The European Commission has just awarded the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) the HR Excellence in Research Award. This award lends official recognition to the commitment of the UMH to the most demanding levels of quality in all the processes linked to the recruitment, working conditions, training, management and responsibility of the research staff in any type of contractual relation, as well as the entity’s commitment to maintain and improve these levels of quality in the future.
In order to obtain the Excellence in Research Award, the UMH has had to accredit how it is in alignment with – or commits to align with and improve upon – the forty principles listed in the Charter & Code for Researchers as well as, more specifically, the principles of open, transparent and merit-based recruiting. Furthermore, the action plan that the UMH has committed to fulfil in the next 24 months in order to further comply with these principles has been evaluated positively in its entirety.
The objective of the HR Excellence in Research award is to promote and improve recruiting, working conditions and research careers, thus contributing to the development of the European Research Area.
Currently, only 22 Spanish universities – all of which are public – have obtained this recognition, and the UMH is the second one to achieve it in the Valencian Community, after the University of Valencia (UV). Furthermore, the UMH has been one of the first institutions that has received this award under the new updated framework, which establishes must more demanding and continuous procedures in order to validate and maintain this recognition in the future.
Former Rector Jesús Pastor established a committee headed by the then Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation, Manuel Jordán Vidal. This committee was comprised of the heads of the UMH’s different departments: management, administration, research and teaching. Furthermore, the entire research staff of the UMH (R1, R2, R3 and R4) were consulted by way of a survey and different work groups (Focus Groups). On 8 November 2017, the Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation notified all those involved in the process of the approval by the Governing Board of the UMH, of the beginning of the process to achieve the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research Award, as well as of the creation of an HRS4R Executive Committee and an HRS4R Work Committee, to ensure the appropriate development and implementation of this project at the UMH. Manuel Jordán said that “supporting the HRS4R project is the best way to show that the proposed Action Plan will be implemented and carried out, as it has required the effort of many people who strive for the continuous improvement of the UMH.”
Both the analysis of the degree of compliance of the different requirements as well as the Action Plan proposed for the next two years has thus been backed by the broad participation of the members of the university community, and has involved its highest-level governing and management bodies.
As of now, the UMH has the authorisation of the European Commission to use this Excellence in Research Award that accredits the quality of its internal processes. Furthermore, this recognition forces the Institution to continuously revise and improve these processes, a requirement to renew the award in coming years.
Link of interest: http://hrs4r.edu.umh.es/