Wages for young lecturers, Fripro and funding

Wages for young lecturers, Fripro and funding

Av Forskerforum

Publisert 10. oktober 2022 kl. 15:34

Here's the October edition of news in English.

Younger lecturers lose out in wage settlement

The college Inland Norway University for Applied Sciences (INN University) aims to obtain full university status. They therefore need to do more research and employ more professors. Leading research positions will thus receive increased funding, while teaching posts without doctorates will not be prioritised.

The University of Bergen also wants to prioritise groups in the local wage agreement. This is why they have put aside three million kroner from their own budgets, says the chief employee representative for the Norwegian Association of Researchers (NAR) there. The University of Agder (UiA) has chosen to put aside two million. NAR representative at UiA, Tom Roar Eikebrokk, understands INN University’s decision, but he thinks that rising inflation makes it is difficult to prioritise certain groups.

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Wants temporary staff to be kept on at NTNU

Terje Espevik is centre director of Cemir at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He initially received funding for ten years, and researchers were given long contracts. Until 2021 he always had some money in reserve to protect his temporary staff from being laid off, but universities are no longer allowed to have so much in the bank. Espevik would like there to be a kind of tenure track for the best researchers, so they could qualify for permanent positions that also require teaching.

‘I wish NTNU or the faculty had an arrangement for promising researchers who want to pursue a career in academia, something to help them through difficult periods until they manage to get their own funding,’ he says.

Anne Marie Rokstad is one of those who benefited from bridge financing after her postdoc period ended. She is now concerned for her colleagues. With the new restrictions she says it’s difficult to plan for the long term and there is less flexibility for temporary staff.

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FRIPRO to fund 82 out of 1500 projects

5.3 percent of the applications submitted to Ground-breaking research (FRIPRO) have been granted funding. 25.9 percent of eligible applications were accepted. To qualify as eligible, applications had to receive the top marks of 6 or 7 from the panels for all the assessment criteria. The assessment criteria are potential, quality, impact, and implementation. In 2021, 7.6 percent of applications were granted, but this year the allocated sum had to be cut by 20 percent due to financial constraints at the Research Council of Norway.

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University buildings at risk

On 6 October, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum will present his first national budget. Due to the current economic situation, the Støre government has already announced that four university building projects face further cuts or delays.

First is the University of Oslo’s new life sciences building, which will be Norway’s largest research facility. Second is the new museum on Bygdøy to safely house three fragile Viking boats. The remaining projects are to merge NTNU’s various campuses in Trondheim, and to build the Ocean Space Center nearby. All projects have already been subject to cutbacks.

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