HR Excellence in Research 

On 1 January 2023, the University of Rennes took over from the University of Rennes 1, holder of the "HR Excellence in Research" label.

On 1 January 2023, the University of Rennes will take over the prerogatives and obligations of the University of Rennes 1, whose "HR Excellence in Research" label recognised its participation in the construction of the European Research Area, as well as its human resources strategy with regard to researchers.
Moreover, two component institutions of the new University of Rennes also hold this label: EHESP and Insa Rennes.

This commitment to the "European human resources strategy for researchers" contributes to the attractiveness of the University of Rennes, through its approach to continuous improvement of recruitment procedures, reception and support for researchers and teacher-researchers.

The University of Rennes has set itself the goal of implementing the HRS4R approach in all its component institutions by 2023, in order to obtain the "HR Excellence in Research" label for its entire perimeter by 2027.

The HRS4R approach in brief

The "HRS4R" (Human Resources Strategy for Researchers) approach aims to improve the practices of research organisations and institutions in terms of recruitment and working conditions for researchers. It also aims to make the profession of researcher more understandable and to facilitate their employability. The aim is to increase the attractiveness of researchers' careers, guarantee them equal access to employment and facilitate their geographical and intersectoral mobility. This is an asset for obtaining Horizon 2020 funding.

Who is concerned?

All research staff, both permanent and contractual, are concerned: researchers, teacher-researchers, doctoral students, post-doctoral students and research engineers.

A continuous improvement approach

By reaffirming its commitment to the HRS4R approach in January 2023, the University of Rennes has embarked on a European-level certification of its recruitment, monitoring and career development procedures for researchers.

Several stages are necessary for this certification and its sustainability (internal diagnosis, publication of the action plan, awarding of the "HR Excellence in research" label, intermediate internal and then external evaluation for the renewal of the label).

Action plan

The concrete application of the HR strategy for researchers in ensured by a multi-year 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).

Ethical and professional aspects

1-    Appoint a deontology officer.
2-    Create a webpage dedicated to scientific integrity, ethics and deontology on the University of Rennes website and intranet that will host dedicated information (see actions 2 to 5).
3-    Draft a communication strategy plan on the University of Rennes’s scientific integrity and deontology policy for both staff members and the general public.
4-    Identify domain-specific training (proposed by the University of Rennes and its linked research organisations e.g. CNRS, INSERM) possibly perceived as Massive Open Online Courses that will be referenced on the University of Rennes “scientific integrity, Ethics and Deontology” webpage.
5-    Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that will appear in the University of Rennes “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 the University of Rennes'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 the University of Rennes'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 the University of Rennes 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 University of Rennes and its research laboratories on the “research” section of the University of Rennes'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 the University of Rennes’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 the University of Rennes’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.

Recruitment and Selection

34-    Draft a synthetized informative document about academic recruitment procedures (research engineers, teacher-researchers, researchers) to inform contractual researchers.
35-    Publish on the University of Rennes’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 University of Rennes’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 the University of Rennes'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.

Working Conditions & Social Security

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 University of Rennes research laboratories to accompany PhD students on professional issues (HR, harassment, discrimination,…) to promote exchange of good practice.

Training and Development

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 the University of Rennes’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.


Project team

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 :

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