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Welcome to the information portal
about the European Research Area (ERA)


An open labor market for researchers

European Charter and Code for Researchers

In 2005, the European Commission adopted a European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. These two documents, addressed to researchers as well as research employers and funders in the public and private sectors, are key elements of EU policy to support researchers' careers. Promoting researcher careers in Europe is fragmented at local, regional, national or sectoral level and does not allow Europe to make the best of its scientific potential. The Charter and the Code ensure that researchers can enjoy the same rights and obligations in any European country.

The European Charter for Researchers is a set of general principles and requirements that specify the roles, responsibilities and demands of researchers, as well as employers and / or researchers' funding. Application to practice is the responsibility of employers, funding organizations, and researchers themselves.

The Charter aims to ensure that the nature of the relationship between researchers and employers or funding organizations contributes to successful performance in the creation, transfer, sharing and dissemination of knowledge and technological development and career development of researchers. The Charter also recognizes the value of all forms of mobility as a means of strengthening the professional development of researchers. In this sense, the Charter provides a framework for researchers, employers and funders, who invite them to act responsibly and professionally in their working environment and to recognize each other as such. The Charter deals with all researchers in the European Union at all stages of their careers and covers all areas of public and private research, regardless of the nature of their appointment or employment, the legal status of their employer or the type of organization or work in which they work. It takes into account the many roles of researchers who are determined not only to carry out research and / or to implement development activities, but also to oversee, mentor, manage or perform administrative tasks.

The documents are available in PDF format in the Documents section under the title "European Charter for Researchers and on the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers".

Job opportunities for researchers are increasing every day. You can track their report on EURAXESS:

General rules and requirements for the open market for researchers are divided into two groups.

1. Rules applicable to researchers

Research freedom

Researchers should concentrate their research on the good of humanity and broaden the boundaries of scientific knowledge, with freedom of thought and expression and the freedom to determine methods to address problems according to recognized ethical principles and practices. However, researchers should recognize the limitations of this freedom that might arise from specific research circumstances (including supervision / guidance / management) or operational constraints, eg. for budgetary reasons or for reasons of infrastructure, or in particular in the industrial sector, for the protection of intellectual property. However, such restrictions should not conflict with recognized ethical principles and practices that researchers must follow.
Ethical principles
Researchers should respect recognized ethical practices and fundamental ethical principles that correspond to their discipline, as well as ethical standards, as documented in various national, sectoral or institutional codes of ethics.
Professional responsibility
Researchers should do their utmost to ensure that their research is important to society and does not duplicate research that has been done elsewhere. They must avoid any kind of plagiarism and respect the principle of intellectual property and data sharing in the case of research conducted in collaboration with superior and / or other researchers. The need to confirm new observations by showing that experiments are reproducible should not be interpreted as plagiarism, provided that the data to be confirmed are explicitly cited. Researchers should ensure that any aspect of their work is delegated so that the person to whom they are delegated has the power to do so.
Professional approach
Researchers should be familiar with the strategic objectives that govern their research environment and funding mechanisms, and seek all necessary approvals before starting research or making available resources. They should inform their employers, funding providers or supervisors when their research project is delayed, redefined or completed, or whether it should be terminated earlier or suspended for any reason.
Contractual and legal obligations
Researchers at all levels must be familiar with national, sectoral or institutional regulations governing training and / or working conditions. This includes rules on intellectual property rights and the requirements and conditions of any sponsor or donor, regardless of the nature of their contract. Researchers should comply with such regulations by providing the required results (eg, diploma theses, publications, patents, reports, new product development, etc.), as specified in the terms of reference or equivalent.
Researchers must be aware that they are responsible to their employers, sponsors or other related public or private bodies, as well as to ethical reasons towards society as a whole. In particular, publicly funded researchers are also responsible for the effective use of taxpayers' money. For this reason, they should adhere to the principles of sound, transparent and effective financial management and to cooperate with all authorized audits of their research, whether undertaken by their employers / funders or ethics committees. Collection and analysis methods, outputs and, where appropriate, data on data should be open to internal and external control whenever necessary and as required by competent authorities.
Best practices in research
Researchers should always adopt safe working practices in accordance with national legislation, including taking the necessary safety measures to protect health and safety and disaster recovery in the field of information technology, eg. preparing proper back-up strategies. They should also be familiar with current national legal requirements regarding data protection requirements and confidentiality, and should take the necessary steps to ensure that they are constantly implemented.
Dissemination, exploitation of results
All scientists should ensure that their research results are disseminated and used, eg in accordance with their contractual arrangements. reported, transferred to other research environments or, where appropriate, traded. In particular, the main researchers are expected to have a leading role in ensuring that research is fruitful and that results are either commercially exploited or made available to the public (or both) whenever the opportunity arises
Involvement of the public
Researchers should ensure that their research activities are generally known to society so that they can be understood by non-specialists, thereby improving public understanding of science. Direct collaboration with the public will help researchers better understand the public interest in science and technology priorities as well as public concerns.
Relationship with superiors
Researchers in their training phase should establish a structured and regular relationship with their superiors and faculty / department representatives to fully exploit their relationship with them. This includes keeping records of all workflows and research results, obtaining feedback through reports and seminars, applying such feedback and work in accordance with agreed schedules, milestones, outputs and / or research results.
Supervision and management responsibilities
Leading researchers should pay particular attention to their multilateral role as supervisors, mentors, career counselors, managers, project coordinators, managers or scientific communicators. These tasks should be performed to the highest professional standards. Regarding their role as researchers' supervisors or mentors, senior researchers should build a constructive and positive relationship with researchers at an early stage in order to create the conditions for effective knowledge transfer and further successful development of researchers, careers.
Continuing Professional Development
Researchers at all stages of their careers should strive to continually improve through regular updating and dissemination of their skills and competences. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including but not limited to formal training, workshops, conferences and e-learning.


2. Rules applicable to employers and investors

Recognition of the profession

All research careers researchers should be recognized and treated as professionals. This should start at the beginning of their careers, at the postgraduate level, and should include all levels, regardless of their classification at national level (eg Employee, postgraduate student, PhD student, postdoctoral, civil servant).
Research environment
Employers and / or funders of researchers should ensure that a stimulating research or training environment is created for research, which offers appropriate equipment, facilities and opportunities, including distance collaboration through research networks, and that national or sectoral regulations on health and safety in research are respected. Investors should ensure that adequate resources are provided to support the agreed work program.
Working conditions
Employers and / or funding organizations should ensure that working conditions for researchers, including researchers with disabilities, provide, where appropriate, the flexibility deemed necessary for successful research results in accordance with existing national legislation and national or sectoral agreements on collective bargaining. They should focus on providing working conditions that allow women and men of researchers to combine family and work, children and careers. Particular attention should be paid, inter alia, to flexible working hours, part-time work, working time and leave, as well as the necessary financial and administrative provisions governing such arrangements.
Stability and sustainability of employment
Employers and / or funding organizations should ensure that the performance of researchers is not undermined by the instability of employment contracts, and therefore should commit as much as possible to improve the stability of researchers' employment conditions, thereby applying and respecting the principles and conditions EU fixed-term directive.
Financing and salaries
Employers and / or funders of researchers should ensure that researchers use fair and attractive funding conditions and / or salaries with adequate and equitable social security provisions (including sickness and parental benefits, pension rights and unemployment benefits) ) in accordance with applicable national law and with national or sectoral collective bargaining agreements. This must include researchers at all stages of their careers, including early stage researchers, corresponding to their legal status, performance and level of qualification and / or responsibility.
Gender equality
Employers and / or funders should focus on representative gender balance at all levels of staff, including at supervisory and management levels. This should be achieved on the basis of a policy of equal opportunities in recruitment and subsequent career steps, without overriding qualitative and competent criteria. In order to ensure equal treatment, selection and evaluation committees should have an appropriate gender balance.
Career development
Employers and / or funders of researchers should, within their human resources management, develop a specific career development strategy for researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of their contractual situation, including temporary researchers. It should also include the availability of mentors involved in providing support and guidance for the personal and professional development of researchers, thereby encouraging and contributing to reducing any security in their professional future. All scientists should be familiar with these provisions and measures.
The value of mobility
Employers and / or funding providers must recognize the value of geographical, cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary and virtual mobility, as well as public-private mobility as an important means of strengthening scientific knowledge and professional development at any stage of career research. Therefore, they should build these opportunities into a specific career development strategy and fully appreciate and recognize any mobility experience within their career / evaluation system. This also requires that the necessary administrative tools be introduced in accordance with national legislation to allow both portability of grants and social security provisions.
Access to vocational training and continuous development
Employers and / or funding providers should ensure that all researchers at any stage of their careers, regardless of their contractual situation, are given the opportunity to develop and improve their employability through access to measures development of skills and competences. Such measures should be regularly evaluated for their availability, use and effectiveness in improving competences, skills and employability.
Access to career guidance
Employers and / or funding providers should ensure that career guidance and job placement assistance either in the relevant institutions or through collaboration with other structures is offered to researchers at all stages of their careers regardless of their contractual situation.
Intellectual property rights
Employers and / or funding organizations should ensure that researchers at all stages of their career benefit from their research and development results (if any) through legal protection and, in particular, through appropriate protection of intellectual property rights, including copyrights. Policies and procedures should specify what rights belong to researchers and / or, where applicable, to their employers or other parties, including external business or industrial organizations, as may result from specific cooperation agreements or other types of agreements.
Co-authorship should be evaluated positively by the institutions when assessing staff as evidence of a constructive approach to conducting research. Employers and / or funding providers should therefore develop strategies, procedures and processes that provide the necessary framework conditions for researchers, including researchers, at the beginning of their research careers to benefit from the right to be recognized and appointed and / or cited in the context of their actual contributions as co-authors of documents, patents, etc., or publish their own research results independently of their superiors.
Employers and / or funding providers should ensure that the person is clearly identified to whom early stage researchers can rely on their job responsibilities and should inform researchers. Such measures should ensure that the proposed supervisory authorities are sufficiently proficient in research oversight, have the time, knowledge, experience, expertise and commitment to provide appropriate support to the research trainee and ensure the necessary progress and review procedures as well as the necessary feedback mechanisms.
Teaching is an essential means of structuring and disseminating, and should therefore be considered a valuable choice in the career path of researchers. However, teaching obligations should not be disproportionate and should not prevent researchers, especially at the beginning of their careers, from carrying out their research activities. Employers and / or funding organizations should ensure that teaching obligations are adequately remunerated and taken into account in evaluation / evaluation systems, and that the time devoted to older workers to train new researchers should be counted as part of their teaching commitment. Training and coaching activities should be part of the training of researchers.
Appreciation / evaluation systems
Employers and / or funding providers should put in place evaluation / evaluation systems for all researchers, including university researchers, to evaluate their professional performance on a regular and transparent basis by an independent (and in the case of senior researchers, preferably international) committee. Such valuation and evaluation procedures should take due account of overall research creativity and research results, e.g. publications, patents, research management, teaching / lecturing, supervision, mentoring, national or international cooperation, administrative duties, public information and mobility activities, and should be taken into account in the context of career advancement.
Complaints / appeals
Employers and / or funders of researchers should implement appropriate procedures, possibly in the form of an impartial (Ombudsman), to deal with complaints / appeals by researchers, including those concerning conflicts, in accordance with national rules and regulations between trainers and early stage researchers. Such procedures should provide all researchers with confidential and informal assistance in dealing with work-related conflicts, disputes and complaints in order to promote fair and equitable treatment within the institution and to improve the overall quality of the work environment.
Participation in decision-making bodies
Employers and / or funders of researchers should consider it fully legitimate and indeed desire that researchers be represented in the relevant information, consultation and decision-making bodies of the institutions for which they work to protect and support their individual and as professionals and actively contribute to the functioning of the institution.
Employers and / or funding organizations should ensure that entry and admission standards for researchers, in particular at the start of their careers, are clearly specified and also facilitate access for disadvantaged groups or researchers who have returned to research careers, including teachers at any level) to return to a research career. Employers and / or funders of researchers should respect the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers when appointing or recruiting researchers.

  1. Download the PDF of the Commission Recommendation of 11 March 2005 on the European Charter for Researchers and on a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
  2. EURAXESS SLOVENSKO - Sprievodca mobilitou a prijímaním výskumných pracovníkov - 11/2017
  3. Entry, stay and employment of foreigners in Slovakia - guide to administrative duties - 09/2018