Global support recognition and rewards

Global support recognition and rewards



We need to start ‘recognising and rewarding’ scientists in a different way, say 65 research funders from around the world in a joint statement. The distribution of research funds should not just be about numbers of publications and citations, but about ‘broad and holistic ways of recognition and rewards’.


The research funders say they want to assess scientific research primarily ‘qualitatively’, with hard numbers (such as citation scores) serving as support. Moreover, responsible research should be attentive to the pursuit of equality, diversity and inclusion in science, so that the ‘ecosystem’ of science is inclusive and accessible to all who want to contribute to it.


In the Netherlands, there are many advocates of the new ‘recognition and rewards’ approach, although there is also criticism, especially from the beta sciences: won’t the quality of research decline if funders start paying attention to side issues and do not simply give money to the best researchers? Former KNAW president Hans Clevers, for example, foresees ‘disastrous consequences’. 


The Netherlands is at the forefront of this trend and critics consider that extra risky. Soon you will have researchers who will be appreciated in the Netherlands but not abroad. Then the Netherlands will become less attractive to international talent, they fear.


Proponents see no objections. Researchers in other countries also want to shake up the assessment of science, is the answer. Last year, all kinds of knowledge organisations in Europe agreed to improve research assessments. (HOP, BB)



Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

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