First Irish Institution to Renew HR Excellence in Research Award

Prof. Anita Maguire, VP Research & Innovation, with HRS4R Award

Prof. Anita Maguire, VP Research & Innovation, with HRS4R Award

First Irish Institution to Renew HR Excellence in Research Award

Following a successful collaboration between Human Resources and UCC Research Support Services (RSS), UCC has passed another milestone in the HR Excellence in Research Award process. Following a review by three European Commission external assessors earlier this year, UCC has now been confirmed as the first University in Ireland to be successful at the award renewal phase, and the institution has been “encouraged to continue with this excellent work for the future”.

The Assessment Report focused on the quality of UCC’s commitment to the HR Excellence in Research Award. It highlighted the quality of work being carried out by UCC, including the role of the research community, UCC RSS and, very importantly, the successful embedding of the Human Resource Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) as a key element of the University's Research & Innovation, HR and institutional strategies. As emphasized in the report, UCC "are quite ambitious and they clearly show the commitment of the university to remain strongly research-oriented.”

The commitment of UCC’s HR Excellence in Research Working Group has been a key factor in this successful renewal process. In 2017, new terms of reference and membership of the HR Excellence in Research Working Group were approved by University management. As UCC is now entering a new phase of implementation, the Working Group will continue to oversee and support the successful development and evolution of the University’s HRS4R Action Plan. The group will also monitor the objectives of the institution as they relate to the HR Excellence in Research Award to ensure appropriate embedding of, and consistency with, the overall strategic direction of the University. Areas to focus on, identified by the external assessors, will be addressed in upcoming action plans and represents an evolving process of change and improvement that impacts on our systems, processes and how we do business.

An important consideration, relevant to work in this area, is Article 32 of the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement, which states that there is an “Obligation to take measures to implement the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of researchers.”[1] In addition, the document requests that “beneficiaries must be proactive and take specific steps to address conflicts between their policies and practices and the principles set out in the Charter and Code of Conduct”[2] using the HR Excellence in Research Award and HRS4R Action Plan to provide direction. It is anticipated that this process will become mandatory in the next Framework programme (beyond H2020) and, supported by the work evidenced by this award, UCC is ready to embrace these requirements in whatever form they take.

With this award, and the implementaion of its underpinning strategy, it is also important to note that UCC has benefited from increased visibility as an employer committed to implementing the principles of the European Charter & Code. This recognition helps us to attract the best researchers from around the world, and it highlights UCC as an attractive place for researchers to develop their careers.


Research and Innovation

Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC