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Marie-José van Tol wins Academy Kiss for 2024

February 15, 2024

Marie-José van Tol (chair of The Young Academy) and Kees Storm (Eindhoven University of Technology) are the winners of the Academy Kiss [AcademieKus] for 2024. The General Education Union (AOb) makes the award each year on Valentine’s Day. The jury was greatly impressed by the winners’ commitment to the Everyone Professor! Campaign for equal rights and less hierarchy within Dutch academia.

In Dutch

The Academy Kiss is awarded annually to someone in academia who has courageously demonstrated outstanding commitment to a subject. By selecting Everyone Professor!, the jury chose two winners this year. It wanted to show that changing the system requires cooperation right across institutions and faculties. The AOb believes that it takes a great deal of effort to achieve the objectives, and working together as a team is therefore essential. That’s why there are two winners this year because, as the jury said, “it’s a team performance”.

The AOb had this to say about Marie-José van Tol: "In her role as chair of The Young Academy, she has worked tirelessly to get the issue of Everyone Professor! on the agenda. She publicised the campaign throughout the Netherlands and kept it on the agenda, thus demonstrating the vigour of early- and mid-career researchers."

Kees Storm (professor and dean at Eindhoven University of Technology) was also committed to the campaign. As the AOb noted, "he made Everyone Professor! part of his inaugural address and – according to the jury – has since urged colleagues to appreciate the importance of less hierarchy.”

Keeping it on the agenda

Van Tol wishes to dedicate the award to everyone who has contributed to the campaign so far, by continuing to place the issue on the agenda; advocating a change in legislation allowing assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors to all have the right to confer the degree of “doctor” (i.e. the ius promovendi); by writing columns; and by having university councils tackle university executive boards about the issue. Van Tol would also like to thank all the international scientists and scholars who have drawn attention to what could be improved in the Dutch system, including extension of the ius promovendi.

Evgenia Salta (third nominee) received an honourable mention for her efforts at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience to create a more inclusive and diverse work environment.

Read more about Everyone Professor!.

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