Working at Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN)
Welcome to SMN! This page provides some useful initial information for new (and old) employees at SMN.
Photo: Geir Mogen
- Administrative leader SMN: Mari Alnes
- For Electrochemistry/FERMiO/Structure Physics: Sigrid Staurset
- For LENS/semiconductor physics: Kristin Hubred Nygård
- For NAFUMA: Karen Pettersson
Before you arrive
After you have signed your working contract with the University of Oslo, you can start your process of preparing the move.
ISMO - The International Staff Mobility Office
The International Staff Mobility Office (ISMO) at the University of Oslo supports international staff, PhD candidates, guest researchers and their families in all practical relocation issues. ISMO has very useful support web pages regarding almost all piratical issues before, under and after working in Norway.
If you need further assistance, you contact ISMO by clinking the red "Request assistance". When you fill in this form they will have a better understanding of your situation and can direct your question straight to the person responsible for for example visa.
Permits and visa
It is vital to start early with preparations regarding visa, work and residence permits, in good time before leaving for Norway. If you are from outside the EU/EEA, you need to apply for a residence permit and entry visa for Norway while in your home country. This is normally done through your local Norwegian embassy or consulate. Visit Immigration to Norway - UDI (udi.no) for comprehensive information, requirements and documentation needed. You cannot start working before you have received the resident permit/work permit. Visa – contact your local authorities to see if you will need a visa in order to travel and work in Norway. More information on ISMO's pages: visa and permits.
ID and tax
In order to be an employee in Norway you will require an 11-digit ID number and a tax deduction card (Skattekort). To receive these you will need to make an appointment to register with the Norwegian Police through the Service Centre for Foreign Workers. You will need a valid passport for this process. Make this appointment as soon as possible as free slots may be months ahead. If you start working without the tax deduction card you will be taxed 50% (excess taxes will be reimbursed later). Inform University HR as soon as you receive your ID number and tax deduction card. More information on ISMO's pages: tax.
Housing in Oslo can be expensive. The University has a limited number of apartments available for international researchers. Contact us if you wish to apply for these.
On the private market, useful websites for rented accommodation are hybel.no and finn.no, and airbnb.no for short-term rental. The first two are only available in Norwegian, but can usually be tackled with google translate. Most Norwegians speak English, and you can contact potential landlords and letting agencies in this language.
More information on ISMO's pages: accommodation.
Covid entry restrictions
These have largely been lifted for the EU/EEA/Schengen/UK area. If you are from outside this area, we may have to apply for an exemption from entry restrictions for you. In this case, contact us as soon as possible. Regardless, please familiarize yourself with the Norwegian rules to make sure you are aware of the current entry and quarantine regimen.
Update us about your arrival date, please let HR Olga Holmlund, your project leader and executive officer know so we can prepare your office space and similar.
When you arrive
Appointment with the Police / Service Center for Foreign Workers
When you arrive remember to follow through on your appointment to
register with the Norwegian Police through the Service Centre for Foreign Workers. They are located in Schweigaards gate 17, 0191 Oslo (maps.google.com).
Please send a copy of the letter you get from UDI on your meeting with SUA to your HR contact person, Olga Holmlund.
After 5 – 14 days after visiting SUA, you get your Tax Card and Norwegian ID-number. This information must also be provided to your HR contact person Olga Holmlund. This will allow us to enter all your details into the SAP portal – the base for our employees. You will not be paid your salary until you are fully registered in the SAP portal.
Register your address
It is mandatory to inform the National Population Register (“Folkeregisteret”)
about your new address within 8 days after moving. Both the tax authorities and the University will use this as your official address for important letters, so please make sure to change your registration if you move. Depending on your country of origin, you may also have to inform your embassy about your local address in Oslo.
Norwegian bank account
Once you have obtained your Norwegian ID number you may open a Norwegian bank account. In order to get the account processed you will need to personally visit a bank and remember to bring:
- Your passport
- Your Norwegian ID-number
- Contract of employment and/or residence permit
- Work permit
- Tax card
Opening a bank account usually takes 4-6 weeks. Make sure to get a BankID with your account. This enables you to access government services and sign contracts online. Most Norwegian banks have branches in central Oslo. These include: DNB, Danske Bank (Danske bank, Sparebank1, Nordea (Nordea) and SBanken.
Oslo and the Univeristy
Oslo has an extensive and reliable system of metro, buses and trams. These are run by Ruter#, and maps, fares, prices and discounts can be found at their website. The easiest way to pay for tickets is the Ruter App, which can be found on the App Store and Google Play. Tickets can also be purchased at kiosks like Narvesen, 7/11 and Deli de Luca, and at major stops. You can buy tickets for periods ranging from 1 hour (NOK 38) to 1 year (NOK 7950). Tickets are not checked upon entry, but there are random ticket inspections where being caught without one carries a fine of NOK 950-1150.
Cycling and walking
Cycling and walking is generally very safe in Oslo, and excellent ways to get to know the city. Bikes can be rented short-term. Oslo municipality has handy maps of cycling routes and service stations. Electronic scooters are also available for short-term rental from a variety of private suppliers
How to find us
The university is located at Blindern (maps.google.com) in Oslo. Important buildings on the main campus include the University Library (Georg Sverdrups Hus), the Department of Physics (Fysikkbygningen), the Department of Chemistry (Kjemibygningen), and SiO (Kristian Ottosens hus). There are also coffee shops, places to eat, and a grocery store. Student organisations often host activities at Frederikkeplassen. How to get to the University of Oslo.
The research groups that constitute the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology are spread across several buildings.
- LENS/semiconductor physics is located on the third floor in Kristen Nygaards hus, Gaustadalleen 23A, 0373 OSLO.
- The doorbell is marked “LENS”- call and someone will come and open up for you. You will usually find Kristin, the research advisor, in office 3203.
- Electrochemistry and Structure physics is located at Forskningsparken, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo.
- enter the main entrance, go down the large stairs in front of you and turn right. Look for the door labelled SMN/Fermio, and you will usually find Sigrid, the research advisor, in the first office.
- In the building are also two canteens, a bakery and secure bicycle parking.
- NAFUMA and Catalysis is located in the Kjemibygningen, Sem Sælands vei 26, 0371 Oslo.
On your first day, you need to stop by your executive officers in order to get your keys, temporary access card and (temporary) IT-account.
Working at the University of Oslo
Working, holidays and illness
A normal working week is 37.5 hours (without lunch), with core hours 09:00 to 14:30. PhD students, researchers and post docs do not register work hours. All employees are entitled to five weeks of holiday each year. If you cannot work due to illness, you must inform your supervisor/line manager and register your absence. If you are ill for more than eight consecutive days, or more than 24 days in a year, you will need medical certification from a doctor. You register holidays and absence from work in the Self-Service Portal (DFØ-portalen), where you can also view your payslips. Salaries are normally paid on the 12th of every month.
As a new employee you will need to apply for a new tax deduction card in December (after one year’s employment you will receive the card automatically).
All rules and regulations concerning employment conditions can be found on the University web page. In Norway, PhD students are considered employees rather than students and generally follow the same rules.
If you are a PhD student
You will need to submit the paperwork for the PhD program no later than two months after your start date. Information and online application can be found here. You should consider which academic courses you wish to take as part of your degree (30-40 study credits).
When you are employed by the University, you automatically become a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, our public social security system. The public health services are generally considered professional and reliable, and 80% of the population do not have additional private medical insurance. Note that dental health is not normally covered by the national insurance.
After you receive your Norwegian 11-digit ID number, you will be appointed a GP (fastlege) in Oslo. You can change doctors, make appointments, apply for European Health Card and order COVID-19 test at Helsenorge.
Many students and UiO employees have their GPs at at SiOs Health Service, which is located at Kristian Ottosens hus on the main campus.
SiO also owns several large gyms, swimming pools and sports halls, and offers exercise classes in many varieties. A University employee membership is currently NOK 249/month, less than half of most gyms in Oslo.
The most popular form of exercise in Norway is hiking – this is also an excellent talking point and way to get to know Norwegians. Marka, a large, protected area of forest north and east of Oslo, has a wide variety of trails suitable for hikers and cyclists with various degrees of experience. The Norwegian Trekking Organisation is a good starting point for hiking suggestions, explanation of signage and descriptions of how to get to Marka entry points.
Health and safety
When you arrive, you should familiarize yourself with the HSE guidelines at the Faculty and specific rules concerning the departments of Chemistry and Physics (in Norwegian only) depending on which research group you belong to. When you begin working with us, you will also sign up for mandatory HSE and fire safety courses. Your supervisor and/or research group will inform you about lab routines (cleaning, waste disposal, lab safety, SOPs and registration of chemicals).
Norwegian places of employment also elect safety representatives, who represent the staff in matters relating to the working environment.
The University Security Operation Centre also has a 24-hour emergency number: (+47) 22 85 66 66.
UiO User Account and web access
All employees and students have a personal user account, which is used for e-mail and login at all University computers. You will normally receive your account details 1-3 days after you have started your contract. The research advisor will advise you on how to log in when you arrive. You can then change your password to suit your preferences.
Once you have logged in as an employee, you can set up your public personal profile page. On campus, there are two main options for wifi access: Eduroam (sign in with USERNAME@uio.no) or uioguest (receive temporary pass code via SMS).
Employee card - Permanent access card
Once you are registered in the SAP portal you can also get a permanent access card (employee ID card) to the University buildings. Note that it takes 1-3 days from your Norwegian ID-number is registered in the SAP portal before an employee ID card card can be issued.
To issue an employee card you must attend in person at the SiO Costumer service. SiO Costumer service is located at Kristian Ottosen Building at Blindern Campus. Remember to bring a valid ID, such as a passport or an ID card.
Please note: The access card does not automatically give you the access to the buildings you need. So once you have the card, stop by the research advisors office and (s)he will apply for your access.
This card also functions as a lending card at the Universities libraries.
If you need access to Forskningsparken or MiNaLab you need an additional access card. Contact Sigrid, the research advisor, to get access to Forskningsparken. In order to get an MiNaLab access card you can talk to one of the senior engineers in the lab. At the moment Viktor Bobal is the main contact person for MiNaLab access card.
Most information from the Faculty, Institutes and research groups is transmitted via e-mail lists and websites. Once you have set up your e-mail account, you can log on to Sympa, the University mailing list system.
University computers have standard Microsoft Office installed. You can install additional software through Software Center, which you can open by pressing the Windows start button and searching for this program. Additional software, such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign are available without installation through Programkiosk. Once you have your office computer set up, you can also access it remotely.
Most printers have card readers where you use your employee card to get your prints. You connect to printers without card readers by opening the ‘file explorer’ and writing in \\pushprint in the map file field. Search for the printer name and double click.
You should also read through the University webpages regarding regulations and guidelines: http://www.uio.no/english/about/regulations/
Please make sure to read the ethical and personnel guidelines in particular.
If travelling on University business, you must book your travel through our agent, Berg-Hansen. Prior to booking, you need to have your travel plans approved and determine which university account should be charged.
If you pay using a Eurocard credit card, the trip will be covered by their travel insurance. All employees who are members of the Norwegian national insurance scheme and a registered resident can apply for this credit card. Please keep all receipts and familiarize yourself with the university guidelines for travel. You must submit your travel expenses claim within one month of your return, and the claims are normally settled twice a month.
All purchases done by the University must go through the University purchasing system. You are not allowed to access the system. If you want to make a purchase you must therefore talk to your research advisor, and (s)he will place it for you.
Publications and access to journals
When you are logged in with your UiO account, you will have access to a wide range of online publications. If you search through the University Library you will also find available paper copies.
Norway has a national system of registration of scientific contributions called Cristin, which comprises articles, books, book chapters, talks, posters and popular science presentations. Publications is most major online journals and portals will feed automatically into this database. You will be required to make sure your contributions are listed correctly. Cristin entries are also used as an indication of research impact and may be important when applying for funding. Publication in higher ranked journals may give more credits. You should therefore make sure that the chosen publication venue is recognized by the Norwegian register for scientific journals before submitting.
The University supports national guidelines on Open Access, and asks that all articles are archived in DUO, the University open research archive. Articles under embargo can be self-archived here as postprints.
The university offers several language classes aimed at international students. Contact the research advisor if you are interested as these require a fee and the Centre pays for one. course. There are also other language schools in Oslo, including Oslo VO School, Folkeuniversitetet and Berlitz. The International Staff Mobility Office has a handy list of online language resources.
SMN hosts a Christmas party in December, a Winter Seminar sometime in Jan-February and a summer party in June. The Chemistry and Physics departments have various social arrangements, as does the research groups. We tend to be informal and relaxed – at noon, there is always someone to lunch with at the lunch/kitchen area.
As an employee at the University of Oslo, you have the access to several welfare goods. This can be kindergarten, concerts and cheap access to SiO gyms.
End of stay
Before you leave UiO there are some things you need to remember:
- ISMO has a page about pratical matters and formalities. Please read this.
- Hand in your lab journal and all files and other data to your supervisor.
- Ask your supervisor which samples (s)he want to store and where to store them.
- Clean up your lab space, so it is nice and clean for someone new.
- Clean up your office space, so it is nice and clean for someone new. Talk to IT on how to return your computer.
- Hand in your office key to your executive officers or to Sentrallageret if working in the chemistry building.
- Your HR officer Olga Holmlund or Elin Thoresen will send you the Final settlement form. Deliver the filled form to Mari Alnes during your last week of employment.
- If you are working on a publication you can get a prolonged access to your UiO user and e-mail account. Check with your supervisor and executive officer.