.

A researcher at COSS research unit
  1. The HRS4R approach in brief
  2. Who is concerned?
  3. How are we implementing the initiative ?
  4. Action plan

The HRS4R approach in brief

The objective of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers is to improve HR policy for recruitment and career of researchers, and is the subject of the label « HR excellence in Research » awarded by the European Commission, for institutions involved in the process. This label reinforces attractiveness and secures H2020 financing.
 

Who is concerned?

Are concerned permanent or contract Research staff at Université de Rennes 1, which represented, in 2017, 2570 staff members (392 researchers, 874 teacher-researchers, 1088 PhD students, 102 post-doctoral researcher)

This continuous quality approach of our HR policy aims to strengthen Université de Rennes 1’s attractiveness on an international scale. Our university is already renowned for its international collaborations (UMI Unités Mixtes Internationales, LIA Laboratoires Internationaux de Recherches, GDRI Groupement De Recherche Internationaux…), and thus has already many noteworthy assets.

In order to reinforce this attractiveness, in Europe and beyond, it is necessary to improve our HR practices, especially for post-doctorate researchers, who are the ambassadors of our laboratories!

(Sébastien Le Picard, project leader)

 

How are we implementing the initiative ?

Université de Rennes 1 reaffirmed its commitment to the HRS4R approach in january 2018. Several steps are necessary in order to obtain the label :
intern diagnosis, publishing of the action plan, attribution of the label « HR excellence in Research », intermediate intern and extern evaluation.

A project team was set up for this purpose :
Political management : Sébastien Le Picard, project leader
Operational implementation and follow-up of the strategy : Maïwen Corrignan, project officer
 
Production and coordination of deliverables :

Project team : project leader, project officer and 4 people in charge of thematic groups :

  • Nathalie Théret (professional and ethical aspects)
  • Bruno Bureau (recruitment)
  • Audrey Lavenu (working conditions and social security)
  • Sébastien le Picard (training)
 

Action plan

For each of the 4 thematics, goals related to the principles of the European Charter for Researchers as well as the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of Researchers have been defined and articulated as a 75 actions plan, achievable within the period prescribed (internal evaluation after two years before the external evaluation by the European Commission planned within five years)
 

1-    Appoint a deontology officer.

2-    Create a webpage dedicated to scientific integrity, ethics and deontology on the UR1 website and intranet that will host dedicated information (see actions 2 to 5).

3-    Draft a communication strategy plan on Université de Rennes 1’s scientific integrity and deontology policy for both staff members and the general public.

4-    Identify domain-specific training (proposed by Université de Rennes 1 and its linked research organisations e.g. CNRS, INSERM) possibly perceived as Massive Open Online Courses that will be referenced on the UR1 “scientific integrity, Ethics and Deontology” webpage.

5-    Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that will appear in Université de Rennes 1 “scientific integrity, Ethics and Deontology” webpage.

6-    Create a list of contacts for ethical and deontological issues with a clear information on interlocutors' roles.

7-    Translate Université de Rennes 1's “Ethics and deontology” webpage in English

8-    Add a section dedicated to ethics and deontology in the newcomer guide with (i) advice on local, national and international mechanisms related to ethics and scientific integrity and (ii) explanation of the ethics end deontology concepts in a detailed manner.

9-    Translate the newcomer guide in English

10-    Append to Université de Rennes 1’s employment contracts (or at least verbal statements of installation), the French Charter for Research Integrity.

11-    Inform research laboratories on the importance and usage of “laboratory notebooks” or any digital support equivalent and draft a vade-mecum on laboratory notebooks presenting alternative numeric supports.

12-    A laboratory notebook will be provided by the doctoral schools to all 1st-year PhD students and by UR1 for other contractual researchers on their arrival.

13-    Mention ethical and deontological issues within research laboratories Internal Rules of Procedure.

14-    Offer training for promoting Open Science

15-    Offer formal training sessions on predatory publishers.

16-    Publish main principles of the scientific policy of Université de Rennes 1 and its research laboratories on the “research” section of Université de Rennes 1's website.

17-    Identify research laboratory needs to ensure optimal implementation of research and innovation projects.

18-    Create a survey to highlight researchers’ needs in terms of purchasing procedures.

19-    Define the full-cost calculation method.

20-    Define an incentive policy for contract resource fundraising.

21-    Communicate on the calculation, the importance and the use of the withdrawal from contracts drawn up by the University.

22-     Condition the research laboratory granting determining the rate of publications deposited on the HAL open archive repository.

23-     Set up meetings involving Documentation members and research laboratory Councils dedicated to Open Science.

24-     Draft a charter presenting the advantages of the Open Access and the commitments of both the establishment and the researchers.

25-    Appoint a Université de Rennes 1’s Advisor for Storage and Availability of Research Data.

26-    Set up a working group with the aim of defining Université de Rennes 1’s policy on storage and the availability of research data.

27-    Provide formal training for scientific mediation and relationships with the media, for researchers.

28-    Set up a database on scientific dissemination activities performed by Université de Rennes 1’s researcher community in order to enhance and promote them.

29-    Set up a monitoring process for following up the reinforcement of prevention activities (Personnel training monitoring, signage, early warning system, post-occurrence follow up and information)

30-    Mention the Safety Prevention Officers in the research laboratories organisation charts.

31-    Collect the Safety Prevention Officers annual reports.

32-    Explicitly mention non-discrimination policy within job offers.

33-    Define indicators related to potential discrimination in terms of recruitment, career progression, funding of research activities and project management.

34-    Draft a synthetized informative document about academic recruitment procedures (research engineers, teacher-researchers, researchers) to inform contractual researchers.

35-    Publish on Université de Rennes 1’s website the teacher-researcher selection committees for each position.

36-    Set up meetings between Doctoral School Boards to promote exchanges of practices on recruitment procedure and monitor the evolution of practices.

37-    Translate in English Université de Rennes 1’s “Code of Conduct for recruitment, hospitality and career development contract researchers” charter drafted in 2019.

38-    Set up a unique contract for all contractual researchers (other than PhD students).

39-     Identify and communicate a list of job-offer websites, such as Euraxess, to the research community, to encourage them to publish their open positions widely.

40-    Define incentive measures for insertion and settlement for newly recruited foreign researchers.

41-    Provide a template for job descriptions in French and in English to the research community.

42-     Communicate on the availability for the reception of researchers with disabilities on Université de Rennes 1's support mechanisms.

43-    Nominate a committee composed of all relevant stakeholders (e.g. HR, Doctoral School, Preventive Medicine, Head of Laboratory, Supervisor(s), …) that will welcome each PhD student with disabilities the day of her/his arrival.

44-    Identify and propose training for staff members working with colleagues and PhD students with disabilities.

45-    For teacher-researcher and research engineer recruitments, draft a self-evaluation grid for conflicts of interest that will be provided beforehand to the president of the jury for the members of the hiring committees.

46-    For teacher-researcher, researcher and research engineer recruitments, provide dedicated candidate evaluation/analysis grids to the members of the juries.

47-    For teachers-researchers and research engineers recruitments, draft a guide for members of the jury including a section to raise awareness on discrimination issues.

48-    Set up an online tool to monitor and trace contractual researcher recruitments in coordination with the Research Organisations (CNRS, INSERM, Inria, …)

49-    Provide a letter presenting the institutional scientific policy (key principles) to the external members of all researcher recruitment juries.

50-    For teacher-researchers recruitment, encourage in a dedicated framework letter, and monitor, the presence of committee members that belong to related disciplines (target : one per Selection committee)

51-    Re-publication of job positions that have not been filled after the 1st recruitment process.  

52-    Set up a working group to develop the current internal tool “Thematic Research or Conversion Leave” (Congé pour Recherche ou Conversion Thématique, CRCT) to make it more attractive.

53-    Send an annual letter on research mobility (Invited professors, CRCT,…) schemes.

54-    Organise a yearly newcomer day, including workshops with support services, for contractual researchers on an institutional level.

55-    Fight against self-censorship by encouraging researchers, women staff in particular, to apply for delegations, awards, bonuses, etc.

56-    Monitor equal female/male representation in the university governance and decision-making bodies, together with research project leadership, and publish the statistics and evolution on the University website.  

57-    Set up a working group to explore support mechanisms for increasing women’s representation in the university governance and decision-making bodies, and research project leaderships.

58-    Request research laboratory commitment to finance doctoral projects for 3 years in order to establish contracts that cover the entire doctorate.

59-    Offer a personal skill assessment within the training catalogue in order to favour cross-sectoral mobilities.

60-    Create a list of career contact personnel, per scientific discipline, for contractual researchers composed of researchers / teachers-researchers on a voluntary basis.

61-    Set up a FAQ section dedicated to professional difficulties (HR, harassment, discrimination, etc.) on the website of the University.

62-    Identify existing measures developed by the UR1 research laboratories to accompany PhD students on professional issues (HR, harassment, discrimination,…) to promote exchange of good practice.

 

63-    Raise awareness of PhD students, researchers and teachers-researchers about the mediation and advisory roles of the Committee of Individual Monitoring/Follow-up for doctoral students (CSID, Comité de Suivi Individuel des Doctorants).

64-    Add to the agenda of Doctoral Schools day a dedicated point about rights and obligations of PhD students and Supervisors.

65-    Offer formal training for PhD supervisors, on PhD supervision with the objective of making this mandatory.

66-    Offer transversal skill training sessions in English

67-    Provide training dedicated to scientific integrity and team and project management for incoming teacher-researchers and candidates to the Accreditation to Supervise Research (HDR). Make it mandatory for any HDR candidate.

68-    Identify research laboratories organizing inter-disciplinary measures towards young researchers, such as seminars, to promote good practice exchanges with other laboratories.

69-    Identify research laboratories that set up support to fight again professional issues for PhD students, such as seminars to promote exchanges of good practice with other laboratories.

70-    Draft a PhD guide in French and English that will also be made available to master’s degree students.

71-    Reinforce Université de Rennes 1’s training catalogue to emphasize research, career path and career management.

72-    Reinforce the internationalization policy in order to facilitate network creation between researchers and foreign partners.

73-    Follow-up the effects of participation in training on professional insertion and career evolutions of PhD students.

74-    Set up cross-sectoral (public-private) measures for doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows.

75-    Propose an experienced career mentor to every incoming teacher-researcher or research engineer.