Human Resources Excellence in Research

EURAXESS Rights aims at better employment and working conditions for researchers throughout Europe, thereby helping to enhance the attractiveness of European research careers. One of the cornerstones of EURAXESS Rights is the implementation of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers supports the implementation of the "Charter & Code" principles and provides for the award of the 'HR Excellence in Research' logo.

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.

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Pensions for Researchers

Researchers are a higly skilled and mobile workforce. However, because of their mobility, gaps can arise in their social security protection and the transfer of their pension rights. In addition, there is no clear, adequate information available about these rights. Therefore, the European Commission is addressing these issue on both a policy and pratical level.

GET MORE! The EURAXESS Services Centres

To better plan and organise their stay in a foreign European country, researchers and their families can also benefit of the free and personalised assistance offered by the EURAXESS Services Centres, a network of more than 200 centres located in 40 different European countries.

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Entry Conditions

Non-EU national, or also called "third country national", researchers have several possibilities to enter the European Union for work. The Scientific Visa Package, adopted in 2005, aims to facilitate third country researchers' entry conditions.

GET MORE! The EURAXESS Services Centres

To better plan and organise their stay in a foreign European country, researchers and their families can also benefit of the free and personalised assistance offered by the EURAXESS Services Centres, a network of more than 200 centres located in 40 different European countries.

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Research Career Development

Researcher career development will be the subject of more detailed focus in the near future. Watch this space for news.

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  • European Charter & Code for Researchers celebrate 10th Anniversary!

    01 JAN 2000

    10 years of commitment to better working conditions for researchers

    On 3 March 2015, the first two hundred Deans and Rectors from universities and research institutes to have implemented the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers received the ‘HR Excellence in Research' Award for their efforts to create attractive working conditions for researchers in Europe.

    To mark the event, the European Commission hosted a conference to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Charter and Code, celebrating the creation of an attractive, open and sustainable labour market for researchers in Europe.

    “I congratulate the 206 Deans and Rectors who were the first to take up the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers. Attracting and keeping the best minds in Europe is essential for competitiveness” said Research, Science & Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas. "The Charter and Code have done well in making working conditions for researchers far more appealing. We want Europe to remain a popular destination for the most talented researchers to pursue their careers. It's very encouraging that more than 1500 research institutions and funders from 40 countries in Europe have endorsed the Charter and Code to improve their human resources policies. This is building a strong foundation of research excellence from which we will benefit long into the future."

    While the Charter describes the working relationship between researcher and institution, by setting out the roles, rights and responsibilities of researchers, the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers ensures that the selection process for hiring and promoting researchers is fair, merit-based and transparent. The implementation of the Charter and Code is on a voluntary basis and is the responsibility of employers, funding organisations and researchers.

    The ‘HR Excellence in Research' award is an easily recognisable indicator showing researchers that an institution is committed to delivering fair recruitment practices and attractive career opportunities. This will hopefully encourage European researchers to be mobile and entice other talented researchers to pursue a career in Europe.
    Researchers relentlessly highlight the importance of mobility for their careers: at EU level, 80 % of internationally mobile researchers believe mobility has strongly increased the advancement of their research skills and 62 % believe mobility has had a positive impact on the quality of their research publications.

    Read the full news alert


    01 JAN 2000

    Due to the significant increase in the number of applications for the HR award, as of 1 April 2015 cut-off dates will be adopted as follows:

    1-15 May
    1-15 September
    1-15 November
    1-15 February 2016

    The evaluation process will take place in the quarter following the cut-off period.

    For more information, please contact


  • New pan-European pension fund to boost researcher mobility

    03 OCT 2014

    Mobility of researchers in Europe received a boost on 2nd October 2014 with the launch of a consortium that aims to establish a new pan-European pension arrangement. Once put in place, the RESAVER initiative would mean that researchers could move freely without having to worry about preserving their supplementary pension benefits.

    The consortium plans to set up the pension arrangement in 2015. It will enable researchers to remain affiliated to the same pension fund, even when changing jobs and moving between different countries. The European Commission will cover the initial set up costs through a four-year framework contract that will be awarded before the end of 2014.

    The consortium will be working as an international not-for-profit association registered in Belgium. The founding members are: Central European University Budapest; Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CERIC-ERIC); Elettra - Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A; Fondazione Edmund Mach; Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia; Technical University of Vienna and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU).

    European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "We have worked hard to boost the free movement of knowledge in Europe. Our €80 billion research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 was built with this in mind. Pensions are a serious barrier to free movement, but today that barrier has begun to crumble. I strongly encourage research organisations across Europe to join the consortium."

    By participating in RESAVER, employers will be able to sponsor one single pension arrangement. It will be a highly flexible retirement savings product that corresponds to the specific needs of the research community, and is capable of delivering:
    •    cross-border pooling of pension plans;
    •    continuity of the accumulation of pension benefits as professionals move between different organisations and countries during their career;
    •    lower overhead costs (and therefore improved member benefits) through economies of scale;
    •    a pan-European risk pooling solution.
    The fund will help get closer to the European Research Area (ERA), a true 'single market for research'. The second ERA Progress Report, published on 16 September 2014 (IP/14/1003), confirmed that researcher mobility has serious benefits. For example, the research impact of researchers who have moved between countries is nearly 20% higher than those who have not. They generate more knowledge, which in turn means bigger benefits to the economy.

    For more information click here

    For information on membership issues, please contact the RESAVER secretariat at

  • How many institutions got the 'HR Excellence in Research' award?

    01 JAN 2000

    To date 210 research institutions have been awarded the 'HR Excellence in Research' badge. To see who are they, click on the title!

  • The 1st pan-European pension fund to boost researcher mobility becomes reality

    17 DEC 2014

    The European Commission has made a key step on the way to establishing a new pan-European pension arrangement, designed to boost research mobility in Europe.

    On 16 December 2014 it announced the award of a four-year, €4 million framework contract in support of creating RESAVER (Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions).

    The contract for support services, awarded to Aon Belgium, follows the launch of the RESAVER consortium on 1 October 2014. It will enable the consortium to launch a single European pension arrangement in 2015 and roll it out across the European Economic Area by 2018.

    To know more, click here or visit EURAXESS Rights