Hello there Åsa Furberg...
… Åsa Furberg of the HR Division, who coordinates the work with the European Charter and Code at Uppsala University.
How is it going?
“It’s going well! Uppsala University’s work with the Charter and Code began in 2017, and it continues with evaluation cycles every three years. The next evaluation from the EU will be in February 2024. But there is no end date. It involves continuous quality work.”
The Charter and Code is a regulatory framework developed by the European Commission with the aim of improving the conditions for free research, promoting the open labour market for researchers, and promoting access to and exchange of knowledge.
The work at Uppsala University, which spans several years, is specifically concerned with quality enhancement efforts in the areas of recruitment, working conditions, doctoral education, continuing professional development and career development, ethical principles, and professional responsibility.
In February 2019, Uppsala University received the HR Excellence in Research seal of quality. The certification means that Uppsala University is a higher education institution that meets many of the stringent EU requirements for a responsible and professional employer, and that we are committed to continuous quality work.
How do we work concretely to develop the quality work required by the Charter and Code?
“When we started the work, we performed a GAP analysis against the 40 principles of the European Charter and Code to identify which quality improvement measures we need to work on further. Since then, two action plans have been developed and a number of concrete measures have been implemented, such as developing the individual support to researchers, teachers and managers in the area of career and leadership, translating internal guidelines and documents into English, and providing training in equal opportunities for recruitment committees in the different disciplinary domains.
On the Staff Portal, we have worked in a number of ways to make things easier for teachers, researchers and doctoral students. For example, a link collection was created to provide an overview of support that can be helpful in teaching and research careers.
There is also a new web page for the Charter and Code and HR Excellence in Research, where we have gathered information for the target group. All staff can also follow the progress of the work at the University on this web page.”
Are there any additional levels to be reached within the HR Excellence in Research seal of quality?
“No, there are no further levels, but we need to continuously demonstrate that we are working on different areas to maintain the seal of quality.”
What are the most challenging issues in this work?
“Uppsala University is a large organisation, and it is a challenge to disseminate information about all the good initiatives being carried out within the framework of the Charter and Code.”
What is the next step in implementation?
“At the moment, we are working on carrying out the initiatives of the action plan for 2021–2024. After that, we will follow up on the work to identify new initiatives. Naturally, this is work that is continuously in progress."