Our R&D positions cover a wide spectrum. This gives you a choice as a researcher between opportunities and challenges in our various units and segments. And there is more: we commit ourselves to creating an excellent research environment, among other things, by having a clear HR strategy for researchers.

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VITO is committed to establish a great research environment for researchers.

In the management agreement for the period 2014-2018 signed between VITO and the Flemish government, VITO has endorsed the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

VITO is committed to establish a great research environment for Researchers. Compliance with the European Charter and Code for Researchers is seen as an excellent way to achieve this. Endorsement letter

End 2014 VITO established an HR Strategy for Researchers aligned with the Charter and Code. An in-depth analysis of the operations at that time resulted into an action plan to further improve the VITO policies & procedures.

End 2015 VITO applied successfully for the HR Excellence in Research award

Based on the detected points for improvement in the initial self-analyses and in line with the VITO strategy for the first action plan it was chosen to focus on 4 main areas. In 2016 we started with a 4x4 action framework, 4 main actions for each focus area. 
The focus areas
1. Recruitment and Selection: Attract and hire global research talent to strengthen the VITO workforce 
Read about our Open, Tranparent and Meritbased Recruitment OTM-R Policy
2. FIT @ VITO: Optimal performance of people and organisation due to a “fit” on several aspects
3. Talent Mobility: Increase flexibility, agility and talent mobility
4. Sustainable employability:  Talent and career development

More information about the 4x4 action plan can be found here and the original full action plan is also available as a pdf file.
In 2018 the action plan was evaluated positively during the midterm evaluation and amended and topped on in the spirit of the initial intentions. 

In view of the renewal application, the plan was again reviewed in 2021: evaluation of the 4x4 action plan.

Renewal application in 2021

In view of the renewal application different reviews were made:

  • Review of the new challenges based on the latest update of the VITO strategy
  • Review of the progress of the 4x4 action plan
  • Review of findings in the surveys regularly organized at VITO (FIT@VITO; PhD-related surveys; onboarding survey, cultural values,…)
  • Organization of a new survey targeting typical research (environment) related topics

Based on the identified weaknesses and improvement opportunities a new set of actions was defined. The new action plan will no longer follow the 4x4 format but will be structured along with the 4 focus areas of the charter and code as is standard in the HR Excellence reporting templates.

  • Ethical and professional aspects
  • Recruitment (OTM-R)
  • Working conditions
  • Training and development

An overview of the newly defined action plan is given in this table.

By structurally combining the efforts of HR focusing on the hiring of researchers and creating a good working environment with the efforts of Research to generate the best research environment in ‘hardware’ and scientific culture, VITO aims to further increase the impact of the HRS strategy for Researchers. The close collaboration between HR staff and the research staff for preparing the new action plan resulted in more emphasis on typical research items such as open science, publishing, knowledge anchoring and popularisation of research.