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Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie

Candidate for the University Board among permanent employees with teaching and research positions.

Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences.

Nominated by:

  • Ole Andre Solbakken, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Sverre Urnes Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Erkki Heinonen, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Espen Røysamb, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Hanne Strømme, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Tine Jensen, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Margrethe Seeger Halvorsen, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Guro Øiestad, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Tori Mauseth, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Hanne Oddli, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Line Indrevoll Stänicke, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Annika Maria D Melinder, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Marit Råbu, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Krister Fjermestad, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Erik Stänicke, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Francisco Pons, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Bjørn Lau, Head of Department, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Rune Flaaten Bjørk, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Ida S. Bernhardt, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Anne-Kari Torgalsbøen, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Christian Krog Tamnes, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Cato Grønnerød, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Eivor Fredriksen, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Merete Glenne Øie, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Mona Bekkhus, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Eivind Ystrøm, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Evalill Bølstad Karevold, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Kristin Gustavson, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Julien Mayor, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Bente Træen, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Egil Nygaard, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Silje Endresen Reme, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Olav Vassend, Professor, Department of Psychology, SV

Election Platform

Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie
Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie

I stand for election to the university board with solid support from colleagues and a strong commitment to work for issues that apply to the entire UiO. I think clearly under pressure, I am skilled at handling challenging situations, and I believe my experience and qualifications will be very useful to the highest governing body of UiO.

The university's societal mission and responsibility

Running a university today is a formidable task. We must work to develop large-scale, sustainable and interdisciplinary research environments, ensure beneficial conditions for the narrower, more specialized disciplines, and continue our important task of integrating theoretical and practical skills in our professional programs. In a political and public discourse marked by fake news and skepticism toward expertise and scientific knowledge, it is crucial that academics continue to take an active role in defining how to organize society. As an autonomous institution on the forefront of knowledge development, the University's societal mission today is more important than ever before. I will work to strengthen the opportunities of employees and students to fulfill this important responsibility at UiO.

Elected rather than appointed leadership

University democracy and academic autonomy are deeply rooted in the history of the university. How can we ensure this? For me, there are some institutional arrangements that ensure this better than do others. An example of this is whether one should go for elected rather than appointed leadership at UiO. I have championed that the University elect its leaders among entrusted colleagues, rather than for them to be appointed. I believe that elected leadership is more likely to ensure that important strategic priorities and decisions will continue to be rooted in democratic processes in the future, and that elected leaders are first and foremost loyal to the University´s higher ideals and its employees and students. I will work to bolster the university democracy at UiO.

Ensuring free and open research

At UiO, the ideals of academic freedom and free research are absolutely essential, and must be ensured. I think we need to make arrangements so that our scientific staff can allow themselves to be driven by their principal resource; their curiosity and thirst for knowledge. It is difficult to predict what studies will produce groundbreaking knowledge. Publicly funded basic research and predictable conditions are prerequisites for creating the environments that will deliver tomorrow's breakthroughs. A lack of basic funding, as we see in other countries, and an increasing emphasis on pre-defined programs in externally funded research pose a threat to the ideals of free and independent research. In the long run, this may all too easily lead to a development of science that is guided by market forces and short-term symbolic policy priorities rather than true and groundbreaking insight. I will to work to reinforce independent research at UiO.

With an emphasis of public funding of research comes expectations and demands for openness and dissemination to the public. In order to strengthen the trust and position in society of research conducted at UiO, we must encourage a scientific culture with a focus on openness, collaboration and sharing of data, competence and resources. I will work to boost the focus on open research at UiO.

Recognition of employees

As scientists, we are trained to be independent thinkers. Nevertheless, both recognition and care from others are of great importance to our work and wellbeing. The competition is tough for those wanting to secure a position at UiO and sometimes this competitive mentality can stand in the way of a healthy and fruitful working environment. To do our best, we must feel that we are recognized by our leaders and that our opinions are heard. If I am elected as a representative of the UiO board, I will strive to ensure the best working environment for all of our staff.

The road ahead after covid-19

We are facing an extraordinary situation at UiO, the Covid-19 pandemic and strict measures of lockdown and social distancing have had extensive negative effects on all students and staff both academically and socially. Students have paid a high price, teachers have struggled and gone to great lengths to offer high quality teaching via digital platforms, and researchers at all levels have been delayed in data collection and analysis. Temporary scientific staff are concerned about their progress and what rights they have. We have gained new experiences with regards to teaching methods and examinations. All this requires that the university board actively attains an overview of the situation at each department, and follows up on this issue by both budgetary and other measures.

UiO as a key player in dealing with the climate crisis

As a workplace for a large number of students and employees and as a central supplier of scientific knowledge, UiO carries a major responsibility for helping alleviate the climate crisis, which is the greatest threat of our time. By educating highly qualified students who will set the agenda in the public debate, conduct long-term research and work to ensure that relevant and necessary knowledge is made available, UiO will contribute to solutions both locally and globally.

I want to work to ensure that the board's priorities are in line with UiO's strategy of leading the way in national and international climate work and be a role model for other institutions.

Gender balance and career development

I am concerned with gender balance everywhere, also in top academic positions (full professors). There is still a long way to go. Mentoring programs and economic support are among good measures that must be expanded to achieve this. In a working life with strong competition, we must have a clear strategy to ensure that UiO in the future is an attractive workplace for both women and men with engagement, ambition and talent. I want to work for UiO to strengthen its commitment to gender balance and increased diversity, and that we jointly develop an open, inclusive and positive research culture that our students want to continue to be a part of.

About me

I know UiO well, first as a student, and in several years as a work place. Since 2005, I have been employed here as a doctoral student, postdoctoral fellow and now associate professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences. UiO has given me rich opportunities to develop professionally. I was recently considered worthy of being promoted to the rank of full professor in psychology and have over 20 years ahead of me as a professor at UiO. I feel ready to give something back by getting involved in the board and contributing to UiO to be an even better workplace, both for the employees and for our students.

I was encouraged by my colleagues to stand for election and know it as a great vote of confidence that they believe I possess qualities that can be important in such a position.

I have been a union representative at UiO for the Association of Psychologists and “Akademikerne” and have closely observed the importance of the university democracy, not least the UiO board, to ensure democratic processes and real participation for employees. Among other professional and personal experiences, this has given me a strong desire and inspiration to work with board issues in the coming years.

I have experienced that my ability to listen to arguments, get properly acquainted with complex issues, and let different voices be heard, have been important to ensure the best possible discussion of different perspectives. In my opinion, this is a prerequisite for finding good solutions and reaching qualified decisions. The key is trust. I am concerned with securing a mandate and having people's trust behind me.

As a psychologist, I am used to working with demanding interpersonal processes and encourage an open and respectful communication.

Behind me, I have research stays as a student and a researcher abroad and am concerned that UiO should have extensive collaborations with international researchers and universities all around the world, and that we take good care of our international colleagues working at UiO.

I myself come from a subject that spans a wide range. At the same time as being part of the department of social sciences at UiO, psychology also has branches far into the natural sciences and the humanities. This applies to content as well as scientific perspectives and research methods, thereby also various possibilities for funding, publishing and citation. Precisely this knowledge from my own subject has made me particularly aware of the importance of having an open attitude to scientific practice. The diversity of subject matters in my field is reflected in my own research, where I have set up randomized controlled trials, but also worked on in-depth case studies and clarification of theoretical concepts. I have extensive experience with the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods. There are strength and limitations with all types of research methods and design, and I will work to preserve the conditions for academic openness, respect and diversity.


My election platform rests on a humanistic foundation wherein our research and working environment must not give way to controlling managerial practices. It is important to fight for a culture of trust at UiO as an organization before it is too late.

At the heart of all our activities lies our academic freedom, institutional autonomy and the recognition of skilled professionals. I stand for election with an overarching goal of ensuring this freedom and for the employees to be heard and valued. I hope my qualifications and personal experience will give me the opportunity. I have great respect for the board mandate and will do my very best in this work.

Published May 14, 2021 1:24 PM - Last modified Mar. 14, 2022 10:54 AM