Ingrid Lossius Falkum
Candidate for the University Board among fixed-term employees with teaching and research positions.
Ingrid Lossius Falkum is Researcher at Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas, HF.
Hege Cathrine Finholt, Senior Lecturer, IFIKK/HF
Solveig Aasen, Associate Professor, IFIKK/HF
Ingvild Torsen, Associate Professor, IFIKK/HF
Knut Olav Skarsaune, Postdoctoral Fellow, IFIKK/HF
Anders Strand, Researcher, IFIKK/HF
Mathias Slåttholm Sagdahl, Researcher, IFIKK/HF
I am standing for election to the University Board as a representative for the fixed-term academic staff because I believe the University of Oslo must develop a better and more comprehensive staff policy for this group.
As a fixed-term academic employee at UiO from 2011, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then as a researcher and project manager, I have learned that today's system needs improvement. The path to a permanent academic position must be made shorter, and fixed-term employees must be ensured sufficient opportunities to qualify for permanent positions. We must provide better facilitation and support for PhD students, and increase the participation of the growing group of international academic staff in the university’s decision making.
In my view, too large a proportion of UiO’s academic staff is employed in fixed-term positions and their career paths are too uncertain and unclear. A survey conducted by UiODoc and The Young Academy of Norway shows that many of today’s young researchers consider a further research career to be a both risky and unattractive option. If I am elected, I will focus on the following four issues:
1. A shorter path to permanent employment
- All fixed-term academic employees shall be offered individual career planning in cooperation with their respective department management.
- It must be made easier to employ externally funded researchers permanently, for instance by offering permanent employment upon achievement of professor competence.
- A merit system for teaching must be established, for instance, by having excellence in teaching count towards professor competence.
2. Sufficient opportunities to qualify
- All employees in PhD, postdoctoral and researcher positions who wish to teach and supervise students shall be given the opportunity to do so.
- Employees in lectureships shall be given the opportunity to reduce their teaching load for certain periods to free time for research.
- Fixed-term academic staff shall be offered the same opportunities and support as permanent staff in applying for external project funding, for instance from the RCN and the ERC, with UiO as the host institution.
3. Better facilitation and support for PhD students
- PhD students shall receive clear information about the number of hours of supervision they are entitled to during the doctoral period at the start of their employment (42 hours).
- PhD students shall be encouraged to submit their work to their supervisor as early as possible in the doctoral program. The supervisor has a formal obligation to provide comments and supervision on the work by the deadline agreed upon by student and supervisor.
- PhD students who have submitted their thesis shall keep their UiO affiliation, including laptop and access to the UiO network, until the thesis has been defended, even if they are no longer formally employed by UiO.
4. Increased participation of UiO’s international academic staff
- The growing group of international academic staff, many of whom are temporary, shall be given a written introduction to the workings of the university democracy at the start of their employment.
- Increasing the participation of UiO’s international academic staff in university decision-making shall be included as one of the goals for the establishment of an International Staff Mobility Office at UiO.
Targeted efforts in these areas are not only necessary to improve the working conditions for UiO’s fixed-term academic staff. They are also required to fulfil the newly elected Rectorate's ambition for a comprehensive staff policy that safeguards recruitment, skills and career development, working and learning environments for both employees and students. In particular, it will be necessary to ”ensure that students receive a far greater dividend from UiO's extensive research resources and international contacts, [and] better utilize current research in UiO's curriculum”, as Stølen and Mo emphasise in their election platform.
I am a linguist and leader of the research project Acquiring Figurative Meanings at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas (IFIKK) at the Faculty of Humanities, funded by the RCN’ FRIPRO scheme for Young Research Talents (2015-2020). Prior to this, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at IFIKK (2011-2015), also funded by the RCN, where I spent part of the time as a visiting scholar at Stanford University. I graduated from University College London in 2011 with a PhD in Linguistics. Since 2013 I have served on the Departmental Board at IFIKK as a representative for the fixed-term academic staff.