In November 2019, the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and ZonMw published the position paper: ‘Room for everyone’s talent: towards a new balance in the recognition and rewards of academics’. In the paper, we expressed our aim to more broadly recognise and reward the work of academic staff by devoting greater attention to the various key areas in which academics are active. A great many academics still perceive there to be an excessively one-sided emphasis on research achievements, often to the detriment of the level of appreciation shown for other areas. As knowledge institutions in the Netherlands, we feel it is vital that academics also be given opportunities to excel in the areas of teaching, impact, leadership and patient care. This will require a modernisation of the recognition and rewards system in which we:
In this video national Programme Manager on Recognition & Rewards, Kim Huijpen, explains what the Recognition & Rewards programme is about and what the ambitions and challenges are.
Following the publication of the position paper, each of the institutions involved appointed its own Recognition & Rewards committee. These committees have been eagerly working to promote the desired cultural change at institution level, while academics have been able to offer their own input for Recognition & Rewards through dialogue sessions held at all institutions. Based on those dialogue sessions, each of the local committees has translated the ambitions set out in the position paper into a vision document that is appropriate for their specific organisation. These documents reveal a wide and inspiring range of approaches.
‘On this map you will find the places where the participants of the Recognition & Rewards programme are located. When you click on a button, you can read the vision document of each individual organization.’
On Friday the 22nd of January 2021, the first Recognition & Rewards Festival took place. Together with almost 300 participants, we took a dive into cultural change and shared thoughts and ideas with each other regarding the recognition and rewards system in academics. From plenary discussions about the similarities between diplomacy and science with regard to culture change and the biggest concerns for young academics, to workshops where questions were elaborated and talked about in smaller groups. A successful day filled with exchanging knowledge, ideas and different viewpoints.
With the position paper ‘Room for everyone’s talent’, the parties aim to realise a fundamental change in behaviour and leadership with regard to the recognition and rewards system for academia and academics. This represents a major cultural shift that we, the Dutch knowledge institutions, are working together to achieve. In order to affect this change, we prepared the Recognition & Rewards programme Plan 2022-2026 in the autumn of 2021. This document explains the purpose, vision and approach to the Recognition & Rewards programme. Because the programme supports the policy priorities of scientific policy in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has made a subsidy available for the 2022-2026 period. Experimentation, inspiration, co-creation, sharing good practices and learning from each other are key elements of this joint programme.
On Friday the 4th of February 2022, the second Recognition & Rewards Festival took place. During this online event, the participants discussed the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas of culture and system change in academia. The Recognition & Rewards team created a various and inspiring event with two round table sessions, three workshop rounds, a serious speed date carousel and a plenary session at the end of the festival. More than 80 speakers and moderators made a substantive contribution to this event and no less than 700 persons participated in (at least a part) of the programme, mostly from the Netherlands, but there were also people from the United States of America to Zimbabwe.
Following a period of consultation and dialogue, we have now entered a new phase, during which the institutions will be implementing new processes, systems and products in order to provide direction for the new behaviour. We are working now on a joint implementation plan. By doing so, we will enhance not only our mutual trust in this cultural shift but its visibility, consistency and sustainability as well. Simultaneously, we will change tack in a very real way – thereby creating actual room for everyone's talent.
On Thursday the 13th of April 2023 the third edition of the Recognition & Rewards Festival will take place. This year the Recognition & Rewards Festival has a special focus on Rethinking Assessment. During the Recognition & Rewards Festival we will elaborate on the specific elements of the programme. In round table sessions we discuss relevant topics within the programme and in workshops we deepen these discussions.