Norwegian version of this page

Working at Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN)

Welcome to SMN! This page provides some useful initial information for new employees at SMN.

Image may contain: Medical procedure, Medical equipment, Medical, Surgeon, Surgical instrument.

Photo: Geir Mogen

Team SMN

Before you arrive

After you have signed your working contract with the University of Oslo, you can start your process of preparing the move.


Visa – contact your local authorities to see if you will need a visa in order to travel and work in Norway.

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 when starting to work in Norway:

If you need further assistance, you contact ISMO by clinking the red "Request assistance"-button on this page: 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.

Book an appointment with the Service Center for Foreign Workers

Please book an appointment with the Service Center for Foreign Workers at

You will need to visit the center after you arrive, and it is always wise to book an appointment early. To book an appointment first thing when you know your arrival date in Norway is our best advance.


The University can offer new employees temporary housing if needed up to 12 months. Ask your executive officer to check the availability for an apartment through UiO's Researcher Housing. Read more here:

Note that the Researcher Housing Office can never guarantee that they have apartments to offer everyone. It could therefore be good to check the private marked as well - some sites listed below:

Hotels, etc:

The Tenancy agreement an agreement that regulates the tenant's and the landlord's rights and obligations in the tenancy. An example of a standard Tenancy agreement in English can be found here:

Sometimes it might be difficult to sign a tenancy agreement and open a deposit account when you don’t have a Norwegian ID number. If so, contact me and we can try to find a solution together.

Arrival date

When you know your arrival date, please let HR (Ørjan Pretorius, your project leader and executive officer know so we can prepare your office space and similar.


When you arrive

Where to find us

  • How to get to the University of Oslo
  • 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.
  • Electrochemistry and Structure physics is located at Forskningsparken, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo.
  • NAFUMA and Catalysis Katalyse 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.

Service Center for Foreign Workers

Your first stop should be the Service Center in order to get your Tax card and Norwegian ID-number. We need these documents in order to process your employment at the University. The sooner you can get ahold of this the better. You can therefor visit SUA before you have your first day at UiO.

The Office is located in the City center not far from the Oslo Central Station. You can walk from the Central Station, or take trams 18 or 19 in direction Ljabru. The nearest stop is the first stop after Oslo Central (Jernbanetorget) called Bussterminalen Grønnland.  You can find a map here:

Please send a copy of the letter you get from UDI on your meeting with SUA to your HR contact person, Ørjan Pretorius

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 Ørjan Pretorius. 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.

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

Most Norwegian banks have branches in Oslo, and most are located in the city center.  Some examples of Norwegian banks are: DNB (, Danske Bank (, Sparebank1 ( ) and Nordea (

UiO User Account

1-3 days after you have started your contract, you will get your permanent UiO account and e-mail account. Come to executive officers or IT department to get your account details. 

Empoyee 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. For more information about the SiO Centre see Remember to bring a valid ID, such as a passport or bankcard.

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 executive officers 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 the executive officer 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.


During your time here

Once you have started your job, and hopefully settled in to your office, there are still some things that you need to remember.


Your salary is paid out on the 15th of each month. In the month of December you only pay half of your normal taxes. In the month of July your salary is what is called holiday pay (feriepenger). Until your tax-card is delivered, you will be deducted 50% in taxes. For more information on this check out:


International Staff Mobility Office (ISMO) has information about tax card and tax return

HR-portal: Working hours and illness

The HR-portal is the University’s online base for registering working hours, absence from work, travels and holidays. The working week for academic staff is 37.5 hours per week. Lunch (30 minutes per day) is additional. Normal working hours for the staff are from 08.00 - 17.00 as an outer frame, and one is expected to be present for the core hours of 9.00 - 14.30 year-round.  Please note that you will not need to register your work hours, this is only the case for non-academic staff.

You find the HR-portal here:

The web page for general information here:


When you are ill, you must inform you supervisor. In addition, you must log into the HR-portal in order to deliver self-certification of absence due to illness. Self-certification can be used when you have worked at UiO for at least two months and it is valid for a maximum of 8 days per illness within 16 calendar days and a maximum for 24 days per year. Beyond this, you must submit medical certification. Medical certifications are only valid for the days you are with the doctor and must be delivered to HR. You can read more about procedures for illnesses here:

Health Insurance

You are covered through Folketrygdens program HELFO ( It is recommended that you apply for your European Health Card (once you have received your Norwegian ID and Bank account) at Here you can also change your doctor (fastlege) if you do not like to one you were assigned, etc.


  • University wifi: eduroam. You log on using your [UiO username]@uio and password.
  • A personal homepage both in Norwegian and in English is established for all employees. You should maintain your homepage yourself. This is done by clicking 'Manage documents' at the bottom of the page and signing in using your UiO credentials. 
  • You can access your e-mail in several ways, e.g. by using the following website: Read more at  
  • Printing. Most printes 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. 
  • Once you have received your permanent university e-mail address from your executive officer you may be added to the joint e-mail lists for the Center and the Department. You can see the full list of lists, and subscribe at

  • If you have any questions concerning IT-support, you can contact local IT. Chemists contact and physics contact


You should also read through the University webpages regarding regulations and guidelines:

Please make sure to read the ethical and personnel guidelines in particular. 

Familiarize yourself with the fire safety routines:


Before your first travel please read through the University webpages regarding travels carefully:

All travels is booked through

In order to get your costs refunded you need to keep all your receipts from your travels, this includes boarding pass from flights. This means that you must pay extra attention to any receipts if you pay in cash. You will need to register and submit all your travel costs in the HR-portal.


Please check the webpage for general information about holidays:

The rules when it comes to holidays can be a bit tricky to understand, so if you have any questions you can talk to Ørjan Pretorius or me.

You will get all official Norwegian holidays off (i.e Easter, Christmas, 1st of May, 17th of May and Pentecost). These are marked in your HR portal. In the HR portal you also apply for holidays

Before leaving for holiday, mark your absence in your electronic calendar and write an automatic absence reply message in your e-mail. Please also let me know.


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 the executive officers, and (s)he will place it for you.


CRIStin is the national system used by UiO for registering academic activities and results. You must register all of your journal publications, books, book chapters, talks, posters, media contributions, etc., as the information entered into this system is used to generate reports on scientific activity, including information on collaboration (internally, nationally and internationally). If you have any difficulties using Cristin, you can contact Xuemei Cui.

If you publish in a lesser-known peer-reviewed journal, please ensure that the journal is recognized at level 1 or 2 according to the Database for Statistics and Higher Education.

Learning Norwegian

Positions such as postdocs or PhDs are recommended to attend Norwegian classes. However, knowledge of Norwegian is only mandatory for staff in teaching positions.

UiO offers different types and levels of Norwegian language courses. All courses are offered at a fee. Check with your project leader whether your research project can sponsorship your fee.

If you want to practice on your own UiO has listed some usefull links here: LearnNoW is a good example of a free online course:  


Every year SMN arranges a Christmas party in December and a Summer-party in June. The SMN organizes the yearly winter seminar where young researchers (master students, PhD students, postdocs and researchers) and prominent scientists from the SMN get together. 


As an employee at the University of Oslo, you have the access to several great welfare goods. This can be kindergarten, concerts and access to cheap gyms. As an example, you can access the SiO gyms for 230 NOK per month. This is about ½ of the cost for commercial gyms. For more information on the gyms check out

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 Ørjan will send you the Final settlement form. Deliver the filled form to Anne Margit Arntzen during the 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.
Published Nov. 3, 2015 11:18 AM - Last modified Oct. 5, 2020 12:09 PM