Almost half of the Dutch leaders consider themselves to be open, coaching and stimulating; something employees experience less. This is evidenced by the National Leaderschip Research 2015. What about people-oriented leadership at the Royal NIOZ?

The National leadership research 2015one that was executed by research institute de Baak, Marketing & PR Bureau Winkelman Van Hessen and NRC Q, consists of a quantitative part in which leaders (N=332) and employees (N=100) were questioned about leadership and a qualitative part in which ten leaders (N=10) of big Dutch companies were interviewed about their leadership.

Overall result, both leaders and employees confirm that a people-oriented leadership style is favourite. A good leader is listening to his employees and delates them responsibility and faith. However, 36% of the employees agree that their leader utilizes a people-oriented leadership style compared to 47% of the leaders. Employees expect attention for their personality and ‘work-life balance’.


At Royal NIOZ the HR-team invests in personal empowerment by offering year-round courses for NIOZ’ers. A couple of courses are meant for PhD’s, like ‘Communicating Science’ and ‘How to write a Scientific Paper’, others are strived for Postdoc’s and Tenure Trackers, a group of talented scientist halfway their career. These high potentials receive an exclusive management training.

Two years ago, our HR-team and Leeuwendaal in partnership organized a management development training for twelve tenure trackers at the Royal NIOZ. For a period of six months eight male scientists and four female researchers were challenged in a series of leadership trainings. Their ultimate goal: to develop leadership skills and prepare them for a future leadership role at the Royal NIOZ.


The management development training program consisted of three modules about behaviour, effective working relations and effectively influencing people. After each module, the tenure trackers delivered a reflection report on behaviour and effectiveness to keep on track for the next module. Training result: all of the tenure trackers are leading their projects and manage their PhD’s and postdoc’s in marine research groups at the Royal NIOZ and affiliated marine research institutes in Europe.

‘The modules all gave me important eye-openers’, explains one of the tenure trackers. ‘I learnt a lot from the theory and especially from the try-out sessions – the scenes we enacted felt very realistic. Additionally, the team building that happened along the way among the twelve of us, from very different marine scientific disciplines, is now proving to be extremely valuable.’

If you excel in your scientific field and would like to explore your leadership talent after your PhD or Postdoc position, make sure to get into contact with the HR-team at the Royal NIOZ or send in an open application. We will gladly help you to become a people-oriented leader in marine science.