In 2006, Inra adopted the European Charter for Researchers highlighting its desire to participate in the development of the European Research Area by reinforcing its commitment to the convergence of its practices with the ethical principles and transparency promulgated in terms of recruitment and career development.
In view of this, Inra naturally joined the "Open, Transparent and Merit-based Recruitment" initiative. In keeping with its structure and organization, the Institute chose to clarify its recruitment policy with regard to researchers broadly speaking and include research engineers, doctoral and post-doctoral students.
The actions focus primarily on better defining recruitment needs, the dematerialization of procedures, providing information for candidates, equality in processing applications, support for the recruitment policy of researchers and engineers with disabilities, and support tools for new recruits.
Recruitment and monitoring of permanent researchers and engineers
Inra has established a procedure to ensure feedback regarding the recruitment needs expressed by each unit, arbitration by line management, and the specification of needs in order to recruit the right person. A tool integrated into the HR information system was rolled out in 2016 including the entire chain for the statement, qualification, and validation of requirements. All the recruitment tools (competitions, mobility, temporary contracts) can thus be activated according to their pertinence.
Offers for recruitment of researchers are supported by media communication in view to ensure the widest possible audience (Euraxess*, Naturejobs, Academicspositions, Eurosciencesjobs, etc.). Partnership with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs ensures communication via French embassies. Communication though socio-professional networks is also intensified (LinkedIn, Twitter, ResearchGate). Information and offers published online on the Inra website are available in French and English.
*Note for Euraxess: INRA has developed a practical notice [in French only] to promote the use of the Euraxess portal by Inra's recruiters. Since 2011, INRA has systematically published its scientist job positions (recruitment by competitions) on this portal.
HOW TO APPLY
To increase its attractiveness, Inra has initiated an IT project tackling the dematerialization of all the recruitment competitions. Researchers have been able to apply online since January 2017 and engineers since February 2018. Measures are currently underway to reduce the red tap while complying with regulatory obligations.
Each year, positions are reserved for people with disabilities who are recruited on a contractual basis rather than through the standard competitive process. Successful candidates receive a one-year fixed-term contract at the end of which they may be considered for tenure if they have demonstrated their professional skills. A campaign for the recruitment of researchers and engineers with disabilities is organised each year.
A rising employment rate: 72 people with disabilities were recruited between 2013 and 2017 of which 64 on a permanent basis.
> Inra proposes various assignment provisions and support to enable each new employee with a disability to fully exercise their duties in optimal conditions:
- a contact person at the research centres: to facilitate integration,
- Brochure "Inra accessible to all ambitions" [in French only]
TRANSPARENCY OF THE RULES
As with the recruitment of all permanent staff at Inra, the recruitment of researchers and engineers must comply with the regulatory requirements regarding the organisation of civil service competitions. All information regarding the organisation of the competitions is available on the Inra website from the opening date of the recruitment campaign. A guide for applicants explains the application requirements and the selection process. A job description sheet is provided for each position comprising the job description, professional environment, and the skills required. The composition of the selection boards, the meeting dates, and the results are systematically published online on the Inra website.
Inra implements a legal code of conduct regarding the equal treatment of candidates. A person related to the candidate cannot serve as a member of the selection board. If a professional relationship is established (co-publications...), the board member will not be able to provide any determining criteria or question the candidate. A selection board guide reminds the board members more particularly of the principles of equality and non-discrimination that prevail for the competitions.
> The candidates are sent the results by e-mail and by post. After the final selection, they can contact the chair of the selection board to obtain information regarding their assessment.
> To make things easier for candidates wishing to come and work in France, Inra has created specific information pages in English on its international website:
MONITORING OF RECRUITS THROUGHOUT THEIR CAREERS
> Candidates recruited are appointed trainee civil servants for a year, excluding research directors who receive tenure at the time of hiring. This one-year training period is a probationary period and may be renewed once for the same amount of time. The aim is to verify that the employee is able to carry out their duties, facilitate their adjustment to the assignments entrusted to them and smooth their integration within INRA. Interviews are scheduled with the supervisors during this period to verify these points.
> Researchers and engineers at Inra are assessed every 4 years by experts from Inra and elsewhere. These assessments consist of recommendations based on reports written by the people being assessed. Recommendations are thus issued as to the continuation of their activities and projects.
Recruitment and monitoring of doctoral students
As with other recruitments, a procedure regarding feedback of requirements and arbitration is implemented. This arbitration is conducted in the light of pre-defined scientific priorities. Added to that is the validation of PhD topics proposed by doctoral schools to which the Inra research units are affiliated.
Inra uses a variety of channels to post the offers, primarily networks established through partnerships and the Inra website.
TRANSPARENCY OF THE RULES
The scientific progress of the PhD is monitored by a steering committee which meets 2 or 3 times throughout the PhD to support, guide, and advise the doctoral student regarding the orientation and the progress of the research. All the parties involved (PhD supervisor, doctoral student, head of the doctoral school, and head of the host laboratory) sign a PhD charter establishing the rights and obligations of everyone.
MONITORING DOCTORAL STUDENTS
In view of its training through research mission, in 2008 Inra promulgated a charter for the reception and integration of doctoral students and young doctors aiming to ensure the monitoring of these members of staff, including in terms of their professional integration. It was supplemented in 2015 by the internal charter of contractual staff [in French only] which translates Inra's strong commitment to a responsible approach with regard to all the staff.
- A mutual, clear commitment framework
The skills passport is a practical example of the implementation of the charter.
The affiliation to doctoral schools offers students the possibility to undertake courses to help with the management of their project. They also ensure their professional integration is monitored and that the scientific, material, and financial conditions are met to guarantee the good progress of the research work.
Recruitment and monitoring of post-doctoral researchers
Within Agreenium-IAVFF*, Inra coordinates Agreenskills (2012-2016) and Agreenskills + (2014-2019) programmes, co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of the People Programme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.
*AGREENIUM-IAVFF groups 12 higher education institutions and 2 research organisations. The main mission is to develop training and/or research strategies implemented by its members through joint projects at national, European, and international level.
Inra, Agreenium, and its partners promote the programmes via the Agreenskills website and the institutional websites of the members of Agreenium, in various media such as Nature, Science magazine, Academicpositions or Euraxess, as well as during seminars organised by Inra or by one of the members of Agreenium.
TRANSPARENCY OF THE RULES
All the conditions of eligibility, the duration of recruitment as well as all the useful information for candidates are also specified on the Agreenskills website. The principles of merit and equality prevail and are clearly outlined.
Experts are selected according to specific criteria taking into account scientific output, experience abroad, and networks established in the world of scientific research, all this in compliance with the rules set out in "The code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers" (particularly in terms of parity). Assessments are conducted on the basis of an evaluation grid which candidates can access.
MONITORING POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS
As with doctoral students (see above), the monitoring of post-doctoral researchers is structured around principles promulgated in the charter for the reception and integration of doctoral students and young doctors and the internal charter of contractual staff [in French only].
Candidates are regularly sent information (by e-mail and post) throughout the procedure, after each selection phase, including the comments from the scientific commission and the ethics committee. Candidates are given the opportunity to appeal; information is provided in the guide for candidates and posted online on the Agreenskills website. Once selected, the successful candidates are monitored in accordance with the principles promulgated in a commitment charter intended for the researcher and the host organisation.
FIND OUT MORE
- Document "Internal review" - june 2018 [in French only]