27. 11. 2023 Social responsibility and the participation of our employees - what is happening around us

As the end of the year approaches, it is time to take a look back, review our success in various areas, to evaluate the achievement of our goals and the achievement of individual indicators. It is also briefly worth recalling and looking back at a couple of activities this year that are not fulfilling our research objectives, but hopefully they'll set a good example going forward.

Throughout the year, we have tried to support with concrete activity an area, that builds on our commitment and dedication to strengthening employee engagement. To promote teamwork we are also contributing and strengthening our social responsibility as a company our case as a research institution in this way. This responsibility rests in particular on the initiative and cooperation offered by our employees. Let us recall important events that bring our interest and efforts to help to concrete action. Let us recall the charity collections of clothing for people in need and the contributions made by our employees, which significantly exceeded expectations and the outcome of the event. It is also worth remembering our help in the immediate surroundings, specifically the spring clean-up at the SOS Children's Village in Medlanky.

Another successful event was our contribution to the field of Blood Donation. Again, this was a voluntary participation of our employees as “donors” and “first-time donors” to promote the importance of voluntary and free donation. Our other two activities, such as the VRI Employees Day for employees and their family members or the following five-day summer holiday camp for the children, can also be mentioned as very successful. We also consider our assistance in the forest nursery in the regeneration of forests in our surroundings to be very successful. Throughout the year, we try to remember important days and commemorate important moments and achievements of our employees or even entire groups, which, at least in a short message, are a good time to thank them for their contributions, achievements, and milestones of their work. We remember the summer holiday photo competition for the best employee picture, as well as the regular exhibitions of photographs and artwork in our VRI Gallery.

At the end of the year, we still have to organize the VRI Employee Yarmark, in other words, an unusual fundraiser to support activities that make sense to us. Everything is in the process of being prepared, where each of us can make a significant contribution, with a product or with a donation, to help someone else. Thanks for every contribution, volunteer participation, and time given to each of our activities. A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of our employees!

23. 11. 2023 Guide for new employees now in English

The document is available on the VRI website - section ABOUT US - HRAWARD - DOCUMENTS.


2. 6. 2023 New employee guide - information about VRI

In cooperation with members of the HR Award teams and with the support of contact officers in our research departments and units, we are launching a guide for new employees. This is a new tool for supporting new colleagues coming into our workplace. The essential information given in this format is a good foundation for a fast orientation, a convenient way to deliver key information and also acts as an next kick-off for further questions from newcomers. Especially in the beginning, it is difficult to be able to ask. The document is available on the VRI website - section ABOUT US - HRAWARD - DOCUMENTS.


31. 5. 2023 New internal recruitment rules published

The new document has been reviewed with members of the HR Award teams to assess the newly designed recruitment procedures and process before approval. We are now setting out a new internal methodology for the recruitment and selection of researchers and other staff, which builds on the Recruitment and Selection Policy and the OTM-R Open and Transparent Procedures Policy of 6 March 2023. The OTM-R principles that we are developing through the internal procedure are in accordance with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The system for the selection and recruitment of research staff is a requirement of HRS4R's strategic approach to human resource management in research. By developing a procedure and rules for the systematic management of recruitment, we are fulfilling one of the activities in the HR Award Action Plan.


19. 4. 2023 Ethical Aspects of artificial intelligence in Research

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently gaining more attention and growing stronger as technology and its constant updates keep evolving. Artificial intelligence is rapidly expanding into various aspects of our lives and is being used to perform many processes. Although this technology is beneficial, the ethical implications associated with the use of, for example, 'AI chat-bots' can be worrying. As this technology develops, we see it as important to take measures to ensure that AI systems are used responsibly and ethically. Following the European Charter for Researchers, which, among other things, defines the principles of ethical and professional responsibility in research, we are responding to the need for regulation in a newly identified area. As part of the update of the VRI Code of Ethics and our internal rules, we are redefining common principles and attitudes in relation to AI technology and its potential impacts on research.


14. 3. 2023 VRI Procedure for the application and processing of proposals, suggestions and complaints

We are publishing a new document which specifies the rules for the submission and handling of proposals, suggestions, complaints, petitions and requests addressed to the VRI. These rules are in the form of a procedure for submissions, with a description of the steps involved in their processing and handling. The submission of suggestions and complaints is seen as one of the possible ways of obtaining information on the state of the Institute's performance. It is a way of obtaining indirect information which, in relation to their evaluation, contributes to possible remediation or improvement. The procedures, conditions and structure of the handling described below make the process of giving feedback by employees, customers, partners or other persons more transparent. The procedure is published in the Czech section Ke Stazeni and also remains accessible in the About Us - HR Award - Documents (Czech version)


9. 3. 2023 Recruitment and Selection Policy - Selection in accordance with HR Award

The newly created document "Recruitment and Selection Policy in accordance with OTM-R Rules" is publicly available and regulates the general principles and conditions for the selection of researchers and other employees in our contexts. This document is freely accessible to all applicants, future candidates, or aspirants for our advertised positions. The recruitment and selection policy is published in the section Career opportunities in research. At the same time, it remains accessible in the section About us - HR Award - Documents.


6. 3. 2023 Evaluation of the GEP implementation for 2022

As part of the continuous implementation of the sub-activities of our HR Award Action Plan, new documents have been developed and published to supplement some of the required procedures in our agendas. In connection with the implementation of our Gender Equality Plan (GEP), for the period 2022 - 2026, we have prepared a final report with an evaluation of the implementation of the activities for 2022. The evaluation is publicly available on our website and is stored in the section: About Us - HR Award - Documents.

The possibility to share this output is information, especially for our employees who are already or will be, applicants, especially for projects submitted in grant titles where the performance of HR AWARD or GEP activities is a required requirement. For applications submitted, it is therefore possible to use and document the necessary information as a report on the continual implementation of activities.


21. 11.  2022 As a awarded organization...

We are listed as an HR Award holder. We are now one of 62 institutions in the Czech Republic to have received this important Award. Up to date, there are 692 organisations and institutions that have received this important HR award with a commitment to further development.


10. 10.  2022 We have received the HR Excellence in Research Award!

The Veterinary Research Institute is a proud owner of the HR Excellence in Research award. We received the HR Award for our commitment, continuous support and management of HR processes in accordance with the European requirements for quality human resource management in research according to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. As an institution, we meet the necessary requirements and are among the selected organisations entitled to use this certificate in recognition of the transparency, openness and quality of HR standards in research.


22. 6.  2022 VRI Gender equality plan

for the period 2022-2026, we have prepared a plan of activities called the Gender Equality Plan (GEP). This document represents our institution's commitment to the promotion of gender equality as part of our institute's development strategy. The objectives and actions are determined by each institution according to its own needs, the extent of implementation and support for activities depends on our capabilities and the actual situation. The new Plan mainly summarizes our originally planned HR Award Action Plan activities and further develops them. The prepared and continuously implemented GEP is, among other things, an actual and necessary condition for assessing the eligibility of applicants from not only research organizations (Horizon Europe, GA CR, AZV, and other programs). In grant applications, there is a mandatory item for the documentation of a gender equality plan that demonstrates the applicant's active approach to promoting non-discrimination and equal opportunities. The Gender Equality Plan was approved on 20 June 2022 by the Director of VÚVeL, Mr. Martin Faldyna, Ph.D. For your further reference or for your reference, this document is stored on this website in the About us - HR Award - Documents section.


16. 6.  2022 VRI Gender equality plan on the way

We are preparing the VRI Gender Equality Plan (GEP) for the period 2022 - 2026 and we are closer to finalizing it. The final review from WG and RCG teams, including comments from individual leaders, is currently in progress. The feedback received and significant suggestions will be considered and integrated. In the second half of June, the "Plan" (GEP) will be submitted to the management and approved, posting in the appropriate venue. The GEP will be published in the About Us - HR Award - Documents section with English translation.


9. 5.  2022 Get involved in research evaluation

The Czech Technology Agency is currently updating its database of evaluators of research projects and is looking for experts in research, development and innovation across all disciplines, especially from the application and academic environment, who have experience in applying research results in practice. VRI actively promote opportunities for greater involvement of women in research and research support, we are sharing this information further. Follow the provided (link - czech only) for more detailed information on how to become a female or male evaluator and further details about the evaluation. The leaflet can also be sent to your colleagues and any potential collaborators. If you have any further questions on this matter, information is available on the TA CR website or by emailing Thank you for taking the time to read these lines and also for any assistance you may have on the TA CR application.


16. 3.  2022 Where to go with your equal opportunities query?

Do you have an equal opportunities question? Do you need to get advice or share an idea or good practice? If so, we would like to direct your attention to the newly established focal point for systemic solutions in the field of gender equality in research. As part of the working group's work, an email address  (rzmv - Gender Equality in Research) has been set up to collect specific suggestions and answer questions on equal opportunities on an ongoing basis. The Working Group on Gender Equality in Research deals with the development of methodological recommendations for R&D&I support providers and the management of research organizations. At the same time, the working group provides suggestions to the RVVI for further action in the legislative field and publishes examples of good practice and news on equal opportunities for women and men in research. Members include representatives from ministries and other funders, including research institutions. On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, we have been entrusted with membership in this group with direct representation and the possibility to actively intervene in the issue.


28. 2. 2022 Update on HR Award section

A comprehensive redesign of our HR Award web section ( has been undertaken, with the addition of documents and links to issue areas. The newly created sections will be localized and maintained in two language versions. We have added a link to published internal documents to the Documents section, which has been supplemented beyond the mandatory attachments with background and related materials that have been developed incrementally during the process. The website additionally published background documents for the GAP analysis, the evaluation of the questionnaire surveys, related analyses, recommendations, and comments. In the newly established Collaboration section, we have published the composition of the working groups, their affiliation concerning the organizational structure, assignment, and roles concerning the research activities. We have added a description of the implementation process and background information on the HRS4R strategy and how we will approach its implementation. We have added new information with links to interesting informational sites that focus on self-development (especially for early career researchers) and are housed in the Careers section. For better identification, the HRS4R logo has been prominently placed on the main web page for quick access to the HR Award web section.

11. 2. 2022 International Day of Women and Girls in Science at VRI

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, will take place on 11 February 2022 for the seventh time. This international day commemorates the important role of women in science and research. Globally, the representation of women in science is low, at over 33% according to the UN, which compares with the EU average. The Czech Republic ranks at the bottom of the EU in this respect, with less than 27% of women in research. At VRI, we can be proud of the fact that 60% of the total number of scientists are women compared to 40% of men.  We are currently implementing a strategic approach to human resources management in science and research, the HR Award, which, among other things, addresses the issue of equal employment opportunities and conditions in our institution.

We are aware of the important role of women in our research, and we actively try to support them at all stages of their careers.  "We support our female colleagues in balancing work and private life, especially by making it easier for them to return to work after parental leave by using flexible working hours, part-time work or home office options," added Ing. Ildikó Csölle Putzová, Ph.D., MBA, Deputy Director for Management and Strategic Development.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 2015 and celebrated for the first time the following year. This year's theme is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: water connects us. As it does every year, NKC-Gender and Science is joining the International Day of Women and Girls in Science by developing an online campaign that runs on social media and the Centre's website.


10. 1. 2022 We are working on improvements

We are continuously working on the comments from the EC evaluation committee, trying to integrate and incorporate additional comments that should help us to better navigate the planned activities and spread the sub-activities to a reasonable and manageable extent during the subsequent periods. We are in the process of modifying the Action Plan, preparing an internal analysis of equal conditions and opportunities in connection with the update of the Action Plan, preparing an update of the Czech and English versions of the website, and will additionally publish other documents that were previously intended for internal use only. The modifications will be made according to the current possibilities in connection with and by the ideas for further development. The final form of the updated documents will be submitted for comments and approval to the Institute's management and the HR Award Review Group (SCG).

13. 12. 2021 After an initial assessment

On 9 December 2021, we as a research institution received the preliminary result of the assessment of our application by the European Commission evaluators on the submitted documents in the area of implementation of the human resources strategy according to the conditions for the award of the HR Award certificate. The application was sent for assessment on 17 July 2021. Despite the overall supportive evaluation of the identification and proposed strategy, the assessment committee proposes additional modification and completion of some parts according to the submitted proposals. The main recommendations made by the committee are - to increase the publicity and promotion towards the HR Award on the VRI website, to make the whole activity more visible, to add a way to involve researchers in the implementation process, and to support sub-activities. The evaluators also recommend modifying the Action Plan (AP) in terms of defining in detail the specific objectives and deliverables, including those responsible for their implementation. Given the time involved in the assessment of the application, the Commission also recommends extending the current AP and extending the start of activities by one year. In the case of our institution, given the ambitious objectives of the development strategy, it is possible to spread the activities over a longer timeframe (5 years) and to adapt the sub-activities of the AP accordingly. At the same time, it was recommended by the evaluators to take into account and incorporate activities for greater support in the area of achieving work-life balance, to promote equality in gender representation in relation to serving in leadership positions and management bodies of the institution and to define against employment discrimination in any aspect. These activities are seen as crucial for the final evaluation.


5. 10. 2021 The process of evaluation continues

On 5 October 2021, VRI received information from the European Commission that the documents are in the process of evaluation, and assessment by independent evaluators is underway. The results of the evaluation should be communicated to us within the next two months.


17. 07. 2021 Documents consistent with the rules

The documents sent to the European Commission have been administratively checked. The submitted HR Award materials of the VRI are consistent with the rules detailed in the HRS4R strategy guidelines. The next stage will be a detailed examination of the application and attachments, including assessment by the EC evaluators. We will keep you informed about the further progress of the application assessment.


15. 07. 2021 All required materials were submitted to the European Commission

On 15 July 2021, a request was submitted to the European Commission for an assessment of the VRI Action Plan for 2021 - 2023. The Action Plan fulfills the HRS4R concept and the activities submitted will aim to improve the efficiency of human resources management at our institute. Together with the Action Plan, a GAP analysis, feedback from the staff questionnaire survey, and a scorecard of the current recruitment and selection organization were also submitted as a basis for a comprehensive assessment of our application. In the case of a positive evaluation of the submitted materials by the European Commission and acceptance of our submitted strategy, we as an institute will receive the HR Award. The prestigious HR Excellence in Research Award ("HR Award") is an award given by the European Commission to research institutions that implement the HRS4R (The Human Resources Strategy For Researchers). The materials submitted to the European Commission are published at in the About us section, under the HR Award heading, under the Documents tab, and are available in two language versions (Czech and English).


12. 07. 2021 Finished

The preparatory phase of the HR Award has been completed and the mandatory documents have been processed, finalizing the mandatory entry phase. The prepared documents, including the developed action plan, confirm an objective and consistent mapping of the current state of the set processes, including the presented strategy for their targeted development. The developed action plan with the implementation of the HRS4R strategy was presented to the Board of Directors for approval. The documents have been shared with all senior staff as a matter of priority.



12. 04. 2021 We are going deeper

In connection with the finalization of the tasks of the preparatory phase of the HR Award, comments and observations on the planned implementation of the Action Plan at VRI were prepared and evaluated on 9 April 2021. We would like to thank all stakeholders for their cooperation and for the comments and observations sent, which appropriately complement and correct the original AP and give us direction on how to proceed. A summary document, with comments on the implementation of the AP by the researchers, will be sent to all Heads of departments/Units for their information and subsequent support and approval before it is sent for evaluation.



8. 03. 2021 Review of Action Plan proposals from researchers

Research Coordination Group for the HR Award has been established to ensure the presence of researchers, senior staff, and research group leaders in the preparation and direction of activity proposals for the implementation of the HR Award strategy. All members of the "Coordination Group" (RCG) will receive the draft "VRI Action Plan" on March 9, 2021, will be informed about the detailed schedule of planned activities and the subsequent implementation of HR processes according to the specifics of our research institution.



3. 02. 2021 Required documents finished

An internal analysis of the state of HR process management in the form of a GAP analysis has been completed. The results of the questionnaire survey were an important source of information for an objective assessment of the current situation, including the identified needs highlighted by staff comments and suggestions. In parallel with the completed GAP analysis, the current staff selection process was described in the form of an OTMR questionnaire. The finalization of the Action Plan for the period 2021-2023 is currently underway. All three strategic documents, which are a prerequisite for the assessment and certification of the HR Award, will be submitted within the established working groups for comments, additions and then submitted for final approval.



14. 1. 2021 Questionnaire survey - results published

The results of the questionnaire survey in connection with the pursuit of HR Award certification have been published. The full evaluation and results of the survey, including a prepared summary with commentary, are available to our employees on a shared repository. The basic outputs from the survey are available for all to view in the Documents section. We thank all participants for taking the time to complete the survey, including the comments and suggestions provided. The results of the questionnaire are sufficient to support the preparation of the GAP analysis and the development of the Action Plan, which we will submit to the European Commission during the first half of 2021 for consideration as part of the certification of our institution (HR Award). The publication of the complete outputs and results of the questionnaire survey is a thank you to everyone for cooperation.



14. 12. 2020 Actualised internal documents released

In order to ensure compliance with the requirements related to the direction of our institution to obtain the HR Award in the field of management and personnel work, the internal regulations of VÚVeL have been updated. From 1 January 2021, the new internal regulation No. 03 Organizational Regulations, 04 Code of Ethics for Employees is in force.  The newly created internal regulation No. 05 Work Regulations is also valid from 1 January 2021.



7. 12. 2020 Survey completed

In connection with the HR Award process, an internal electronic survey of our employees' opinions was conducted on 8/10/ - 9/11/2020. We are currently in the process of analyzing the survey and processing comments and suggestions from employees. A total of 115 employees participated in the survey including 92 research staff and 23 administrative support staff. 75 women and 40 men participated in the survey. Given a large number of responses to open-ended questions and additional comments from participants, the results of the survey will be an important source of information and impulse for subsequent improvements. We thank all employees in advance for their active participation. The processed results of the survey will be published no later than January 2021 and will be available for all employees to preview. Everyone will be informed about the results.



9. 10. 2020 Questionnaire survey

In connection with the undergoing process to obtain the HR Award, an internal electronic survey is being conducted from 8 October to 9 November 2020 to obtain feedback from our employees on the status of our current processes and to compare their compliance with the requirements of the Charter and the Code. Together with the self-assessment report, the results of the survey will be an important source of information and an impulse to identify key areas for further improvement. We thank all employees in advance for their active approach and for completing the questionnaire.


22. 9. 2020 Striving for HR Award

On 5/8/2020, the Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, v. v. i., subscribed to the principles embodied in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The institution aims to obtain the prestigious HR AWARD, which is awarded by the European Commission to research institutions that implement the HRS4R strategy (The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers). The award of the HR Award Certificate is a confirmation of the standard of care for researchers, the openness and transparency of the selection procedures, and the quality of the working environment. We are currently developing tools to gather feedback from our employees. Questionnaire surveys will be conducted as part of the self-assessment process and in connection with data collection for gap analysis. The institution's self-assessment will aim to gather a comprehensive employee perspective on the functioning of the organization and to feed the results of this survey into the ongoing analysis of the current state of management in relation to the requirements of the Charter, the Code, and the HRS4R strategy.