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Recruitment of research assistants

Employment conditions for research assistants

  • The employment conditions for research assistants are set out in the regulation for terms of employment for positions as postdoctoral fellow, PhD candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate Section 1-4 (lovdata.no) (Norwegian).
  • Postdoctoral fellows and qualified PhD candidates are not allowed to work as research assistants.
  • Research assistants are not allowed to take on research duties, and research assistants do not need to have received organized research training.
  • The work should qualify for employment as a doctoral research fellow and a further academic career. Therefore, the position does not include administrative duties. For purely secretarial duties, the code for secretarial positions should be used.
  • Monthly salary is the best way of clarifying the employment situation and should be considered with employment for more than 1-2 months in a position of at least 20%. Please contact the administration manager if you have any questions about this.
  • Research assistants have the same employment rights as all other UiO employees.

Recruitment and follow-up

  • Individual researchers and research groups may themselves find a postgraduate student or a qualified master that they wish to employ as research assistant.
  • The administration manager of the department is the formal employer of the research assistant, whereas the researcher/project manager acts as contractor.
  • The administration manager is responsible for drawing up a contract and the responsible researcher/project manager approves time sheets.

Before starting work

  • Everyone working at UiO, including research assistants, must have a contract before they can start work.
  • A research assistant may receive pay from a number of initiatives and projects, but a separate contract must be drawn up for each initiative or project (up to 100% position).
  • Several researchers may go together in employing a research assistant. In such cases it is important that the duties are coordinated and that the total workload is clarified and agreed in writing in advance.
  • As a general rule, the administration manager and the research consultant must be notified of the employment 2-3 weeks before the work is to start.
  • Only the administration manager can act as employer. The project manager may discuss possible assignments with a potential assistant, but the project manager cannot guarantee employment or a position code.
  • Research assistants are paid according to the applicable rates for their employer’s unit, also when they are employed on a research project.

After the contract is signed

  • The contractor (researcher/project manager) checks and approves time sheets and ensures that the number of hours does not exceed what is agreed and approved.
  • Time sheets must be delivered on a running basis and no later than three months after the work is completed.
  • It can take up to four weeks from when the time sheet is delivered until salary is paid, see the schedule for exact dates.

Contract extension

  • When the employment period is coming to an end, the administration manager must be notified no later than 2 weeks before the contract expires if it is to be extended.
  • The total employment period for research assistants may not exceed 2 years, regardless of the position percentage and any interruptions to the employment period.

Salaries and labour costs

The local research consultant or financial officer assists with determining the salary and calculating the total labour costs that will be charged to your funds/project. The costs comprise the following items:

  • Gross hourly wage is determined according to the employee's qualifications (completed Bachelor’s or Master's degree).
  • Social costs (holiday money, pension insurance and employer's contribution) amount to 44% which must be added to the gross salary amount.
  • Overheads: When applying for external funding for employment of a research assistant, overheads should be included in the total application amount. The overhead rate varies according to project type.

Local guidelines and forms

Some departments at the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Social Sciences have in-depth guidelines and forms for employing scientific assistants. However, these are only available in Norwegian.
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