In November 2019, VSNU, NFU, KNAW, NWO and ZonMw launched the position paper ‘Room for everyone’s talent: towards a new balance in the recognition and rewards of academics’. This position paper calls for a broader system of recognition and rewards for academic staff that places less emphasis on the number of publications and more emphasis on the other areas in which the academic is active, such as education and impact. This broader approach to recognition and rewards is better suited to the current core tasks of knowledge and educational institutions and what society requires of them.
The publication of the position paper marked the start of a national collaboration between academic institutions. The Recognition & Rewards programme started in January 2020. The programme is a collaboration between research universities, University Medical Centres, research institutes and research funders. All 18 organisations participating in the programme have set up their own Recognition & Rewards committee. Now, in November 2020, we reflect on this first year.
A year after publication
In the video produced by Ruth Graham, Han van Krieken (Rector Magnificus of Radboud University), Ingrid van Engelshoven (Minister of Education, Culture and Science), Pieter Duisenberg (President of the VSNU) and Rianne Letschert (Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University) reflect on the first year of the national collaboration, which focuses on changes to academic career paths.
In the video, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, expresses her full support for the collaborative programme. Pieter Duisenberg and Han van Krieken also emphasise the importance of the long-term collaboration.
Duisenberg: 'The changes are so significant and radical that we can’t do this on our own. The academic system is interrelated, so we need each other. This programme focuses on this collaboration, and that is its strength.'
Van Krieken: 'Working together increases the chances of success. We learn from and encourage each other. And the fact that the programme has the full support of the government and the institutions themselves increases its impact.'
Rianne Letschert says that the institutions themselves have worked hard over the past year. The position paper set out ambitions that the institutions themselves must now put into practice. 'We realise that this is a huge culture change. That’s why we’re engaging in a dialogue, listening to people’s concerns and taking them seriously. Signing up to the position paper together was a crucial step, now we must continue to work on this together.'