Recognition and Rewards

Balancing appreciation of science
Balancing appreciation of science
What does being succesful in science look like? Success in science, what does it look like? Doing excellent research, publishing articles and many citations. These are things most people will often think of. But teaching, leadership, societal impact, open science and teamwork are also important parts of science.

All UMC's and universities in the Netherlands are discussing these topics under the banner 'Recognition and Rewards': a national programme to value scientists in a more balanced way.

Why is Recognition and Rewards important?

Many academics experience too much focus on research. A big pressure to publish in prestigious scientific journals, be frequently cited and receive grants. In science, much value is placed on research achievements. Other qualities of researchers are regularly undervalued.

Reducing work pressure and increasing job satisfaction

The aim of Recognition and Rewards is to appreciate scientists for their broad contribution to science. The programme aims to reduce work pressure, increase job satisfaction and make use of everyone's talent.

What does the UMCG do in the field of Recognition and Rewards?  

The focus of Recognition and Rewards is on five different pillars (drop-downs):
  •  In 2018, the UMCG introduced new career paths for academics: 

     The Academic Career and Impact Profiles: 

    • Talent Track, which can lead to full professorship;  
    • Regular Academic Track, which can lead to the rank of associate professor via internal promotion;  
    • four impact profiles: education, society & valorisation, healthcare and research.
    Promotion guidelines are in line with the latest standards and do not use derived indicators. A UMCG-wide promotion advisory committee reviews all internal promotions in two rounds per year and receives regular training and coaching.

    The Teaching Career:

    which helps employees with teaching and training duties to develop their careers from Junior Academic Teacher to Leading Academic Teacher.  

  • Open Science is a global movement to make scientific research and education accessible and better connected to society to achieve greater societal impact. The UMCG is frontrunner of open access (part of open science). To further encourage open science, there is the UMCG Impact Team. This team provides advice and training that helps UMCG researchers, clinicians and support staff to increase impact.
    The UMCG Innovation Centre supports public-private partnerships and valorisation.
  • In assessing academics, we look not only at quantitative results but also at quality, content, scientific integrity, creativity, contribution to science and/or society, and recognition of a scientist's specific profile and domain(s) in which a scientist is active. Members of our academic promotion committee are structurally trained and monitored to assess the quality of scientists. The portfolio is largely narrative; this allows our academics to highlight contributions to all core tasks.  
  • Leadership does not come naturally to everybody. At the UMCG, we recognise that leadership is truly a profession that requires skills and practice of these skills. A good manager recognises and acknowledges this and is open to learning this trade. This is why the UMCG has a comprehensive leadership programme. This programme consists of five leadership essences and a development plan, master classes, an extensive learning and development offer and leadership in practice. The programme includes training courses specifically for academics; an offer is also available for medior academic staff.   
  • We assess academics both on their individual and team performance. So also on the contribution they make from their own expertise and competences to the team, the department, the consortium, the institute or the organisation they are part of.

    Through this new way of Recognition and Rewards, we want to improve the cohesion and quality for all core domains. And reduce the workload of scientists, increase job satisfaction and use everyone's talents.

Want to know more?

Do you have questions about what the Recognition and Rewards programme can do for you as a scientist? Ask your supervisor, or another senior scientific staff member. If you would like to know more about this programme in the UMCG, please contact Elizabeth Koier, project leader Recognition and Rewards in the UMCG.


Elizabeth Koier
project leader Recognition an Appreciation