Human Ressources strategy for researchers (HRS4R)

La Rochelle Université decided to invest in the HRS4R approach to improve its HR practices and the working environment and quality of life for its researchers.

HR Strategy through research for research

HRS4R is a European strategy that supports research institutions in implementing policies and practices from The European Charter for Researchers & the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. Research institutions that; customized their HR Strategy in alignment with the 40 principles of the Charter & Code can be recognized with the “HR Excellence Research Award”.

HRS4R focus on improving research employment and career development as well as render research institutions more attractive to researchers looking for a new employer or for a host for their research project.

The Charter and Code list 40 principles regarding these themes:

  • Ethic and professional aspects
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Working conditions and social security
  • Training and development

HRS4R is a voluntary and institutional process that needs to be developed with the research community and the political holders as it is a strategy that embarks the institution in long term commitment to a continuous improvement.


La Rochelle Université has engaged into the HRS4R process in order to work on our HR practices and to improve working conditions in research. This strategy is aligned with the current research specialization around the smart urban coastal sustainability and with the dynamic of the EU-CONEXUS consortium.

The HRS4R process

As a continuous improvement project, HRS4R requires an initial review of our HR policies regarding the 40 principles of the Charter and Code.

To do this, we set up a working group. A steering committee has also been put set up to conduct the HRS4R project in alignment with our political and strategic orientations.

The research community was of course involved, and researchers were invited to take part in several workshops. They gave their opinions on LRUniv’s HR practices and suggested ways of improving them.

The HRS4R Action plan

In order to implement an HR strategy for research and be recognized with the HR Excellence in Research award, we have drown up an action plan to address our gaps with the Charter and Code’ principles. This action plan is based on suggestions made by researchers at the HRS4R workshops. It contains 31 actions and meets 3 main objectives:

  • Raise Researchers’ awareness about responsibility in Research
  • Professionalize Recruitment process and Researchers’ onboarding
  • Promoting and supporting Researchers’ career development

The next step for La Rochelle Université is to implement these actions for the following two years and to regularly review the action plan in order to improve our HR policies and practices in Research.


HRS4R is a strategy that feeds into the European Research Area because its aim is to ensure that researchers enjoy the same rights and duties in Europe. HRS4R is a great tool for improving mobility opportunities and is therefore a leverage for research institutions to become more attractive to researchers.

Within the EU-CONEXUS consortium, we have worked with our partners on HRS4R as part of the Research for Society (RFS) project. We have benefited from the expertise of our already awarded  partners such as SETU (South East Technological University) and UNIZD (University of Zadar), to carry out our own HRS4R process. Some deliverables from the HR RFS working group have contributed to our HRS4R approach.


  • December 2022: commitment of La Rochelle Université in HRS4R process with an Engagement letter addressed to the European Commission
  • October 2022 to february 2023: organization of thematic workshops bringing together researchers
  • March 2023 to april 2023: drafting of the action plan on the basis of the researchers’ suggestions.
  • May 2023: assessment and feedback to researchers
  • June 2023 to september 2023: drafting, presentation and approval by institutional bodies
  • July 2024: submission of the application to the European Commission for the “HR Excellence in Research” label.