The ongoing commitment of the University of Malta (UM) to adopt the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (the Charter and Code) since 2018, will continue supporting our researchers in their proposals to attract international funding, and researchers to take up employment at the UM. The commitment will also promote the UM as providing favourable working conditions for researchers, as well as increasing the visibility of the UM internationally.
Evolving stages of the UM's commitment to the HRS4R:
- The UM set up an HRS4R Committee in January 2018. It included eight members, namely the Pro-Rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer, the Director for Human Resources Management & Development, the Deputy Director for Human Resources Management and Development, the Finance Director, the Director of the Knowledge Transfer Office, the Director of the Research Support Services Directorate, the HR Manager for externally funded projects and the Deputy Director for externally funded projects.
- An initial analysis of the forty aspects has been carried out by the working group, which included a thorough analysis of what policies, procedures and practices are in place and in line with the Charter and Code. Data collection meetings with management departments directly or indirectly responsible for researchers’ issues have been held in this regard. The HRS4R Committee has looked into the initial results of each of the forty aspects. Meetings/workshops have been held, which covered the ethical and professional aspects, the recruitment and selection aspects, the working conditions and social security aspects, as well as the training and development aspects.
- On 31st January 2020, the HRS4R Committee took the decision to invite Researchers ranging from R1 to R4 on the committee and the working group, and start a dedicated web page for HRS4R.
- During March and April 2020, two questionnaires - one for resident academics and another for Research Support Officers involved in research - have been formulated by the working group and approved by the HRS4R Committee. The questionnaires examined the perception and knowledge of the resident academics and Research Support Officers of the aspects mentioned in 2 above. Researchers ranging from R1 to R4 responded to the questionnaires.
- On 30th April 2020, the UM submitted the letter of commitment which was later by the European Commission.
- An analysis of the questionnaire results took place between 7 May and 1 December 2020, and a report has been uploaded on the HRS4R web page.
- On 4th May 2021, the UM submitted the Action Plan, Gap Analysis and the OTM-R checklist for evaluation by the HR4R assessors and published the Action Plan on the HRS4R web page.
- On 31 July 2021, the UM gained the HR Excellence in Research Award in recognition of the University’s on-going commitment to adopting the principles of the Charter and Code. This commitment is resounded in the University of Malta’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025. At this stage, the HRS4R Committee took on the role of HRS4R Implementation Committee.
- During the implementation period of August 2021 - July 2023 the HRS4R Coordinator continued to hold data collection meetings and the UM actuated the actions in accordance with the Action Plan. The HRS4R Implementation Committee continued with the meetings/workshops to oversee the progress.
- During the period November - December 2022, two questionnaires - one for resident academics and another for Research Support Officers involved in research - have been formulated and approved by the HRS4R Implementation Committee. The questionnaires included questions or statements related to the actions that have been implemented.
- An analysis of the questionnaire results took place between January and March 2023, and a report has been uploaded on the HRS4R web page and distributed to the University Community via Newspoint.
Dr Karen Cacciattolo