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Sofie A. E. Høgestøl

Candidate for the University Board among the fixed-term employees with teaching and research positions.

Nominated by

  • Anine Kierulf, Postdoc at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights
  • Andreas Dobloug, PhD Candidate at the Institute of Clinical Dentistry
  • Stian Øby Johansen, PhD Candidate  at the Center for European Law
  • Anja Røyne, Postdoc at the Department of Physics
  • Meryl Sønderby Lilenes, leader of UiODoc and Postdoc at the Medical Faculty

Election Platform

I am seeking re-election to the University Board, as I wish to continue to work for increased participation and  better working conditions for temporary academic staff at the University of Oslo.

Together we form a large and varied group of employees, who undertake an essential part of the research, teaching and research dissemination at this university. As such, it is of utmost importance that temporary academic staff are included in decision-making processes, and that we have employment conditions that facilitate professional development and personal welfare.

Over the past year the Ministry of Education has introduced major reform projects in the university sector. Parallel to this, the University Board has also initiated a series of internal reform processes, that will run through 2016. It has been very rewarding to get to be involved in these restructuring processes, and I would therefore like to serve one more term in the University Board, so that I can be involved in seeing them through to completion.

In view of the above changes in the sector and at UiO, it is important that our voices are heard and that our interests are safeguarded . With this in mind, I want to focus on the following three issues in the coming year:

1. Increased representation for temporary academic staff in decision-making bodies

Ensuring that temporary academic staff have better representation in decision-making arenas, has been one of my main goals this year. I have, in cooperation with UiODoc ( the interest organization for PhDs and Postdocs at UiO) worked for us to be included in the university's main decision-making bodies . At central, faculty and departmental level.

We have been successful in increasing our participation in most decision-making forums. Nevertheless, there is still more to be done, and I want to use the ongoing restructuring processes at the university to submit proposals that will give better representation to temporary academic staff at UiO.

I will also be making proposals geared towards increasing the participating of international researchers. As the situation stands today, most (if not all) documents prepared for the University, Faculty and Departmental Boards are only available in Norwegian. In order to include international researchers we need to make sure that information is made available in both Norwegian and English, so that all staff can participate in important university debates on an equal footing.

2. Workshops , career guidance and a Scientific Ombudsman

It has been decided that 2016 will be the year where UiO will focus on the universities learning and working environment. The University Board and leadership will therefore be working a lot with this theme in the coming year. I want to use this opportunity to improve the working environment for temporary academic staff by (i) increasing workshops and courses aimed at our group , (ii) provide career counseling , and by (iii) establishing a Scientific Ombudsman.

UiO should offer more courses in research management, publishing and career development that specifically targets researchers early in their careers. This year we created a new leadership course for young researchers, and I now wish to ensure that we introduce more courses like this. In cooperation with UiODoc we have also been promised that the University will start providing career guidance for PhDs and Postdoctoral Fellows; and I will work to have this service introduced as soon as possible.

Last but not least, I also want to continue working towards the creation of a Scientific Ombudsman at UiO (as has already been created at the Faculty of Medicine ) . We started working on this proposal last year and I hope that we can now get an Ombudsman in place. I think that such a service will create a better and safer working environment for all faculty members.

3. Improving employment conditions

Temporary employment and improved employment conditions are the two issues that I have dedicated the most time to this year (particularly the proposal related to tenure track positions). But given that the Ministry of Education has recently issued a number of proposals relating to employment conditions for temporary researchers, this will continue to be important.

The Ministry is proposing several different changes, including one geared towards making it easier for universities to give researchers on external funding permanent employment. Should these proposals be adopted, then it will have consequences for UiO’s hiring practices.

I want to use the opportunity presented by these new proposals to develop a better HR-policy for researchers on temporary contract. Should it become possible to hire researchers on external funding permanently, then I will work hard to ensure that the university actually changing employment practices and offer these researches permanent positions.

Before being elected to the University Board, I was the leader of Law Faculty’s PhD Council and a member of the departmental board of the Department of Public and International Law. I have previously held various student leadership positions at Georgetown and LSE ​​.

I am very motivated for a new term in the University Board and hope to continue the good relationships that I have fostered with the other board members, the university’s leadership and UiODoc.

Background

  • B.Sc. London School of Economics, 2008
  • Fulbright Scholar 2011/2012
  • LL.M. Georgetown University Law Centre, 2012
  • PhD Candidate Law Faculty,  2013
  • Leader, PhD Council of the Law Faculty , 2014
  • Board Member, University Board, 2014
Published May 15, 2015 10:59 AM - Last modified May 16, 2019 10:18 AM