The main objective of the proposed project is to contribute to enhanced management of human research potential at WB universities in line with national and EU strategies for researchers. The methodology to achieve this objective will combine top-down and bottom-up approaches. Namely, while the procedures and practices for HR management at the partner universities will be improved to meet European standards, the continual process of training and informing young researchers about professional skills and career development opportunities will be established. The evidence for fulfilment of the above general objective will be provided in the form of a set of universities’ bylaws, relevant for human research potential management, as well as in increased level of professional development of the researchers.
In order to achieve the main objective, the project will work on improving institutional policies and practices by harmonising them with EU standards and strategies for researchers, and with national priorities. The foreseen work will be based on a comprehensive and exhaustive comparative analysis which is expected to reveal the key gaps between the current practices and EU standards. The analysis will be used to develop and adopt institutional bylaws and policies regulating human research potential. In order to facilitate the practical implementation of these policies, administrative staff will be trained to work with researchers, resulting in the reinforced capacity of existing university centres and offices to deal with career development issues, to promote career and cooperation opportunities and to implement professional development programmes. Since the activities aiming at developing the institutional capacity to implement best human research management practices will be carried out in a common context of the similar research and innovation systems of the WBC countries, the project is expected to further enhance the regional cooperation and establish a sustainable exchange of information and experiences in dealing with HR management issues.
When bottom-up activities are considered, the project specifically aims first at improving their professional and transferable skills, and second at promotion of the career development and cooperation opportunities. It is expected that increased level of professional skills among researchers will result in more successful pursuit of different opportunities and more effective and efficient involvement.
Finally, since the background for the foreseen activities is provided by the EU standards and specifically by European Charter and Code, it is expected that all partner universities will be awarded with HR Excellence in Research label, by the European Commission as key evidence that the institutional strategies for human research management reached the highest standards.