Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

European Commission support for the promotion of research careers



Cima is a University Research Institute of the University of Navarra that joins the challenge of the European initiatives called the "European Charter for Researchers" and "Code of Conduct for Recruitment."

Following the recommendations of the European Commission, Cima created in early 2018 a working group with professionals from different areas and responsibilities within research. In the first phase, its work consisted of internal analysis, according to the principles set out in the European Charter and the Code of Conduct, preparing a diagnosis and defining an Action Plan.

In mid-June 2021, Cima was awarded the “HR Excellence of Research” label, acknowledging compromise with generating a favorable and stimulating environment for research. Cima started then the implementation of measures stated in its Action Plan.

In March 2005, the European Commission approved the recommendation on the Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, documents aimed at researchers at both public and private sector funders and employers. These documents aimed at promoting equal rights and obligations for research personnel throughout the European area, making research an attractive career as an essential aspect of economic growth and employment in the European Union.

The European Charter for Researchers brings together a series of principles on the responsibilities and rights of researchers and the employing institutions they fund. 

The Code of Conduct for recruiting researchers promotes improved recruitment, ensuring that recruitment processes are fair and transparent. Thus, the "Human Resources Strategy for Researchers" (HRS4R) is a tool the European Commission promotes to support research-funding institutions in implementing the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and the European Charter for Researchers. The end of this process will be the award of the "HR Excellence in Research" label, which identifies institutions that support a favorable and stimulating environment for research.

Cima follows the HRS4R through the following steps:

  • Constitution of the Steering Group and Working Group, responsible for oversight and implementation of the process, respectively.
  • Internal analysis of Cima's Human Resources policy in key of the 40 principles described in the Charter and the Code in the four areas suggested by the European Commission in the Gap Analysis.
  • The Working Group concluded that the main rules followed at Cima are aligned with the principles outlined in the Charter and the Code. To ensure the level of compliance with the principles and to ensure objectivity, the Working Group launched a survey addressed to a representative sample of Cima's research staff, which will provide a deeper understanding of the work environment, as well as the shortcomings found. This information allowed the design of the Action Plan, and a subsequent monitoring of compliance with the objectives over time. For the design of the survey, the opinion of researchers of different categories was obtained from previous meetings. The Steering Committee approved the final version of the survey, launched in October 2018, and had a response rate of 64% over respondents. The results of the survey were discussed in the Working Group and the Steering Committee, and enabled the development of a more realistic Gap analysis, which was the basis for the Action Plan.
  • Publication of the HRS4R strategy on the Cima website.
  • In October 2020, the Steering Committee approved the final versions of the Gap analysis and the Action Plan, which were sent to the EC on that date.
  • In mid-June 2021, Cima was awarded the HR Excellence in Research. This label reflects the institution's commitment to improving its HR Strategy, ensuring a stimulating environment for research, and implementing the Charter & Code principles in its internal policies.
  • Cima evalulated the implantation process in an Internal Review published on its web.

This section cover aspects related to the fundamental principles of the European Charter and Code related to responsibility and professionality in the workplace.


It contains the Handbook for Good Practices in Research, links to the Ethics in Research in Humans and Animal Committes, and policy for conflict resolution.

Then Open, Transparent, and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R) practices are pillars of the European Charter for Researchers, particularly the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. This process ensures that the best person for the job is recruited, thus benefiting researchers, institutions, and the wider research system. More specifically, OTM-R makes research careers more attractive, ensures equal opportunities for all candidates, and facilitates mobility. 

The EC issued a checklist for institutions as a self-assessment tool to benchmark their current practices on the principles of the Charter and Code to improve (if, when, and where needed) the organization‘s OTM-R practices.

Using those criteria as a self-assessment tool, Cima performs evaluations over time to assess the status of the OTM-R practices implementation.

HRS4R at the Cima

Since its inception, following the values inspired by the University of Navarra, FIMA (Cima's parent company) is committed to ensuring the best working conditions for all its employees.

With this mission, CIMA adheres to the HRS4R strategy to complete the implementation of the principles contained in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Objectives of the HRS4R at Cima


Promote the mobility of researchers within the European area.

Talent attraction

Strengthen the attractiveness of Europe for research personnel.

Knowledge transfer

Contribute to the improvement of knowledge generation, transfer and sharing.

Research career

To ensure the professional development of researchers from the early stages of their research careers.