Rianne Letschert en Jeroen Geurts


Now that the reform of the system for recognising and rewarding academic work has started, there is no stopping it. It is no longer a question of if, but how it will happen. Quite a few seeds have been planted in recent years. All the while, we have been watering those seeds. We are now looking at a garden full of seedlings. Some seeds have already grown into lovely flowering plants.

The various contributions in this e-magazine are testament to that. From the good practices, for example, it’s evident that institutions have taken great strides in developing differentiated career paths, adjusting assessment criteria, implementing leadership programmes and promoting team science. It will be crucial to maintain the mutual dialogue during this process. By really listening to each other and trying to understand each other’s views, we can achieve the envisaged culture change. We feel that the dialogue with Matilde Galli, Sarah de Rijcke and Rinske Vermeij about the question of how to define and assess quality is a fine example of this dialogue. This open conversation will hopefully inspire others to conduct a dialogue in a similar way.

In addition, the e-magazine pays attention to early-career academics. As the national steering group, we want to see that their opinions are better represented and their voices are better heard. After all, the early-career academics are the scientists and scholars of the future. Accordingly, we decided to add three new members to our national steering group this year. The double interview with Remco Havermans and Britt van Belkom fits into this pattern, as it shows the key role of thesis supervisors in helping PhD candidates to further develop their talents. We feel this is a great example of putting into practice the principles of Room for everyone’s talent.

Marieke Adriaanse and Camiel Beukeboom both show, each in their own way, that the use of particular language is closely intertwined with culture. Words matter. That holds true in particular for the Recognition & Rewards programme, which seeks to change our academic culture.

This e-magazine includes a broad range of articles. We hope that these contributions will inspire you and prompt you to seek out dialogues within your institutions. Only by working together can we achieve changes.

Rianne Letschert, President of Maastricht University
Jeroen Geurts, Rector Magnificus of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Chairs of Recognition & Rewards national steering group