In line with the position paper Room for Everyone’s talent, the NFU requested advice from the UMC research policy advisors working group on the perspectives, experiences and challenges of clinicians on recognition and rewards. In the report Recognition & Rewards, Perspectives from a clinician researcher viewpoint these experiences on recognition and rewards are summarized, bottlenecks are indicated and recommendations have been formulated. 

In UMCs (University Medical Centers) an unique group of scientists is active: clinicians. In addition to their patient care duties, they are are often active in research and/or education. To understand the clinician researcher perspective towards Recognition and Rewards, their career and scientific opportunities, as well as the challenges that present themselves in the context of a UMC, the NFU requested advice from the UMC research policy advisors working group. The aim is to make target group-specific recommendations to the VSNU and to local university committees tasked with developing and implementing new Recognition and Reward policies.

Discussions within the UMCs resulted in a set of observations in five categories: (i) PhD & medical specialisation, (ii) allocated time for core tasks, (iii) team spirit, (iv) academic career progression and support and (v) evaluation criteria. Examples of current practices regarding Recognition and Rewards policies were collected from all UMCs. The input was translated into a set of recommendations for all UMCs.

These recommendations can be broadly summarized as follows:

  • Offer support for personal career planning at an early stage and enhance flexibility in career
    (training) paths for clinicians with the ambition and talent to pursue an academic career.
  • A pivotal change involves developing and implementing policies to make explicit agreements
    about dedicated time for core tasks, thereby acting on the ideal that care, research and education
    are equally important.
  • Create departmental strategic talent management plans for transparent decision-making, taking
    into account the diverse nature of teams, individual skills and competences.
  • Initiate a culture based on team spirit in which everybody’s contribution to the primary tasks,
    including research and education, is visible and valued within the team.
  • Differentiate between tasks and career paths with profiles based on: the medical specialist who
    is an excellent physician in patient care; the educator/lecturer; the clinician scientist; department
  • Apply a portfolio/cv for academic promotions based on team science practices, a broad spectrum
    of academic impact, a combination of qualitative and quantitative assessment criteria, and clear
    and transparent procedures.
  • Develop policies to ensure that the quality of the PhD research training becomes central in

The NFU-commission Education & Research Board Committee has received the report and recognizes the identified bottlenecks and will continue with the recommendations. A national platform of experts from every UMC will start with prioritizing three challenges in which the UMCs will work together.


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