About Rewarded!

After one and a half years of knowledge sharing, research and networking, Rewarded! is officially coming to an end. Over the coming year we will continue to highlight the programme’s output on occasion – such as during the Recognition & Rewards-festival on 13 April – but the project has officially ended per January 2023.

The purpose of Rewarded! was supporting and inspiring participating research groups; to make best practices & lessons learned widely accessible and to advise knowledge institutions about facilitating and appreciating science communication and public engagement by scientists.

Rewarded! is implemented by the KNAW and was made possible by the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Originally, the project Rewarded! was to be carried out by KNAW Awards & Funds in collaboration with the national expertise center of public engagement ‘Samenweten’. The initiative Samenweten has ended on the 1st of January 2022. Its contributions were secured in the program.

The project Rewarded! encompassed the following activities and initiatives:


In April 2021, more than 90 research groups received a contribution of € 10,000 to organize new activities in the field of science communication. The Gewaardeerd! pilot fund, a one-off financial incentive, is aimed at recognizing and valuing scientists who make structural efforts towards science communication and public engagement. The fund intends to emphasize that involving public groups in scientific research is an essential part of an academic career. The Rewarded! enrichment program aims to further substantiate and disseminate this view. The pilot fund, carried out KNAW, was made financially possible by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.


Researchers that received a grant from the pilot fund can participate free of charge in a series of workshops that provide new insights into science communication and public engagement. During these workshops there was room to get to know each other and to share experiences. Some workshops are also accessible to other researchers who are interested in science communication and public engagement.


During the project Rewarded! (April 2021 – December 2022) we worked on building a network of scientists working on science communication and public engagement via the website and social media channels of verrijkinggewaardeerd.nl. Here, scientists could find inspiration and tools about science communication and public engagement.


Athena Instituut VU
As part of the enrichment programme, Sem Barendse, Willemine Willems and Anna Aris, led by Dr. Frank Kupper (Athena Institute, VU) investigated what researchers need in terms of structure, culture and skills to conduct meaningful science communication. Together with the Rewarded! groups, they mapped out the dilemmas and wishes scientists have when they are involved with science communication. Their findings are based on interviews, observations and study of literature.

The findings of their research formed the basis of the Advisory Report and is available for download since October 2022.

– NL: Bruggenbouwers-in-Spagaat-Wetenschapscommunicatie-door-wetenschappers-aan-Nederlandse-universiteiten
– Publication webpage KNAW

Collaboration Impactlab
Comissioned by NWA/NWO, Impactlab has developed instruments that provide scientists with tools to measure the impact of their science communication activities. Rewarded! collaborates with Impactlab to provide Rewarded-scientists tools that help them measure the impact of their activities. Researchers can share their data with Impactlab via the upload zone.


The closing convention of the enrichment program will take place on Thursday afternoon, June 23, at the KNAW Trippenhuis in Amsterdam. All Rewarded! participants are cordially invited. The hybrid program consists of pitches from prominent speakers from the science communication field as well as interactive sessions with all attendees.

Advisory report

The project Rewarded! concluded with a substantiated guideline for universities, research institutes and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science about facilitating and valuing scientists who work on science communication. The report is based on findings from the Athena Institute VU-research as well as reactions and input gathered during the sessions at the closing convention of the enrichment program.

The guide was presented to Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science on 31 October 2022. It is also widely distributed by post, through presentations and discussions, including with the project leaders of Recognition & Rewards and the quartermasters of the new national center for science communication.

– KNAW Webpage Science Communication by Scientists: Rewarded!

Advisory board

  • Peter-Paul Verbeek
  • Rianne Letschert
  • Hanneke Hulst

Four Rewarded-ambassadors from different scientific disciplines:

  • Martijn Wieling
  • Eveline Brouwers
  • Kris Bevelander
  • Marieke Kootte