Dutch academics are moderately positive about the Recognition & Rewards programme. That is the outcome of the survey of 314 respondents launched by the online platform ScienceGuide in early April. The expected impact of the Recognition & Rewards programme on their own profession is rated positively by almost half of the respondents (46% positive, 21% neutral). The impact of the programme on assessing their personal performance is rated positively by 39 per cent of respondents (33% neutral). We are pleased to read that at the stage the programme is in, Dutch academics are moderately positive about the changes for their own field and own performance.

Change process

We realise that with such a major culture change, questions and uncertainties also arise. In the midst of this change process, it is therefore pleasing that the majority of respondents indicate a positive perception of the changes resulting from the Recognition & Rewards programme. Moreover, we see that respondents view the evaluation of various scientific activities such as education and open science positively. Especially compared to the current situation in which the evaluation of open science, side activities and administrative matters receive insufficient marks. The results of ScienceGuide’s research fit with the approach of the Recognition & Rewards programme which aims to recognise and reward all core tasks of a scientist.

Difference between disciplines

In the survey ScienceGuide also looked at the results of respondents from different subject areas. What is prominent here is that beta scientists are above average satisfied with the current situation. They expect the Recognition & Rewards programme to have a negative impact on the assessment of research. In local committees at universities, there is a lot of focus on involving scientists with different scientific disciplines. The results of this survey show even more that it is important to ensure that the implementation of the programme suits the work in practice. As a programme team, we therefore continue to seek dialogue and strive for national alignment in terms of assessment criteria. For instance, the road map Room for everyone’s talent in practice, published earlier this year, states that in 2024 we will clarify which quality characteristics we will use in the various core domains. We thereby take into account differences between disciplines.

Concerns among postdocs

When zooming in on the stage of the career the respondent is in, differences can be seen between professors and PhDs and between PhDs and postdocs. ScienceGuide indicates in its article that PhDs are pleased with the Recognition & Rewards programme, but postdocs have concerns about it. We recognise these concerns, which were also discussed at the recent Recognition & Rewards Festival in Utrecht. We are currently discussing which role postdocs and PhDs can take within the programme, so that they are even more actively involved in the implementation of the programme.

Recognition & Rewards ‘Cultuurbarometer’

ScienceGuide’s research provides interesting insights. We are always interested in data and information that offers the programme insights and can therefore help it move forward. We therefore look forward with interest to the next updates with results from ScienceGuide.  From the Recognition & Rewards programme we also have a survey planned for later this year. The Recognition & Rewards Cultuurbarometer is an initiative from the joint programme Recognition & Rewards and will be circulated among staff at participating institutions.

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