HR Excellence in Research

Intention of HRS4R

The European Commission’s initiative “Human Resources Strategy for Researchers” (HRS4R) aims to raise awareness for the working conditions of researchers, and to encourage research organizations throughout Europe to comply with the principles outlined in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The “HR Excellence in Research Award” marks progress and commitment of institutions in their Human Resources affairs.


By implementing its own HRS4R, JGU aims to continuously improve the working conditions for its researchers in a process of quality-assured personnel management. This will help to enhance the attractiveness of pursuing a research career at JGU.

On 18 December 2015, the Senate of JGU adopted an Action Plan for implementing its HRS4R. JGU is now committed to realizing the actions identified and to regularly assessing the status of implementation. After submitting its application for the HR Excellence in Research award, JGU received the award in May 2016 and in June 2018 an interim report was prepared.

Main Topics

The framework conditions of scientific research in Germany are regulated by law. Fundamental principles are defined in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany and are further delineated in the laws of the federal states. JGU is subject to the Higher Education Act of Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP). All respective regulations are taken up in the Charter of the University (only in German), which ensures that the legal principles are preserved and implemented in JGU’s daily research practice.

JGU is committed to transparent, open and merit-based recruitment and selection procedures. The recruitment of researchers is based on the State Higher Education Act which defines the recruitment conditions for different levels of qualification, special requirements, e.g. for scientific positions in teacher training, and principles of selection procedures. Recruitment and selection processes differ between professorships, permanent scientific employment, and temporary scientific employment.

German Basic Law guarantees freedom of research, so University professors carry out their responsibilities in research, teaching, and further education independently. Rights and responsibilities are regulated by the State Higher Education Act. Individual responsibilities are further specified in personal contract negotiations with professors at the time of recruitment, based on the advertised position.

JGU offers all its employees access to systematic training and professional development. A large part of its research personnel is employed precisely for the reason of obtaining a higher qualification; this holds true for PhD students and postdocs as well as for junior professorships. JGU has a long-established and very well-regarded professional development programme, which is continually updated and tailored to the needs and requirements of its personnel and in cooperation with regional and national partners. This is reflected e.g. by JGU’s membership in the “Rhine-Main universities” alliance (short: RMU), in the national “University Network for Personnel Development” (only in German) and the national “German University Association of Advanced Graduate Training (GUAT)”, which is a network of 46 universities that share the common objective of advancing the quality of academic education for early stage researchers in Germany.

Main Activities

  • Guidelines for Academic Integrity
    • Set standards
    • Warrant that all researchers at JGU are aware of and can relate to academic integrity policy
    • Ensure that academic integrity is central to self-understanding of researchers at JGU
  • Information Strategy for Third-Party Funding
    • Ensure researchers are informed about their rights and responsibilities within more elaborate and specific funding lines
  • Transfer Audit
    • Identify additional opportunities for knowledge and technology transfer
    • improve awareness for transfer options in all areas of research and academic activity
  • Project “Optimize Professorial Appointment Procedures”
    • Ensure quality standards, transparency, and strategic relevance of new professorial appointments
  • Publication of Academic Job Vacancies on EURAXESS
    • Aim for wide dissemination of open positions
    • Increase share of researchers recruited from abroad
    • Help towards finding the best candidate for the opening
    • Contribute towards improving quality and visibility of EU-wide tools
  • Manual for Researcher Recruitment and Selection
    • Update existing guidelines for personnel recruitment
    • Better tailor recommendations to needs of researchers
    • Work towards a fully open, transparent and merit-based recruitment process at all levels of recruitment
  • Standards for Balancing Teaching, Research and Administration Loads
    • Create transparent basis for taking on positions in scientific self-administration
    • Balance research and teaching load for all researchers involved in teaching and supervision
  • Strategy Paper “Rules for Good Employment”
    • Reach consensus on meaning and importance of good employment at all staff levels
    • Improve working conditions and job security for researchers
    • Improve job prospects and transparency of career options
  • Corporate Health Management Strategy
    • develop overriding strategy for health management at JGU
    • systematically expand measures to improve the health of its JGU employees
  • Leadership Project: Enhance Tools with Focus on Performance Reviews
    • Ensure that all employees, including researchers, can benefit from performance reviews and personal development meetings
  • Diversity Audit
    • Apply principles of non-discrimination to all areas of employment at JGU
    • Assure equal opportunities at all levels and in all areas of employment at JGU
    • Identify specific barriers to achieving non-discrimination and equal opportunities
  • Total E-Quality Audit
    • continually improve overriding and structural measures at JGU to support equal opportunities
    • document existing and planned measures at regular intervals
  • Research-Oriented Equal Opportunities Standards
    • continually improve and monitor existing and planned measures to support equal opportunities at the level of the faculties
    • maintain awareness for targeted standards within the faculties
  • Dual Career Services
    • Increase attractivity of JGU to top researchers with family obligations
    • Increase share of researchers recruited from abroad
    • Help towards finding the best candidate for the opening
  • Structured Doctoral Training
    • Continue to improve doctoral training at JGU
    • Give best possible preparation for maximum employability
  • Guidelines for Supervision of Doctoral Students
    • Based strongly on the principle of research training, ensure the quality of PhD-student supervision at JGU
    • Ensure clear and transparent supervision arrangements for doctoral students
  • Broaden Portfolio of Transferable Skills Training for Young Researchers (Ethics, IP, Entrepreneurial Skills)
    • Continuously customise transferable skills training to the needs of (young) researchers
    • Broaden options for entrepreneurial and transfer-related skills
  • Careers Services for Postdocs
    • Offer better career guidance for postdocs, in particular for non-academic career options
  • Mentoring for Young (Female) Researchers in Sciences
    • Strengthen young female students and researchers in the sciences
  • Development Programme for Researchers with Executive Functions
    • Increase awareness of leadership responsibilities in senior researchers
    • Improve supervision and career development for young researchers
    • Professionalise management and leadership behavior of senior research staff
  • Tenure Track
    • Offer transparent and competitive academic career prospects for talented young researchers

Timeframe for the Implementation

November 2015JGU Endorses the Charter and Codex
December 2015Action Plan for Implementing JGU’s HRS4R
February 2016JGU Submits its Application for the HR Excellence in Research Award
May 2016JGU Receives the Human Resources Excellence in Research Award
June 2018Interim Report
January 2019Interim Report Approved
January 2022Application for Award Renewal
Spring 2022Site Visit