Maastricht University rector Rianne Letschert is one of the initiators of the position paper 'Room for everyone's talent—towards a new balance in the recognition and rewards of academics'. The paper, which contains the basic principles for a ‘new model’ of assessment, was developed in close collaboration between all the Dutch public knowledge institutions and funders of research (VSNU, NFU, KNAW, NWO and ZonMw). In November 2019, it was discussed at a conference with more than 140 representatives from Dutch higher education and the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven. The paper was enthusiastically received and all parties involved committed to implementing its vision.
Changing the culture
Modernising the recognition & rewards system not only requires an overhaul of the formal processes that are involved but, even more important, it requires a culture change. This calls for intensive collaboration between all parties involved—at the individual, institutional, national and even international levels.
The modernisation of the recognition & rewards system is focussed on the following goals:
Diversifying and vitalising career paths: enabling more diversity in career paths and profiles for academics
Balancing individual and collective efforts: assessing academics based on both their individual performance and their contributions to collective objectives
Focusing on quality over quantity: provide a better balance between quantitative and qualitative assessment tools
Stimulating Open Science: encouraging academics to put additional effort into making their research outcomes more accessible to society
Facilitating leadership in academia: investing in good leadership at all levels, from young academics to established professors