Martin Bengt Alfred Falck
Candidate for the University Board among the fixed-term employees with teaching and research positions
- Daniel Hitchcock, Researcher, Department of Biosciences, MN
I’ll keep this short and to the point.
I am a person of action.
A university should actively encourage and foster students to keep their enthusiasm and fascination with the academic disciplines. These will in turn grow into leaders and teachers using their own contagious enthusiasm and drive to further influence a thriving and creative academic community. This also means that our university has a strong responsibility to ensure our students and workforce are taken care of and are part of something greater than their individual roles.
I strongly believe that a university should focus primarily on its own employees and students instead of academic production, e.g. a high output of high impact papers. While the academic output from our university is important for society, a university is a family foremost, rather than a factory. Happy and enthusiastic staff will, in the long run, foster higher quality science attracts enthusiastic students from abroad, and increase the international standing of our university.
It is quite clear that we are facing large issues with health and career uncertainty among employees and students in all areas of academia. Health and work problems are rising at an alarming rate being increasingly reported on across research and media. Such a multi-faceted issue requires changes in the forms of solutions that we can adopt and introduce across all levels of the university organization. The nation- and faculty-spanning nature of these issues strongly indicates that the problem is systematic rather than individual events.
We have a lot of capability at our university to work effectively to solve and improve these issues. The recent uptick in publications about health in academia and how to innovate and change the ancient structures of universities has amounted to a significant body of scientific literature that can be studied for a basis to action. But we need people who are willing to drive this kind of work and we need to think beyond our own short project years in a long-term perspective.
I am engaged in improving life for PhD students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, where I represent our fellow students in the Faculty’s PhD committee, and work closely with the PhD student advisor Anna Mazzarella at the Department of Biosciences. Together with organizing and listening to temporary staff I also suggest we initiate stronger collaborations with fellow universities in the areas of staff and student wellbeing, scientific support, and career development. My experience extends outside academia across a diverse range of occupations and I have international skills and education from both inside and outside of Norway. I have a strong sense of empathy and a willingness to work hard to improve the situation for the many of us who work at the University of Oslo.
With this said, I hope to meet many of you the coming year.
- FEBS educational ambassador, delegate for Norway, 2019 (European NGO/Charity)
- Board member of the Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research Forum (2017-2018)
- PhD student representative in the PhD committee at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
- Board member of the Biochemical Interest Group (2017-2018)
- A founding member of the social forum at PharmaTox (Pharmacy, 2017-2019)
- Board member in the IBV Grad Forum working with PhD student issues (2018)
- The IBV Grad Forum
A social platform for graduate students and temporary staff at IBV.
- The Cross-Department Grad Forum (X-DEP)
A cross-department social platform for grad and post grads between the faculties of biosciences, medicine, chemistry, and pharmacy.