Implementing the European Charter and Code for Researchers at PRIO

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

The European Charter for Researchers (the Charter) and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (the Code) were adopted by the European Commission as a recommendation to the member states. The Charter and Code address researchers as well as employers and funders in both the public and private sectors. The Charter provides a set of general principles and requirements which specifies the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers as well as of employers and/or funders of researchers, while the Code promotes open and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures. The goal of the Charter and Code is to ensure a relationship between researchers and employers/funders that stimulates good results in terms of generating, transferring, sharing and disseminating new knowledge and technological development, and career development for researchers. The Charter and Code also recognise the value of all forms of mobility and means of enhancing professional development of researchers.

The European Charter and Code for Researchers contain 40 recommended principles concerning the responsibilities and obligations of researchers and their funders and/or employers in relation to four main areas:

Ethical and
professional aspects
Working conditions
and social security

PRIO’s Declaration of Endorsement

The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) is an independent, international and interdisciplinary research institute, founded in 1959. The institute cultivates the highest standards of academic excellence and is a leader in shaping the global peace research agenda. PRIO has an international research staff of approximately 85 members in full and part-time positions, and in addition 15 in administrative and support functions. The working language at the institute is English. PRIO is an equal opportunity employer and values staff diversity. For further information about the institute, see our About page.

PRIO endorsed the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in a Declaration that was submitted to the European Commission, 6 July 2011. The endorsement of the Charter and Code was a strategic decision aimed at enhancing the Institute’s human resources strategy for researchers.

Action Plan

The action plan for implementing the Charter and Code principles at PRIO forms an integral part of the PRIO Strategy for 2014-2017, endorsed by the Institute Council and adopted by the Board. The Strategy identifies PRIO’s vision and major strategic goals for the current strategy period. The strategic goals comprise the Institute’s research agenda, audiences and assets.

The entire organisation has been involved in the development of the strategy. At the start of the process, the staff was invited to a Strategy Getaway where key challenges were identified, and possible measures and responses proposed. There has later been a follow-up Getaway, which focused on how the strategy could be implemented.

The process of developing the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) action plan was initiated by carrying out an internal gap analysis in which the current situation and improvement areas at PRIO were analysed in relation to each of the 40 principles of the Charter and Code. The process has been designed to:

  • Identify and prioritise key challenges facing PRIO in each of the main areas
  • Establish action points addressing the challenges
  • Assign responsibilities
  • Draw up a timeline for when the actions shall be implemented

Input and comments have been solicited from stakeholders within the organisation, including junior and senior researchers, the Special Advisor on Project Development and Publications, the Communication Director, the Work Environment Committee, the Health and Safety Representative, as well as the Union Representatives at PRIO. The internal gap analysis and the action plan have been discussed in the Leader Team and approved by the Institute Director. The work is coordinated by a working group composed of members from HR and management.

The PRIO Strategy 2014-2017 is accompanied by a dynamic Strategy Implementation Plan which entails concrete action points targeted to the strategic goals, assigned responsibilities and timelines. The HRS4R Action Plan forms an integral part of PRIO’s Strategy Implementation Plan. The Strategy Implementation Plan is continuously monitored and evaluated by the Leader Team.

Human Resources Excellence in Research

PRIO depends on its people, and the Institute is devoted to enhancing its position as an attractive employer for researchers. To this end, PRIO is committed to enhancing its human resources strategy for researchers by initiating measures to implement the European Charter for Researchers (Charter) and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Code) as presented in this action plan.

The PRIO Vision

PRIO’s purpose is to conduct research for a more peaceful world. In pursuit of this, we cultivate academic excellence, communicate with communities of scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners, as well as the general public, and we engage in shaping the global peace research agenda.

PRIO Strategy 2014-2017

The PRIO Strategy 2014-2017 establishes a set of 10 goals for the current strategy period. The Institute’s ambition to remain an attractive employer is emphasised in goal 7, highlighted below:

  1. Develop new research initiatives within the following thematic areas: Technological Change, Inequalities and Insecurities, and Contested International Engagements
  2. Maximize synergies across communication channels and audiences
  3. Pursue the highest standards in academic publishing
  4. Inspire public discourse, inform debate and challenge established truths
  5. Engage in informed exchange with policy-makers, practitioners and conflict actors
  6. Cultivate recognition of the PRIO brand
  7. Be an attractive employer which celebrates diversity, flexibility, initiative, and learning

    PRIO’s success depends on its people. PRIO is already an attractive international employer, with top competence in its areas of research, a dynamic work environment, English as its working language, attractive premises and competitive compensation packages. For this strategy period, the institute shall remain an attractive employer for some of the best, most innovative, most productive, most influential people in peace research. To this effect, PRIO will need to offer good employment conditions, a thriving work environment, and carefully tailored support and services. A major comparative advantage for PRIO is the professionalism of its support staff, and it is a particular challenge to uphold this standard under circumstances where the requirements – in terms of transparency, systematicity, adaptability and flexibility – are continuously increasing.

  8. Secure a robust financial base
  9. Expand strategic collaboration with one or more Norwegian universities
  10. Cultivate a leading editorial role in scholarly publishing