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Recognition & Rewards: national ambitions widely supported at Leiden University

The ambitions of the Dutch Recognition & Rewards programme are widely supported by academics at Leiden University. This is one of the findings from the first Culture Barometer survey, carried out in early 2024.

The national programme was launched in 2020 by a group of Dutch universities, university medical centres, research institutes and research funders. Its goal is to find a new balance in the recognition and rewarding of academic work. To measure progress so far, a questionnaire was circulated among 26 institutions. 

A little over half of Leiden University respondents (53%) said they were ‘largely’ or ‘completely’ aware of the national Recognition & Rewards programme. Nationally that percentage was lower (39%) and levels of awareness were greatest amongst professors while over half of participating PhD candidates said they had no knowledge about the programme at all. 

In addition to increasing awareness of Recognition & Rewards at the university, eighty to ninety percent of Leiden respondents indicated that they (fully) agreed with the goals of the national program. These goals include creating more diversity in academic career paths and profiles; a stronger focus on quality rather than quantity in assessing academic performance; and a better balance in assessments, considering both individual and team performance.  

'Leiden participants are in favor of Open Science and value fostering good academic leadership at all levels'

The Academia in Motion programme purposely combines Recognition & Rewards with Open Science. Leiden participants in the survey support this transparent and engaged way of working: eighty percent are (strongly) in favor of Open Science. They also value fostering good academic leadership at all levels

Positive expectations 

Over half of Leiden University respondents expect that the national program will lead to broader aspects of quality being valued in their work. They also expect more opportunities than before to make fundamental choices that fit their preferences, talents and life stage.   

Almost half (45%) also expect (much) more job satisfaction. And 44.4% expect (much) less work-related frustration and irritation (equal to the national level). 

'One major concern is that the ambitions of the national programme would not be met'


There are two major concerns among respondents at Leiden University. First, that the ambitions of the national programme will not be met – 59.4% (strongly) agreed, compared to 56% nationally. Second, that their profile (based on how they combine the domains of research, teaching, impact, leadership and patient care in their work) would be less valued and recognized than other profile types – 48.3% agreed (strongly) compared to 44% nationally. 

The national results show that UHDs, researchers and faculty are more likely than other job groups to be concerned about the impact of the Recognition & Appreciation program on their own careers - for example, that transferring to another institution would be hindered.   

The national results showed that associate professors, teachers and researchers are more worried about the effects of the Recognition & Rewards programme on their own careers – for example, their ability to transfer to another academic institution – than other job categories. 

Profile of Leiden University respondents 

The survey was open to all academic staff through the university's website and newsletters. It was also circultated via academic directors. About 240 Leiden University academics participated in the survey, including associate professors (43%), full professors (16%), associate professors (15%) and doctoral students (10%). Three-quarters of the respondents said they held the Dutch nationality.   

LUMC scientists also completed the survey. These results can be found on the LUMC intranet. 

Want to know more?

Read more about the national results of the Culture Barometer in this Recognition & Rewards e-magazine, and about the Leiden programme, Academia in Motion (AiM).

With AiM, we want to create a better balance between teaching and research. We will also look for new ways to recognize and value our staff, and to make Open Science, collaboration, well-being and leadership central to our work.   

Have questions about Academia in Motion, or a great idea you'd like to share? If so, email academiainmotion@bb.leidenuniv.nl.  

Banner: Monique Shaw

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