HRS4R at the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences – HR Award


Human Resources Strategy For Researchers (HRS4R)


What is new: Gender Equality Plan (GEP)

The Institute of Botany is currently working on its own formalised Gender Equality Plan. A project team has been established, resources have been allocated to the effort and the Deputy Director for Economy will serve as the project´s institutional guarantor. The GEP focuses on the following thematic areas:

  • Work-life balance and organisational culture
  • Gender balance in leadership and decision-making
  • Gender equality in recruitment and career progression
  • Integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content
  • Measures against gender-based violence including sexual harassment

Data gathering and analyses took place between January and March 2022. The data were sorted by gender, age, and other categories. A gender audit will be completed by June 2022, whereas the GEP itself, will be prepared between July and October 2022. We envisage that the GEP will be approved in November 2022.

The IB participated in the 22% to equality project focusing on pay gaps between men and women. Using the Logib tool, we analysed researcher wages at the IB. The observed gender pay gap is 2% in favour of men. This difference, however, does not prove to be statistically significant.  When considering the overall situation in the Czech Republic, this result is very good, and it is above average in the context of the salary sphere.


Implementation of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

In 2019, the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences committed to develop existing stimulating and transparent conditions for the recruitment, work and professional development of its students and researchers. To reach this goal the Institute pledged to apply the 40 principles of the European Charter for researchers and the Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers in its day-to-day practice.

The principles included in the Charter and the Code specify the responsibilities and rights of researchers and the Institute and represent a framework within which researchers are encouraged to be responsible in their professional activities at work and to be respectful of one another. The Charter is intended for all researchers in the European Union at all levels of their career.

Based on the Charter and the Code, research institutions throughout Europe are implementing the so-called Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). Successful institutions are awarded the so-called HR Award, or “HR Excellence in Research Award”, by the European Commission.

The objective for applying the principles of the Charter and the Code at the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences is to improve working conditions as well as relations between researchers and the Institute in order to support professional growth and the success of individual researchers and teams which is the foundation of successful research that benefits society. In accordance with the principles of the Charter, all forms of mobilities are supported as part of professional growth.

The application of the principles of the Charter and the Code is possible thanks to the support and consultations provided by the Euraxess European and national networks:

Steps taken in the application of the principles of the Charter and the Code

  • Questionnaires, individual interviews between researchers and other employees of the Institute
  • Processing internal introductory analyses
  • Commitment letter in which the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences pledged to implement HRS4R – 11/2019
  • Processing of the internal analysis on the extent to which principles of the Charter (GAP analysis) and the Code (OTM-R analysis) are being adhered to – 11/2019-11/ 2020
  • Processing the Action Plan 07/2020-11/2020
  • Board of the Institute approves analytical documents and internal analyses – 11/2020
  • Internal analysis and Action Plan sent to the European Commission for assessment – 11/2020
  • Implementation of the Action Plan – from 12/2020
  • Assessment result: “accepted pending minor modifications” – 04/2021
  • Modified documents sent

Work on the GAP and OTM-R analyses and the implementation of the Action Plan is supported from the project “IBOAT: Institute of Botany, Opportunities for Career Growth and Talent Acquisition”, project registration no. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/18_054/0014676 which is co-financed by the European Union.

Expected outcomes:

  • Establishing strategic management of a research organisation in accordance with the requirements for being awarded the “HR Excellence in Research Award”
  • Strategic setting and development of human resources, gender equality and sustainable management of a research organisation
  • Strategic setting and development of international cooperation in research and development
  • Strategic setting and development of popularisation of research and development

The objective of the project is to develop productivity, management, researcher and other skills and capabilities of employees of our Institute in the area of the strategic management of research and its setting in a research organisation.

The main aim of the project is to establish strategic management of the Institute in accordance with the principles of the European Charter for researchers and the Code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers.  

Operational programme: Research, development and education

Total budget: CZK 36.398.240,38
Implementation start date: 1 Jan 2020
Projected end date: 31 Dec 2022

The Institute of Botany of the CAS was Granted HR Excellence in Research Award, known as the HR Award on 4 October 2021.

Current state of the implementation of the Action Plan (as of 1 June 2021):

  • Development strategy of the Institute of Botany: our contract was won by the MC Triton consulting company, which will facilitate reaching a common agreement and devising a development strategy. The process of devising a development strategy will include all employees who wish to participate. Key parts of the strategy (analytical part, proposal part) will be discussed by the Board of the Institute (2021, 2022). One part will also be dedicated to the HR development strategy in accordance with our Action Plan, the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers.
  • Welcome Guide
  • OTM-R Guide: the internal guide is in preparation, it will be ready by August 2021.
  • The Policy for the Development of young researchers: thanks to our cooperation with the Biology Centre, CAS, and other institutions we reached a solid basis for the part of the Policy entitled “Financial support in various phases of a professional career”, which was also published in Czech and English.
  • Mentoring: the pilot run of the course of Mentoring received positive feedback (12 participants). In the Spring run of 2021, 17 IB employees participated. Another run of mentoring courses is planned for Autumn 2021.
  • Leadership: the leadership course for heads of department or project teams and for future leaders will take place in Autumn 2021.
  • “Academic writing”, writing academic publications in English: a long-running, three-semester course provided by the Czech Language Institute to 10 participants started in September 2020 and will continue. Applications for the new run of the course will be accepted starting from June 2021. The course is focused on answering the question: how to write academic publications? and takes place in English.
  • English course for writing publications: the course is provided by Billanc Partners co., who won the contract for the provider of English language courses. It is a short (24 lessons) course focusing mainly on written English; 20 participants.
  • Proofreading of English-written articles: The so-called Agreement to complete a job for proofreading is not used as much as anticipated. Once our request for a change in the project is granted it will be possible to pay for proofreading based both on the above Agreement and on invoices from individual providers. We expect this change to come into effect in July 2021.
  • English language courses for Administrative staff: English language courses provided by Billanc Partners were launched in February 2021; 45 participants.
  • Legal services in the revision of internal documents: since Autumn 2020, we have been cooperating with a law firm, who won our contract. Our HR and Economic departments consult with lawyers and modify our internal documents, in order for the documents to be in accordance with currently valid legislation.
  • Translation: we are cooperating with a translation agency, who won our contract. The agency is now focusing on translating our revised internal documents (see above) in order for them to be available to our English-speaking colleagues.
  • Grant support: we were successful in winning 1 out of the 4 projects we applied for in the Marie S. Curie Fellowship competition 2020; J. Kolář and J. Altman, our researchers, submitted their proposals for ERC Starting Grants. In April 2021, we started the search for new applicants for the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship, the search for applicants for ERC projects is ongoing.
  • Foreign internships: in 2020, six foreign internships took place. For 2021-2022, 46 individual trips abroad are planned.
  • Internationalisation: thanks to support from the HR and Project departments we are able to solve even very complex problems related to the recruitment of researchers from abroad.  The three buddies at each of our Divisions enable us to successfully integrate foreign researchers into the work and life of our Institute and in the Czech Republic, in general.

HRS4R from Progress to Quality



Steering Committee

Lenka Doleželová Exelová (IB Deputy Director, Steering Committee President)

Radim Hédl (senior researcher, Brno)

Tereza Chýlová (IB Scientific Secretary)

Jana Martínková (junior researcher, Třeboň)

Vít Latzel (junior researcher, Průhonice)

Jan Wild (IB Director)


Permanent consulting group

Martin Bouda (junior researcher, Průhonice)

Martina Janoušková (senior researcher, Průhonice)

Josef Juráň (junior researcher, Třeboň)

Jitka Klimešová (senior researcher, Třeboň)

Aneta Lukačevičová (junior researcher, Brno)

Blahoslav Maršálek (senior researcher, Brno)

Eliška Maršálková (senior researcher, Brno)

Pavel Pipek (junior researcher, Průhonice)

Klára Řeháková (senior researcher, Třeboň)

Ondřej Vild (junior researcher, Brno)



Project manager and Head of project team

Pavla Růžková (