Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 32005H0251

Commission Recommendation of 11 March 2005 on the European Charter for Researchers and on a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Text with EEA relevance)

OJ L 75, 22.3.2005, p. 67–77 (ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, NL, PL, PT, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reco/2005/251/oj

22.3.2005   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 75/67


COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION

of 11 March 2005

on the European Charter for Researchers and on a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2005/251/EC)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 165 thereof,

Whereas

(1)

The Commission considered it necessary in January 2000 (1) to establish the European Research Area as the linchpin of the Community’s future action in this field with a view to consolidating and giving structure to a European research policy.

(2)

The Lisbon European Council set the Community the objective of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge economy in the world by 2010.

(3)

The Council has addressed issues related to the profession and the career of researchers within the European Research Area in its Resolution of 10 November 2003 (2) and welcomed in particular the Commission’s intention to work towards the development of a European Researcher’s Charter and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

(4)

The identified potential shortage of researchers (3), particularly in certain key disciplines, will pose a serious threat to EU’s innovative strength, knowledge capacity and productivity growth in the near future and may hamper the attainment of the Lisbon and Barcelona objectives. Consequently, Europe must dramatically improve its attractiveness to researchers and strengthen the participation of women researchers by helping to create the necessary conditions for more sustainable and appealing careers for them in R&D (4).

(5)

Sufficient and well-developed human resources in R&D are the cornerstone of advancement in scientific knowledge, technological progress, enhancing the quality of life, ensuring the welfare of European citizens and contributing to Europe’s competitiveness.

(6)

New instruments for the career development of researchers should be introduced and implemented, thus contributing to the improvement of career prospects for researchers in Europe.

(7)

Enhanced and more visible career prospects also contribute to the building of a positive public attitude towards the researchers’ profession, and thereby encourage more young people to embark on careers in research.

(8)

The ultimate political goal of this recommendation is to contribute to the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers, where the framework conditions allow for recruiting and retaining high quality researchers in environments conducive to effective performance and productivity.

(9)

Member States should endeavour to offer researchers sustainable career development systems at all career stages, regardless of their contractual situation and of the chosen R&D career path, and they should endeavour to ensure that researchers are treated as professionals and as an integral part of the institutions in which they work.

(10)

Even though Member States have made considerable efforts to overcome administrative and legal obstacles to geographical and intersectoral mobility, many of these obstacles still remain.

(11)

All forms of mobility should be encouraged as part of a comprehensive human resource policy in R&D at national, regional and institutional level.

(12)

The value of all forms of mobility needs to be fully recognised in the career appraisal and career advancement systems for researchers, thus guaranteeing that such an experience is conducive to their professional development.

(13)

The development of a consistent career and mobility policy for researchers to (5) and from the European Union should be considered with regard to the situation in developing countries and regions within and outside Europe, so that building research capacities within the European Union does not occur at the expense of less developed countries or regions.

(14)

Funders or employers of researchers in their role as recruiters should be responsible for providing researchers with open, transparent and internationally comparable selection and recruitment procedures.

(15)

Society should appreciate more fully the responsibilities and the professionalism that researchers demonstrate in executing their work at different stages of their careers and in their multi-faceted role as knowledge workers, leaders, project coordinators, managers, supervisors, mentors, career advisors or science communicators.

(16)

This recommendation takes as its premise that employers or funders of researchers have an overriding obligation to ensure that they meet respective national, regional or sectoral legislation requirements.

(17)

This recommendation provides Member States, employers, funders and researchers with a valuable instrument to undertake, on a voluntary basis, further initiatives for the improvement and consolidation of researchers’ career prospects in the European Union and for the creation of an open labour market for researchers.

(18)

The general principles and requirements outlined in this recommendation are the fruits of a public consultation process to which the members of the Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility have been fully associated,

HEREBY RECOMMENDS:

1.

That Member States endeavour to undertake the necessary steps to ensure that employers or funders of researchers develop and maintain a supportive research environment and working culture, where individuals and research groups are valued, encouraged and supported, and provided with the necessary material and intangible support to enable them to fulfil their objectives and tasks. Within this context, particular priority should be given to the organisation of working and training conditions in the early stage of the researchers’ careers, as it contributes to the future choices and attractiveness of a career in R&D.

2.

That Member States endeavour to take, wherever necessary, the crucial steps to ensure that employers or funders of researchers improve the recruitment methods and career evaluation/appraisal systems in order to create a more transparent, open, equal and internationally accepted system of recruitment and career development as a prerequisite for a genuine European labour market for researchers.

3.

That Member States — as they formulate and adopt their strategies and systems for developing sustainable careers for researchers — take duly into account and are guided by the general principles and requirements, referred to as The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers outlined in the Annex.

4.

That Member States endeavour to transpose these general principles and requirements within their area of responsibility into national regulatory frameworks or sectoral and/or institutional standards and guidelines (charters and/or codes for researchers). In so doing they should take into account the great diversity of the laws, regulations and practices which, in different countries and in different sectors, determine the path, organisation and working conditions of a career in R&D.

5.

That Member States consider such general principles and requirements as an integral part of institutional quality assurance mechanisms by regarding them as a means for establishing funding criteria for national/regional funding schemes, as well as adopting them for the auditing, monitoring and evaluation processes of public bodies.

6.

That Member States continue their efforts to overcome the persisting legal and administrative obstacles to mobility, including those related to intersectoral mobility and mobility between and within different functions, taking into account an enlarged European Union.

7.

That Member States endeavour to ensure that researchers enjoy adequate social security coverage according to their legal status. Within this context, particular attention should be paid to the portability of pension rights, either statutory or supplementary, for researchers moving within the public and private sectors in the same country and also for those moving across borders within the European Union. Such regimes should guarantee that researchers who, in the course of their lives, change jobs or interrupt their careers do not unduly suffer a loss of social security rights.

8.

That Member States put in place the necessary monitoring structures to review this recommendation regularly, as well as to measure the extent to which employers, funders and researchers have applied the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

9.

That the criteria for measuring this will be established and agreed with the Member States within the context of the work undertaken by the Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility.

10.

That Member States in their role as representatives in the international organisations established at intergovernmental level take due account of this recommendation when proposing strategies and taking decisions concerning the activities of those organisations.

11.

This recommendation is addressed to the Member States but it is also intended as an instrument to encourage social dialogue, as well as dialogue among researchers, stakeholders and society at large.

12.

The Member States are invited to inform the Commission, as far as possible, by 15 December 2005 and annually thereafter of any measures they have taken further to this recommendation, and to inform it of the first results of its application as well as to provide examples of good practice.

13.

This recommendation will be reviewed periodically by the Commission in the context of the open method of coordination.

Done at Brussels, 11 March 2005

For the Commission

Janez POTOČNIK

Member of the Commission


(1)  COM(2000) 6 final of 18.1.2000.

(2)  OJ C 282, 25.11.2003, p. 1. Council Resolution of 10 November 2003 (2003/C 282/01 on the profession and the career of researchers within the European Research Area).

(3)  COM(2003) 226 final and SEC(2003) 489 of 30.4.2003.

(4)  SEC(2005) 260.

(5)  COM(2004) 178 final of 16.3.2004.


ANNEX

SECTION 1

The European Charter for Researchers

The European Charter for Researchers is a set of general principles and requirements which specifies the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers as well as of employers and/or funders of researchers (1). The aim of the Charter is to ensure that the nature of the relationship between researchers and employers or funders is conducive to successful performance in generating, transferring, sharing and disseminating knowledge and technological development, and to the career development of researchers. The Charter also recognises the value of all forms of mobility as a means for enhancing the professional development of researchers.

In this sense, the Charter constitutes a framework for researchers, employers and funders which invites them to act responsibly and as professionals within their working environment, and to recognise each other as such.

The Charter addresses all researchers in the European Union at all stages of their career and covers all fields of research in the public and private sectors, irrespective of the nature of the appointment or employment (2), the legal status of their employer or the type of organisation or establishment in which the work is carried out. It takes into account the multiple roles of researchers, who are appointed not only to conduct research and/or to carry out development activities but are also involved in supervision, mentoring, management or administrative tasks.

This Charter takes as its premise that researchers as well as employers and/or funders of researchers have an overriding obligation to ensure that they meet the requirements of the respective national or regional legislation. Where researchers enjoy a status and rights which are, in certain respects, more favourable than those provided for in this Charter, its terms should not be invoked to diminish the status and rights already acquired.

Researchers, as well as employers and funders, who adhere to this Charter will also be respecting the fundamental rights and observe the principles recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (3).

GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO RESEARCHERS

Research freedom

Researchers should focus their research for the good of mankind and for expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge, while enjoying the freedom of thought and expression, and the freedom to identify methods by which problems are solved, according to recognised ethical principles and practices.

Researchers should, however, recognise the limitations to this freedom that could arise as a result of particular research circumstances (including supervision/guidance/management) or operational constraints, e.g. for budgetary or infrastructural reasons or, especially in the industrial sector, for reasons of intellectual property protection. Such limitations should not, however, contravene recognised ethical principles and practices, to which researchers have to adhere.

Ethical principles

Researchers should adhere to the recognised ethical practices and fundamental ethical principles appropriate to their discipline(s) as well as to ethical standards as documented in the different national, sectoral or institutional codes of ethics.

Professional responsibility

Researchers should make every effort to ensure that their research is relevant to society and does not duplicate research previously carried out elsewhere.

They must avoid plagiarism of any kind and abide by the principle of intellectual property and joint data ownership in the case of research carried out in collaboration with a supervisor(s) and/or other researchers. The need to validate new observations by showing that experiments are reproducible should not be interpreted as plagiarism, provided that the data to be confirmed are explicitly quoted.

Researchers should ensure, if any aspect of their work is delegated, that the person to whom it is delegated has the competence to carry it out.

Professional attitude

Researchers should be familiar with the strategic goals governing their research environment and funding mechanisms, and should seek all necessary approvals before starting their research or accessing the resources provided.

They should inform their employers, funders or supervisor when their research project is delayed, redefined or completed, or give notice if it is to be terminated earlier or suspended for whatever reason.

Contractual and legal obligations

Researchers at all levels must be familiar with the national, sectoral or institutional regulations governing training and/or working conditions. This includes intellectual property rights regulations, and the requirements and conditions of any sponsor or funders, independently of the nature of their contract. Researchers should adhere to such regulations by delivering the required results (e.g. thesis, publications, patents, reports, new products development, etc.) as set out in the terms and conditions of the contract or equivalent document.

Accountability

Researchers need to be aware that they are accountable towards their employers, funders or other related public or private bodies as well as, on more ethical grounds, towards society as a whole. In particular, researchers funded by public funds are also accountable for the efficient use of taxpayers’ money. Consequently, they should adhere to the principles of sound, transparent and efficient financial management and cooperate with any authorised audits of their research, whether undertaken by their employers/funders or by ethics committees.

Methods of collection and analysis, the outputs and, where applicable, details of the data should be open to internal and external scrutiny, whenever necessary and as requested by the appropriate authorities.

Good practice in research

Researchers should at all times adopt safe working practices, in line with national legislation, including taking the necessary precautions for health and safety and for recovery from information technology disasters, e.g. by preparing proper back-up strategies. They should also be familiar with the current national legal requirements regarding data protection and confidentiality protection requirements, and undertake the necessary steps to fulfil them at all times.

Dissemination, exploitation of results

All researchers should ensure, in compliance with their contractual arrangements, that the results of their research are disseminated and exploited, e.g. communicated, transferred into other research settings or, if appropriate, commercialised. Senior researchers, in particular, are expected to take a lead in ensuring that research is fruitful and that results are either exploited commercially or made accessible to the public (or both) whenever the opportunity arises.

Public engagement

Researchers should ensure that their research activities are made known to society at large in such a way that they can be understood by non-specialists, thereby improving the public’s understanding of science. Direct engagement with the public will help researchers to better understand public interest in priorities for science and technology and also the public’s concerns.

Relation with supervisors

Researchers in their training phase should establish a structured and regular relationship with their supervisor(s) and faculty/departmental representative(s) so as to take full advantage of their relationship with them.

This includes keeping records of all work progress and research findings, obtaining feedback by means of reports and seminars, applying such feedback and working in accordance with agreed schedules, milestones, deliverables and/or research outputs.

Supervision and managerial duties

Senior researchers should devote particular attention to their multi-faceted role as supervisors, mentors, career advisors, leaders, project coordinators, managers or science communicators. They should perform these tasks to the highest professional standards. With regard to their role as supervisors or mentors of researchers, senior researchers should build up a constructive and positive relationship with the early-stage researchers, in order to set the conditions for efficient transfer of knowledge and for the further successful development of the researchers’ careers.

Continuing professional development

Researchers at all career stages should seek to continually improve themselves by regularly updating and expanding their skills and competencies. This may be achieved by a variety of means including, but not restricted to, formal training, workshops, conferences and e-learning.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYERS AND FUNDERS

Recognition of the profession

All researchers engaged in a research career should be recognised as professionals and be treated accordingly. This should commence at the beginning of their careers, namely at postgraduate level, and should include all levels, regardless of their classification at national level (e.g. employee, postgraduate student, doctoral candidate, postdoctoral fellow, civil servants).

Non-discrimination

Employers and/or funders of researchers will not discriminate against researchers in any way on the basis of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition.

Research environment

Employers and/or funders of researchers should ensure that the most stimulating research or research training environment is created which offers appropriate equipment, facilities and opportunities, including for remote collaboration over research networks, and that the national or sectoral regulations concerning health and safety in research are observed. Funders should ensure that adequate resources are provided in support of the agreed work programme.

Working conditions

Employers and/or funders should ensure that the working conditions for researchers, including for disabled researchers, provide where appropriate the flexibility deemed essential for successful research performance in accordance with existing national legislation and with national or sectoral collective-bargaining agreements. They should aim to provide working conditions which allow both women and men researchers to combine family and work, children and career (4). Particular attention should be paid, inter alia, to flexible working hours, part-time working, tele-working and sabbatical leave, as well as to the necessary financial and administrative provisions governing such arrangements.

Stability and permanence of employment

Employers and/or funders should ensure that the performance of researchers is not undermined by instability of employment contracts, and should therefore commit themselves as far as possible to improving the stability of employment conditions for researchers, thus implementing and abiding by the principles and terms laid down in Council Directive 1999/70/EC (5).

Funding and salaries

Employers and/or funders of researchers should ensure that researchers enjoy fair and attractive conditions of funding and/or salaries with adequate and equitable social security provisions (including sickness and parental benefits, pension rights and unemployment benefits) in accordance with existing national legislation and with national or sectoral collective bargaining agreements. This must include researchers at all career stages including early-stage researchers, commensurate with their legal status, performance and level of qualifications and/or responsibilities.

Gender balance (6)

Employers and/or funders should aim for a representative gender balance at all levels of staff, including at supervisory and managerial level. This should be achieved on the basis of an equal opportunity policy at recruitment and at the subsequent career stages without, however, taking precedence over quality and competence criteria. To ensure equal treatment, selection and evaluation committees should have an adequate gender balance.

Career development

Employers and/or funders of researchers should draw up, preferably within the framework of their human resources management, a specific career development strategy for researchers at all stages of their career, regardless of their contractual situation, including for researchers on fixed-term contracts. It should include the availability of mentors involved in providing support and guidance for the personal and professional development of researchers, thus motivating them and contributing to reducing any insecurity in their professional future. All researchers should be made familiar with such provisions and arrangements.

Value of mobility

Employers and/or funders must recognise the value of geographical, intersectoral, inter- and trans-disciplinary and virtual (7) mobility as well as mobility between the public and private sector as an important means of enhancing scientific knowledge and professional development at any stage of a researcher’s career. Consequently, they should build such options into the specific career development strategy and fully value and acknowledge any mobility experience within their career progression/appraisal system.

This also requires that the necessary administrative instruments be put in place to allow the portability of both grants and social security provisions, in accordance with national legislation.

Access to research training and continuous development

Employers and/or funders should ensure that all researchers at any stage of their career, regardless of their contractual situation, are given the opportunity for professional development and for improving their employability through access to measures for the continuing development of skills and competencies.

Such measures should be regularly assessed for their accessibility, take-up and effectiveness in improving competencies, skills and employability.

Access to career advice

Employers and/or funders should ensure that career advice and job placement assistance, either in the institutions concerned, or through collaboration with other structures, is offered to researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of their contractual situation.

Intellectual property rights

Employers and/or funders should ensure that researchers at all career stages reap the benefits of the exploitation (if any) of their R&D results through legal protection and, in particular, through appropriate protection of intellectual property rights, including copyrights.

Policies and practices should specify what rights belong to researchers and/or, where applicable, to their employers or other parties, including external commercial or industrial organisations, as possibly provided for under specific collaboration agreements or other types of agreement.

Co-authorship

Co-authorship should be viewed positively by institutions when evaluating staff, as evidence of a constructive approach to the conduct of research. Employers and/or funders should therefore develop strategies, practices and procedures to provide researchers, including those at the beginning of their research careers, with the necessary framework conditions so that they can enjoy the right to be recognised and listed and/or quoted, in the context of their actual contributions, as co-authors of papers, patents, etc., or to publish their own research results independently from their supervisor(s).

Supervision

Employers and/or funders should ensure that a person is clearly identified to whom early-stage researchers can refer for the performance of their professional duties, and should inform the researchers accordingly.

Such arrangements should clearly define that the proposed supervisors are sufficiently expert in supervising research, have the time, knowledge, experience, expertise and commitment to be able to offer the research trainee appropriate support and provide for the necessary progress and review procedures, as well as the necessary feedback mechanisms.

Teaching

Teaching is an essential means for the structuring and dissemination of knowledge and should therefore be considered a valuable option within the researchers’ career paths. However, teaching responsibilities should not be excessive and should not prevent researchers, particularly at the beginning of their careers, from carrying out their research activities.

Employers and/or funders should ensure that teaching duties are adequately remunerated and taken into account in the evaluation/appraisal systems, and that time devoted by senior members of staff to the training of early stage researchers should be counted as part of their teaching commitment. Suitable training should be provided for teaching and coaching activities as part of the professional development of researchers.

Evaluation/appraisal systems

Employers and/or funders should introduce for all researchers, including senior researchers, evaluation/appraisal systems for assessing their professional performance on a regular basis and in a transparent manner by an independent (and, in the case of senior researchers, preferably international) committee.

Such evaluation and appraisal procedures should take due account of their overall research creativity and research results, e.g. publications, patents, management of research, teaching/lecturing, supervision, mentoring, national or international collaboration, administrative duties, public awareness activities and mobility, and should be taken into consideration in the context of career progression.

Complaints/appeals

Employers and/or funders of researchers should establish, in compliance with national rules and regulations, appropriate procedures, possibly in the form of an impartial (ombudsman-type) person to deal with complaints/appeals of researchers, including those concerning conflicts between supervisor(s) and early-stage researchers. Such procedures should provide all research staff with confidential and informal assistance in resolving work-related conflicts, disputes and grievances, with the aim of promoting fair and equitable treatment within the institution and improving the overall quality of the working environment.

Participation in decision-making bodies

Employers and/or funders of researchers should recognise it as wholly legitimate, and indeed desirable, that researchers be represented in the relevant information, consultation and decision-making bodies of the institutions for which they work, so as to protect and promote their individual and collective interests as professionals and to actively contribute to the workings of the institution (8).

Recruitment

Employers and/or funders should ensure that the entry and admission standards for researchers, particularly at the beginning at their careers, are clearly specified and should also facilitate access for disadvantaged groups or for researchers returning to a research career, including teachers (of any level) returning to a research career.

Employers and/or funders of researchers should adhere to the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers when appointing or recruiting researchers.

SECTION 2

The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers consists of a set of general principles and requirements that should be followed by employers and/or funders when appointing or recruiting researchers. These principles and requirements should ensure observance of values such as transparency of the recruitment process and equal treatment of all applicants, in particular with regard to the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers, and are complementary to those outlined in the European Charter for Researchers. Institutions and employers adhering to the Code of Conduct will openly demonstrate their commitment to act in a responsible and respectable way and to provide fair framework conditions to researchers, with a clear intention to contribute to the advancement of the European Research Area.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CODE OF CONDUCT

Recruitment

Employers and/or funders should establish recruitment procedures which are open (9), efficient, transparent, supportive and internationally comparable, as well as tailored to the type of positions advertised.

Advertisements should give a broad description of knowledge and competencies required, and should not be so specialised as to discourage suitable applicants. Employers should include a description of the working conditions and entitlements, including career development prospects. Moreover, the time allowed between the advertisement of the vacancy or the call for applications and the deadline for reply should be realistic.

Selection

Selection committees should bring together diverse expertise and competences and should have an adequate gender balance and, where appropriate and feasible, include members from different sectors (public and private) and disciplines, including from other countries and with relevant experience to assess the candidate. Whenever possible, a wide range of selection practices should be used, such as external expert assessment and face-to-face interviews. Members of selection panels should be adequately trained.

Transparency

Candidates should be informed, prior to the selection, about the recruitment process and the selection criteria, the number of available positions and the career development prospects. They should also be informed after the selection process about the strengths and weaknesses of their applications.

Judging merit

The selection process should take into consideration the whole range of experience (10) of the candidates. While focusing on their overall potential as researchers, their creativity and level of independence should also be considered.

This means that merit should be judged qualitatively as well as quantitatively, focusing on outstanding results within a diversified career path and not only on the number of publications. Consequently, the importance of bibliometric indices should be properly balanced within a wider range of evaluation criteria, such as teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management of research and innovation and public awareness activities. For candidates from an industrial background, particular attention should be paid to any contributions to patents, development or inventions.

Variations in the chronological order of CVs

Career breaks or variations in the chronological order of CVs should not be penalised, but regarded as an evolution of a career, and consequently, as a potentially valuable contribution to the professional development of researchers towards a multidimensional career track. Candidates should therefore be allowed to submit evidence-based CVs, reflecting a representative array of achievements and qualifications appropriate to the post for which application is being made.

Recognition of mobility experience

Any mobility experience, e.g. a stay in another country/region or in another research setting (public or private) or a change from one discipline or sector to another, whether as part of the initial research training or at a later stage of the research career, or virtual mobility experience, should be considered as a valuable contribution to the professional development of a researcher.

Recognition of qualifications

Employers and/or funders should provide for appropriate assessment and evaluation of the academic and professional qualifications, including non-formal qualifications, of all researchers, in particular within the context of international and professional mobility. They should inform themselves and gain a full understanding of rules, procedures and standards governing the recognition of such qualifications and, consequently, explore existing national law, conventions and specific rules on the recognition of these qualifications through all available channels (11).

Seniority

The levels of qualifications required should be in line with the needs of the position and not be set as a barrier to entry. Recognition and evaluation of qualifications should focus on judging the achievements of the person rather than his/her circumstances or the reputation of the institution where the qualifications were gained. As professional qualifications may be gained at an early stage of a long career, the pattern of lifelong professional development should also be recognised.

Postdoctoral appointments

Clear rules and explicit guidelines for the recruitment and appointment of postdoctoral researchers, including the maximum duration and the objectives of such appointments, should be established by the institutions appointing postdoctoral researchers. Such guidelines should take into account time spent in prior postdoctoral appointments at other institutions and take into consideration that the postdoctoral status should be transitional, with the primary purpose of providing additional professional development opportunities for a research career in the context of long-term career prospects.

SECTION 3

Definitions

Researchers

For the purpose of this recommendation the internationally recognised Frascati definition of research (12) will be used. Consequently, researchers are described as:

‘Professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems, and in the management of the projects concerned.’

More specifically, this recommendation relates to all persons professionally engaged in R&D at any career stage (13), regardless of their classification. This includes any activities related to ‘basic research’, ‘strategic research’, ‘applied research’, experimental development and ‘transfer of knowledge’ including innovation and advisory, supervisory and teaching capacities, the management of knowledge and intellectual property rights, the exploitation of research results or scientific journalism.

A distinction is made between Early-Stage Researcher and Experienced Researchers:

the term Early-Stage Researcher (14) refers to researchers in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research activity, including the period of research training,

Experienced Researchers (15) are defined as researchers having at least four years of research experience (full-time equivalent) since gaining a university diploma giving them access to doctoral studies, in the country in which the degree/diploma was obtained or researchers already in possession of a doctoral degree, regardless of the time taken to acquire it.

Employers

In the context of this recommendation ‘employers’ refers to all those public or private institutions which employ researchers on a contractual basis or which host them under other types of contracts or arrangements, including those without a direct financial relationship. The latter refers particularly to institutions of higher education, faculty departments, laboratories, foundations or private bodies where researchers either undergo their research training or carry out their research activities on the basis of funding provided by a third party.

Funders

‘Funders’ refers to all those bodies (16) which provide funding, (including stipends, awards, grants and fellowships) to public and private research institutions, including institutions for higher education. In this role they might stipulate as a key condition for providing funding that the funded institutions should have in place and apply effective strategies, practices and mechanisms according to the general principles and requirements presented in this recommendation.

Appointment or employment

This refers to any type of contract or stipend or to a fellowship, grant or awards financed by a third party including funding within the context of the framework programme(s) (17).


(1)  See definition in Section 3.

(2)  See definition in Section 3.

(3)  OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.

(4)  See SEC(2005) 260, Women and Science: Excellence and Innovation – Gender Equality in Science.

(5)  Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p. 43), which aims to prevent fixed-term employees from being treated less favourably than similar permanent employees, to prevent abuse arising from the use of successive fixed-term contracts, to improve access to training for fixed-term employees and to ensure that fixed-term employees are informed about available permanent jobs.

(6)  See SEC(2005) 260, Women and Science: Excellence and Innovation – Gender Equality in Science.

(7)  i.e. remote collaboration over electronic networks.

(8)  In this context see also Directive 2002/14/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 80, 23.3.2002, p. 29).

(9)  All available instruments should be used, in particular international or globally accessible web-based resources such as the pan-European Researcher’s Mobility Portal: http://europa.eu.int/eracareers

(10)  See also The European Charter for Researchers: Evaluation/Appraisal systems in Section 1 of this document.

(11)  Look at http://www.enic-naric.net/ to find more detailed information about the NARIC Network (National Academic Recognition Information Centres) and the ENIC Network (European Network of Information Centres).

(12)  In: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, Frascati Manual, OECD, 2002.

(13)  COM(2003) 436 of 18.7.2003: Researchers in the ERA: One profession, multiple careers.

(14)  See Work Programme Structuring the European Research Area Human Resources and Mobility Marie Curie Actions, edition September 2004, p. 41.

(15)  Idem, p. 42.

(16)  The Community will endeavour to apply the commitments laid down in this Recommendation to the receiver of funding in the context of the Framework Programme(s) for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities.

(17)  The Framework Programme(s) for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities.


Top