Evaluation & Selection
ULiège received the HRS4R award in 2011. It was renewed in 2017.
ULiege formally committed with the principles of the European Charter and Code of conduct for the recruitment of the researchers and developed their HR strategy for researchers strongly embedded in the institutional strategic plan for providing and supporting a stimulating and favorable working environment for researchers.
Recruitment is performed according to international Research Performing University standards. This ensures that the best researcher is recruited, guarantees equal opportunities and access for all, facilitates developing careers and international profiles and makes research careers more attractive. Current procedures were adapted to the purpose by integrating external assessors.
Advertisement and Application
Digital media was the preferred platform to advertise the open positions : Euraxess platform, Academic positions and ULiege Jobs.Many institutions decided to publish the calls using their channels. Information was given on the fellowship, the career development offer, deadlines and contacts. Call documents were made available : Guide for applicant / Application form / Ethics checklist / Redress Request form . A hotline was set up to help applicants with their questions. A FAQ page was also added to the portal.
An eligibility check was the first step in the acceptance process. Redress requests were submitted to the ULiege Quality Unit for review.
The evaluation and selection process relied on the assessment and expertise of experts, the Sectoral Research Council (SRC) and the University Research Council. Applications were revised by 4 assessors: 2 internal from ULiège and 2 international. All assessors were required to sign a confidentiality agreement and decline any applications with which they had a Conflict of Interest (COI).
International assessors were selected based on their subject matter expertise. Special attention was placed gender balance within the group. Assessors were recommended by the applicants themselves or selected from publications, expert databases or online searches. If they were not available to serve as an assessor, they were asked to suggest or nominate another colleague; very often they suggested young up-and-coming postdocs. Internal experts were members of the Sectoral Research Councils (Human and Social Sciences; Sciences and Techniques; Life Sciences), selected according to the discipline of the projects.
One internal assessor on each team was selected as the lead assessor, with the responsibility of overseeing the evaluation, writing the feedback report and getting approval from all the team members.
A guide for evaluators was written to facilitate the process and ensure the requirements were understood by everyone.
Evaluation criteria was based on the quality of the applicant, the academic value of the project and the research environment in which the project would take place. Marks were awarded on a scale of 1 to 5, ranging from insufficient to excellent. Evaluation reports were then entered online.
Where are the evaluators coming from ?
The evaluation reports were submitted to the Sectoral Research Councils for a ranking by sector, then to the University Research Council for the final selection of fellows. All applications were ranked into 3 categories (“Priority list”, “Reserve list” and “Rejected list”). The applicants were informed of their ranking and positions were offered accordingly. Though some candidates declined the fellowship, the number of strong applications was so great that all fellowships were easily awarded to talented candidates. 104 fellowship were finally awarded to Incoming Postdocs (IPD) and 32 to Outgoing Postdocs (OPD).