Quality: How do you assess it?

One of the key points in the Room for Everyone’s Talent (2019) position paper is to place more focus on quality. In assessing academics, the emphasis used to be mostly on quantitative results, such as the number of publications. With the Recognition & Rewards programme, we want to put more emphasis on quality, content, scientific integrity, creativity, contribution to science and/or society, and recognition of the specific profile in which an academic is active. In this way, we do justice to the various activities performed by an academic.

However, the fundamental, underlying question is: What is quality and how do you assess it? We put that question to a number of people involved, who had a conversation about it with each other.


  • Matilde Galli: Group Leader at Hubrecht Institute
  • Kim Huijpen: Programme Manager Recognition & Rewards
  • Sarah de Rijcke: Professor of Science and Evaluation Studies, Leiden University & Scientific Director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies
  • Rinske Vermeij: PhD Student in Psychology & Policy adviser NWO
‘If you keep reflecting on science, science as a whole will increase in its quality.’
‘It really depends on what the purpose of the assessment is. Personally, I would like to be assessed differently within a grant application versus when I have my annual evaluation at work.’