Things we’d like to share with you...

We like to share some great tips, tricks and tools with you. Please read about our festival, some interesting podcasts about Recognition & Rewards and inspiring local developments.

Recap of the Recognition & Rewards Festival in April: a shortcut

The 2023 Recognition & Rewards Festival took place in Utrecht on Thursday 13 April. While it was the Festival’s third edition, it was the first time the event was hosted in person. The central theme this year was ‘Rethinking Assessment’, and there was ample opportunity for dialogue around it. The plenary opening, plenary closure and after movie are available to watch online.

Podcasts & webinars that are worthy of note

Several interesting productions have been put together to inspire and deepen our knowledge about Recognition & Rewards. And while there are numerous ones out there, we couldn’t name them all, so here are just randomly six we’ve found:

Adventures in Teaching

What is teacher identity, and how do you cultivate it? How does teacher identity shape your role and personal development? In this podcast series by TU Delft, different aspects of teaching are explored. As the co-host for this season, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology Martin Sand discusses why Teacher Identity is such an important concept and whether new and experienced lecturers are aware of theirs. What does this mean on a personal level? And, for the university as an organisation, what could be improved to facilitate an awareness of the concept of teacher identity?

Ladderzat van de VU

This (Dutch-spoken) podcast series is made by VU lecturer and researcher Sem Barendse. Through interviews based around the themes of Research, Impact and Science Communication, Barendse asks young VU talents to challenge the norms and values of the traditional academic ladder.

Aan de top!

Created by The Young Academy, this (Dutch-spoken) podcast series (‘At the Top!’) features professors talking about their path to success using the Recognition & Rewards themes. There are six episodes in all, each one consisting of an interview with a professor: Peter-Paul Verbeek, Patricia Dankers, Louise Fresco, Klaas Landsman, Dorret Boomsma and Claes de Vreese. For more information about the podcast, read our article, ‘Six top-class academics about Recognition & Rewards.’

NWO Vici

A webinar for potential applicants for the Vici 2023 of the NWO Talent Programme. The speakers discuss the reorientation consultation of the Talent Programme; changes in the procedure, such as the new assessment in two stages, in which by assessing the CV an attempt is made to select the target group, but also to limit the influence of small differences in quality of candidates on the final selection; the elimination of interviews in the Social Sciences and Humanities and Exact Sciences domains; and the redeveloped CV format.

Research rEVAlution

In this episode of the podcast by Science Business (Elsevier), Andrew Plume (Vice President of Research Evaluation, Elsevier) talks with Recognition & Rewards project manager Bianca Langhout (EUR) about research evaluation reform.


Best translated as ‘My my’ or ‘boy oh boy’, Tjongejonge is a Dutch exclamation used to express astonishment, either in a positive or in a negative way. It’s something academics could say to each other about their fascinating accomplishments, but also about practical barriers they face in doing their daily work at their departments. With this in mind, The Young Academy used the expression for their podcast series, which showcases inspiring solutions in some institutions. In four interviews, faculty members from four universities present how a serious and common problem has been solved in their department or institute in a creative way.

An inspiring read

If you’d like to read a summary about our broad developments, you can do so in our Annual Report 2022 (in Dutch, with an English summary). In it, you’ll find, among others, information about the complex change issues, our national collaboration, the Advanced Teaching Network and the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. We also give an overview of our philosophy in practice: Use experiences; Make success visible; Experiment; Inspire; Co-create; Share good practices; and Learn from each other.

Tools that make sense for our programme

Various organisations are presenting tools or frameworks that can help implement our collective Recognition & Rewards themes. Here are five interesting examples:

The PhD Competence Model. This model contains a set of core competencies for PhD candidates. Next to academic skills, it emphasises personal development and career orientation. To help PhDs identify what skills and competencies they want to develop or improve, there is also a self-assessment of competence development offered.

Utrecht University has compiled a Conversational Guidelines handbook, in which you can find ways to put Recognition & Rewards into practice. It presents formats and techniques on team development and personal development and shows itineraries that will help you reach the aspired changes.

Maastricht University has created a Career Compass (for Teachers, Researchers, and Assistant, Associate and Full Professors), which you will find on their website. The Compass was produced to facilitate the dialogue on employee development and UM’s support for it. The development talk focuses on the employee’s work, behaviour and performance.

The (Dutch only) publication Wetenschapscommunicatie door wetenschappers: Gewaardeerd! by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) gives an overview of what you need to know and do to embed science communication on a professional level in practice. Based on research carried out by the Athena Institute and the Vrije Universiteit (VU), it presents four recommendations for knowledge institutes.

The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) has created a Resource Library containing a variety of materials that facilitate the development of responsible research and researcher assessment policies and practices.

If you also know of a useful or effective tool, please tell us so that we can spread the word. Send an email to Claartje Chajes:

Utrecht University: from academic staff and support staff to ‘colleagues’

Utrecht University is the first university in the Netherlands to start addressing their entire staff network as ‘university staff’. This move away from using two separate categories for scientific staff (WP) and support and administrative staff (OBP) came into effect at the beginning of this academic year. The transition of terms is part of the local Utrecht Recognition & Rewards programme as the university decided that distinguishing two categories of colleagues doesn’t fit in with their vision of working towards a culture in which ‘the team and collaboration have a crucial role’. Letting go of WP-OBP does not mean that positions such as assistant professor or policy adviser will disappear; the change merely focuses on the terms ‘WP’ and ‘OBP’. Simultaneously the university encourages teams to talk to each other more often about their common goals and each person’s role in reaching those goals.

VU Dies Natalis 2022: Room for talent!

In November 2022 the Vrije Universiteit spent their entire Dies Natalis focusing on Recognition & Rewards. There was a panel discussion about the future of academic collaboration, a Dies speech by Rector Magnificus Jeroen Geurts, and the presentation of the new institute of science communication. You can watch the festivities here.