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Personal Strategy

Personal development strategy is part of the key programming and management documents of each top research and development centre and that is why its elaboration has been included in the project PERSEUS of the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Union as one of the deliverables. Elaboration of personal development strategy itself is not understood as one of the objectives of the project but as an important step in meeting its objectives.

Significance of human resources

The key issue to meet the quality of achievements in any R&D unit is the quality of its human resources. The basis of its sustainability is continual development of human resources. Therefore the personal policy is the key part of management. This is comprised not only in the optimisation of professional profile of the staff but also of its appropriate age structure, dynamics and mobility, evaluation and motivation, human relations as well as relation of internal and external staff to the working unit.

Development of human resources is of particular importance at the academic R&D units where scientific work is integrated with the tasks of training and education as well as with other tasks of social relevance. Along with professional ethics the priority of the Centre is not only the ability to transmit and spread know-how but also to bring up professionally well educated and morally strong scientists as well as to act as the professional and moral authority.

It is extremely difficult in the period when social transformation is accompanied by deformed value systems, when after many years of „proletariat dictatorship“ the status of intelligence and scientists has been diminished, which is reflected in its financial and moral low evaluation as well as in the conditions for scientific work, Opening of the borders for the single European research area will bring many benefits for the new member states but also real danger of brain drain.

This phenomenon is of two dimensions. It is manifested on one side by brain drain of gifted and promising scientists from universities and other research institutes to non-scientific professions in the frame of private sector where salaries are incomparable. On the other hand there is brain drain of the scientific potential outside the NAS countries where scientists can find better living and working conditions. Although it is possible to rely in our personal policy on the beneficial position of the Slovak Republic and gradual change of the country from the source country to the target country for east-west migration, especially from the reasons of negative impacts of such policy it is not acceptable to build our personal strategy based on such premise.

In this context personal development strategy is of special significance and is becoming a relevant part of the development strategies and thus also of the programme documents of the SPECTRA Centre. To ensure the fulfilling of the goals and principles defined in the core documents and sustainability of the Centre's activity an implementation of rational and purposeful personal policy is necessary.

Significance of Strategy Elaboration

Personal development policy, similar to the policies in other fields represents the set of defined objectives, decisions and measures adopted to meet them as well as to meet policy implementation and acceptance by the affected subjects. The basic precondition of efficient personal policy with its short-term and long-term effects is a realistic set of goals and the strategy how to meet them as a system of interlinked planning and implementation instruments at the long-time horizon, middle horizon and short-term horizon of operational steps. In spite of the shortened innovation cycles and increasing importance of invention and creativity the research and development work is closely linked to deliberately managed mid- or long-term cycle, often of intergeneration nature. Strategy of personal development is therefore not only a formal part of the development documents but also primarily a basic precondition of sustainable quality and achievements in research and development work. Personal development strategy is of close system links to the quality assurance system of any R&D unit.

Objectives of Strategy Elaboration

As it is resulting from the core of strategic policy document, its main task is to set on the basis of SWOT analysis:

• Strategic objectives,

• Ways, methods and instruments to meet them, as well as

• Measures to ensure implement implementation and acceptance of the strategy,

• Ways of evaluation of successful implementation of the policy, and

• Mechanism of self-corrections based on the results of evaluation.

These objectives have been followed in elaboration of the personal development

policy of the SPECTRA Centre.

Contexts of Strategy Elaboration

To define the objectives of personal policy and elaborate personal development strategy it is important to build on background and context of strategy elaboration. These result from the tasks of the Centre and of the context of its existence as they are defined in the key programme documents of the Centre - Charter of the Centre, Centre's Corporate Mission including Ethical Code and Corporate Image Strategy as well as incorporated in the goals of the PERSEUS project.

The PERSEUS project – its sense, goals and tasks in the field of personal management

The objectives of the PERSEUS project relevant especially for personal development policy are:

• Strengthening of integration of the SPECTRA Centre into European research area

• Intensifying the quality of the links with other outstanding centres

• Integration of the Centre in the existing European networks

• Strengthening of sustainability of the Centre activities

• Increasing its attraction for young researchers

• Enabling young researcher to co-operate in the international joint research teams of top professionals

• Spreading know-how from the Centre to the practice in the EU accession countries and other countries of the central and south-east Europe as well as in the EU member states,

• Deepening of co-operation of the Centre with the partner research institutions

• Using the synergy effects of the capacity integration and the collaboration via taking part in the twinning teams with the outstanding centres in the EU.

In accordance with the above-mentioned objectives the PERSEUS project defines activities in the WP1 strengthening the personal capacity of the SPECTRA:

• Attracting the experts from various fields in order to guarantee an interdisciplinary approach

• Involving the top-level co-workers

• Attracting and integration of young researchers

• Attracting and integration of women

• Strengthening the participation of the foreign top professionals in the management of the Centre.

Personal development policy should be implemented based on the Strategy of Personal Development opening the Centre for young researchers, foreign professionals and aiming at the quality and appropriate personal structure (gender equality, multidisciplinary orientation, age structure, professional development, international participation). This should be supported by personal presentation of the Centre abroad, international calls for vacant places in the Centre and international exchange of experts.

The SPECTRA – Centre of Excellence

The SPECTRA Centre is the Centre of excellence which means appraisal of the quality of its work but at the same time it means high demands on the quality of all of its activity outputs, on the efficiency and quality of management. Sustainable safeguard of this quality is reachable only providing the quality of all the co-workers and primarily the quality of the managers at all levels, which means implementation of purposeful personal development policy.

The SPECTRA – Centre of research and training

The SPECTRA Centre is not only the centre for research but its task is also to safeguard transfer of know-how at the level of the planning practice as well as at the level of preparation of future professionals in the academic graduate and postgraduate education. It means the need to integrate research and development potential of the researchers in the Centre with their didactic abilities.

The SPECTRA – Central European Centre

Dimensions of the Centre activities overcome regional and national borders. The relevance of its activities for central European and European space, cross-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic nature of its recipients as well as social dimension of the subject of its research put particular requirements on the abilities of the staff of the Centre in relation to the knowledge and communication skills as well as in relation to philosophy, ethics and comprehension of social contexts of spatial planning and development.

The SPECTRA – Centre in the field of spatial planning

The SPECTRA Centre is focused on research in the field of spatial development and planning at the processual as well as at the substantial levels. Spatial planning is complex and interdisciplinary since the quality of used space as well as the basis of the quality of human environment is of the synergetic quality. Therefore quintessential features in dealing with spatial planning are complexity and interdisciplinarity, which must become the principle in solving all of the tasks in planning and at the same time be reflected in the structure of personnel of the Centre.

Specificity of the SPECTRA Centre as the joint university centre

The SPECTRA Centre is specific with its character of inter-university centre established as joint working unit of ARL Hanover, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Université Pierre Mendés France Grenoble and Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava with the objective to integrate and make efficient use of scientific potential of these institutions in solving current issues of spatial development, with the emphasis on central European space. This feature is important for the management of human resources and it is also decisive for personal development policy.

Specificity of the SPECTRA Centre as virtual structure

Using ICT enables efficient use of particular features of the Centre as inter-university working unit for virtual structures in the intra-university and inter-university dimensions. Virtual structures enable close linkage of the Centre to external networks of the European research units in the field of spatial planning and integration of their scientific capacities in the work of the Centre.

The SPECTRA Centre - the centre located in Bratislava geographical position of Bratislava

Location of the SPECTRA Centre in Bratislava which lies in the agglomeration Vienna-Bratislava-Gyor with concentration of scientific capacities in the field of spatial planning at universities, research and development institutions and design studia as well as with concentration of spatial development issues of transnational nature. This concentration creates optimal conditions for dissemination of innovation and spread of know-how but also for co-operation and competitiveness among professionals in the field of spatial development and planning.

The SPECTRA – centre in the NAS countries – specific tasks following from it and specific economic, personal and other conditions resulting of it.

The SPECTRA Centre plays an important role as interface between EU - research networks in spatial planning and research environment in the NAS countries. This specific task must be reflected in personal development policy. Platform of personal contacts of young people of the NAS countries and EU countries should be in the future switched to the platform of permanent research co-operation. Moreover, the specificity of the SPECTRA Centre is in the dynamics of its structure of the personnel.

Specificity of the SPECTRA Centre in its dynamic personal structure – benefits of academic environment

One of key features of the SPECTRA Centre is its ability to react dynamically to the pressing problems of spatial development and planning and decision-making practice. This ability is supported by broad professional background of the Centre that is created by broad interdisciplinary staff of the STU and the participating institutions of the typical European spatial planning cultures – English, French and central European. This background along with the existence of virtual structures of the Centre enables dynamic creation of the working teams and participation of the involved professionals.

SWOT results

Elaboration of the actual Personal Development Strategy has been based on the analysis of the strong and weak features as well as of the opportunities and risks in the field of personal development. They have been defined as follows:


• integration of various age groups

• broad interdisciplinary staff

• enthusiasm of the personnel

• high share of women in the management of the Centre

• relatively good working condition in the Centre – technical equipment

• motivation atmosphere in the team of the Centre

• broad basis of young researchers

• close links of the staff to the planning practice

• broad personal connection with the research institutes in the central European region

• traditions of international co-operation based on personal relations and participation of the Centre in the scientific and professional life of the partner institutions abroad

• broad personal performance of the staff of the Centre in the professional bodies of the national, regional and local authorities

• pedagogical skills of the research staff

2.2 Weaknesses

• too high stability of full-time personnel

• low possibilities of financial stimulation of personnel

• high work load of the researchers by managerial and administrative activities

• insufficient language ability of part of the staff

• insufficient ICT-skills of the supporting staff

• low attraction of the Centre for top young researchers as a result of the limited financial possibilities of the Centre

• insufficient awareness about the centre among the professional public

• low number of similar national partner organisations


• wider integration of young co-workers in the work on research projects

• international presentation of the Centre opportunities in training young researchers

• incorporation of the Centre training activities into the undergraduate study

• opening of the opportunities for better language skills of young researchers

• access to the opportunities of study stays in the Centre for young researchers

• access to the opportunities of study stays of young researchers from the Centre to the top European research institutes

• elaboration of the QAS

• searching for new ways of financial motivation for the staff of the Centre

• creation of new temporary working places

• international calls and tenders for new positions in the Centre in co-operation with the partner institutions

• higher support and pressure on increase of qualification of the staff

• creation of wider competitive environment for the staff of the Centre


• further brain drain after the EU accession

• non-stability of financial sources of the Centre

• limits given by external environment of university resulting from the national policy on research

• lower ability of the local partners to use the transferred know-how which can lead to misunderstanding of the mission of the Centre.

Strategic objectives of personal policy resulting from the SWOT

Sustainability of scientific work development

• to create the personnel conditions for safeguarding the sustainability of development of scientific work,

• to create the inter-generational teams able to continue with the tasks of the Centre.

Quality of the work

• to create conditions for sustainability of the quality of work,

• to introduce the methods of qualitative assessment of the team work.

3.3 Internal communication

The main task of internal communication is in the exchange of information necessary for optimal functioning of the Centre. The most if this information is related to the internal life of the Centre In the process of internal communication there are important the used symbols, typical forms of behaviour or the unwritten rules that are an important part of the communication culture of the Centre. This is the way how internal communication becomes the means for meeting the objectives of personal policy (increase in the productivity of work, increase in motivation and identification of the staff with the Centre) and this way internal communication becomes a part of other systems (e.g. Corporate Identity).

There are three main functions of internal communication:

• to support the management of the Centre,

• to stimulate and motivate to better performance

• to create the environment of communication clarity and harmony.

Creation of the personnel reserves

Creation of the staff reserves is one of the most important parts of personal strategy. The selection and preparation of the staff for the key working places in the Centre is often that variable which impacts the productivity and the quality of the overall work. it is also very important for safeguarding the continuity of the work and it also must be related to other parts of personal planning (e.g. financial, informational). Efficient allocation of the sources will be one of the criteria of personal policy and planning of the reserves.

The key effects are:

• Diminishing of fluctuation of the staff and ensuring of stability of efficient staff.

• Increase of motivation of the staff to qualification advancement.

• Sustainability of human resources.

It is also necessary to set:

• Positions for which the reserves are necessary.

• Optimal number of personal reserves.

• Selection and preparation of personal reserves.

International communication

• to develop further and sustain international communication of the personnel.

Flexibility of reacting towards the requirements of the practice

• to create the environment of the personnel of the Centre able to react flexibly to the requirements of the practice,

• to develop the relations with the regional and local authorities and become the partner to practice

Ability to solve the pressing topics

• to ensure the ability of the Centre personnel to solve the pressing issues in planning,

• ability to overcome traditional approaches and bring new solution taking into account technical progress, know-how, globalisation and sustainability,

Supra-regional, supra-national, central-European, European views

• to meet sustainable ability to take the supra-regional, supra-national, central European and European views at the problems in spatial development,

Dissemination of know-how – training activities, publication activities

• to ensure the conditions of the personnel for sustainable spread of know-how, primarily for training and education activities in the graduate and postgraduate university education and life-long education and publication activities,

• to ensure that based on targeted selection of the participants of the dissemination activities that the flows of know-how are efficient and of high quality in relation to the needs of local and regional communities and supportive to their spatial development.

Professional services

• to create the conditions of the personnel for offering professional services,

• to ensure the fulfilling of the expectations of the practice and meet social acceptance of the solutions.

Efficient use of human potential

• efficient use of existing potential of the Centre and further capacity building of the Centre

Efficient utilisation of technical potential

• to create the environment of the personnel able to adapt and actively develop new methods and instruments of the research as well as new technologies and new technical tools,

Strategy of Meeting the Objectives

In the strategy of meeting the objectives a very important role is taken by identification with the Centre. To build the feeling of identification is a long-term and fragile process based on mutual trust between the personnel and the Centre. This trust begins with the first experience and then repeated experience of the sensible policy and decision-making in the Centre. If this is followed by the consistency of all the activities and primarily of their ethical dimension, then the members of the Centre can go through the deeper process of identification. The strategy of the Centre is focused on individual acceptance of the values of the Centre like responsibility, partnership and openness, trust and respect, tradition and continuity, transparency, integration and integrity which are part of the Ethical Code and the Charter of the SPECTRA Centre and on the mechanisms of their implementation and development of such relations that enrich the individuals as well as the Centre but do not harm the third parties. Motivation to work with the Centre is the first step in the process of identification followed by the way of communication and management and the level of integration within the Centre.

Strategy of meeting the objectives is built on the utilisation of the current Centre's potential that is in the strengths and opportunities of the Centre and its specificity that form the basis for its competitiveness.

• Personal conditions to safeguard the sustainability of scientific work will be formed by:

• reaching the inter-generational integrity,

• following the inter-cultural integrity,

• respecting the gender integrity.

• Personal conditions to safeguard the sustainability of the quality of work will be formed mainly by:

• creating the environment that is motivating with its system of assessment of the quality of work as part of the QAS,

• availability of the resources for financial evaluation of the assessed results of the work,

• forming the dynamic competitive environment in the Centre by increasing the share of temporary jobs and by joining foreign co-workers as the team leaders,

• ensuring the conditions for stabilisation of domestic and foreign top researchers and but also the technicians in the Centre.

• International communication will be ensured by:

• openness to international mobility of the personnel,

• support to better language abilities of the staff,

• supporting of training activities offered by the Centre with the European radius with the objective to attract young researchers from the central European region,

• creating platform for professional contacts of researchers by organising the international scientific events and by offering the opportunities for international publishing,

• creating preconditions for intensive professional contacts of young researchers from abroad with the activities of the Centre.

• Personal environment able to adapt and actively develop new methods and instruments of research, new technologies and new technical tools should be created by:

• building of inter-generational teams,

• ensuring continuity of information channels and access to know how

• ensuring the technical preconditions for operating with new methods and instruments,

• continual check of the quality and efficacy of the work and creation of competitive environment requiring an active approach to the development and implementation of methodological and technical know-how.

• Personal environment flexible to the needs of practice will be created by:

• dynamics of personal structure of the working teams,

• openness to external communication,

• target built background of external co-workers,

• support to dynamic virtual structure of co-operation.

• Ability to solve the pressing issues will be effected by:

• adaptability and flexibility of research teams and their personal structure from the point of various disciplines,

• openness of the Centre to locally active professionals from the planning practice,

• monitoring of prevailing problems if the system of capacity building of the outer working units of the Centre.

• Sustainable ability of supra-regional, supra-national, central European and European views will be implemented by:

• international mobility of the staff,

• creating conditions for integration of foreign young researchers into the Centre,

• creating international research teams,

• involving top foreign researchers to lead the research teams.

• Conditions for sustainable spread of know-how – mainly for education and training activities in graduate and post-graduate university education and life long education and publications will be effected by:

• increase of scientific and pedagogical qualification of the staff,

• enlargement of co-operation with external co-operators from the

educational sphere,

• putting the accent on qualification and publication activities in the process of evaluation of the staff.

• Personal conditions for professional services will be created by:

• integration of service working units at the level of the university structure,

• professionalism of the services and use of external services.

Operability of the Strategy

The above stated strategic goals and strategic ways will be implemented by the series of short-term and mid-term measures in the field of qualification advancement, scientific training of young people, stimulation, QAS, management and international co-operation. These measures will be supported by updating the operative measures reacting to external environment and its changes.

For the coming period it will be necessary to meet primarily:

Qualification advancement

• To introduce the consistent system of internal evaluation of the workers of the Centre

• To announce the internal and external competitions for the positions of the researchers in each category with co-operation with the management of the university

• To support advancement of qualification with financial stimulation

• To support advancement of qualification by offering the opportunities for internal training

Training of young researchers

• To open the PhD study in English, French and German languages

• To prepare the project of the joint PhD degree with partner institutions

• To implement the integration of young researchers in the projects of the Centre

• To open the floor of the conferences and other scientific events organised by the Centre to young researchers

• To organise the international competition for young researchers

• To organise the Summer School for young researchers in co-operation with the AESOP

• To create the space for publication activities of young researchers

• To establish the platform for permanent contact, experience exchange and accession of the co-operation of young researchers and PhD students

• To organise 2 workshops for young researchers and PhD students involved in the prioritised themes in the EU countries, associated countries, south-eastern European countries and NIS

• To co-organise the virtual workshop for young researchers and PhD students via internet (with co-operation of the Forum for Young People of ARL)

• To promote the publication activities and presentation of young researchers results in the frame of Edition of the Centre with the stress on international impact of their presentation.

• PhD study stays: 3 PhD students coming to the Centre + 3 PhD students from the Centre studying abroad

Stimulation by financial means

• To create the system of efficient financial stimulation for the personnel of the Centre and its external co-operators

• To implement linkage of the QAS with the system of financial rewards

QAS evaluation

• to elaborate and implement the QAS system

• to introduce the system of regular evaluation of the quality with the system relations to the mobility of the full and temporary staff


• Ensure application of the system of quality management based on ISO

• Announcement of running research activities

• Involving the institutes, researcher of technical, social and nature sciences and representatives from the planning practice in the region in the collaborative research teams focused on the newly opened research fields, where the Centre will be an integrating body

• Creation of efficient working teams which contribute to optimal meeting of the objectives and self-realisation of the team members as well as to higher social cohesion within the teams

• International audit focused on the chances to achieve the European standards in executive management of the Centre and quality improvement – elaborated by the twinning partner

• Intensifying the exchange of experience and knowledge, methods, instruments and skills in the field of research management via development of personal interlinks of the top management and researchers of the twinning partners

• Building of communication points of the Centre SPECTRA as the joint working units of the Centre and the partner research and education institutions in the regions of the SR and in the countries of central and south-east Europe and the NIS .

• Strengthening of the partnership of the SPECTRA Centre with the subjects of research, education, state administration and others through communication points of the SPECTRA Centre in the regions.

• Building and permanent updating of the web-site and its accessibility in two world languages.

• Publishing and popularisation of the Centre's activity in the mass-media.

• Presentation of the Centre as part of the network of co-operating organisations and the network of European research institutions.

International co-operation

• Participation in the European network events, integration of the Centre and its activities outputs at international forum

• Enhancement of Centre's participation in international networking activities in the field of spatial development and spatial planning research

• Common presentation of twinning partners in partners region