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HR Strategy for Researchers

HR Excellence in Research - HR Strategy for Researchers

HR Excellence in Research Award

Waterford Institute of Technology is delighted to have successfully retained the HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission for a further two years. Following an internal self-evaluation, WIT retains the award at the two year stage and goes forward with an evolved Action Plan for the 2017-2018 period. A further evaluation will be conducted by external peer review, administered by the European Commission in 2018.

The Institute first gained the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award in May 2014. The award recognises the practices we have in place to support researchers' career and professional development in line with the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Through the effort undertaken to gain the award WIT has demonstrated commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff. We will continue to work with all research stakeholders across the Institute in the collective delivery of the activities set out in the revised HRS4Rs Action Plan and to ensure our research staff have the best possible experience at WIT.

WIT’s HRS4Rs Action Plans and Self-Assessment Reports

2 Year Self-Assessment Report and Action Plan 2016

Download our report produced in 2016, reviewing key achievements and progress made against the original action plan 2014, and containing a new action plan for 2016-18.

Original Action Plan 2014

WIT's original action plan was produced by the Research Support Unit in May 2014 based on a 'mapping and gapping' exercise. This exercise helped establish what policies and procedures were already in place at WIT and identify areas for improvement to ensure the Institute was compliant with the Charter and Code principles. A consultative approach was adopted with valuable input received from a wide range of research stakeholders. Researchers were consulted through open forums and surveys to determine their experience at WIT. WIT achieved the European Commission's HR Excellence in Research Award in recognition of its action plan in May 2014.


Further details on the HRS4R process at WIT are available by contacting Eimear Fitzpatrick, HRS4Rs Project Lead for WIT (email: [email protected])

Please see links below for press coverage of the HR Excellence in Research designation awarded to WIT.

WIT News June 11th 2014

Irish Examiner June 11th 2014

Waterford Institute of Technology was the first Institute of Technology in Ireland to receive the "HR Excellence in Research" designation from the European Commission (EC). The HR Excellence in Research award acknowledges WIT as a stimulating work environment for researchers, providing attractive working conditions and equipping researchers with the broad skills and experience necessary to develop their research careers. The HR Excellence in Research designation is a clear statement of the institute’s commitment to providing the research environment and career development sought by high performing researchers. It underpins our commitment to using research and innovation as a driver for regional social and economic development.

The designation is particularly important in the context of the Institute’s commitment to play a major role in the European Framework programme Horizon 2020 and the associated European Research Area. Participation in the European Framework programme is an important strategic priority for the Irish research community. WITs HR Excellence in Research designation is a clear statement of our commitment to leadership in the European Research Area (ERA).

WIT examined the recommendation of the European Commission on The European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (the Charter and Code) and fully endorsed these principles in 2011. The Charter and Code aims to provide equal rights and obligations for researchers in Europe through implementation of principles governing ethical and professional aspects of work, recruitment, working conditions, social security and training of researchers. These principles build on existing practice, but also provide a renewed impetus for WIT to assess and strengthen our support for researchers. By formally endorsing the Charter and the Code, WIT confirms the importance of partnership in their effective implementation. We believe that researchers, employers and funders must work together to ensure that the Charter and the Code are fully and properly implemented and promoted. To this end, WIT joined an EU wide initiative aimed at implementing the HR Strategy for Researchers, becoming a member of the European Commission’s Institutional HR Strategy Group (Third cohort) on the 24th October 2011.

Over the last number of years WIT continued its commitment to this process by implementing the European Commission’s HRS4R process. This included carrying out a Gap Analysis to evaluate the compliance of current WIT policies and practice with the principles of the Charter and Code. Following the Gap Analysis, an Action Plan was completed identifying a number of key areas for change and further development. The Institute will implement the Action Plan with the assistance of an overarching Monitoring Committee; an internal self-assessment will be conducted in 2016, followed by an external evaluation every four years.

WIT is committed to promoting the performance of research to the highest standards of professionalism and rigour by its staff and students, and to the accuracy and integrity of the research record in publications and elsewhere.  WIT endorses the principles of Ireland’s National Policy on Research Integrity and will start to integrate the principles into its internal Code of Good Research Practice.

In line with the HRS4R Action Plan, WIT has established a Research Staff Forum (RSF). The RSF is currently inviting membership of research active staff. 

WIT’s Research Open Doors series, organised by the WIT Research Office and WIT’s Research Staff Forum, is designed to showcase what researchers really do and why research matters; allowing the people behind the work to tell their unique stories in an interactive, accessible and engaging way. Research is about investigation and discovery, and the Research Open Doors series is keen to show all members of WIT staff just how dynamic the process is.

In a series of free lunchtime events geared at giving staff the chance to find out what research goes on day-to-day at WIT and explore first hand some of the wonderful, thought-provoking facts researchers have uncovered in recent years. The series hopes to welcome members of the community along, to learn something new, enjoy some refreshments, and perhaps inspire some future researchers who can contribute to the diverse research community here at WIT. 

Research Training/Information Events

Providing the skills and experience for researchers and postgraduate students to develop their research careers is a key priority at WIT and fundamental to the HRS4Rs Action Plan. Over the coming months, the RSU will host a variety of training workshops and information sessions to better inform our research community. Proposed details are below:

FEB 22
Research Open Doors Series
Showcasing the PMBrc
Behind Closed Doors with
Dr Niall O'Reilly
Life’s Journey as a Researcher with
Dr Larry Fitzhenry

A02, Main Campus @ 12.30pm
MAR 22
Research Open Doors Series
Showcasing the AIB Centre for Research
Behind Closed Doors with
Dr Sheila O'Donohoe
Life’s Journey as a Researcher with
Dr David Pasley

D01 School of Business @ 12.30pm
APR 05
Horizon 2020
Coffee Clinic
with Eimear Fitzpatrick
EU Research Programme Officer
Information session for anyone brand new to H2020

IT Boardroom @ 10-11am
APR 26
H2020 Health WIP 2018-2020
Information Session
with Kay Duggan-Walls
National Delegate for Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing
H2020 2018-2020 Health Work Programme
Health Sciences Boardroom @ 11am
MAY 24
Research Open Doors Series
Showcasing Creative & Performing Arts
Behind Closed Doors with
Dr Úna Kealy and Kate McCarthy
Research Impact in the Community with
Dr Úna Kealy and Kate McCarthy

Oscar's Café @ 12pm
NOV 22
Research Open Doors Series
Showcasing SEAM
Behind Closed Doors with
Dr Ramesh Raghavendra
Life's journey as a researcher with
Brendan Phelan

AT112, Applied Technology Building
@ 12:15pm

 WIT Staff Handbook

pdf logo WIT presentation for researchers induction