News - February 12, 2020

'Tenure track is a non-stop race'

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 3: Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, Associate professor Marketing and Consumer Behaviour

Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour:

‘I have been on tenure track since I arrived in Wageningen in July 2014 and I am happy. I am now an Associate Professor. A very strong point is that the requirements and assessment criteria are established in advance, so you know what you’re signing up to. The system is fair and transparent, which combats inbreeding and internal competition. My biggest fear is that WUR is changing the rules of the game. For example, the requirements for becoming a personal professor were recently raised. This really affects your strategy. I also understand the criticism of the PhD factory. Why is the number of PhDs such a hard criteria? But we are also assessed qualitatively on our reputation, the number of keynotes we give and committees we are on. Overall I am happy, but the system does put you under a lot of pressure. I'm taking a month and a half’s sabbatical next month to learn more about machine learning and catch up on the literature. The irony is that I have to take “time off” to learn and reflect on something new. Tenure track is a non-stop race.’

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