This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe widening participation and spreading excellence and further supporting actions programmes. Grant agreement ID: 101071330.

TH Köln was awarded again with “HR Excellence in Research” logo

Back in 2014, TH Köln was the first German university to be granted this award by the EU Commission. The university’s HR management standards are appraised every three years to determine whether it may continue to use the “HR Excellence in Research” logo. This involves analysing various areas such as hiring processes, working conditions, training and career support programmes and specific action plans for improving its services. In February 2024, the European Commission presented TH Köln with its HR Excellence in Research award for the fourth time in a row. This distinction confirms the university’s commitment to transparent recruitment processes and to creating the best possible work environment for researchers.

“We are very proud to have been able to display the HR Excellence in Research logo for the last ten years straight. This shows that our internal processes for recruiting research staff – and helping them to develop to their full potential – are at a very high level and that we are continuously improving them,” says Prof. Klaus Becker, Vice President for Research and Knowledge Transfer at TH Köln.

To create the best possible working environment for researchers, TH Köln has developed an extensive action plan that is being optimised on a regular basis with input from researchers and research managers. This plan aims to expand existing structures and procedures relating to recruitment, working conditions, social security, equal opportunities, career development and guidance, as well as mobility and training opportunities for researchers early on in their careers. For example, a greater range of expert advice has been provided on managing research data and the guide for professorial appointments was revised. Together with the Graduate School for Applied Research in North Rhine-Westphalia (Promotionskolleg NRW), the graduate centre has also further developed its training programmes for doctoral researchers.

As Prof. Stefan Herzig, President of TH Köln, explains: “Receiving this award raises our profile and boosts our reputation both in Germany and around the world. Moreover the project ‘PLan_CV: Rethinking professorial careers at universities of applied sciences’, which is receiving €12.4 million in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of its ‘FH-Personal’ (staff for universities of applied sciences) programme, opens up new opportunities for us to attract professors and to increase diversity among our academic staff.”

About the award

The HR Excellence in Research award gives recognition to research institutions that develop and adhere to a university-specific ‘Human Resources Strategy for Researchers’ (HRS4R), which applies the principles of the European Charter for Researchers. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of research culture at European universities. In the global competition for top researchers, the award is a seal of quality that is synonymous with fair and transparent recruitment processes, respect for intellectual property rights and a stimulating working environment with ample training opportunities. In the context of InCITIES WP3, LAUREA, UNIZA, Uni Eiffel and ISCTE are supported by TH Köln to implement a Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) to apply for the award.