Years 2023 and 2024 with HR Excellence in Research Award SCI MUNI: Priorities and Award Renewal

In the past year, 2023, we completed multiple planned tasks related to the HR strategy improvements at the Faculty of Science MU and initiated preparations for the HR Excellence in Research Award Renewal expected for year 2024.

14 Feb 2024 Barbora Wahlová

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During the year, we worked on the implementation of digitized Onboarding at our departments, we trained supervisors and support staff in order to ensure an easier and more pleasant orientation for newcomers when they join the faculty.

In February 2023, we kicked off the third cycle of employee evaluation. It took place for the first time at all faculty workplaces, and almost 850 employees were evaluated. Our performance and work behaviour evaluation was also interesting to other research institutions. For example, we presented our faculty best practice at an international symposium on leadership in the academic environment, Resilience & Leadership in Academia.

From April 2023, the new Dean's directive No. 1/2023 Information Security Policy regulates information security at the Faculty of Science. For example, the document establishes and describes the rules for handling the employer's data, refers to available data repositories or deals with document management.

In May, we organized a workshop on valuable tips and recommendations for preparing the HR Excellence Award Renewal for employees and PhD students of the faculty as well as the wider professional public. The primary guest and speaker was Mary Kate O’Regan, who leads the successful HR Excellence in Research programme for the University College Cork and acts as Lead Assessor for the European Commission in HR Excellence in Research. Mary Kate is also a Principal Investigator on the Horizon Europe funded project CARDEA, focusing on the Role of Research Managers.

In September 2023, the Dean’s directive on the Education and Development of Employees came into effect. It regulates the rules for employees´ training, methods of identifying training needs, types of training, responsibility for the implementation of individual types of training and their financing, as well as the framework training offer for individual groups of faculty job positions. Following the new directive, a new faculty section of the Employee Portal - Development and Education was created, which provides comprehensive, up-to-date information on training and development opportunities both at the faculty and across the entire university. Employees and PhD students of the faculty started to regularly participate in training organized by the university development centre Cerpek. Among other things, Cerpek organized a cycle of soft skills training in English for us for the first time. In January 2024, we prepared specific training on crisis management for the Czech Antarctic Research Program. The crisis management training will be part of the planned concept of communication and psychological aspects of long-term field research.

​In September, we also prepared an application for project funding on the topic "Introducing a Flexible Working Culture and a Support System for Parents on Maternity and Parental Leave into the Working Environment of the MU Faculty of Science“. Our application was successful, and from May 2024, we will focus more intensely on work-life balance for parents and other people caring for their family members. As part of this project, we also plan to conduct a second faculty gender equality audit in 2024.

In October 2023, we approached faculty employees and PhD students with a request to fill in an anonymous online questionnaire to find out how useful the implemented HR procedures were and to obtain additional suggestions for the new faculty HRS4R action plan for 2024 - 2027. 422 respondents completed the questionnaire and participated in the survey, representing a total return of 32%. Thank you very much to all our colleagues for filling out the questionnaire.

The questionnaire survey was part of the preparations for the Renewal of the HR Excellence in Research Award. In 2024, we are submitting the completed self-assessment report and the action plan for 2024-27. During the year, the introduction and defence of the faculty HRS4R strategy for the next three years will follow as part of the so-called Site Visit, i.e. a visit of representatives of the European Commission, the HRS4R Assessors. As a part of the preparation, we also renewed and strengthened the faculty's HR Award Focus Group, whose members will represent the faculty during the Site Visit.

Would you like to influence the new people strategy at the faculty?

Your suggestions regarding employee care are always welcome; feel free to write to us at

Thank you for your support and cooperation
Yours SCI MUNI HR Award team

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