HRS4R - Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

ENS-PSL began the process of HRS4R Human Resources Strategy For Researchers certification in order to participate in the construction of a European Research Area (ERA) and live up to the recommendations of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

The Ecole normale supérieure - PSL is both a French grande école and a university, where the research mission provides the foundation for a superior education. Its students go on to pursue careers in higher education and research, or take executive-level positions in French or European companies or in public administration. Its goal is to define and implement an interdisciplinary, international approach to scientific and technological research.

Educating around 2,500 students annually, ENS-PSL is also home to 455 research faculty and 470 administrative and technical staff spread out over 15 departments, 32 research teams, university administration, and support services.

ENS occupies a strategic position and plays a key role in Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL)’s decision to take part in the European human resources strategy for researchers.

Therefore, ENS is affirming its desire to formalize its commitment to the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in an action plan. To strengthen its human resources management, ENS is working together with its sister PSL institutions to become an HRS4R-accredited establishment.

HRS4R : an award with four major areas of focus

The European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, also known as HRS4R, aims to improve the recruitment practices and working conditions of research institutions and funding organizations. Its HR Excellence in Research Award is a public recognition on the part of the European Commission of institutions that have engaged in this process. This award recognizes institutional signatories of the 2005 European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, which contain 40 principles designed to improve the mobility and career prospects of researchers and to render recruitment and working conditions at ERA institutions more appealing to researchers from all over the world.

The Charter and the Code: four themes covering 40 principles:

•    Ethical principles and professional responsibilities
•    Recruitment, career development, mobility
•    Working conditions, job security, professional environment
•    Continuing professional development

HRS4R : A European Human Resources Strategy

The HRS4R action plan involves a twofold quality assessment program carried out by both ENS and PSL, of which ENS is a founding member. The process for open, transparent, and merit-based recruitment is an additional opportunity for ENS to strengthen its involvement and align its practices with those of PSL. It will also provide ENS with an opportunity to evolve and consolidate its human resources strategy for research in a way that aligns with the broader aims of both the institution and Université PSL. The institution will take a series of concrete measures and practical actions, particularly concerning transparency in recruitment, researcher support, professional/career development, and overall working conditions.


Transparency in Recruitment

  • By ensuring that its recruitment practices respect ethical and regulatory norms.
  • By better promoting open positions, and ensuring they are advertised openly in globally accessible venues
  • By preventing cognitive bias in the recruitment process
  • By recruiting in a transparent, open, and merit-based way that reflects the recommendations of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. This means paying attention to such things as: the selection of candidates; the selection criteria; the composition and quality of the search committee; the impartiality of the selection committee
  • By formalizing the selection criteria of candidates by discipline.
  • By guaranteeing non-discrimination on the basis of gender or any other category covered by anti-discrimination law.


Researcher Support

  • By encouraging and supporting mobility
  • By helping create and normalize the implementation of a range of support measures, such as a recruitment charter for hiring temporary staff and the PSL equity and diversity charter
  • By participating in the creation and adoption of the charter for hiring temporary staff
  • By ensuring the gathering and publication of data about the institution, such as social audits and multiyear action plans to address gender equality in the workplace


Career DevelopmenT

  • By engaging with the “Ecole interne PSL,” PSL’s continuous development network for staff that aims to support the professional development, continuing education, and career aspirations of researchers from all its member institutions
  • By promoting, in particular, Ecole interne PSL trainings pertaining to equity and diversity and the recognition of implicit bias


Working Conditions

  •  By highlighting a respect for personal/professional boundaries through parental support programs, flexible working arrangements, and opportunities for remote work
  • By developing an action plan for improved working conditions



Mis à jour le 16/3/2022