Towards a horizontal reading of the ERAWATCH inventory: a case study on policies in support of human resources for research

Dimitrios Pontikakis, Ana Fernandez-Zubieta, Luisa Henriques, Philippe Moguérou, Maria Paola di Pietrogiacommo

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The present policy note makes use of information reported in ERAWATCH (EW) national profiles of research policies and the combined EW and TRENDCHART (TC) inventories of support measures to perform a selective review of policies introduced by EU member states in support of Human Resources for Research and Development (HRRD). Despite their limitations, the unique character of the databases permits an overview of the policy landscape in the EU which has been previously impossible to perform in a systematic manner. An original analytical framework has been devised, aiming to extract information relevant to current policy needs and to facilitate comparisons at the levels of policy initiatives and countries. The study’s main findings can be summarised as follows: •Reported initiatives for HRRD are opening-up to foreign participants and are becoming more internationally oriented; •The overall majority of reported initiatives for HRRD have no thematic / sectoral focus; •Relatively few of the reported policy initiatives aim at improving employment conditions and social security benefits; •At the country level, there are important differences regarding reported policy objectives, target populations, policy domains, instruments and time horizons; •Differences are more pronounced between countries at the low- and high-ends of research capacity (with relative homogeneity around the average). Our exploratory analysis of three experimental indicators - centralisation of governance, diversity of policy domain and specialisation of thematic priorities - shows interesting patterns, some of which are consistent with prior knowledge about national research systems. However, improvements in data consistency across countries will be needed before such indicators become useful policy tools. It should be stressed that the above findings reflect the information reported in the EW and TC inventories and that more general inferences should be complemented with additional sources. The note concludes with lessons for future horizontal analyses and suggestions for improving the reporting of human resource policies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLuxembourg
PublisherOffice for Official Publications of the European Communities
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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