On 23 April 2021, the MU Faculty of Education joined the ranks of recipients of the prestigious HR Excellence in Research Award granted by the European Commission. To this date, 667 organisations have demonstrated excellence in the care of human resources in a scientific environment and implemented the Human Resource Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). Although this strategy is primarily intended for researchers, the MU Faculty of Education applies its principles more broadly – to all its employees.
In the past year, many activities related to the HR Award took place: countless internal discussions and meetings at the faculty and university level. Various working groups were formed to discuss in detail the possibilities, changes, and proposals for adjusting the HR policy in order to implement measures and changes leading to better HR management and greater satisfaction of the faculty's employees. We aimed to reach a consensus among all interested parties. Human resources management is a long-term process, which the HR Award working group analyses, optimises, advances, and develops with great support from the FEd management. In this – implementation – phase, many activities were implemented "in the background," hidden from the eyes of you, the employees, as they were related to processing changes. The working group's main concern is the applicability of the changes in practice and their sustainability in the future. The working group's main concern is the applicability of the changes in practice and their sustainability in the future. The HR Award is also beneficial in opening up a wide range of topics relevant to the faculty, grounded in the strategic goals or " wishes" of its employees. The areas we are addressing this year are based on the action plan, which, along with more detailed information, can be found on the HR Award website.
Currently, we have several interesting outcomes:
- Scientists of the FEd (on June 9, 2021) shared their projects at an interdepartmental meeting called The Research Symposium 2021: Topics of addresses research projects at the FEd MU. The Symposium was divided into pedagogy, disciplinary-didactic, and interdisciplinary fields; junior research was also represented. Due to the success of the event, Symposium will be held annually.
- The Project Support Office now provides an overview of the current grant options or programmes for developmental and research projects. The site conveys the department's main activities and includes information on the possibilities of support at different project stages.
- A conducted Equal Opportunities Audit served as a foundation for developing Masaryk University Gender Equality Plan for Years 2022–2024 (MU GEP). The audit mapped the situation at the FEd, raised issues related to gender equality and diversity, and proposed measures for improving working conditions at the Faculty for the next period. Granting the HR Award logo and creation of the GEP MU favors the applicants of our faculty when submitting Horizon Europe projects.
- As part of the research support, we have designed a website for Publishing Support, which is a comprehensive overview of publishing support at FED. It describes the stages of the publishing process, provides useful resources, links, and other relevant information, including contact persons. Scientific indicators and proofreaders are also covered. The site will be launched in Czech the week of May 23, 2022 (more here). The English version will be accessible in September 2022 (here).
- On 11 February 2021, the (Post)Doctoral School focusing on the needs of early-stage researchers was launched. It offers support and educational methodological workshops and enables them to meet formally and informally. The school also establishes cooperation with European universities that are developing the concept of doctoral schools. The promotional material "Skládačka" provides information about the doctoral programmes at the FEd MU. The English version of the Postdoctoral School web page will be accessible in September 2022 (here).
- We developed a complex support system for onboarding new employees at FEd – a set of materials to support their entry. An "internal Wikipedia" Newly Employed provides insight into the onboarding, and a mentor offers individual assistance. We consider the Newly employed handbook to be a valuable document intended for new and current faculty employees and contains tools necessary for the job, useful resources, and information (e.g., about the running and functioning of the institution, science and research, teaching, etc.). The English version of the Handbook will be accessible in fall 2022.
- At the Faculty, we support people seeking a job. The Career webpage provides a job vacancy, an overview of available benefits, basic information for orientation for future foreign employees, and an FAQ section. Support for this area also takes place in other forums. For example, the internal information system for managing selection procedures is being modified.
- To facilitate orientation, the web pages of all non-teaching units in the Dean's Office have been completed with an overview of its agenda, contact persons, etc. The Marketing and External Relations Office informed about their activities and created an infographic about its agenda (available in Czech).
- HR Award activities are also accompanied by international reach and internationalisation – we are systematically translating selected internal regulations and materials into English. In 2021, 12 COIL courses were created and implemented with virtual mobility of about 100 domestic and 70 international participants. The lecturers implementing COIL courses and other internationalisation activities in the internationalisation at home; presented their experience with virtual and COIL teaching at the faculty conference "Practice in internationalisation" on 25 January 2022. Tandem lectures of domestic and foreign lecturers due to the pandemic COVID 19 took place only on a limited basis.
- The Department Heads had the opportunity to take advantage of a comprehensive training and development system – seminars focused on leadership, human resource management, soft skills development, recruitment and selection, public relations, gender issues, equal opportunities, etc. The training area will continue to receive the necessary attention of the Working Group.
- MU FEd raises awareness of the gender dimension across the faculty through activities, proposals, and measures (more here). Examples include adjusting the website's visual presentation for students, which now shows both men and women, or incorporating gender-sensitive language into newly created and revised internal faculty regulations.
The above outputs testify to the intention of the Faculty of Education to be a faculty that fulfils the role of a high-quality and demanding employer, promoting the principles of transparency, equality, and non-discrimination, supporting the achievement of professional goals and the reconciliation of the working and personal lives of all its employees. − a faculty with a strong, open, and democratic internal culture that seeks consensus on key decisions and respects ethical and professional standards (see Strategic Plan of the Faculty of Education of Masaryk University for years 2021–2028).
We will continue to communicate further efforts through the HR Award website. Please also accept our invitation to attend an information seminar scheduled to take place in June 2022.
The HR Award team appreciates your help and support