UYA Purple Crocodile Award

*This award is named after a famous TV commercial in the Netherlands in the 2000s, wherein a mother is forced to fill in a very elaborate form simply in order to retrieve her daughters large blow-up purple crocodile from the ‘lost and found’ section of a swimming pool.

Do you want to nominate a person/organisation/institute who deserves this award? You can do so by filling in this form!


You can find an overview of the nominations received so far here! Please note: this overview is updated manually, so your nomination will not appear immediately after submitting the form.

Can you think of a really great initiative that has reduced your work pressure and/or freed up the time for you and others to focus on research, education or patient care? If so, the Purple Crocodile Award can make sure this initiative or its instigator is duly recognized!

The experience of work pressure is high in academia. Unfortunately, this almost never stems from working on core activities such as research, education and patient care. Instead, it comes mainly from activities at the periphery, such as administration. Administrative burden, regardless of whether it lands on the shoulders of academic or support staff, distracts from the university’s core activities.

With this award, we aim to recognize those unsung heroes in our university that consider the administrative burden as a problem and work towards minimizing it

Luckily, many colleagues at our university are working to devise different ways to alleviate the administrative burden that we all face. Computer systems have been built or redesigned to automatize administrative tasks, teaching tools have been developed to enhance learning and unburden teachers, and creative ways have been found to simplify or streamline administrative processes. These efforts, which effectively mean university personnel can spend more time on core activities, are rarely properly recognized and rewarded, with appreciation, or with public display.

With the Purple Crocodile Award, The Utrecht Young Academy creates an opportunity to put efforts like these into the spotlight. With this award, we aim to recognize those unsung heroes in our university that consider the administrative burden as a problem and work towards minimizing it, to relieve work pressure and allow more time to be spent on the university/UMC’s core activities. The award consists of a challenge award and a small monetary prize (300 euros). The idea is to spend this money to building out team spirits even further.


To stimulate and recognize initiatives that reduce administrative burden and increase time spent on core activities by UU/UMC-affiliated people: research, education and patient care.

Who can nominate

Anybody with a UU and UMCU affiliation can nominate. This includes academic and support staff. One can also nominate on behalf of a group.

Who/what can be nominated?

Initiatives, individuals, or groups of people working in UU/UMCU, that reduce administrative burden and simplify procedures. For example: academics, support staff, a platform, working group or (sub)organisations of UU or UMC. Key for winning the award is that the initiative has made a sustainable, long-lasting and wide-reaching alleviation of the administrative burden, but if you think of something small, feel free to put that into the spotlights as well. Nominations will all be publicly visible together with nominator and nominee names on the UYA website.

And the winner is…

Out of these nominations, the selection committee consisting of 5 UYA members (Katharine Fortin, Karin Jongsma, Magdalena Harakalova, Scott Douglas, and Peter Bijl) will make a shortlist, judging the nominations based on:

-Amount of administration (measured in estimated time) alleviated
-Longevity/durability of the impact the initiative has
-Number of people positively affected by the initiative

Nomination portal is open until 31st of January. The award will be handed out at the General Assembly of the Utrecht Young Academy on the Dies of Utrecht University, on 26th of March.

Unless there is one obvious winner, a winner of the purple crocodile award will be randomly picked from the shortlist. The award will be a money prize (300 euros) and a physical challenge cup that will be transmitted to the next winner.