Committed to advocate for COVID-19 compensation on a national level!

Doesn’t it seem fair that PhD students should be compensated for the time lost due to Covid-19? We think so, and are therefore not satisfied with the current compensation at OsloMet. In hope of greater support, we are now redirecting our effort. We have initiated a collaboration with the Association of Doctoral Organizations in Norway (SIN), UiODoc (UiO) and DION (NTNU). Together, we have committed to advocate for better compensation at a national level.

In particular, we call for fair compensation and equal treatment across universities. Nevertheless, preliminary experiences tell us that compensation is handled on a lower level – and often with a strong focus on financial over research matters. This suggests the need for better compensation and more information on how the national guidelines should be applied. Our first step is hence to present our situation for Universities Norway (Universitets- og Høgskolerådet).

In an interesting turn, the universities have estimated the expected cost of delayed PhD students – and OsloMet’s estimation seems conservative. Despite having a comparable number of PhD students, OsloMet estimates the price of delays to 1/10 of UiT The Arctic University of Norway’s estimation (Source: khrono.no/dette-koster-phd-forsinkelser-den-enkelte-institusjon/491992). The numbers underline our experiences of different interpretations across institutions, and might suggest that our local guidelines for compensation are too strict.

On a local level, we expect further specifications of OsloMet’s guidelines next week. Meanwhile, we uphold our advice to PhD students to document any delays.

Stay tuned!

Kompensasjon som følge av korona / COVID-19 Compensation

English version follows below

Uavhengig av hvilke retningslinjer som gjelder vil det å dokumentere produktivitetstap være viktig.

Kjære kolleger,

Som stipendiater har denne tida vært spesiell tøff. Vi er midlertidig ansatte, og har hovedansvar for et prosjekt som skal bli ferdig på kort tid, og vi er ansatt basert på tiden det vil ta å fullføre prosjektet. Konsekvensene av koronatida har vært spesielt store for oss. De som ikke har tapt noe progresjon etter den siste tida tilhører mindretallet. Nå har det kommet retningslinjer for søknad om ekstra tid, men dette gjelder ikke med en gang alle. Og denne teksten er derfor ment som en utdypelse av hvem det gjelder og hva du kan gjøre for at den kan gjelde deg hvis du skulle trenge det – i fremtiden.

Rektoratet har kommunisert til oss i PhD-Forum at dette er IKKE ment som kompensasjon for tapt arbeidstid, med mindre tap av tid forhindrer levering av PhD-avhandlingen din innen tida. Dette er også å finne i presiseringene til hvordan man skal forholde seg til retningslinjene som er lagt ut på våre ansattsider. Sitat: “Det er i OsloMet sin interesse og i tråd med vårt samfunnsmandat at ph.d.-kandidater som blir forsinket utover 6 år på grunn av koronasituasjonen, kan få forlenget opptak til ph.d.-programmet med en tilsvarende periode som forsinkelsens varighet.”

Videre, vil et eventuelt flatt tillegg ikke komme før kunnskapsdepartementet (KD) gir midler til dette og det betyr at ikke alle nå vil kunne få kompensasjon for tida som er tapt. Vi har forståelse for at mange nå kan gå en tung tid i møte med ekstra overtidsarbeid på toppen av den overtida som vi ofte bedriver med av å være nettopp forskere. Under følger derfor instrukser for hvordan du senere i løpet ditt kan benytte deg av retningslinjene ved å sikre viktig dokumentasjon nå.

OM HVORDAN FÅ KOMPENSASJON SENERE I LØPET

Ut fra hvordan situasjonen er vil retningslinjene gjelde for de som er forhindret fra å fullføre nå. Men de vil også gjelde for de som i fremtiden vil være forhindret fra å få fullført. Det betyr at hvis du i slutten av din periode ser at du ikke vil fullføre fordi etterslepet fra koronatida har vært med deg, så kan du bruke dokumentasjon på hvordan du hadde det i den perioden for å søke om forlengelse av ansettelsesperioden når den tid kommer. Det krever imidlertid at du NÅ, uansett hvor du er hen i løpet, innhenter denne dokumentasjonen. Dette kan gi deg lyset du trenger i enden av tunnelen.

Ut i fra retningslinjer som foreligger anbefaler vi derfor at du gjør dette:

  • Send en mail til din veileder og dokumenter hvordan koronatida har hindra progresjonen din. Hvilke arbeidsoppgaver ble du forhindret fra å få til, og hvorfor.
  • Send en mail til leder med personalansvar, og informèr vedkommende om tap av progresjon/arbeidstid.

Ekstra informasjon for stipendiater med barn:

Bruk av “sykt barn”-dager eller andre fraværskvoter i SAP: Disse retningslinjene (se link til sist i dokumentet) gjelder for alle stipendiater ved OsloMet uavhengig av hjemmesituasjon. Hvorvidt du må bruke “sykt barn”-dager eller ikke må avklares med din HR kontakt.

TIL SLUTT

Vi bemerker at det kan komme bedre ordninger i fremtiden, men det er uansett viktig at du gjør punktene over nå hvis du skulle trenge å be om forlengelse i slutten av ditt løp senere.

Til sist betyr denne ordningen at søknader på bakgrunn av forsinkelse som følge av korona vil komme i rykk og napp og til forskjellige saksbehandlere på de forskjellige institutter og fakulteter. Vi håper så langt det er mulig at det blir sikret likebehandling av søknadene, og ber eventuelle tilfeller hvor du opplever at dette ikke har skjedd om å melde fra til oss.

Vi er her for deg.

Med vennlig hilsen,

PhD-Forum

 

Relevante lenker:

Stipendiater kan søke om forlengelse: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/siste-nytt/-/nyhet/stipendiater-kan-soke-om-forlengelse?utm_source=hioa&utm_medium=mail&utm_campaign=nyhetsbrevintern

Retningslinjer for forlengelse av stipendiater: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/en/retningslinjer-om-forlengelse-av-stipendiater-og-postdoktorer-ved-koronarelatert-forsinkelser-ved-oslomet

 

ENGLISH:

Independent of which guidelines are in force, it will be important to document any loss of labour productivity.

Dear colleagues,

It has been especially hard to be PhDs during this time. Vi are temporary employed, with responsibility for a project meant to be finished in a relatively short amount of time. As temporary employees we are also hired based on the time it will take to finish this project. The consequences of COVID-19 has been especially hard for us. PhDs who have not lost any progression belong to a very small minority. Guidelines for applying for extension of this time has been presented to us, but these guidelines are not applicable to everyone. This text is therefore meant as an elaboration of who these are meant for, as well as what you can do now to make it meant for you, if you should need it in the future.

The rectorship has communicated to us directly in PhD Forum that these guidelines are not meant as compensation of lost time for work, unless that loss of time for work directly prevents handing in a finished thesis. This information can also be found in the text published on the OsloMet employee-pages: “It is in the interest of OsloMet and in line with our social mandate that PhD fellows who are delayed beyond 6 years due to the corona situation can be allowed to extend admission to the PhD programme with a period corresponding to the duration of the delay” (link to this can be found at the end of this e-mail)

Furthermore, a flat compensation given out to all PhDs will only be possible if the Ministry of Education and Research gives funding for this, and this means that all PhDs will not be given compensation for work time lost at the moment. Vi understand that many PhDs now will face a hard time with extra hours on top of the extra hours we already find ourselves doing because of the profession we have chosen as researchers. Therefore, we will now give you some instructions on what you can do now if you later in your PhD track come to the point when the guidelines apply to you and you need to ask for extension.

HOW TO GET COMPENSATION LATER IN YOUR PHD TRACK

As stated earlier, the guidelines apply to those prevented from finishing now. But the same guidelines will also apply if you in the future find yourself prevented from finishing. That means that if you find yourself at the end of the track, unable to finish because of a corona-lag you haven’t been able to shake off, you can apply for extension if you have the right documentation. This means that you NOW have to get this documentation. This can give you a much needed light at the end of the tunnel.

Based on the guidelines, we therefore strongly suggest that you do the following:

  • Send an email to your supervisor and document how COVID-19 has prevented your progression, such as what tasks you could not do and perform and who.
  • Send an email to your head of personnel and inform that person about loss of progression and work time.

Extra information for PhDs with kids:

Use of “sick leave – child”-days and other types of work leaves in SAP: The guidelines covers all PhDs at OsloMet, regardless of home situation. Your contact in HR needs to clarify if you need to use work leaves.

ENDING NOTES

We would also like to note that there might be better solutions in the future, but that it is nevertheless necessary that you follow our suggestions above, in case you need this documentation later in your PhD track.

Last, we would like to note that because of this, applications will come at different times with different documentation, and to different institutes and faculties. We hope that as far as possible equal assessment will be given to applications, and we ask that cases where you experience that this has not been done be reported to us.

We are, as always, here for you

Sincerely,

PhD Forum

 

Relevant links:

PhD fellows can apply for an extension: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/en/siste-nytt/-/nyhet/stipendiater-kan-soke-om-forlengelse?utm_source=hioa&utm_medium=mail&utm_campaign=nyhetsbrevintern

Guidelines for extending research fellowships: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/en/retningslinjer-om-forlengelse-av-stipendiater-og-postdoktorer-ved-koronarelatert-forsinkelser-ved-oslomet

PhD-Night on the Trial Lecture and the Public defense

Have you heard the about the one student that failed his doctoral examination? Yet, no one really seems to know who this is? The doctoral examination is surrounded by myths. In order to prepare you for the big day, we invited three resources within academia to address our insecurities and share their experiences with the trial lecture and the public defense.

On December 10th, approximately 60 PhD-students gathered to our PhD night on the subject. With the help of Kim Henrik Ruud, Haakon Meyer and Jamie Johnston, we discussed the doctoral examination from an administrative, opponent and candidate’s point of view.

The formal setting

Together, the trial lecture and the public defense constitute the doctoral examination. While both the trial lecture and public defense are subject of approval, our guests assure us that it is the written thesis that is the main test.

While the doctoral examination is regulated by rules, there are differences between the faculties. For example, in some faculties, the committee presents your thesis. However, if you are among those who are expected to present it yourself, it might be wise to make the presentation two to three months before the examination. Be sure to check the regulations at your local PhD program.

Kim Henrik Ruud talking about the formal setting of the disputation.

Keep also in mind the errata list. You can apply to correct minor formal errors in your thesis, but this must happen no later than four weeks before the committee’s submission deadline. The assessment committee has three months to submit their assessment.

More information on the formal setting in Kim Henriks presentation slides.

The trial lecture

The main purpose of the trial lecture is to test your abilities to acquire and disseminate knowledge. Remember that the committee already knows your topic. The target group for your trial lecture is hence students, co-workers, family and the informed public. Define things carefully and make it interesting for them. Pictures might be helpful for the visual engagement of an audience.

The assessment committee decides the title of the trial lecture and announces it ten working days ahead of the doctoral examination. Often, the title is related to your thesis, but not directly connected. Upon receiving the title, it is important to find your focus (i.e. is this an overview, nuanced understanding or critical reflection?). Make the presentation meaningful for you and use it to obtain a new perspective of your work. Remember that the trial lecture should be held in the same language as your thesis is written in.

Jamie Johnston talking about the trial lecture.

The meta structure of your presentation will help build your argument. Thinking of the logical progression as similar to the structure of an article might be helpful. Reconsider how each slide contributes to your argument.

More information on the trial lecture in Jamies presentation slides.

The lecture lasts for 45 minutes. It can be a good idea to practice your presentation a couple of times before – to do a trial-trial lecture – nonetheless to ensure that you are able to keep to the timeframe. An extra tip is to add a couple of extra slides in the end, which you can use if you finish early. Before the trial lecture, it might also be wise to check and familiarize yourself with the technical equipment.

 

The public defense

Prepare for the public defense by looking at the assessment you have received with your supervisor. Some questions are common during the defense, which means that you can prepare an answer in advance. One example is: “what are your key contributions?”

Haakon Meyer talked about both the trial lecture and the defense.

Often, the defense takes the form of a conversation. Do not be afraid to ask questions back during to your opponent, but avoid too simple answers or hogging the stage. The point of the defense is after all to have a good debate. If you struggle with one or two questions, our experienced opponent finds it acceptable to answer “Good question. I do not have an answer right now, but I will consider it.”

The public defense lasts between two and four hours. When the opponents are satisfied, the defense is usually approved. This varies a little from program to program. The committee will sometimes gather after the defense, deliberate for a little while and then approve the defense.

The doctoral dinner

While it is tradition that the candidate invites the committee, chair, family and friends to a doctoral dinner, the dinner is not mandatory. In order to use your energy wisely before the doctoral examination, one tip is to let someone else organize the dinner, such as your family. Keep also in mind that some of the expenses for the dinner is eligible for a tax deduction.

We look forward to seeing you all at new PhD-nights next semester. Until then, we wish you a merry Christmas!

PhD-night: The trial lecture and the public defence

Welcome to the last PhD night of this semester on December 10th. This evening we will address the trial lecture and public defence. What happens between handing in your dissertation and the defence? How does the opponent decide the theme of the trial lecture? What does the opponent look for in the defence? Moreover, how did the PhD-student spend the last two weeks preparing for the trial lecture and defence?

We have invited an administrative facilitator, an opponent and a former PhD student to share their experiences with the trial lecture and the defence. Thus, providing you with the tips for a successful disputation!

There will be time for questions after each talk.

 

Time:  Tuesday December 10th, 16.30

Place: Deiglig Fyrhuset, Pilestredet 52

 

Program

16.30: Pizza (free)

17.00-17.20: Kim Henrik Ruud (senior advisor, research and development) – The formal setting for the trial lecture and public defence

17.20-17.50: Haakon Meyer (professor and experienced opponent) – The trial lecture and public defence from the opponent’s point of view

17.50: Short break

18.00-18.30: Jamie Johnston (associate professor and former PhD-student) – The trial lecture and public defence from the PhD student’s point of view

Also, check out the Facebook event in the group “PhD life at OsloMet”: https://www.facebook.com/events/510206202909960/

New members in PhD-forum 

We are happy to welcome three new members to our Ph.d.-forum!  

Anna Nishchyk is the first ph.d.-candidate to represent Engineering Science in our forum. Her research is on Augmented reality technologies and its use for fall prevention among elderly people.  

Karoline Madsen represents Health Sciences and is taking over the position in Ph.d.-forum after Runa Kalleson. Karoline is basing her PhD on user led research and her specific research topic will be decided in collaboration with patient, next of kins and municipal employees. 

Olga Serediak represents Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS) and takes over after Andreea Alecu. Olga’s research is on labour market outcomes of higher education undertaken abroad. 

To find out who is representing your program, look at the Members page.

Work life after the PhD?

– Do you ever wonder what you are going to do when you finish your PhD?

– Would you like career counseling at OsloMet?

– Do you wonder how to build a research career, and what transferable skills you actually have?

Next week, at the Research Career Day 2019 you might get some valuable input on that. More info and sign up for the event here: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/hva-skjer/-/aktivitet/phd-career-day. This event is planned by FoU, HR og OsloMet Career.

Time: 31st of October at 8.30-15.00

Also, check out OsloMet courses on transferable skills and career development this fall at OsloMet: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/kurs-generiske-ferdigheter

 

PhD-night on Mental Health

On September 23th the fourth PhD-night was arranged. Around 35 PhD-students and representatives from Human Resources (HR) gathered at Fyrhuset to learn more about mental health for PhD-students. The topic of balancing work and private life is a well known challenge for most of us and was mentioned by all contributors.

A series of presentations with different perspectives on mental health were held. Magnus Blystad (PhD-forum representative) had a brief introduction on the prevalence of depression and anxiety among graduate students. Afterwards, Anna Runesson informed about the work by the clerical services. PhD-students are welcome to discuss both low threshold themes and themes of more serious nature, regardless of philosophy of life or religious belief. She has shared a summary of her presentation.

Tone Vang from Stamina Helse.

Finally, Tone Vang from Stamina Helse (the occupational health service/bedriftshelsetjenesten) gave a presentation on the stressing factors PhD candidates meet and the importance of distinguishing between work and private life to give oneself some breaks. She also pointed out that stress and anxiety are normal healthy reactions, but if they take over too much of your life, you might want to seek help. OsloMet collaborates with Stamina to assist the employer, employee and safety representative in their work to create safe and healthy working conditions. Contact your leader, safety delegate (verneombud) or the union representative (tillitsvalgt)  if you need to talk to someone.

We look forward to seeing you on the next PhD-night themed “The public defence”.

October afterwork for Phd Candidates

Afterwork for Phd Candidates will return on the 11th of October.

Are you doing your PhD at OsloMet, and find yourself in need of a relaxing break? Perhaps you have just started and want to meet other people doing their PhD’s here? Want to exchange life hacks and advice? Or do you just want to start the weekend on an up-note?  Come and meet other PhD Candidates, and bring a PhD-colleague as well! This evening is all dedicated to frustration and complaining to peers who understand you, as well as relaxation and having fun while not thinking about your research. You decide!

– We provide place and time, and you buy whatever food and/or drinks you like while there.

– Coming alone and unsure of who to say hi to first? No worries! Find the woman with the purple and blue hair 😉

The Ph.d.-forum at OsloMet looks forward to seeing you there!

 

Date: 11th of October 2019

Time: From 15.30 (or when you’re done working)

Place: Eldhuset, Dahlsbergstien 19

Ph.d.-night: Mental health and the Ph.D student

Welcome to our first Ph.D.-night at OsloMet for the fall semester! At these evenings we address topics that are relevant for Ph.D. students across programs at OsloMet. The goal of these events is to mix academic refill with an opportunity to be social outside of working hours. The program for this event will be in English.

The theme for this evening is mental health and the Ph.D. student, which is a growing concern, and one that has garnered significant research recently. For this reason we have setup a program that hopefully can give options for who to contact should you need it, and good strategies to keep mentally fit!

There will be time for questions after each talk.

 

Time: September 23th 2019, 16.30

Place: Deiglig Fyrhuset, Pilestredet 52

 

Program:

16.30: Pizza (Free!)

17.00: Magnus H. Blystad – PhD candidates and mental health: Reported causes for concern

17.10: Anna Runesson – “Someone to talk to” at the clerical services

17.30: Short break

17.40: Tone Vang, Psychologist from Stamina (bedriftshelsetjeneste) – Prevention and counselling.

18.00: Mingling as you wish, the bar will be open for purchases until 21.00.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

PhD-forum at OsloMet

 

Afterwork for PhD students!

Image: National Archives at College Park [Public domain]

By popular demand; Afterwork for Phd-students is now happening in august!

Are you doing your PhD at OsloMet, are almost finished, and find yourself needing a relaxing break? Or have you just started and want to meet other people doing their PhD’s here? Want to exchange life hacks and advice? Or do you just enjoy being social?

Come and meet other PhD-students, and bring a PhD-colleague as well. We provide place and time, and you buy whatever food and/or drinks you like while there.

Coming alone and unsure of who to say hi to first? Find the woman with the purple and blue hair.

Date: 27th of August 2019

Time: From 16.00 (or when you’re done working)

Place: Eldhuset, Dahlsbergstien 19

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