Knowledge institutions and research funders publish road map of concrete plans for Recognition & Rewards

Dutch knowledge institutions and research funders are taking a new step forward in the Recognition & Rewards programme. This will involve the publication of a road map of concrete plans for the immediate future, including new career and development paths for academics. Jeroen Geurts, Co-Chair of the national steering group for Recognition & Rewards and Rector Magnificus of VU Amsterdam, comments, ‘This step will create clarity and vision for academics and shows how Recognition & Rewards will improve diversity and how talent is rewarded in practice.’

Room for everyone’s talent

In 2019, Dutch knowledge institutions and research funders set out to broaden recognition of academic work and presented a position paper entitled ‘Room for everyone’s talent’. This broader form of recognition and rewards is better suited to academics today and to what society requires of them. For example, there is less emphasis on the number of publications written and more emphasis on other qualities, like teaching or making an impact. Each institution has had a Recognition & Rewards Committee for some time now. These committees are strongly committed to promoting the cultural change desired. Numerous experiments have been launched with a view to implementing recognition and reward practices. The signing of The Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment means that agreement has been reached on the broader assessment of research at an international level as well.

Embedding in practice

The time has now come to permanently embed Recognition & Rewards in practice, based on a number of priorities from the road map. In the years ahead, career and development paths with profiles or areas of focus within research, education, impact, leadership or patient care will be introduced for associate and assistant professors and professors. This will make it easier for academics to profile themselves in one or more of these domains. When appointing and promoting academic staff, more use will be made of evidence-based CVs and assessment portfolios when seeking to arrive at a qualitative assessment. Open Science and Open Education will become part of staff development, assessment, appointment and promotion again as well. Finally, the parties involved will clarify what ‘good leadership’ means and what role it plays in recruitment, selection, development and career development.

The parties involved will also sit down with the employees’ organisation to discuss the alignment of national frameworks like the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (cao Nederlandse Universiteiten) and the University Job Classification System (Universitair Functieordenen, UFO) with the principles of Recognition & Rewards.

Rianne Letschert, Co-Chair of the national steering group and President of Maastricht University: ‘The road map shows staff that they can expect attention for their career development to continue even if they start to work elsewhere.’ Click the link to see the road map.

The parties involved in the road map are the 14 universities (united in Universities of the Netherlands, UNL), the four ideologically-based universities (united in the Network of Ideologically-based Universities, NLU), the seven university medical centres (united in the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centres, NFU) and the institutional organisations of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Where relevant, these agreements also apply to research funders NWO and the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw).

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