HR Excellence in Research

The University of Copenhagen has been recognized by the European Commission for its commitment to fostering good working conditions and career development for researchers by complying with The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers (ECRCC)


UCPH has been recognized by the European Commission for its ‘HR excellence in research’ and is thus acknowledged for the commitment to fostering good working conditions and development for researchers at UCPH. This is due to the work of the process defined by the “Human Resource Strategy for Researchers”; a tool that helps employers and funders implement the principles of The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers (ECRCC) in their institutions.

In June 2017, UCPH reached step 4 in the HRS4R-process, and forwarded an internal review (self-evaluation) of the Action Plan to the Commission. At the same time, UCPH filled out a checklist for implementation of the ‘Principles of Open, Transparent and Merit-Based Recruitment’ on UCPH. Please see the OMT-R principles, the checklist, the internal review and the internal review feed back at the link below.

As a holder of this acknowledgement, UCPH will continue to participate in national and European evaluation and benchmarking exercises. The recognition followed the submission of the UCPH Action Plan on July 2015 to the European Commission.

The 'Human Resources Strategy for Researchers' (HRS4R) is a tool that helps research institutions and funding organizations on a voluntary basis to comply with the Charter & Code by way of an internal self-assessment.  It is not a prerequisite for participating in the EU Research Framework Programme, but the acknowledgement of the university and the award of the logo is linked to the compliance of article 32 of the H2020 contracts/projects, providing the obligation to take measures to implement the European Charter and Code (C & C) for the benefit of all researchers and their institution.

Read more about The European Charter and Code for Researchers and the work the European Commission is doing to develop and improve recruitment and make selection procedures fairer etc. at the European Research Institutions.


The background for the HRS4R-proces is the EURAXESS-strategy and the award "HR Excellence in Research" identifies the institutions and organizations as providers and supporters of a stimulating and favorable working environment.

The European Commission launched in 2005  ”The European Charter for Researchers” and a ”Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” as part of the establishment of a common European research to support a strong research area in Europe and to meet the potential serious shortage of researchers, which could be identified according to the Commission. The Initiatives is part of the efforts to establish a functioning and open "European Research Area" called "ERA", under the Lisbon process to create jobs and growth in Europe.

Being a university with a strong focus on internationalization the University of Copenhagen wanted to join the "Charter & Code" and show that work actively to create attractive jobs for researchers nationally and internationally.

In the period from autumn 2013 to summer 2015, the University thus worked on the HRS4R process. A working group consisting of representatives from the scientists in the Corporate Collaboration Committee (HSU) and representatives from the senior management worked in th fall 2013 on identification of which target areas and priorities UCPH as part of HRS4R process should have a special focus on.

The working group partly choosed to bring new stakes and targets to the Action Plan, however also picking- up targets and stakes that were already in the pipeline, but not yet in process. Since then the UCPH and the Commission have been in an ongoing dialogue to clarify and accurately describe the processes the UCPH has had in relation to choice of priorities.  Why was it exactly career paths, career, women, leadership and academic freedom that were chosen? How did researchers at the University helped to decide this?

This Action plan of the HRS4R is a result of an involving process including the active participation of various representatives from all parts of UCPH. Hence the work has been linked to both the Top-management, broadly amongst the researchers, representatives from the Faculty Union Representatives, and amongst leading researchers of different parts of UCPH.

The Working Group

The Working Groups has consisted of:

  • Dean Ulf Hedetoft, Faculty of Humanities
  • Dean Troels Østergaard Sørensen, Faculties of Social Sciences
  • Head of education Stine Jørgensen, Faculty of Law
  • Associate professor Leif Søndergaard (member of the General Collaboration Committee), Faculty of Science
  • Professor Allan Randrup Thomsen, Faculty of Health
  • Associate professor Peter Birkman Andersen, (Member of Faculty Collaboration Committee), Faculty of Humanities
  • Professor and head of department Niels-Henrik von Holstein-Rathlou
  • Head of department, corporate HR at UCPH, Lis Henriksen Bak
  • Secretary for the working group, senior HR advisor Elisabeth Rasmussen.

Furthermore the Internal Gap and the Action Plan has been discussed and consequently adjusted at a hearing process involving all the members of the General Collaboration Committee at their meeting on 26th of February 2014.

The Working Group and the General Collaboration Committee have assessed the 40 principles of the GAP-analysis. The principles are in all to a large degree implemented as practice and fields of improvements that UCPH and the faculties are already working on as part of the general organizational development and general improvements of practice in research and as part of HRM practice at UCPH.