On 8 December 2023, EU member states accepted the content of the Council Recommendation for a European framework to attract and retain talent in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Europe. The agreement introduces the European Charter for Researchers, which replaces the 2005 European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
The agreement identifies various mechanisms aimed at making research careers more attractive in both academia and business, industry, and public administration. The recommendation aims to improve the general conditions and working environment of researchers, provide them with a work-life balance, promote proper social protection, especially regarding early-stage career researchers. The provisions of the document also address support for intersectoral mobility and the flow of talent between sectors by equipping researchers with transversal skills to complement their research skills. In addition, the agreement points to the issue of addressing inequalities in research careers (e.g. based on gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or creed).
Ethical and professional aspects:
- Research freedom
- Ethical principles
- Professional responsibility
- Professional attitude
- Contractual and legal obligations
- Good practice in research
- Dissemination, exploitation of results
- Public engagement
- Employee evaluation systems
Recruitment and selection:
- Recruitment procedures
- Selection procedures
- Judging merit
- Variations in the chronological order of CVs
- Recognition of mobility experience
- Recognition of qualifications
- Post-doctoral appointments
Working conditions and social security:
- Recognition of the profession
- Research environment
- Working conditions
- Stability and permanence of employment
- Funding and salaries
- Gender balance
- Career development
- Value of mobility
- Access to career advice
- Intellectual Property Right
- Participation in decision-making bodies
Development and training:
- Relation with supervisors
- Supervision and managerial duties
- Continuation of professional development
- Access to research training and continuous development possibilities
The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers sets out the general principles and requirements which employers and/or grantors should comply with when appointing or recruiting researchers. The principles and requirements in question should ensure that values such as transparency of the recruitment process and equal treatment of all applicants are respected.
The Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment Policy (OTM-R) is a document supporting the implementation of the Code's requirements, particularly in such areas as providing full and transparent information on the entire recruitment and selection process, publishing job offers together with information on the required competences, obligations, and professional development opportunities, as well as ensuring that the required level of qualifications and competences is consistent with the needs of a given position rather than being a barrier to application.
The current proposal for a Council Recommendation aims at responding to concerns and recommendations raised by the Commission and the Council and implements one of the expected outcomes of action 4 of the ERA Policy Agenda, notably the development of a European framework for research careers.
It provides the standards that can guide Member States, research organisations, funders and stakeholders in increasing stability and attractiveness of research careers.
Besides, a definition of ‘researcher’ is provided, to allow for a proper recognition of the profession in Europe. It is also clarified that researchers can take up a variety of research professions in all relevant sectors, including academia, business, public administration, and the non-profit sector.
The proposal recognises the multitude of research management roles undertaken by researchers or other professionals.
Annexes to COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION are added to the proposal.