HR Strategy for Researchers

12 October 2023 the Institute of Paleobiology of the Polish Academy of Sciences was awarded the HR Excellence in Research logo. This is a prestigious award aimed at enhancing the attractiveness of working conditions and career development of researchers in the European Union. It is awarded to institutions that provide the best working conditions for researchers and conduct their recruitment processes transparently and in accordance with the guidelines of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.



Incorporating the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers 2021-2023

The Institute of Paleobiology, Polish Academy of Sciences (IPAL PAS) recognizes the importance of human resources strategy for researchers and aspires to a group of international research institutions maintaining the standards developed under the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter & Code).

Starting from July 2021 various activities related to Charter & Code were undertaken due to the process of application for the HR Excellence in Research award that was submitted to the European Commission in January 2023.
The Commission's recommendation on the Charter & Code issued in 2023 has been a reference point for shaping the Institute’s recruitment policy and improving its regulations.

Creating a friendly scientific work environment and transparent rules for the recruitment of researchers are the main objectives of the human resources strategy. The IPAL PAS, is working toward contributing to the efforts of achieving a common research area and labour market for researchers, increased mobility, attractiveness of careers, more favourable working conditions and stable social security, professional development and personal growth of researchers. The IPAL PAS would like to become recognized as a prestigious employer that is supporting its staff and creating work conditions influencing the increase of employees’ commitment by applying the highest European standards.

For this purpose, the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers at the IPAL PAS was formulated in accordance with the Charter & Code. Its principles are to a large extent already an established practice. The internal analysis of the present situation was initially conducted between August and November 2022, in order to define the gaps in the implementation of Charter & Code. The outline of the strategy for overcoming these gaps was formed and published on the Institute’s website (Report - link to document and the updated version) . The outline is the result of a collaborative work between researchers and administration of the Institute; its implementation is subject to both internal and external evaluations, and is monitored by the HR Working Group.

IPAL PAS is implementing a number of solutions that are based on the principles of the Charter & Code.

6 main paths of were defined:
• Implementation of the OTM-R rules in the Institute’s regulations
• Improvement of staff awareness of the Charter & Code principles and internal rules
• Introducing a system for monitoring and evaluation of student – supervisor relations
• Increasing communication between researchers and other groups of staff
• Information Desk - intranet site with information on procedures, training and development
• Initiation of Media Group for science popularisation

Proposed solutions are referring to four basic principles of the Charter & Code:

Ethical and professional aspects
The research freedom, professional responsibility, and non-discrimination are the strengths of the IPAL PAS. The professional attitude, contractual and legal obligations, accountability, and evaluation and appraisal systems require only minor improvements of the regulations of IPAL PAS. Good practice in research, dissemination, exploitation of results, and public engagement require mainly improvements in information and communication flow and boosting motivation. In order to prevent the abuse of ethical principles regarding relations between younger researchers and supervisors several tools, as well as improvement of procedures, will be prepared.

Recruitment and selection
The IPAL PAS is implementing OTM-R Policy ( link to pdf ) in order to assure that recruitment and selection of staff are based on open, transparent and merit-based principles.
Openness is already achieved by public announcement of job offers, using international platforms will be recommended.
Transparency understood as providing clear and simple information on the whole process: from job advertisements including information about required competencies and responsibilities, as well as working conditions and benefits with approximate recruitment timetable, through training and career development opportunities and procedures description like gender equality plan, commission selection criteria; IPAL PAS regulations will be adjusted to comply fully.
Merit-based recruitment criteria are in place, the selection of candidates is based on qualification requirements and competence without regard to origin, religion, race, gender, age, social or material status and with respect for other points of view, research attitudes, worldviews, cultural traditions, political beliefs.

Working conditions and social security
IPAL PAS aims to provide working conditions which allow both women and men researchers to combine family and work, children and career. Particular attention is paid to flexible working hours, part-time working, so-called home office. Stability and permanence of employment and respecting the intellectual property rights are strengths of IPAL PAS., Participation of representatives of all scientific positions and gender balance in the decision-making bodies needs improvement, gender equality plan and adjustments of some regulations will be prepared. Access to advice about career development opportunities, including teaching experience and skills also require attention. Internal website with information on procedures, training and development, all as well as stimulating greater involvement of senior research staff are the main solutions.

Training and development
Relations with supervisors as well as supervision and managerial duties will be evaluated in cooperation with Doctoral Studies, new procedures as well as the position of the ombudsman will be created. IPAL PAS will prepare solutions to improve access to research training and continuous development. Regulations promoting the mobility experience will be introduced.

Read more about HR excellence at


OTM-R Policy
Human Resources Strategy of the Institute of Paleobiology Polish Academy of Sciences
Human Resources Strategy of the Institute of Paleobiology Polish Academy of Sciences (update)


Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Palaeontologia Polonica

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