Policy for Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R)
Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation

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I. General information

The Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute (IUNG) implements a recruitment policy adheres to Constitutional principles[1] and Polish Law and provides Researchers with “Open, transparent and internationally comparable selection and recruitment procedures”, in line with the spirit and letter of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. Open, transparent and merit-based recruitment (OTM-R) is an important component of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). 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.

During the period 23-26 February 2018 IUNG carried out an internal survey that considered, among other issues, the application of Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment (OTM-R) principles. The survey, which involved all the IUNG staff, indicated not enough information regarding HR for researchers and OTM-R procedures. OTM-R practices were widely used in Bio-Econ project previously, e.g. assessment grid for candidates.

One of the main goals for the Institute on next years is to improve recruitment procedures – to attract more foreign researchers to work in the Institute. Regular procedures and practices which has been yet applied were in line with the Polish law, but it still seems to be not enough ‘open’ and ‘transparent’ for foreign candidates. The Institute will emphasise to make it better according to HRS4R Strategy and attached to the HRS4R action plan.


Following procedures describing three phases at the points a), b) and c) apply to research staff regarding R1-R4[2] candidate for a research position (research assistant, post-doctoral researcher, assistant professor, professor and visiting professor) who has an employment contract.

a) Advertising and application

The recruitment process in IUNG starts, after request a Head of Department, from advertisement and establishment of The Selection Board according to internal regulations “Director of IUNG ordinance concerning the Selecting Board appointment”. It specifies, in particular, number of members, voting rules, job interviews procedure, candidates assessment methods. Key regulation concerning researchers and research specialists recruitment is Research Institute Act[3] (Chapter 9 – the staff of institute, Art. 39-66). This act includes information about minimum requirements for research staff. Additional document based on the above act is “Director of IUNG ordinance concerning the Selecting Board appointment”[4].

The IUNG HR manager is responsible for research vacancies advertisement concerning content and OTM-R template compliance. All announcements are published on IUNG official website – http://www.iung.pulawy.pl , in the Polish and the English language version, on Euraxess and Ministry of Science and Higher Education website – Public Information Bulletin[5]. All candidates have the opportunity to send their application by email. Original documents are not needed on this step of the recruitment process.

All applications are stored by HR manager in line with the principle of confidentiality.

b) Selection and evaluation

Preliminary selection of candidates is realised by The Selection Board to bring out applications meeting the advertised requirements. The Selection Board selects researchers who achieve the best scores after internal assessment process according to “Director of IUNG ordinance concerning the Selecting Board appointment” annexe (templates for respective research jobs regarding research profile descriptors R1-R4 and the Polish law). These candidates are invited on a job interview to IUNG or if they prefer (e.g. foreigners) is a possibility to organize teleconference with the Selecting Board. All candidates get feedback from the Selection Board: 1) if they didn’t meet formal requirements – what was missing, 2) if they met requirements – about their score in recruitment procedure and which skills need to be improved.

c) Appointment

Selected candidates for the scientific positions in accordance with polish law needs the approval of the IUNG Scientific Board before signing job agreement (Research Institute Act3 – Art 29.2 – 12). Chosen candidate, can be requested to provide documents proving his/her scientific achievements and can sign an employment contract. In the case of refusing employment proposal by selected candidate, The Selecting Board can ask the next candidate who obtains best results in the competition (second score). Key regulation concerning the researchers and the research specialist’s recruitment in Poland is Research Institute Act3 (Chapter 9 – the staff of institute, Art. 39-66).

III. Doctoral studies

PhD student recruitment is complemented by obligatory admission to the four years doctoral programme (oral exam). PhD student is a candidate for R12 who does not have an employment contract but holds a fellowship.

The Institute offers PhD studies programme with Polish as lecturing language, but it is open for foreigners with (minimum) communicative knowledge of this language. Doctoral studies policy for IUNG is governed by polish law[6] and consequent internal regulations[7].

IV. Planned Actions

The Institute needs to improve existing procedures, practices and assessment indicators to meet OTM-R requirements. New actions are included to HRS4R 2018-2021 concerning OTM-R to complete above. These include:

  1. Establish a quality control mechanism of the OTM-R combined with the internal assessment of the HRS4R;
  2. Monitoring of the recruitment process;
  3. Collecting information, news, procedures regarding researchers in one place on a public website: http://www.hr.iung.pulawy.pl, staff module;
  4. Collecting information, news, procedures regarding PhD students in one place on a public website: http://www.hr.iung.pulawy.pl, staff module;
  5. English translation website of the IUNG doctoral studies – recruitment information for foreign PhD candidates;
  6. Enabling access to information about IUNG procedures for candidates from other countries – on a public website: http://www.hr.iung.pulawy.pl , candidates module.
  7. English translation of internal regulation, e.g. “Director of IUNG ordinance concerning the Selecting Board appointment”.
  8. Internal OTM-R training for the Selecting Board and all persons involved in the recruitment process.

V. Contact

  • OTM-R procedures: HRS4R coordinator – dr Monika Kowalik – mkowalik(at)iung.pulawy.pl
  • New vacancies for researchers & advertisement: HR manager – dr Bożena Wielgo, kadry(at)iung.pulawy.pl
  • Head of PhD studies: prof. ndzw. Beata Feledyn-Szewczyk, bszewczyk(at)iung.pulawy.pl

Approved by

the Director of IUNG-PIB – prof. Wiesław Oleszek

27th March 2018

[1] The Constitution of the Republic of Poland -2nd April, 1997, as published in Dziennik Ustaw No. 78, item 483. http://www.sejm.gov.pl/prawo/konst/angielski/kon1.htm

[2] Research profiles descriptors, https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/europe/career-development/training-researchers/research-profiles-descriptors

[3]Research Institute Act – Ustawa o Instytutach Badawczych – tekst jednolity z dn. 26 maja 2017, Dz. U. z 2017 r. item. 1158, 1452, 2201. http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20170001158/U/D20171158Lj.pdf

[4] http://biper.iung.pulawy.pl/intra/images/pdf/zarz/Zarz%C4%85dzenie_%20zasady%20i%20tryb%20przeprowadzania%20konkurs%C3%B3w.pdf

[5] http://www.bip.nauka.gov.pl/nabor-kandydatow-do-jednostek-podleglych-pan-oraz-instytutow-badawczych/

[6] Rozporządzenia Ministra Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego z dnia 12 grudnia 2013 r. w sprawie studiów doktoranckich oraz stypendiów doktoranckich (Dz. U. 2013, poz.1581)

[7] Regulamin dziennych studiów doktoranckich prowadzonych w IUNG-PIB http://iung.pl/SD/images/Regulamin%20Studiow%20Doktoranckich_2014.pdf