Recognition and Rewards

PhD candidates – like all scientists – are juggling many balls at the same time. Yet some of those metaphorical balls are more recognised and rewarded than others. Whereas the focus has traditionally been on publications and impact factors, it has become increasingly evident that this is neither just, nor sustainable. PhD candidates, and bursary candidates in particular, are affected by unfair and untransparent evaluation criteria, which is why PNN wrote a position paper on the importance of including early career academics in conversations around Recognition & Rewards (R&R). 

In light of developments around Open Science , the R&R agenda is especially relevant. Engaging in open scientific practices takes time, effort, and resources. Hence, if Open Science is to become widely accepted, it needs to be integrated into academic career frameworks at universities and university medical centers (UMCs). PhD candidates should be encouraged and rewarded for maintaining open scientific practices.

Moreover, academic staff are not the only contributors to scientific research and education. The Recognition & Rewards programme in the Netherlands has a fitting slogan to emphasize this: we need to make ‘Room for everyone’s talent’. This entails full professors, PhD candidates, educators, administrative staff, data stewards, and the list goes on. They are all invaluable in universities and UMCs, yet some are deemed more valuable than others. The Recognition & Rewards programme aims to change the culture in academia substantially in order to set this right. You can read more about it here .

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Ana Barbosa Mendes

Open Science, Recognition & Rewards