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< Contents ERCIM News No. 52, January 2003

Human Resources Managers Task Force

by José Koster and Heather Weaver

The ERCIM Board of Directors has set up a Human Resource Management task force with the aim to share information and experience among ERCIM institutes and to co-ordinate ERCIM internal mobility of researchers and other issues related to human resources.

The ERCIM Board of Directors has emphasised the growing importance of human capital in ICT and Mathematics research. The ICT and Mathematics area as a whole is growing rapidly. The European heads of government have clearly expressed an ambition to make Europe the best performing continent in ICT, and therefore ICT is a main item on the agenda of the next Framework Programme. At the same time, ERCIM partners are experiencing a very tight labour market in ICT and Mathematics, and in view of low student numbers a significant shortage of talent is to be expected in the coming years.

Another development of interest is the increasing co-operation across Europe, thus encouraging opportunities for greater mobility of researchers in Europe. Most ERCIM institutes have seen significant increases in co-operation patterns, both nationally and internationally. Consequently, ERCIM is determined to increase its internal mobility programme. This development towards network organisations puts new demands on Human Resources management.

The ERCIM Human Resource Management task force (HR-TF) was established in September 2001 with the mission to attract and retain the best human capital at ERCIM institutes by:

  • encouraging talent and enhancing skills in the area of ICT and Mathematics through promoting mobility opportunities among researchers and supporting staff
  • encouraging and establishing best practice through sharing information and experience over a wide range of HRM issues.

In addition, the HR-TF has the mission to:

  • develop an Internal Mobility programme
  • improve fellowship programmes and recruitment outside Europe
  • initiate a European portal for job opportunities.

The HR-TF will analyse the the different mobility programs within the ERCIM organisations. As a result, this should provide new ideas how to improve the mobility of researchers, administrative and supporting staff among the ERCIM member institutes.

As a next step, the HR-TF will produce a web-based template available to all ERCIM members outlining practical advice on such issues as salary, tax, national insurance, travel, accommodation, etc, to provide partners wishing to participate in the various types of mobility schemes with more information. Furthermore, the HR-TF is exploring the funding-possibilities for mobility and management development. The upcoming VIth Framwork Programme and the EU Leonardo da Vinci scheme can be useful for this purpose.

The HR-TF invites all ERCIM member institutes to participate on a regular basis.

Please contact:
José Koster, CWI, HR-TF Secretary