HRS4R - Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

charter & code


The HRS4R accreditation pathway certifies the commitment of institutions to undertaking a set of initiatives for implementing the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment (C&C), a body of principles established by the European Union that govern the rights and duties of research institutions/universities and researchers at every career stage and focuses on the recruitment process in particular, which must be Open, Transparent and Merit-based (OTM).


The strategy aims to enhance working conditions for all researchers at Unisi, ensuring a stimulating, supportive working environment so as to attract the best talent.


The term Researcher is used by the European Commission in the widest possible sense and includes all researchers, from PhD students to full researchers. Here are the four profiles identified:

  • R1 First Stage Researcher (up to the point of PhD)

  • R2 Recognised Researcher (PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent)

  • R3 Established Researcher (researchers who have developed a level of independence)

  • R4 Leading Researcher (researchers leading their research area or field)


Enrolment in HRS4R is voluntary. The process aims to enhance and improve initiatives to support researchers, with four main phases over a six-year period:

  1. The institution initiates the HRS4R implementation process by sending a letter of endorsement to, signed by the highest authority. With this letter the institution endorses the principles of the Charter and Code and commits to initiate the HRS4R process.

  2. An internal Gap Analysis to compare the institution's policies and practices with the principles of the Charter and a checklist mapping the recruitment process according to the Code of Conduct should be prepared within 12 months of sending the letter of commitment. On the basis of the results of these analyses, the institution develops its own human resources strategy for researchers by means of a real Action Plan in which concrete actions to be carried out in the following 24 months are outlined. These documents are then assessed and possibly validated by the European Commission. Recognition implies the right to use the "HR Excellence in Research" logo.

  3. Results and progress in the implementation of the strategy and action plan are subject to self-assessment after 2 years.

  4. An external evaluation is carried out at least every 3 years.

  • May 2020: our University formally adhered to the principles of the Charter and Code and asked to start the HRS4R accreditation process

  • 9 July 2020: the European Commission accepted our letter of endorsement and opened the internal analysis and strategy drafting phase by assigning us the reference code 2020IT523402

  • July 2020: rectoral appointment of the Steering Committee

  • Assignment of the Working Group members by the General Manager

  • May 2020: joint drafting of the Gap Analysis began

  • 9 April - 25 April 2021: emailing of the "Implementation of the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers at the University of Siena" survey to the entire academic community