POLICY OF OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND MERIT-BASED RECRUITMENT (OTM-R) OF YEREVAN STATE UNIVERITY
Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment (OTM-R) is one of the strongholds of the European Charter for Researchers and, in particular, of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. OTM-R is an important component of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), which supports research institutions and funding organisations to put the policies and principles of the Charter & Code into practice.
OTM-R brings benefits to researchers, institutions and the wider 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!
OTM-R ensures that the best person for the job is recruited, guarantees equal opportunities and access for all, facilitates developing an international portfolio (cooperation, competition, mobility) and makes research careers more attractive.
The focus of an OTM-R system is on ensuring that institutions always aim that all recruitment procedures are based on principles of equal opportunities for all candidates (including internal and external).
Pursuant to provisions of the Declaration, the YSU hereby adopts the following POLICY OF OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND MERIT-BASED RECRUITMENT OF RESEARCHERS.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE POLICY
Yerevan State University's OTM-R process objective is to attract and retain top-ranking scientists and promising researchers and keeping an attractive working environment. YSU is aware that open, transparent and merit-based recruitment of researchers increases the appeal of careers in research, ensures equal opportunities for all candidates and promotes mobility.
In drafting these Instructions, YSU followed the guidance of the working group of the Steering Group of Human Resources Management under the European Research Area on Open, Transparent and Merit-Based Recruitment of Researchers.
In referring to “researchers”, YSU refers to all researchers irrespective of their career stage (including early stage researchers, postdoctoral fellows, etc.) and/or their role and position at YSU. In line with the HR Excellence in Research Award, our OTM-R policy aims to build on the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, providing more detailed information on the recruitment process for researchers and the various steps, from the job advertising/application phase through to the appointment phase.
The YSU OTM-R policy aims to encourage, in particular, external applicants by:
- providing clear and transparent information on the overall selection process, including selection criteria and an indicative timetable;
- posting a clear and concise job advertisement or with links to detailed information on, for example, required competencies and duties, working conditions, entitlements, training opportunities, career development, gender equality policies, etc.;
- ensuring that the levels of qualifications and competencies required are in line with the needs of the position and not set as a barrier to entry, e.g., too restrictive and/or requiring unnecessary qualifications;
- considering the inclusion of explicit pro-active elements for underrepresented groups;
- keeping the administrative burden for the candidate (proof of qualifications, translations, number of copies required, etc.) to a minimum;
- reviewing, where appropriate, the institutional policy on languages.
The Institute is aware that OTM-R is a condition precedent for strengthening its competitive position and excellence. YSU is therefore committed to increasing the appeal of careers in research, promoting inter-sectoral, geographic, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and virtual mobility, as well as mobility of researchers between the public and private sector, as one of the means of improving scientific discoveries and the career development.
YSU is committed to implementing the non-discrimination principle and principle of equal treatment of candidates and staff.
YSU is committed to continuing the integration of the principle of gender balance, in particular with regard to selection procedures, the composition of selection committees and decision-making bodies, recruitment, training, promotions, salaries and working conditions.
- BASIC PRINCIPLES
Faithful to the commitment of the YSU to the Human Resources Strategy of the EU, the procedures applied for selecting and hiring personnel are governed by a set of basic principles that guarantee all persons equal access to employment in accordance with the constitutional principles of equality, merit and ability, while respecting the Armenian and international regulations in this area, specifically the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C).
Criteria of research staff recruitment
Recruitment of staff of all categories is done through a competitive selection process to which the following criteria apply:
- Publishing: Information about the open vacancies is published on the Institute’s website. The job offers must include a broad description of the knowledge and competencies required, state the specific title of the position offered, the main functions to be performed, the criteria applied for evaluating the applications, and the deadline for application.
- Transparency: The published job offers shall define the minimum requirements and evaluation criteria, and the relative importance of each of the requirements.
- Equality: The job offer must ensure that no applicant is excluded, except when the requirements outlined in the offer itself are not met. All applications fulfilling the application requirements are reviewed, by not discriminating in any way the applicants’ gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic status.
- Merit and ability: The selection must be based on the evaluation of the CVs using predefined evaluation templates, scoring scale, interviews or any other system to ensure the objectivity of the process. Career interruptions or chronological variations of curriculum vitae are not penalized, but are considered as part of professional evolution and, therefore, as a potentially valuable contribution to the professional development of researchers towards a multidimensional career path.
The Institute offers its employees working conditions in line with the Armenian labor law and the principles of the C&C, with full social security coverage and the modern technologies to carry out high-quality research or technical activities. YSU is committed to ensuring proper working conditions that allow for high quality and efficient performance of researchers and their well-being at work, ensuring that researchers are able to balance professional and family life, and striving for the stability of employment. YSU provides its employees with lifelong training opportunities and opportunities to strengthen skills and competencies.
YSU’s scientific categories
YSU’s scientific positions are divided into two big categories, Senior level positions, and Junior level positions. The description of each category is explained in the table below (Table 1).
Senior level scientific positions:
- Professor • institute’s professor • Associate professor (R3-R4).
Junior level scientific positions:
- Postdoctoral researcher (adjunct) • Research assistant (R1-R2)
- RECRUITMENT PROCESS FOR RESEARCH STAFF
There are three phases to YSU’s recruitment process for research staff:
- Advertising and application phase.
- Evaluation and selection phase.
- Appointment phase.
If you have any questions about YSU’s OTM-R policy or any other HR Research policies please contact The Scientific Policy Department in the website.
- Advertising and application phase
The job offer must be aligned with the Institute’s Strategy and YSU must ensure that counts with the economic resources, facilities or any other resource to guarantee the successful integration of the researcher in our Institute.
The deadline for the submission of applications: there should be at least a 1-month time limit for the submission of applications, as this will make it possible for a wide group of potential candidates to become familiar with the notice and properly prepare their applications along with a complete set of the documents required.
Appointment profile: The appropriate advertising strategy and deadlines for the different stages of the recruitment process are drawn up together with the Career Center.
Announcement: Decisions on announcing a vacancy are made by the Rector and Vice-rectors.
All vacancies for research staff positions are being advertised both internally and externally. The job advertisement shall be published at:
- Euraxess Jobs portal
- Institute’s website (in Armenian and English)
- Media, LinkedIn, etc.
For foreign candidates, job advertisements shall also contain information on conditions of employment and work at YSU , and reference to matters candidates need to take care of prior to recruitment, to ease the transition of selected candidates into a new living and working environment.
In the job advertisement, candidates should be able to find information on the following matters, either directly or as links to relevant websites:
- Organisation and recruiting unit;
- Job title, specifications and starting date;
- Researcher career profiles (early to experienced R1-R4) with the respective 'required' and 'desirable' competencies;
- Selection criteria, including knowledge and professional experience (distinguishing the 'required' and 'desirable');
- Number of available positions;
- Working conditions, workplace, entitlements (salary, other benefits, etc.), type of contract;
- Professional development opportunities; but can be discussed in the interview stage or post the appointment stage;
- Career development prospects;
- The application procedure and deadline;
- Reference to the institute's OTM-R policy;
- Reference to the contact person competent to provide information on the vacancy.
Each candidate shall receive a note acknowledging the receipt of his or her application. All candidates will receive an email informing them of the various stages of the process.
- Evaluation and selection phase
- Selection committee
The selection committees should be established for all profiles (R1-R4), though the size and composition of the committees may differ according to the profile and type of contract, as explained in Table 2. The main selection committee has fixed members. There are also the committees appointed in relation to particular job competition within external funds.
The size and composition of committees may differ, however, the following elements should be considered:
- a minimum of 3 members;
- members should not have any conflict of interest;
- gender balance, if possible( we are trying to take into account the professional aspects of the specialists)
- the relevant experience, qualifications, and competencies to assess the candidate;
- the awareness of the HRS4R and OTM-R principles.
YSU is obligated to provide selection committee members with appropriate training and ensure conditions for committee members to attend relevant training. The Selection Committee ensures the appropriate assessment and evaluation of academic and professional qualifications, including non- official qualifications, especially in the context of international and professional mobility.
Their decisions must be objective and evidence-based rather than based on personal preference.
Full information on the presently acting YSU’s Selection Committees can be found at the Institute’s web page.
- Candidate evaluation and interviews
Depending on the number of applicants, the process may involve one or more steps, e.g., pre-screening to check eligibility, shortlisting of candidates for interviews, remote interviews by telephone or skype, face-to-face interviews. The process itself is transparent and made known to the applicants, including the various steps. The entire evaluation procedure shall be conducted in accordance with the principle of equal opportunities for all candidates who are subject to assessment. All applications are screened. The committee establishes which applications are complete and have arrived on time; makes a list of candidates who fulfil the formal conditions and whose applications have arrived on time and are complete; organizes interviews with the candidates and conducts them in order to check their knowledge and skills.
With regard to scheduling face-to-face interviews with candidates who are not Armenian residents, it shall take into account the time they need to make arrangements to take part in the interview (travel, preparation for interview).
All candidates are evaluated in terms of them meeting the criteria and requirements set out in the job advertisement.
Evaluation of achievements
The evaluation criteria should be consistent with the requirements of the position as regards research, supervision or teaching competencies. The criteria for selecting researchers should focus on both the candidates' past performance and their potential.
The selection committee shall assess, both in qualitative and quantitative terms, all professional, research and teaching achievements of each candidate, focusing on the full potential of the candidate for the researcher post and taking into account his or her creativity and level of independence. Any career breaks or endeavours to develop a multidimensional career shall not be regarded as negatives, but rather as an evolution of a career and a potentially valuable contribution to the professional development of a researcher towards a multidimensional career.
The selection procedure is competitive and consists of two phases: first, assessment of the merits based on the application, and second, an evaluation of the skills based on personal interview. The second phase will not be necessary if the selection committee considers.
Merit Assessment Phase:
Each offer establishes the minimum score in the first phase to access to the second one. The maximum score that can be awarded is the sum of the points obtained in each of the merits evaluated according to the offer’s criteria.
For the selection of university graduates with a PhD degree or an MSc degree or equivalent, and of undergraduates with a BSc degree or equivalent, who are to carry out research, the application and curriculum vitae must be supplied together with the relevant documentary evidence, as well as letters of recommendation from researchers to enable evaluation of:
-the research career in the specialization area of the post;
-the scientific and/or technological contributions made;
-the active collaboration with research groups;
-the experience or stays in international research centres;
-the experience in organizing and managing research.
The selection process takes into consideration the whole range of experience of the candidates. While focusing on their overall potential as researchers, their creativity and level of independence are also considered. This means that merit is judged focusing on outstanding results within a diversified career path and not only on the number of publications, taking into account career breaks, lifelong professional development and the added value of non-research experience. Teaching, supervision, teamwork, knowledge transfer, management of research and innovation and public awareness activities are also taken into account. Candidates from an industrial background receive particular attention.
Recognition of mobility experience
Any mobility experience, e.g. a stay in another country/region or in another research setting (public or private) or a change from one discipline or sector to another, whether as part of the initial research training or at a later stage of the research career, or virtual mobility experience, are considered as a valuable contribution to the professional development of a researcher.
Skills Assessment Phase and interview
This will take place in Armenian or English, and will focus on any aspect related to the curriculum of the applicant and the post to be assumed. Interview questions should be connected to the appointment profile and the duties involved with the aim of determining whether the candidate has the competence and skills required for the position announced.
During the interview, the candidate’s competence should be assessed as objectively as possible. An evaluation of whether the person in question matches the requirements and expectations of the Institute as a whole should also be made. The selection committee may seek to obtain any clarifications concerning the alleged merits it considers relevant or the appropriate presentations or seminars.
- Appointment phase
In-line with the principle of "Transparency" of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, all applicants receive written or electronic notice at the end of the selection process, indicatively within one month and without any unnecessary delays.
All applicants who were admitted to the interview are informed about the strengths and weaknesses of their application.
Other applicants, who did not make it to the final stages, receive a standard mail informing them of the outcome. All applicants are entitled to further feedback upon request.
The date of announcing the competition results
The competition notice should indicate the expected date for the results of the competition to be announced. This time limit should be so evaluated as to ensure that the competition procedures are conducted in a proper and reliable manner, including potential interviews with candidates and consultation of experts.
- COMPLAINTS MECHANISM
After the result of the recruitment process, all candidates are given a 14-day deadline for filing a complaint. YSU have established a procedure to deal with complaints made by applicants who believe that they have been treated negligently, unfairly or incorrectly.
- QUALITY CONTROL SYSTEM
The Institute identified measurements of the effectiveness of the OTM-R Policy and they are reviewed on the regular basis. YSU has established a quality control mechanism, including supervision of the whole recruitment process, to be administered by the HR department or designated staff. It is combined with a periodical review. To monitor and assess the extent to which the OTM-R system is being implemented, YSU has adopted some forms of internal reporting for all phases of the recruitment process.