Developments in GEinCEE CoP's Member Organisations. Part 8: The Central European Institute of Technology – Masaryk University

In a series of posts we present the current developments in gender equality in the GEinCEE CoP’s member organisatons. Read a post written by Eliška Handlířová and Jill Batdorf from the Central European Institute of Technology – Masaryk University (CEITEC MU).

Work-Life Balance Policy at CEITEC MU

The CEITEC MU aims to be an institute with an open, international, fair and friendly environment. To achieve this, CEITEC MU focuses on building a positive working environment through the development of coherent, transparent, and supportive conditions of employment at any stage of career. An emphasis is put on inclusiveness of the institute, and facilitation of work and family obligations. To address this, CEITEC MU has instituted a Work-Life Balance Policy, which is a set of tools and principles that have been established to provide a better work-life balance for its employees.

Some of CEITEC’s Work-Life Balance policies include:

  • Flexible working hours, as well as the possibility for part-time work
  • An option to have home office
  • Events for families, as well as joint events to get to know each other better
  • Important meetings are organised during core hours, which are family-friendly (i.e., 9:00-15:00)
  • Nappy changing tables, breastfeeding/lactation premises, and shower rooms on-site
  • Regular sports lessons (courses) for employees and students
  • Individualised personal return plan for employees after maternity/parental leave
  • Grant support for researchers returning from maternity/parental leave
  • Consultancy services by the HR Department
  • Work-Life Balance Web Portal for employees
  • Employees can bring their children to work during the work day

The Work-Life Balance institutional policy and web portal have been developed as part of the LIBRA project (H2020) in order to offer not only information and measures, but also tools for each employee’s personal self-assessment, reflection, and self-development – both in their career and personal life. Each employee can benefit from two online courses and consult with her/his supervisor about results. 

In addition to its involvement with the LIBRA project, in 2019, CEITEC MU was awarded the HR Excellence in Research Award (HRS4R, also HR Award) by the European Commission, which aligns with CEITEC MU’s commitment to ensuring an excellent working environment for all of its employees.

Recent trends (and CEITEC MU’s experience) show that when deciding whether to accept a job offer, potential employees consider the work-life balance policies offered, as well as the general quality of the working environment with increased intensity. It is not a surprise then, that CEITEC MU’s employees frequently utilise the institute’s Work-Life Balance policies. Compared to the past, employees are actively and more frequently asking about and proposing concrete activities to be included into the Work-Life Balance Policy.

"At CEITEC Masaryk University, we believe that sharing not only good practices, but also experiences with finding feasible solutions for common problems in research organisations, are some of the most effective ways in improving our governance and standard operations. Particularly in the case of Community of Practice for Gender Equality in Central and Eastern Europe (GEinCEE CoP), we appreciate the opportunity to discuss very similar and specific challenges in the human resources agenda that are typical for the region,“ said Eliška Handlířová (Head of Director’s Office, HR Award Coordinator)


About CEITEC Masaryk University

The CEITEC MU is an independent university institute, which was established at Masaryk University as part of the CEITEC Consortium. CEITEC MU is a key part of the state-of-the-art research infrastructure that was built in 2014 at the University Campus in Brno–Bohunice and provides top equipment and optimal conditions for basic and applied research, especially in the field of life sciences. The interconnected element among science disciplines is, above all, core facilities that create optimal conditions for addressing multidisciplinary issues in the areas of structural biology, genomics and proteomics, molecular medicine, neuroscience, nanotechnology and microtechnology.