HR Excellence in Research Award

The European Commission granted the HR Excellence in Research Award to Centrale Nantes on 18 November 2021

Having started the initial application phase in the HRS4R process in October 2019, Centrale Nantes confirmed in writing in 2020 its endorsement of the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and its commitment to implement the HRS4R.

Although HRS4R (Human Resources Strategy for Researchers) specifically refers to 'researchers', our approach applies to PhD students, faculty and administrative staff working in the field of research.


HRS4R at Centrale Nantes

Centrale Nantes set up an HRS4R Steering Committee - with representation from HR, the Research Department and the General Administration Department - to orchestrate the various application stages.

Our objectives:

  • uphold the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers
  • provide visibility in our recruitment policy according to the principles of "Open, Transparent and Merit-Based Recruitment",
  • make progress in our recruitment and career management practices,
  • support and promote the mobility of researchers,
  • offer an attractive working environment for our staff involved in research.

The process

Deployment phase: Step 1 in 2023

  • Kick-off meeting with project pilots and the Steering Committee members in September 2021.
  • The Steering Committee will monitor the implementation of actions according to the agreed deadlines and objectives/targets
  • An assessment will be presented once a year to all stakeholders and internal interested parties.
  • Submission of the self-assessment file to the European Commission in November 2023, in accordance with the accreditation procedure and the updated action plan.

Step 2 in 2026: The European Commission will conduct an on-site audit to assess the effective implementation within the institution in November 2026.

Reminder of action taken during the initial application phase:

  • Communication about the Charter and the Code on the intranet
  • Inventory of the school's practices to identify the strengths, gaps and areas for improvement with regard to the 40 principles. Different methods used: surveys, individual interviews and working groups
  • Action plan integrating the "Open, Transparent and Merit-Based Recruitment" checklist drawn up and submitted to pilots, Steering Committee and internal school bodies
  • Application was submitted to the European Commission and accepted


What is HRS4R?

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) aims to guarantee the attractiveness of research careers and to improve the recruitment and working conditions of researchers throughout Europe.

It is based on the 40 principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in four areas:

  • Research ethics and responsibilities: freedom of research, non-discrimination, professional attitude, etc.
  • Recruitment, career and mobility: selection, transparency, merit, recognition of qualifications, etc.
  • Working conditions: recognition, stability and continuity of employment, career development, etc.
  • Training and professional development: supervision, access to research training, etc.


Research institutions that commit to the HRS4R process can be recognized, upon request, by the European Commission whereby the "HR Excellence in Research" award is conferred.

Published on January 21, 2021 Updated on December 8, 2021