In November 2019, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) published the position paper ‘Room for everyone’s talent; towards a new balance in the recognition and rewards of academics’, in which they state how they would like to recognize and reward the work of academics more broadly. The vision calls for less emphasis on publication numbers and more emphasis on the other domains in which an academic is involved, including education and impact. This broader form of recognition and reward fits better within the current core duties of knowledge and educational institutions, while also corresponding more closely to what society demands. Society is increasingly expecting academics to be creative, entrepreneurial and authentic in their vision.
New reward system
For VU Amsterdam, this will thus require both a different reward system and as well as a recruitment policy that is consistent with our mission, identity and ambitions. Central concepts in these efforts include the recognition and reward of diverse roles and cooperation in teams. Education, research, knowledge transfer, open science and leadership are also highly valued. It is important to note, however, that not every staff member is necessarily expected to attain competence in all of these aspects of science. Various career paths are possible within teams, such that academics are able to develop their specific talents and make a difference within those contexts.
Vision document and animation
We are accustomed to our current way of working and acting with regard to recognizing and rewarding our scientific work. It is so familiar to us that we often do not notice it. VU Amsterdam has produced a concise vision document that is intended to provide insight and enhance our imagination. In this way, we as a VU community are working together to assign meaning and detail to our objectives. Above all, it is important to note that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ with regard to the new Recognition & Reward system. This document does not describe any concrete arrangements or schemes. In practice, the various disciplines and faculties will make this vision tangible in their own manner—albeit with one concept and one goal.Read the Visiondocument on Recognition and Reward (temporarily in Dutch only).
We have also produced an animation to illustrate the thoughts and goals described above:
Questions and ideas
Please share any questions or additional thoughts that you might have about recognition and reward with your dean, manager or HR consultant within your organizational unit.