In this last editorial of the year it is time to look back at the K2 activities in 2015. With regards to education the main focus has been on the new curriculum in medicine. Although much work remains, the planning is well underway. Digital tools in teaching and examinations are coming. Although the vision of new, fully funded study places in pharmacy has not yet been realized, the Center for Pharmacy has made a great effort of raising the parliamentarians’ awareness of this issue. A new course in galenic pharmacy has been started.
The research activity and the outcome of grant applications have been very good. K2 researchers obtained seven new NFR projects this year, including a part in an infrastructure application that is coordinated from Oslo. K2 received about 60% of the new multi-year grants from Samarbeidsorganet as well as four new EU projects. The total funding received in various applications by K2 employees, will amount to approximately 93 million NOK which is 7 million more than we received from the government. There is however still a large potential for improved external funding.
The technical staff at the department makes important contributions to the successful research. I wish to give credit to Ersilia Bifulco, Jenny Zhang and Tove Folkestad who have reestablished the Forum for Technicians.
HSE is important to all of us. All the staff at K2 has received, or will be offered appraisal interviews annually.
A very tight department economy has left its mark on the activities this year. Although several research groups have received large grants, there are also groups that have not obtained external funding, and the department has had little to offer. I am grateful that people have shown understanding for the limitations linked to the tight budgets. On the bright side, the debt K2 gained by the reorganization of the faculty is now nearly liquidated. This means that in the coming years, there will be some money to promote the K2 activities.
Keywords for next year are the new curriculum in medicine, Ferdighetssenteret, The research unit for health surveys, a new strategy for K2, a structured process for grant applications, and the Forum for Technicians.
Finally, I would like to thank you all for a great effort in 2015, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas!