Science - February 14, 2020

'Tenure track is a system that has been fairly effective'

WUR is committed to discussing the current system of assessing scientists and has installed a committee to review the way scientists are recognised and rated. Have suggestions? Part 6: Wouter Peters, personal professor in Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric Composition

Wouter Peters, personal professor in Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric Composition

‘My views on tenure track are not always in line with the current negative image it has, but I am in favour of less quantitative criteria. Although I don’t think the ‘criteria’ are as all-important in practice as they are made out to be on paper and in the discussions. Very few antisocial PhD graduates get the required number of points at WUR, and the university rejects very few good researchers who fail to meet the criteria. In my view, tenure track is a system that

has been fairly effective in selecting, promoting and motivating a large and diverse group of talented people.

The big challenge for the future is to establish a system that is still based on clear and honest quality criteria, but that also does justice to a broader perspective on what a good researcher should be capable of. The main point for improvement in the short term is to reduce work and achievement pressure without destroying the selective nature of the system.’

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