Recognising and rewarding contributions to research is changing in the Dutch academic landscape. With the position paper ‘Room for everyone’s talent’ (2019) the knowledge sector in the Netherlands aims to enable the diversification of career paths, stimulate team science and open science, encourage academic leadership and generally improve the quality of the work done in Dutch public research institutions.

Research support staff at these institutes can make important contributions to the work of research teams, as they bring specific professional expertise to the research process (Bennett et al, 2023). Nevertheless, these roles have not received much attention from this reform movement so far, apart from a footnote, included in the recent Recognition and Rewards (R&R) road map, where they are referred to as ‘other groups’. The movement to a new and more inclusive R&R system is a key opportunity to involve support staff at research institutions. This is why a group of people working in research support roles at various Dutch research organisations put together a workshop on this topic for the Recognition and Rewards Festival on the 13th of April 2023.

The workshop was used mainly as a forum to exchange experiences and success stories on how to diversify career paths for both academic and support staff. During the workshop, a survey was co-created with the ~30 participants, focusing on how to identify challenges and experiences by support staff, as well as solutions that the R&R movement can offer. This survey, to be sent out to all attendees of the R&R festival, was meant as a first step towards a better understanding of the perceived position of supporting roles in the reform of research assessment. It was also intended as a potential first step towards a more extensive survey that can be used by Dutch academic institutions to broaden the scope of academic research profiles and include other roles in research evaluation.

The accompanying PDF outlines the workshop and survey process in more detail, describes the survey results, and contains some recommendations on how to include professional support roles in the R&R movement.


Authors in alphabetical order: Sander Bosch, Jeroen Bosman, Maria Cruz, Angelica Maineri, Nicoleta Nastase, Esther Plomp, Dan Rudmann, Jeroen Sondervan, Marta Teperek.

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