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Human Resources Excellence in Research

Action Plan for AGAUR’s HR funding

The Agency for Management of Universities and Research Grants (AGAUR) was created in 2001 within the Secretariat of Universities and Research, currently under the Department of Economy and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia, with the aim of managing public scholarships and grants efficiently, as well as other programs and actions to promote university education and excellence in research in Catalonia. In year 2012, AGAUR obtained the quality certification ISO 9001:2008 for its grant management performance.

The Agency supports the Government of Catalonia university & science policy, based on competitiveness in R&D, with excellence at the core, by funding people and capacities.

It also hosts the service centre for the Euraxess network in Catalonia, which coordinates more than 50 research institutions, acting as a helpdesk on legal and practical issues for researchers willing to stay or reside in Catalonia, providing also information on opportunities for career development and sources of funding.

 

AGAUR’s Human Resources funding objectives are:

  • To be efficient in the management of grants and scholarships with an open independent and rigorous evaluation process.
  • To support career development of researchers with a focus on excellence and internationalisation.
  • To attract worldwide leading researchers and to foster the incorporation of PhD students, widening opportunities into the business sector.
  • To improve the quality of postdoctoral research training, enabling researchers to develop their research careers in an advanced and more independent level.

AGAUR endorsed the European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C) principles in December 2011 and is member of the 3rd cohort of the Human Resources Strategy Group.

AGAUR has developed its European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) approach considering the postdoctoral fellowships programme, Beatriu de Pinós 2011, as starting point in order to have specific data to analyse and to be able to gather evidence of the fellows’ performance.

Our Gap Analysis methodology has been focused on two different paths:

  • An analysis of the general principles and requirements of the C&C applicable to Employers and Funders against AGAUR’s HR funding performance, through a working group composed by AGAUR’s staff.
  • A consultation process which reflects qualitative information gathered from stakeholders and beneficiaries, based on an analysis of the results from relevant surveys and questionnaires, including a specific focus group with fellows in order to examine the host institution commitment to C&C principles.

Specific measures have been identified in the Action Plan, which been structured in three pillars in order to achieve the desired AGAUR’s performance on HR strategy:

  • Career development
  • Working conditions
  • Recruitment

The Action plan and Hr strategy was recognized by the CE in 2014 with the seal "Hr Excellence in Research" and it has been embedded as a specific objective of accomplishment within the internal policy as an ISO requirement. Improvements within the grants management process and specific measures for streghtening carrer development are already being implemented through the Hr calls.

The outputs fostered through the Action Plan are:

  • Reinforcing AGAUR’s HR grants management performance and grants recognition.
  • Strengthening researchers’ career development and ensuring them the best working environment.
  • Searching the commitment of all hosting institutions in Catalonia to guarantee the accomplishment of C&C principles for researchers.
Update:  02.05.2017