Good Practices Recognition and rewards

Here we aim to inspire you with a selection of good practices of Recognition and Rewards at Utrecht University and the University Medical Center.

Inspiring selection

The initiatives running now are in different phases and of different sizes. They range from ‘in preparation’ to adoption of the policy at faculty level, to execution at different levels in the organization, to experiences at the individual employee level. It is not a complete overview, but we aim to provide those as first inspiration so that together we can let their number and the accompanying experiences with Recognition and Rewards grow.

Bottom-up initiatives

The UU and UMCU are at the forefront of Recognition and Rewards in action in the Netherlands, but the implementation is by far not a done deal! For example, initiatives beyond senior scientific staff and their appointment and evaluation are currently limited. The Utrecht University explicitly asks faculties, departments, and employees to start bottom-up initiatives related to Rewards and Recognition (see the publication Universities: No more exploring and navigating).

It is time to put words into action! Please share your ideas, inspiration, and actions with the Recognition and Rewards in Action team. You can also reach out to us to discuss possibilities for support. You can do this by sending an email to

Selection of good practices

Young Science in Transition

For many years Annemijn Algra has been arguing for more professional diversity among doctors. This is how she came into contact with Science in Transition (SiT), a think tank founded in 2013 with the aim of shifting the focus in the evaluation of professors at UMC Utrecht from number of publications to social relevance.

Career and promotion policy at the Faculty of Geosciences

People on different steps

Marian van Wijck was head of HR and initiated in 2020 a new career and promotion policy at the Faculty of Geosciences. Employees write in a narrative style their development in 13 subdomains during the last 5 years. With this approach, Geosciences wants to promote the focus on societal impact as part of education and research, and on how individual performance contributes to team spirit.

B&O interviews Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science

In 2019, The Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science (FSW) introduced a stronger focus on team spirit and leadership in the yearly Assessment & Development interviews (B&O) of full professors.

Promotion policy Department Education and Pedagogy of the Faculty Social and Behavioral Sciences

In 2019, Liesbeth Kester (, department head of Education and Pedagogy, initiated a new promotion policy at the Faculty Social and Behavioral Sciences. New Associate Professor positions were created aimed at more differentiation and a shift of focus within the departmeent. Together with Human Resources the departmental management decided which expertise was needed in the long term.

Qualification portfolio professor UMCU

The UMCU has implemented a narrative form of the qualification portfolio  for appointing and promoting professors. This portfolio is composed of five sections, Scientific, Teaching, Innovation & Impact, en Leadership, Development & Collaboration (Management)

Interactive discussion on Recognition and Rewards

Juliette Legler is Head of the Department Population Health Sciences at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She organized together with Wieke Eefting an interactive workshop with the goal to come up with concrete plans and ideas for new, fairer and more inclusive ways of recognising and valuing our roles and tasks, as well as each other.


article Assessing Scientists in PLOS Biology

Moher et al review a series of pilots, including the UMC Utrecht on changing recognition and rewards. This was the result of a high level international meeting in the USA.

Evaluation system

Nature article - Fewer numbers, better science

UMCU is evaluating research programmes in a new way, focusing less on quantity and more on quality. The process towards this evaluation system and the first results were shared in this Nature Comment