A more balanced perspective on recognition and rewards of academic achievements

On 1 September, FSS launched the project ‘A more balanced perspective on recognition and rewards of academic achievements at FSS’.

Main question

This project aims to answer the following question: How can we achieve a new balance in recognition and rewards of ‘academic quality’ at FSS, one in which we do not exclusively look at quantifiable research performance indicators, but take an integrated look at the ‘quality of research’ and the quality of academic performance in the other key areas: education, impact and leadership; and how can we translate this interpretation of ‘academic quality’ into a diverse range of development and career paths?

This project builds on the FSS Strategy 2021-2026 [Strategy Faculty Social Sciences: 2021-2026 - Faculty of Social Sciences (ru.nl)]. This project also ties in with the Leadership Practice Pilot Study carried out earlier at FSS. It revealed that staff members need transparent criteria and procedures for selection, appraisal and promotion, and diversity in appointments and representation (‘fresh eyes’ in leadership).

Who are we?

The project at FSS is led by Sabine Geurts (Full Professor BSI/Psychology) and Hanneke den Ouden (Associate Professor DCC/Psychology). They are part of the writing group and are supported in this by Wouter Brok (secretary of the faculty board FSS) and Angelique van der Voort (HR head FSS).

Foto Sabine Geurts Sabine Geurts (Full Professor BSI/Psychology)

Foto Hanneke den Ouden Hanneke den Ouden (Associate Professor DCC/Psychology)

We have also formed a steering committee with representatives from all research institutes, study programmes, the Representative Council and the Faculty Student Council. There are regular discussions with the steering committee about the approach to this project. The steering committee will be closely involved in the final recommendations.

The steering committee consists of:

  • Roseriet Beijers (BSI/Psychology)
  • Pepijn Burger (CAOS Master's student, vice-chair of the Faculty Student Council)
  • Inti Brazil (DCC/Psychology)
  • Serena Daalmans (BSI/Communication Science)
  • Saskia Glas (RSCR/Sociology)
  • Jasper de Groot (BSI/Psychology)
  • Sabine Hunnius (DCC/Psychology)
  • Arno Koning (DCC/Psychology/Representative Council)
  • Frank Léoné (DCC/AI, RU committee R&R)
  • Peer Scheepers (RSCR/Sociology)
  • Niels Spierings (RSCR/Sociology)
  • Lennart Verhagen (DCC/Psychology)
  • Jacqueline Vink (BSI/Pedagogical Sciences)

Target groups

In the 2021-2022 academic year, we are focusing on the following target groups: assistant professors, associate professors, full professors, and lecturers with a permanent position. We have had to limit ourselves to these groups in order to keep this project manageable. We fully realise that this topic – recognition and rewards, and its translation into more diversity in development and career paths – also deserves attention for PhD candidates, Postdocs, lecturers with temporary appointments and non-academic staff. In our recommendations, we will explicitly encourage follow-up processes for these very important target groups in which both the approach and the results of the current project will form a solid foundation.

The timeline: Where are we now and what can you expect?

We have already organised several activities (see timeline below). We started with a presentation, workshop and discussion at the annual ‘heidag’ for professors and directors at FSS. We interviewed all research and programme directors, we held several group interviews with staff members (from all job levels and across institutes) and we have had two meetings with the steering committee. We are also in discussion with the RU committee R&R and the Radboud Young Academy.

Foto 1_2 heidag hoogleraren

We believe it is extremely important that as many FSS academics as possible are heard – and feel heard – on this significant issue. To facilitate this, we will follow two tracks. First, we will organise a Recognition & Rewards Event for as many academics as possible on June 16th, in cooperation with the steering committee and with the help of the Radboud Young Academy. Second, mid-April we will send an e-mail to all academics belonging to the target group. It will contain a link to a short poll with a few open-ended questions inviting all participants to anonymously share their vision on, or concerns about, recognition and rewards of academics at FSS.


What will the project deliver?

Around the summer, the project leaders, in close collaboration with the steering committee and with the support of the writing committee, will present an advisory report to the FSS Board. This report will articulate:

  • On which R&R topics there is generally consensus, how can this be translated in concrete recommendations and actions (in terms of content and/or process), or which follow-up steps are necessary to arrive at concrete recommendations.
  • On which R&R topics there is no consensus, what the point of discussion are and what can we do to continue the discussion in a fruitful way.
  • That this project was a first step. We will recommend that there will be follow-up projects for recognition and rewards of PhD candidates, Postdocs, temporary lecturers and non-academic staff.
  • How recognition and rewards continue to receive attention at FSS.