Working together on change

With the Recognition & Rewards programme, we provide room for everyone’s talent so that we can take the quality of education, research, impact, leadership and patient care to the next level together. This ambitious goal will require us to change the way we think, talk, act and identify ourselves within academia.

How can we bring about that change? That is something we will discover together: with all the universities, university medical centres, research institutions and research funders. Only by working collectively will we find the answers in this cultural change.


Together, we are gradually changing the rules of the game. For instance, we are selecting and promoting academics on the basis of new criteria, attaching ever less importance to rankings and thinking about how we can shift the focus from individual results to academic work as a team’s merit. Saying goodbye to what is familiar, without a clear roadmap for what will replace it, will require courage from us all. We must have the courage to allow space to experiment, even if this means sometimes discovering that something does not work.

Changing beliefs and being prepared to look differently at the qualities of academia is fundamental. Such a change requires patience, perseverance and (personal) leadership, as well as a constant balance between safety and comfort on the one hand and stimulating, questioning and challenging each other on the other.

We are guided by the following principles in this process:

In dialogue

We give meaning to the Recognition & Rewards programme in mutual dialogue. In consultation with each other, we work on content and on the relationship at the same time. In conversation, we find answers and sharpen our focus, with commitment as the end result. We find a connection with the content and shape it together. In other words, it is only in dialogue that we will truly activate the Recognition & Rewards programme.

For that reason, the Recognition & Rewards programme team has been encouraging dialogue within the institutions involved since its inception in 2020. We will be actively seeking diverse opinions and giving a platform to as many voices as possible. We will do so in this magazine, during local and national events and in a shared working environment on our private online platform RRview. Those voices will come together every year at the national Recognition & Rewards Festival, which is unfailingly interactive in nature and organised in co-creation.

Help and support

Institutions wishing to organise a dialogue internally or among themselves can use a toolkit containing a step-by-step plan for the preparations and aids to help them make decisions. If they need advice, they can also turn to the programme team or its dialogue expert or become a member of RRview.

We are eager to learn about the experiences of organisers of dialogues and those who participate in them. If you would like to share an experience, or if you are looking for a way to start a dialogue within your institution, let us know via We are more than happy to share our thoughts with you!

Dialogue tool kit

Want to get to work? This practical step-by-step plan will help you on your way. It sums up the essentials for organising a dialogue, including suggestions for session formats and a guide for discussion moderators.