Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

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Recruitment and OTM-R

Última modificación
Tue , 03/10/2023 - 12:45

Within the 40 principles of the code of conduct and the researchers' charter, a further 9 relate to the recruitment of researchers:

  • Recruitment. The UZ has established open, efficient and transparent recruitment procedures adapted to the position offered.
  • Recruitment. At the UZ, experts from different areas of experience and competence participate in the candidate selection committees.
  • Transparency. Candidates are informed before selection about the recruitment process and selection criteria.
  • Assessment of merits. In the selection process, different merits of scientific production, teaching, transfer, management and dissemination are assessed.
  • Variations in the CV Chronology. Interruptions in the Professional Career are considered part of the professional evolution without being penalised in the selection process.
  • Recognition of Mobility. Mobility is seen as a valuable contribution to career development.
  • Recognition of Qualifications. The UZ values and evaluates the academic and professional qualifications of researchers appropriately.
  • Seniority. The UZ recognises professional development.
  • Postdoctoral appointments. The UZ has clear rules on postdoctoral recruitment with the aim of gaining experience for career development.


Until January 2022, employment contracts signed for the performance of scientific-technical activities (in the framework of competitive research projects funded through public grant calls) had a temporary character derived from the duration of the project itself that financed the contract. However, recently and in accordance with the new labour regulations and the new Science Act, indefinite-term contracts for scientific-technical activities have become the new norm.

These open-ended contracts, according to the legislation, must be linked to research lines. The University of Zaragoza has already defined them either for research group lines or for technology transfer lines, which is why indefinite contracts are already being made within the framework of research projects financed through calls for public aid on a competitive basis (both for European and national calls).

The application of these new regulations will allow the best candidates to be recruited for each research unit of the University of Zaragoza. At the same time, it will also provide very important job stability for both national and international researchers.

Another improvement with the new Spanish Science Law is that the number of teaching hours allowed for researchers has been increased. Research staff contracted under this law may carry out teaching activities up to a maximum of 100 hours per year, subject to prior agreement with the department involved, with the approval of the entity for which they provide their services, and subject to the current regulations on incompatibilities for staff in the service of public administrations (previously the maximum number of teaching hours allowed for researchers was 80 hours). 

The new Science Act has also regulated a new certification for researchers that recognises research activity. Researchers contracted under postdoctoral access contracts will have the opportunity to have their research activity evaluated at the end of their second year of the contract. Once the evaluation has been passed, they will be able to obtain an official certificate called "R3 Certificate". A researcher with this certificate will have the possibility to apply for a permanent position.

The current procedures related to applications for researcher positions are adapted to the Administrative Procedure legislation. This includes the adaptation involving the use of the internet to apply electronically, which leads to a significant increase in applications from international researchers who have applied for research positions at our University. In the framework of European Projects Recruitment, the procedures are always published on the Euraxess Jobs website. 

Regarding international mobility (or at least mobility outside the University of Zaragoza) is a mandatory requirement for PhD researchers who want to apply for an access contract, which is fulfilled by the application for recognition of international mobility. 

In all calls for the recruitment of Predoctoral or Postdoctoral Researchers, the absence of a researcher due to maternity or paternity leave is recognised. In accordance with point 2.3 of the University of Zaragoza Equality Plan, a maximum of 1.5 points will be added to the total score out of 100 in the evaluation of the merits obtained by those who have had a pregnancy, maternity or paternity leave in the three years prior to the call for applications.

 The University of Zaragoza has the support of the Euraxess Office, where all residence permits for non-European international researchers are processed, as well as helping and advising all international researchers in applying for visas, affiliation to social security or processing the electronic certificate for the signing of the contract. It should be noted that in 2022, this office has created different guides to help international researchers. These include

  • welcome guide for EU researchers
  • welcome guide for researchers from outside the EU
  • how to apply for and process the electronic certificate
  • how to apply for a social security number
  • first steps guides for international students
  • how to apply for equivalence of degrees
  • how to apply for unemployment benefits
  • how to apply for a job offer at UNIZAR

The Euraxess office not only assists researchers but also their families, helping them to regroup, find schools, deal with bureaucratic formalities, job search advice, etc. Support is also given to national researchers contracted by the University who wish to carry out internships in other countries, helping them with bureaucratic matters, as well as advising them on issues such as health coverage, visas or informing them of other Euraxess offices that may exist in the new country of destination.


OTM-R Recruitment Policy at UZ

OTM-R stands for Open Transparent Merit based Recruitment and is a relevant aspect of the HRS4R strategy of any organisation. In accordance with national law and the University of Zaragoza Regulations, all researcher positions are openly advertised using transparent and merit-based recruitment practices. Researcher positions are published on the website of the University of Zaragoza through official online calls. All calls comply with the requirements of transparency and merit for the selection procedure. A specific document is currently being developed to bring together all the recruitment policies of the University of Zaragoza.

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