Research funders from around the world have signed the Statement of Principles on Recognising and Rewarding Researchers. The statement sets out principles of how funders will work together to achieve new ways of assessing research and researchers, appropriate to the current times and in line with today’s researcher. ‘This is an important next milestone in an internationally supported process toward more balanced and fairer assessment of research,’ said Arfan Ikram, president of ZonMw and member of NWO Executive Board responsible for the Recognition & Rewards portfolio.

The statement states that there is growing momentum for reform toward broader and more inclusive assessment of research, but also that there are still challenges, which organizations face to make such changes. To help alleviate these challenges and achieve new ways and means of assessing research worldwide, research funders have agreed on nine principles.

Qualitative approach

For example, it was agreed that during the assessment process of research(ers) there should be sufficient space the for relevant context, such as the field of study or career stage. Aspects such as team science or citizen science should also be considered in the assessment process. The funders also agree that the assessment of research primarily requires a qualitative approach, supported by an open and responsible use of quantitative indicators.

The full statement can be found here

Ikram on the agreements made: ‘The Dutch research funders NWO and ZonMw wholeheartedly endorse this statement and have long been working according to the principles agreed today. The way academics are recognized and rewarded today must do justice to the different academic qualities that exist. That way there is more room for the quality and appreciation of the plurality of their tasks. Today’s statement signed by funders from America to Japan helps enormously in this regard.”

Peace Palace

The Statement of Principles was signed in The Hague during the annual meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC), the collaboration of national research councils and research funders around the world. Minister Dijkgraaf of OCW opened the event, which takes place at the Peace Palace . This is the first time that the annual gathering is taking place in the Netherlands. NWO is sharing hosting with Brazilian sister organization São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) from May 29 to June 2. More than 160 participants are attending this year, including some 65 “heads of research councils”.

Founded in 2012, the GRC consists of the (presidents of) national research councils and research funders around the world. Through this collaboration, members share knowledge and best practices within international science policy and jointly set strategic agendas. Each year, research funders from around the world come together during the GRC Annual Meeting.


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