New forms of recognition and reward

Today marks the first day of the WTMC workshop Open. It follows on the heels of one of the biggest academic policy announcement of the last decade. The VSNU, NFU, KNAW, NWO and ZonMW jointly published a statement on recognition and rewards. It is a call to move away from indicator-based, quantiative focus on research performance, to create new career paths, and to find a balanced way to recognize and rewards academics across

  • Education
  • Research
  • Impact
  • Leadership
  • Patient care (for university medical centres).

This means that aspects of academic work such as team work, leadership, and open science must also be reflected in evaluations. The vision of open science contained in this report will surely be the focus of very interesting discussions in the coming days, beginning with the opening lecture this morning by Frank Miedema, one of the leaders of the Science in Transition movement.

In addition, one of the concrete recommendations of this report addresses the need to redesign career paths, including the requirements for PhDs:

Universities and university medical centres will ensure that the criteria that (within disciplines or universities) apply to doctoral  programmes fit the assessment of research quality, thus meeting  the DORA principles. Conditions for being allowed to defend one’s thesis must not just consist of purely quantitative indicators, such as number of publications or the journal impact factor of the journal in which one has published (RFET, p.6)

Given that the workshop is attended by PhDs, it will be very interesting to hear what changes they expect on the ground.

Furthermore, the Graduate School at Campus Fryslan has been considering how to reformulate exactly the part of its “Training and Supervision Plan” that describes the desired output for PhDs. And happy to say that at all levels of recognition and reward, Campus Fryslan has been moving in the direction of this report, and working on a ‘mission-based’ evaluation scheme to be elaborated by each academic, in consultation with a peer-review group. Exciting times in academia!

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