The Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw creates conditions that are favourable to the scientific work and professional development of researchers – so says the European Commission, and it has granted the Institute the right to use the HR Excellence in Research logo.
For a decade now, the European Commission has been awarding the HR Excellence in Research logo to scientific institutions that create a favourable environment for scientific work, respecting modern principles of employment of scientists and enabling them to develop their professional careers. Recently, the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw, Poland, joined this distinguished group. The IPC PAS is one of only four Polish research institutes that have been granted the right to use the HR Excellence in Research logo (the others are the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the PAS, the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Institute of Plant Genetics of the PAS).
“We believe in the power of science, its capacity to transform the world and raise the living standards of civilization. But science does not exist without scientists. The logo awarded by the European Commission is one of the elements confirming that the changes that we have been consistently introducing over recent years are creating ever more favourable working conditions in our Institute for the best scientists in our country and in Europe,” says Prof. Robert Holyst, director of the IPC PAS.
Certification for the HR Excellence in Research logo is part of a long-term strategy of the European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers. Its main purpose is to improve the attractiveness of Europe as a workplace for top scientists and to maintain the significant role of the continent in the development of world civilization. The presence of the logo guarantees that the scientific institution respects the provisions of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
The awarding of the HR Excellence in Research logo is a multi-stage process. In preparation to meet the requirements set out by the European Commission, the IPC PAS conducted, among others, an anonymous survey on employment policy, methods of assessment of researchers, freedom of choice of research topics and other issues related to the ethics of scientific research and working conditions.
“The survey results were analyzed in detail by a special institute committee. The evaluation was generally positive, and currently we are only working on details such as the improvement of the transfer of information about certain initiatives or ordinances,” says Agnieszka Tadrzak, who oversees the Institute's activities related to HR Excellence in Research.
Institutions which use the HR Excellence in Research logo are required to report regularly to the European Commission on the current state of implementation of the provisions of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct.
The HR Excellence in Research logo has been awarded since 2005. So far, over 210 research institutions from nearly 30 countries, mainly in Europe, have been granted the logo. The majority of institutions that meet the criteria for HR Excellence in Research are located in the UK – more than 90, whilst there is one in each of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Germany, Portugal and Serbia. In Poland, the first scientific organization to win the right to use the logo was the Foundation for Polish Science, in 2012.