Academic careers


Universities are an attractive employer for both young and established talent and they manage to attract new talent through doctoral and post-doctoral positions keyed to specific individual disciplines. High-quality teaching and research is inextricably linked to the quality of staff, and attracting and retaining that talent is vital. It is therefore crucial that universities provide transparent insight into their career opportunities, as there is no guarantee that an academic will be able to establish a career in the academic world. It is important to clarify how universities address this issue. How do they determine who does and who doesn't have career prospects at a particular university? How are academics prepared for careers outside the academic world?

Universities place a great deal of focus on their employees' careers. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CLA NU) for 31 December 2019 to 31 December 2020 includes the following statement with regard to this issue:

E.16 Improving the labour market prospects of researchers, doctoral candidates and lecturers

a. The parties have agreed to improve the labour market prospects of researchers with a temporary employment contract. It has been agreed that time and training will be provided within their working hours to write grant applications. Similarly, researchers will be given adequate scope within their working hours to be able to obtain the required teaching qualifications if they are suited, in the employer’s judgement, to a career as university lecturer, senior university lecturer or professor and also aspire to that position.

b. The parties have agreed to improve the employment market prospects of doctoral candidates. Doctoral candidates will be given the time within their employment to obtain the required qualifications for a continued academic career, or for career counselling and obtaining qualifications leading to broader labour market prospects.In addition, they will receive training in writing research applications. Universities will work actively to provide from job-to-job guidance for doctoral candidates.

c. Opportunities to gain experience for students and newly qualified lecturers the parties wish to give graduates seeking to pursue a career in academia the opportunity to gain experience in the sector. Being a lecturer can be a first step in this regard. Newly qualified lecturers receive supervision and are given the opportunity to develop their teaching skills, for example by taking part in the University Teaching Qualification

(Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO) track.

As well as at universities, talent policy also has an important place in the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science's Academic Vision. Collaboration is also being conducted with SoFoKles (the Social Fund for the Knowledge Sector).