Will these new scholarships for scholars really provide peace and space in universities? The House of Representatives has doubts, but the minister remains confident.
The good news is that there will be more money for science: Minister Djgrave may distribute hundreds of millions a year. And 300 million euros a year will soon be allocated to the “working capital” of scientists. These are new beginnings and incentive grants that the universities may distribute themselves. This would make scientists less dependent on the NWO research funder.
But the House of Representatives still has doubts about that, as it emerged during a discussion with the minister about his plans. Will there be more permanent contracts thanks to these exchanges? Should researchers compete less with each other? Or the money will go to people who “really do a good job anyway,” GroenLinks, for example, wanted to know.
Half of that 300 million is earmarked for initial grants of 300,000 euros for university professors on a permanent contract. The other half will go to “incentive grants” for lecturers, senior lecturers and professors. These can also be smaller quantities.
Will you help?
Sounds good, but will it help? The Association of Relatively Young Senior Scholars (De Jonge Akademie) is concerned. “Universities, departments or colleges need to find a way to allocate the additional resources,” to write Members. “In this case, new competition is inevitable, with the pressure of work associated with it.”
President Marcel Levy of the NWO research funder also cautioned about this. “The danger is that a whole new bureaucratic circle will be created within the universities, when we already have a great talent system: NWO Veni, Vidi and Vici scholarships.”
The protest movement WOinAction is more skeptical and stilt Just to distribute the money to all the scientists, which is about 25 thousand euros per year for each scientist. People can then look together at what they can do with it, for example hiring a new university lecturer with the four of them.
Even OCW officials comment that there might be Lake Temporary contracts in science will come if undergraduate lecturers start using seed grants to hire lecturers without time for research. The minister can prevent this by setting good terms.
Minister Djgraf is aware of the objections and thinks it’s a good idea for everyone to take a critical look at him. “We’ll see if she does something about the temporary contracts problem,” he told the House of Representatives. But he does not want firm agreements.
At the same time, he describes several temporary appointments to the university as a “serious problem”. According to him, it is related, among other things, to an imbalance between research funding and education, which he is therefore trying to correct.
He added that these grants are not the only way to secure permanent contracts. Additional funds will also be provided for sectoral plans with national agreements for each specialty in education and research. This budget will rise from 70 to 200 million euros and permanent appointments will become part of it.
According to the minister, sectoral plans are a “tested tool” and stock exchanges can also contribute to permanent contracts and reduce work pressure. The Ministry will in any case monitor it.
Will it really all work? “I can promise you that I will continue to use the scientific method in my work,” Djgraf said. He keeps seeing what works and what doesn’t. He also considered it a learning process, he said.
The House was sympathetic and it did not appear that Gegrave’s plans would meet much political resistance, but he would still have to expand on them and there would undoubtedly be more discussions. Then it should become clear how strict political oversight is.
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