In November we organised a group session within the Recognition and Rewards programmme with project managers  of the programme and representatives from PNN, Maastricht Young Academy and Postdoc-NL. Representatives of these organisations shared their reflections on Recognition and Rewards with the project managers and in a group setting we deepened the conversation.

It was pointed out that the range of tasks of a postdoc is very broad and not everything is sufficiently recognised at the moment. Early career academics have started their careers with the idea that only publications count. During the dialogue the following question came up: “How do you pay attention to other qualities and how do you get your supervisor to recognise this?”

Furthermore the early career academics highlighted that they see Recognition and Rewards as a positive development, but that at the moment it can also increase work pressure. PhD students are expected to acquire skills that are relevant for Recognition and Rewards, however it now is felt as extra work on top of the current workload. Subsequently the question was asked: “How can we effectively realise Recognition & Rewards without increasing the workload?”

Together with the early career academics, the project manager continued to discuss these concerns and other aspects of the programme. It was noted that the Recognition and Rewards programme is in the stadium between idea and implementation and can therefore be difficult for early career academics. Clear new alternatives are not always available yet and not everyone, for example a supervisor, has fully embraced Recognition and Rewards. In some cases, this creates an extra feeling of pressure. The project managers indicated that they were happy with this conversation and will continue these conversations in their own organizations.

Do you know good practices? Or do you have certain concerns as an early career academic? Do share them! This can be done with the Recognition & Reward committee of your organization, or with the national programme team.

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