International research in focus (ifif project)
The ifif project was launched in 2006 as an administrative and organizational contribution to strengthening the University of Oslo's position as a research university of high international standard. UiO's reception services for international researchers were to be coordinated and enhanced by a holistic reception concept combining guiding principles with central and local measures.
The project was concluded by the end of 2010. The implemented measures have received a permanent organizational structure. Quality assurance routines insure that the reception apparatus is continuously adjusted to changing needs and framwork conditions.
Internationalizing research activity generates increased researcher mobility. Already in 2006 about ¼ of all researchers affiliated with UiO had non-Norwegian citizenship, and on a yearly basis, the University welcomed some 1000 researchers from around the world. These numbers were expected to increase significantly in the years to come and the strategies adopted were anticipated to spread the aspect of internationalization to more and more of our research environments.
Successful researcher mobility depends on a well-functioning reception apparatus. The traditionally fragmented and poorly coordinated services did not satisfy these requirements. The project was expected to rectify this situation.
The ifif project received the mandate to develop and to put into place a reception concept with:
- a clear and appropriate allocation of responsibility
- a comprehensive service profile
- systematic processes for quality assurance
Project report and implementation
In 2008, the University Leadership endorsed the holistic reception concept for international researchers proposed by the comprehensive project report (English summary).
The Organisation and Personnel Department, in cooperation with other administrative departments, started the process of implementing the adopted central measures. By the end of 2010, the sentral reception services had become part of UiO's regular HR features.
The initiatives of the ifif project qualified UiO to join the EURAXESS Services Network (euraxess.no) as a Local Contact Point in 2009 and thus mark itself as a best practice institution (pdf) in this field in a European context.
Measures implemented at central level
- Helpdesk for hosts at UiO: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 22 84 42 29
- Network for administrative hosts at UiO: email@example.com
- Helpdesk for international researchers at UiO: firstname.lastname@example.org,
tel. 22 84 42 29
- Tax assistance for international researchers
2. Written information
- Website International Researchers: practical and administrative information for incoming researchers
- Website Mottak av nyansatte og gjester fra utlandet (Norwegian): reception-relevant information for hosts
- Website Stays abroad: practical and administrative information for outgoing researchers
- Website For employees: some 200 webpages with vital practical/administrative information for employees at UiO have been made available in English for our non-Norwegian speaking staff
- UiO's researcher housing scheme has been restructured and enhanced.
4. Courses & events
- Norwegian language courses for international researchers and accompanying spouses/partners
- Welcome breakfast for new international researchers: introductory event hosted by the UiO leadership 1-2 per semester
- Social and cultural program for international reseachers
- Reliable data on citizenship is now registered for all persons included in UiO's HR database SAPUiO.
- EURAXESS Services: a central competency unit for practical researcher mobility assistance has been established at the Office for International Relations and Research Support. As of 1.1.2018 the unit has been expanded to comprise five staff members and moved to the Department for Personnel Support. At the same time, the unit changed its name to International Staff Mobility Office (ISMO).
- Institution-wide anchoring: the ifif-concept has been anchored at faculty and department levels.