The European Commission adopted the European Researchers’ Charter and the Code of Conduct for Researcher Recruitment, drafting two documents aimed at researchers as well as employers and providers of public and private sector funding. Both documents have become key elements of European Union policy, making research an attractive career and stimulating economic growth and employment in Europe. Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers (OTM-R) is one of the pillars of the European Charter for Researchers and in particular of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
Specifically, the European Charter for Researchers outlines the functions, responsibilities and rights of investigators and their employers. The aim is to ensure that the relation between these parties contributes to successful performance in the generation, transfer and shared use of knowledge, as well as the professional development of researchers from the early stages.
Moreover, the Code of Conduct for the hiring of researchers was drawn up to improve enrolment, so that selection procedures are fair and transparent. The researcher’s merit should be measured not only by the number of publications, but also by a wider range of evaluation criteria such as education and teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management and public awareness-raising activities.
Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment (OTM-R) has been included as a key part of this process. OTM-R brings benefits to researchers, institutions and a country's research system. More specifically, OTM-R makes research careers more attractive, ensures equal opportunities for all candidates and facilitates mobility. Overall, it may contribute to an increase in the cost-effectiveness of investments in research.
To help accommodate the research institutions to the Charter and Code principles, the Commission set out a procedure through which those institutions interested in including them, could design their own Human Resources Strategy.