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What do we perceive as successful science practice in universities? Is it winning a prestigious research grant? Publishing in leading journals? Providing insights on a talk show to expand the reach of research. Working together with governments and businesses to realise real social impact through research? Or developing a new curriculum or demonstrating good team leadership?

It’s probably all of the above. But, as an academic, do you have to be able to do all these things well or can you choose to specialise and follow a different career path than your colleagues? Where people use their diverse talents to enhance the results of a group or team as a whole. 

These and other questions are the subject of a lively debate in all universities in the Netherlands under the umbrella of 'Recognition and Rewards (Erkennen en Waarderen)'. These discussions are intended to yield concrete ideas for making academics’ careers more attractive, providing more room for everyone's talent and recognising and rewarding various achievements. This concerns Recognizing and rewarding achievements in five areas:

  • Education
  • Research
  • Social impact (valorisation)
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
Picture of infographic about rewards and recognition
Click on the image to download the infographic and report 'Room for everyone's talent' (PDF, 5 pp.)

Huub Dijstelbloem

From April 2023 onwards Huub Dijstelbloem is chair of Recognition and Rewards for the UvA. The national agreements from the Roadmap ' Room for everyone's talent' are central. We will give shape to these within the UvA in the coming years.

Differentiated career paths: join the co-creation sessions

With a broad group of UvA employees this spring, design sessions and interviews were held, focusing on opportunities for differentiated career paths for academic staff. Career paths with profiles or aspects like education, research, societal impact, leadership, and teamwork. From these, concepts were outlined that will be further developed in co-creation sessions in September. Would you like to participate? Mail to

More information or do you want to participate?

Is Recognition and Rewards a project? What are its concrete goals? How can I make a valuable contribution to this dialogue within the university? The answers to these and other questions can be found in the Q&A. Do you have a question yourself or would you like to participate? Send us an email at Download the roadmap ‘Room for everyones talent in practice’ (pdf, 8p, April 2023). Also read the position paper 'Room for everyone's talent and the magazine Recognition and Rewards on the UNL website.

Q&A on Recognition and Rewards