In November 2016 Kiel University (CAU) presented its own “Human Resources Strategy for Researchers” (HRS4R) to the European Commission for approval. There has now been a positive reply: Kiel University, effective immediately, bears the European logo “HR Excellence in Research”. This confirms that the CAU fulfils the quality standards set out in the European Charter for Researchers. These include very good working conditions and a stimulating working environment for researchers, as well as the obligation to continually develop and improve staff policy, staff management and staff development in accordance with the basic principles of the European Charter for Researchers.
Professor Karin Schwarz, Vice President for research, technology transfer and early career researchers at Kiel University, emphasised that: “We particularly worked towards achieving the EU award in order to make Kiel University even more appealing to international scientists, as well as to further improve the working conditions for researchers and teachers. The process of finding out how we can become even better (also across faculties) is very time consuming. But it is completely worth it! Especially with regard to the situation of our early career researchers, whose opportunities and chances are very important to us at the CAU. We will be initiating a number of things for researchers after the doctorate in particular in the not-too-distant future.” The CAU is the fourth German university, in addition to two non-university research institutes and three universities of applied sciences, to be awarded the logo to date.
In order to achieve this, Kiel University subjected itself to a thorough internal analysis and developed an action plan based on the results. Researchers at all levels of experience, from doctoral candidates up to recognized researchers, joined forces with the management of the Central Administration and representatives from central institutions in looking at how the contents of the European Charter for Researchers could be implemented at the CAU. The areas addressed in this policy document ranged from researchers’ rights and obligations, across aspects of good scientific practice and embedding these in the university’s processes, up to the selection, appointment and training of scientists.
The action plan, which was adopted by Kiel University’s Senate on 12 October 2016, as well as the European Charter for Researchers can be viewed here: