Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)




The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Important message to institutions:

Due to exceptional circumstances linked to COVID19, processing of HRS4R applications might suffer additional delays. Moreover, in the context of extraordinary measures taken at national level (e.g. universities or other institutions closed), all self-assessment deadlines between 15 March and 30 May can be extended by one or two months, depending on your needs. You only need to apply for an extension electronically in your dashboard or, if you need more than one month extension, send an email to the functional mailbox:

Site Visits: All in house audits planned for April through June (and possibly July and August - depending on how the pandemic situation evolves) are cancelled. HRS4R experts and/or EC will contact you in due course to arrange additional dates. No site visits dates will be set before the situation both at EU and national level stabilises. Meanwhile, you can continue using the HR Excellence in research award.

Remote assessments: We will continue processing remote evaluations within the limits of HRS4R experts’ availability and the special circumstances of EC staff being on mandatory teleworking. Please note that evaluation and communication of outcome might incur further delays.

The ‘HR Strategy for Researchers’ supports research institutions and funding organizations in the implementation of the Charter & Code in their policies and practices.

The implementation of the Charter & Code principles by research institutions render them more attractive to researchers looking for a new employer or for a host for their research project.

The European Commission recognizes with the 'HR Excellence in Research Award' the institutions which make progress in aligning their human resources policies to the 40 principles of the Charter & Code, based on a customized action plan/HR strategy.


Download the HRS4R procedure chart (52.79 KB)


524 organisations have received the HR Excellence in Research award.


Willing to apply for the HR Award?

Are you in the Implementation/ Award Renewal phase?



Special information for UK institutions entering the process as newcomers, or switching from ‘The Concordat’ to the HR implementation via the European HRS4R.

Submitting your applications to HRS4R assessment will commit you to implementation under the rules of the strengthened procedure and assessment by international peer reviewers.





Visit the Policy Library:

  • Brochures

    Download brochures about the HRS4R in multiple languages


  • Documents

    Find additional documentation and templates on the HR Strategy process.

    Strengthened HRS4R process

HRS4R Events & News

24/10/2017 - 24/10/2017
Belgium, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode (Brussels)
This event addresses all beneficiaries and potential applicants of H2020 contracts/projects who need to comply with article 32 stipulating the...
07/03/2016 - 11/03/2016
Belgium, Liège
Early November 2015, the 7th EU Gender Summit took place in Berlin.This was a good opportunity to measure how far...


Receive HRS4R notifications

Stay up-to-date on HRS4R!

Do you wish to stay up to date on HRS4R? Subscribe below to receive notification updates such as new HRS4R related published information, news, events, uploaded documents, brochures etc.





HRS4R Acknowledged Institutions

The "HR Excellence in Research" award gives public recognition to research institutions that have made progress in aligning their human resource policies with the principles set out in the "Charter & Code". Institutions that have been awarded the right to use the icon can use it to highlight their commitment to implement fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers.













HRS4R New Application Modalities


Please note that as of 15 May 2018, ALL institutions interested to initiate the application for the "HR Excellence in Research Award" shall use the HRS4R E-tool - the European Commission's official platform, facilitating the management of the HRS4R process.

Enrolment in the HRS4R is voluntary and non-binding.

HRS4R implies a long-term commitment throughout many years, including joint efforts and coordination with various internal and external stakeholders. It is nevertheless a rewarding process as it ensures institution's transition from progress to quality, in terms of the implementation of the 40 principles of the Charter and Code.

For detailed information regarding the application process, please consult the technical guidelines below. Further questions should be addressed to the functional mailbox


Download the Technical Guidelines for the Initial Phase (1.95 MB)