In keen competition for the best and brightest
Norway is seeking to clarify and simplify the recruitment and funding processes to successfully compete for the best international researchers. The EU Charter and Code for researchers and recruitment provides a vital tool for these efforts.
The EU Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility has drawn up the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, commonly referred to together as the Charter and Code. The steering group has also put together the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers Incorporating the Charter and Code. The Ministry of Education and Research and the Research Council of Norway have participated in the steering group's activities since 2003.
Principles and roles
The Charter and Code consists of principles for researcher recruitment and clarifies the roles of employers, funding sources and researchers regarding knowledge development and knowledge sharing, career planning, and researcher mobility.
The documents are intended to ensure the transparency of the recruitment and funding processes and to create attractive working conditions and promote career development for researchers. The aim is to make mobility an essential component of the career of every European researcher. The Charter and Code are available via the EURAXESS Researchers in Motion portal under Rights.
More than 900 institutions in 24 European countries have become signatories to the Charter and Code. In 2006, the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR) and the Research Council became the first Norwegian players to sign the documents.
In early 2008, the UHR appointed a committee to determine how the Charter and Code could best be implemented at Norwegian universities and university colleges. The committee's conclusions will be presented on 28 January at the conference on Global Competition for Talented Researchers: EU Recruitment Measures, which is being organised under the auspices of the UHR and the Research Council.
NTNU - breaking new ground
One of several institutions that participated in the UHR committee, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim has been the first to implement the Charter and Code principles.
"We became involved because NTNU is seeking to comply with the standard that will ultimately be adopted by all the universities in Europe," says Trond Singsaas, Director of Organization and Information at NTNU. "The Charter and Code sets out concrete principles for human resources activities for scientific employees. Our participation in the UHR committee has been useful in informing our decision to formally accept the recommendations of the European Commission and implement the strategies encompassed by the Charter and Code."
Tougher competition for talent
The 2008 OECD report "The Global Competition for Talent: Mobility of the Highly Skilled" reveals that the competition for highly educated labour has intensified and is becoming an increasingly significant factor for OECD countries in their efforts to create knowledge-based economies. Mobility plays a key role here as an instrument for promoting knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer. To attract the best researchers, Norway must offer transparent recruitment and funding processes and adhere to the Charter and Code.
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