Principles of Responsible Conduct of Scientific Research at the Prague University of Economics and Business
These principles are a set of general principles and requirements, which specify the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers and academic staff and their employer – the Prague University of Economics and Business Prague (hereinafter referred to as VSE).
The European Commission’s 2005 recommendation “The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment” provides the basis for this guideline.
The purpose of the guideline is to ensure that the nature of mutual relationships contributes to the achievements in the field of science and research, is conducive to successful performance in sharing and disseminating knowledge, to the career development of researchers and academic staff, and recognizes the value of all forms of mobility as a means for enhancing their professional development. It constitutes a framework which invites them to act responsibly and as professionals within their working environment.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REQUIREMENTS
VSE’s researchers and academics should focus their research for expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge and for the benefit of humanity, while enjoying the freedom of thought and expression. Researchers must, however, recognise the limitations to this freedom that could arise as a result of regulations and particular research circumstances. Such limitations must not, however, contravene recognised ethical principles and practices, to which researchers and academics of VSE have to adhere.
Researchers and academics must adhere to the recognised ethical practices and fundamental ethical principles. Their activities must comply with the VSE Code of Ethics, especially Part III – “Principles in Scientific, Artistic and Other Creative Work”.
Researchers and academics should make every effort to ensure that their research is relevant to society based on the democratic rule of law and does not duplicate research without added value. Researchers and academics must ensure, if any aspect of their work is delegated, that the person to whom it is delegated has the competence to carry it out.
Researchers and academics should be familiar with the strategic goals of VSE and of the faculty concerned.
Contractual and Legal Obligations
Researchers and academics must be able to familiarise themselves with the VSE regulations. This also includes Intellectual Property Rights regulations, etc.
Good Practice in Research
Researchers and academics should adopt safe working practices, in line both with national legislation, including taking the necessary precautions for health and safety, and with the VSE regulations regulating working practices. They should also be familiar with the current national legal requirements regarding data protection and confidentiality protection requirements, and undertake the necessary steps to fulfil them at all times.
Dissemination, Exploitation of Results
Researchers and academics must seek and be able to ensure, in compliance with their contractual arrangements, that the results of their research are disseminated and exploited.
Researchers and academics must be able to ensure that their research activities are made known to society at large in such a way that they can be understood by non-specialists, thereby improving the public’s understanding of science. Direct engagement with the public will help researchers to better understand public interest in priorities for science and research.
Continuing Professional Development
Researchers and academics at all career stages should seek to continually improve themselves by regularly updating and expanding their skills and competencies (for example by formal training, workshops, conferences and e-learning).
GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO VSE
Recognition of the Profession
All researchers and academics are recognised as professionals and are treated accordingly by VSE. This commences at the beginning of their careers (at postgraduate level) and includes all levels, regardless of their classification.
VSE must ensure that the most stimulating research or research training environment is created, which offers appropriate equipment, facilities and opportunities, including for remote collaboration over research networks.
VSE must ensure that the working conditions for researchers and academics, including for disabled researchers and academics, provide where appropriate the flexibility deemed essential for successful research performance. The aim of VSE must be to provide working conditions, which allow both women and men researchers to combine family and work, children and career. Particular attention of VSE must be paid, inter alia, to flexible working hours, part-time working, tele-working and sabbatical leave.
VSE must not discriminate against researchers and academics in any way on the basis of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition.
Fair Treatment and Equality
VSE does not accept any behaviour that may violate the dignity of an individual, in particular any physical or verbal harassment, e.g. any unwanted behaviour that creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Promoting Workplace Diversity and Gender Equality
VSE respects the generally applicable rules, which include a commitment to promoting gender equality, but not at the expense of performance and quality.
Stability and permanence of employment
The faculties of VSE should ensure that the performance of researchers and academics is not undermined by short-term employment contracts.
Funding and Wages
VSE must ensure that researchers, academics and administrative workers enjoy just conditions of wages with adequate social security provisions.
VSE aims for a representative gender balance at all levels of staff. This shall be achieved on the basis of an equal opportunity policy at recruitment and at the subsequent career stages without, however, taking precedence over quality and competence criteria. To ensure equal treatment, selection and evaluation committees shall have an adequate gender balance.
VSE strives to use gender-fair language to linguistically represent both men and women.
Within the framework of its human resources management, VSE supports the career development for researchers and academics at all stages of their career, regardless of their contractual situation, including for researchers and academics on fixed-term contracts.
Value of Mobility
VSE recognises the value of geographical, intersectoral, inter- and trans-disciplinary and virtual mobility as an important means of enhancing scientific knowledge and professional development at any stage of a researcher’s and academic’s career.
Access to Research Training and Continuous Development
VSE ensures that all researchers and academics at any stage of their career, regardless of their contractual situation, are given the opportunity for professional development and for improving their employability through access to measures for the continuing development of skills and competencies.
Intellectual Property Rights
Researchers and academics at all career stages reap the benefits of the exploitation of their R&D results through legal protection and, in particular, through appropriate protection of Intellectual Property Rights, including copyrights in accordance with the SR 1/2011 regulation “Protection and Implementation of Intellectual Property Rights as a Result of Research, Development and Innovation or Otherwise Created at VSE”.
Co-authorship is viewed positively by VSE when evaluating staff, as evidence of a constructive approach to the conduct of research. VSE therefore develops strategies, practices and procedures to provide researchers and academics, including those at the beginning of their research careers, with the necessary framework conditions so that they can enjoy the right to be recognised and listed and/or quoted, in the context of their actual contributions, as co-authors of papers, patents, etc.
In the field of science and research, VSE makes use of evaluation/appraisal systems for assessing professional performance on a regular basis and in a transparent manner by independent evaluators (both internal and external, national as well as international). Such evaluation and appraisal procedures take due account of overall research creativity and research results, e.g. publications, scientific research activity, etc.
VSE takes great care in ensuring that appropriate procedures are established for dealing with complaints/appeals, with the aim of promoting fair and equitable treatment within the institution and improving the overall quality of the working environment. The procedures are defined in the regulation SR 04/2021 “Handling of Complaints, Notifications and Suggestions at VSE”.
Participation in Decision-Making Bodies
VSE recognises it as wholly legitimate, and indeed desirable, that researchers and academics be represented it in the relevant consultation and decision-making bodies of VSE, as to protect and promote their individual and collective interests as professionals and to actively contribute to the workings of VSE.
The faculties of VSE clearly specify the entry and admission standards for researchers and academics, and adhere to the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and Academics, which is included in the Annex of this document, when appointing or recruiting researchers.
Annex: The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers
The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and Ccademics consists of a set of general principles and requirements that are followed by the Prague University of Economics and Business (hereinafter only VSE). These principles and requirements ensure observance of values such as transparency of the recruitment process and equal treatment of all applicants, in particular with regard to the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers and academics.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REQUIREMENTS
VSE establishes recruitment procedures, which are open, efficient, transparent, tailored to the type of positions advertised. Advertisements give a broad description of knowledge and competencies required, and are not be so specialised as to discourage suitable applicants. The time allowed between the advertisement of the vacancy or the call for applications and the deadline for reply must be realistic.
In the selection, diverse expertise and competences must be considered, and no groups must be discriminated against in any way on the basis of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition. Whenever possible, a wide range of selection practices should be used, such as external expert assessment and face-to-face interviews.
Candidates are informed, prior to the selection, about the recruitment process and the selection criteria, the number of available positions and the career development prospects.
The selection process takes into consideration, inter alia, the whole range of experience of the candidates; the prime focus is on their overall potential in the relevant field. This means that merit is judged qualitatively as well as quantitatively, focusing on outstanding results within a diversified career path and not only on the number of publications. The importance of bibliometric indices is properly balanced within a wider range of evaluation criteria, such as teamwork, knowledge transfer, management of research and innovation and public awareness activities.
Recognition of Mobility Experience
Any mobility experience, e.g. a stay in another country/region or in another research setting (public or private) or a change from one discipline or sector to another, whether as part of the initial research training or at a later stage of the research career, or virtual mobility experience, is considered as a valuable contribution to the professional development of a researcher.
The levels of qualifications required must be in line with the needs of the position. Recognition and evaluation of qualifications focuses on judging the achievements of the person rather than his/her circumstances or the reputation of the institution where the qualifications were gained. As professional qualifications may be gained at an early stage of a long career, the pattern of lifelong professional development should also be recognised.