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!