HR Award – HRS4R

CRI receives “HR Excellence in Research Award”

The Crop Research Institute (CRI – Výzkumný ústav rostlinné výroby, v. v. i.) was presented with the prestigious “HR Excellence in Research Award” by the European Commission. Hereby CRI joined a number of other research institutions which thanks to this certificate declare high quality care for human resources within the scientific environment.

The goal of presenting research institutions with this European certificate is raising the quality of care for human resources within the scientific environment, implementing modern HR practices and adhering to modern principles in the development of human resources within research area. Presenting of this prestigious award translates into a higher prestige of the institution and therefore its greater attractivity for researchers, support in the field of the international research and also increased chance of success in grant calls. At this moment 704 organisations worldwide received this award, out of which 64 institutions are located in the Czech Republic.

“I believe that this award and the implemented internal changes will increase the attractiveness of our institution to young researchers and will help us to retain our leading scientists. I consider the presence of creative, efficient and versatile researchers who are able to collaborate across their professional focus as one of the most important factors of success for our further development,” comments the award the director of the CRI – RNDr. Mikuláš Madaras, Ph.D.

The award was preceded by two years of preparations in the area of Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) which aimed to develop an Action Plan which would lead to alignment of the current practices with the requirements of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers. In the subsequent two-year phase, the CRI will continue the implementation of the necessary measures and procedures.

Institution which wants to receive the HR Award must commit to the principles anchored in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers. This set of general principles and requirements defines the responsibilities and the rights of researchers and of their employers in order to ensure the successful development, transfer, sharing and spreading the knowledge and technical development and also the career development of the researchers. By their implementation, the institution declares that it ensures the care for its employees, their professional and career growth and development, transparent recruitment procedures and improved conditions for international research collaboration and for the work of foreign researchers.


Benefits of the HRS4R implementation

  • guarantee of transparent recruitment procedure, selection and assessment of researchers
  • professional development of researchers
  • increased prestige and attractiveness of CRI
  • connections to other research institutions within the European research area
  • guarantee of a high-quality working environment
  • acquisition of funds for research (benefits within TAČR, GAČR, Horizon Europe, … programmes).


Project outputs

In 2019, the CRI adopted the principles established by the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and committed to complying with them. These documents were formulated within a unified European concept of human resources management.

Over the course of 2020, a detailed analysis of the current state (GAP Analysis) was conducted which involved a questionnaire survey and guided interviews with every staff member in order to identify any shortcomings in the institution’s current HR management. Based on the results acquired by the GAP analysis, a detailed Action Plan was developed. This plan systematically maps out detected shortcomings and specifically defines the steps towards their removal.

In November 2023, an Interim Assessment of the implementation of the Action Plan was carried out, the implementation of which was reflected and the contained Activities were revised. The revised Action Plan has been expanded to include 10 new activities, the implementation of which will further deepen compliance with the principles set out in the Charter and the Code.

The principles anchored in the Charter and the Code are practically implemented through the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).

The CRI’s Code of Ethics, updated in alignment with the European Charter for Researchers, the CRI’s OTMR policy and the Equal Opportunities Plan can be found in the Documents section.


  • Adoption of the values of the Charter and the Code through The Endorsement Letter took place on the 31st of December 2019
  • internal analysis – a questionnaire survey for employees was; conducted in June 2020
  • analysis of employees’ values, outlooks and tools regarding the HR processes within the CRI (GAWI questionnaire survey with an overview of processes according to the EFIN methodology)
  • followed by guided interviews with employees in August 2020
  • The GAP Analysis together with OTM-R principles check (Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment) was conducted in September to November 2020
  • The Action Plan, based on the results, was obtained in November 2020 – it was sent to the European Commission on January 26th, 2021
  • Presenting of the HR Award on 30th of November 2021 initiated the implementation phase of the process
  • According to the schedule of the implementation phase, an Interim Assessment was carried out at the end of November 2023 reflecting the progress of the implementation of the Activities and the Action Plan was extended with new Activities


Steering Committee

RNDr. Mikuláš Madaras, Ph.D. – Director of the Institution
Ing. Linda Šimková – Deputy Director for Finance
doc. Ing. Roman Pavela, Ph.D. – Deputy Director for Science and Research
Ing. Miloš Faltus, Ph.D. – Chairman of the Institute Council
Ing. Eva Kunzová, CSc. – Head of the Department of the Crop Management System
doc. RNDr. Jaroslava Ovesná, CSc. – Head of the Department of Crop Genetics and Breeding
Ing. Jan Lukáš, Ph.D. – Head of the Department of Crop Protection and Plant Health


Working Group

Ing. Gabriela Schlesingerová, Ph.D. – Leading Manager
Ing. Mária Krupková – Analyst, Project Manager
Mgr. Milada Slezáková – HR Manager
Mgr. Michal Bielecki – Legal Services
Ing.Tereza Nešporová – Stress Biology and Biotechnology in Breeding
Ing. Martina Trávničková – Plant Genetics and Breeding Method
RNDr. Mgr. Leona Svobodová, Ph.D. – Molecular genetics
Ing. Jiří Zámečník, CSc. – Plant Physiology and Cryobiology


HRS4R implementation is taking place within the project Operational Programme: Research, Development and Education; Improving Science and Research Strategic Management at the CRI, project registration no. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/18_054/0014700. Its key activity is oriented towards the adjustment of the strategic management of the research organisation in alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers. The main objective of the project is to obtain the HR Award. The implementation process involves innovating the organisation’s management strategy, improving the human resources management and evaluation of research organisations, strengthen the international and cross-sectoral collaboration strategy and the transfer of technology and research results popularisation. The result will be the improvement and the development of the institution’s capacity and of CRI staff’s knowledge and skills within the mentioned areas.