HR Excellence in Research Award Strategy & Action Plan

The HR Excellence in Research Award (HRS4R) by the European Commission is held in high regard by University of Galway and as a result is firmly embedded among our research community. University of Galway was awarded the HRS4R in 2013 and has successfully retained this award since. Our 2024-2027 HR Strategy and Action Plan is to support our entire research community (postgraduate researchers, postdoctoral researchers, research fellows and senior research fellows). Click here to access our current Strategy and Action Plan for 2024-2027. 

At University of Galway, we recruit based on Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R) principles and have developed a set of competencies to help provide a systematic and objective method of assessing and selecting people. Our OTM-R Policy can be accessed here.

Action Plan 2024-2027 progress to date reports

June 2024 report

What is the Charter and Code?

The aim of the European Charter for Researchers is to ensure that the relationship between researchers and their employers contributes to a successful performance in the generation, transfer and shared use of knowledge, as well as the professional development of researchers from the early stages of their contracts.

The European Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers is to ensure selection procedures are fair and transparent. The researcher’s merit should be measured not only by publications, but also by a wider range of evaluation criteria, such as education and teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management experience, and public awareness-raising activities. The Code of Conduct was further strengthened in 2017 with the introduction of the Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R) Policy to which all applicants for the HRS4R award must show evidence of implementation.

Our progress at University of Galway

For our 2013 and 2015 application and renewal phases the applications were reviewed remotely by EU assessors. Under the new HRS4R strengthened process a site visit by three EU assessors was planned to take place in March 2020 but due to the pandemic, had to take place virtually in September 2020. Our next review is due in 2024.

Who is involved in the Working Group and Steering Committee? 

Our Working Group is comprised of representatives from across the university, these include: 
•    Office of the Vice President of Research & Innovation (OVPRI) 
•    Researcher Development Centre (RDC) 
•    Office of the Vice President of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (OVPEDI) 
•    Human Resources (HR) 
•    Graduate Studies 
•    President’s Office (Strategy & Risk) 
•    Planning & Institutional Research 
•    Quality Office 
•    Research Accounts Office 
•    Financial Accounts Office 
•    Library 
•    Marketing & Communications Office 
•    International Office 
•    Researchers 
•    International Staff Network 
•    College representatives  

The Steering Group is our Research Committee which meets on a regular basis throughout the year. 

Further information and point of contact:

  • Further information on the HRS4R process is available via Euraxess
  • Contact Gerardine Deacy, HR Research Support Manager, University of Galway (

HR Excellence in Research

HR Excellence in Research