Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)


The Rheinland-Pfälzische Universität of Kaiserslautern-Landau received the "HR Excellence in Research Award" on March 8th, 2023. In the next 24 months, we will implement our action plan, which we submitted in August 2022.

The European Commission encourages Higher Education Institutions to improve and harmonise the working conditions of researchers within the European Research Area. In order to achieve this goal, the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers were published in 2005, which are also referred to in European calls for funding. With the help of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), universities and research institutes can implement these principles in their institution, initiate and implement the improvement of working and research conditions.

RPTU is committed to the goals and principles of Charter and Code and strives to provide excellent working conditions and fair recruitment processes for our researchers. Therefore, RPTU applied for the corresponding seal "Human Resources Excellence for Research" in August 2022.
The HRS4R application process foresaw a gap analysis, i.e., a kind of stocktaking, in which we reviewed the extent to which the principles of the Charter and the Code are already fulfilled or whether and in which areas improvement measures can be implemented. Four major focal points were set here:


This category includes principles such as ethics in research, good practice in research, science communication and intellectual property rights.

These principles ensure that recruitment and selection procedures at RPTU are open, transparent and merit-based and recognise, for example, mobility experiences or chronologocial variations in CVs.

In terms of working conditions and social security, the focus is particularly set on non-discrimination, equality and ensuring an excellent research and working environment.

HRS4R also aims to provide good supervision and training for young researchers, as well as continuous further training and deepening of the individual career development of all researchers.

The HRS4R process

Building on the gap analysis, we developed an action plan with various measures to further improve working conditions for our researchers. This action plan, together with the gap analysis and the OTMR checklist (a checklist on the current implementation status of an open, transparent and merit-based recruitment process), was submitted to the European Commission, which awarded RPTU with the "HR Excellence in Research" seal in March 2023.
After the award of the label, universities and research institutes have two years to implement the submitted action plan at their own institution. After those two years, the institution submits an interim report as well as a revised action plan, which is implemented within three years following a positive evaluation. In the subsequent renewal phase, the seal is renewed every three years, alternating with or without a site visit. The entire HRS4R process is therefore very much designed to ensure continuous quality assessment and improvement.


The HRS4R-Steering Committee at RPTU

In order to accompany the HRS4R process at RPTU, we have established a Steering Committee, which, in addition to the Vice President for Research and Technology Prof Dr Werner Thiel and Chancellor Stefan Lorenz, also includes members of the Staff Council, the Equal Opportunities Officer as well as staff from Human Resources, Central Services and the Office for Research and the Office for Career Development and Appointments. In the course of the HRS4R process, we will also involve researchers of different career levels, other departments and services. Researchers and employees of the campus Landau will equally participate in improving working and research conditions at RPTU.


If you have any questions regarding the HRS4R process at RPTU, please do not hesitate to contact our HRS4R coordinator Sophia Dorka