Author Archives: iwe099

Budget 2015

Eystein 2The University Director has just sent the budget allocation letter to MOFA. Unfortunately, it is rather depressive reading. Salary- and price compensation for UiB is set to 3%. However, as the money travels through the system to the institute, the compensation proposed to be cut to 1%.What the final figure will be will be decided in the December Faculty Board Meeting.

The size of the local salary pot was unusually big this year and K2 employees were allocated a large part of it, so much that our salary expenses will increase about 5% in total next year. This combined with a minimal number of retirements the next two years means that we will have to continue to reduce that base funding part of our budget. However, we will still try to shield the operating funds allocated PhD-students and Postdocs, but I cannot promise that we will be able to do so in 2015.

Another main issue for K2 in the budgeting process is how zero-overhead projects are to be handled. K2 is the institute with the highest number of such projects. The Faculty Board will in December also determine principles for how rent and administrative costs for such projects are to be paid. This may affect the financial situation at K2. There are signs that we will see a tightening in transferal in this area. Thus, we might very soon find ourselves in a situation where we will have to say no to certain forms of external funding.

Are there no positive cyphers you may ask? Well, there will be funds earmarked galenic pharmacy. In addition we will be have a larger budget for scientific equipment than in 2014. K2 will also be given a technical position for operating and administering the Unit for Healthy Volunteers which will launch in 2015.

Whether or not we will be able to strengthen the budget is also up to you as a K2-employee. At the top of my wish list is funding of some of our many EU- and NFR-applications. It is great to know that K2 is the UiB institute with the highest number of EU-applications this year; hopefully some will be translated into project funding. These are the projects that can strengthen the financial situation at K2. Let’s just hope our prayers are answered.

Wishing you all a balanced 2015


Head of Department

Applications for external funding in 2014

Roland JonssonThe research activity for 2014 at K2 is strongly characterized by a large volume and enthusiasm for external funding. As the year is almost at an end, it could be wise to summarize the status for application writing done to obtain funding for research. There is no doubt that application activity at K2 has been very high, something which deserves lots of praise. A lot of focus has been aimed at Horizon2020, and now that many of the announcements have closed, you might think that people have become a bit tired of the process. Of course many might wait for answers/results before they decide whether or not the effort has been worth it.

The impression is that those who apply the most, within all fields, are also those applying for the most competitive announcements such as FRIPRO and H2020 – so this does not indicate application tiredness. However, these are always the most active applicants. The question becomes how many new applicants there are at K2 – how many actually dare, and bother to, participate?

Regarding application status – 17 applications have been sent from K2 to NFR/FRIPRO. Six of these have also applied H2020. In total, 16 stage-2 applications have been sent to H2020. Among these are 5 applications for coordinator status (7 have been sent in total from MOF) and this is statistically very good.

In addition, this is just a part of our application activity, and does not include all the applications to The Norwegian Cancer Society, BMF/BMFS, Health and Rehabilitation, Helse Vest, etc. But in principle, only EU and NFR include contribution margin (overheads).

Further, how and when should one initiate, for instance, an EU application? A good time to start would be during a postdoc-period. Young people, in an early stage of their career, are most in need of obtaining skills in writing applications, and these people should be included in any large-scale application writing.

So now we eagerly await feedback in the upcoming weeks …..


Aksel har flytta frå oss

Obituary Aksel Harald Schreiner                                                                                              (This text is in norwegian only)

Vår alles kjære kollega og ven Aksel Harald Schreiner døydde fredeleg torsdag 6. november etter kort tids sjukdomsleie. Aksel vart 81 år. Eg vitja han dagen før, og han og Astrid bad meg helsa alle gode vener og kollega. Den dagen minnast vi over 40 gode år saman – frå Harrison og Schlesinger i propedeutikken (1972), til gode år på Medisin B, i Sentralblokka, i Tanzania, og 30 år saman i Radio Medico Norge, inkludert siste strålande «takk for maten» tale 27. august i år under ein internasjonal sjøfartsmedisinsk konferanse i Bergen. Aksel har hatt eit rikt og kreativt arbeidsliv og vist stor arbeidsglede. Dei siste 8 åra kom han tilbake til loftet på Medisin B der han har vore ein viktig pioner i Norsk Senter for Maritim Medisin. Han har vore dagleg på jobb til i haust, og siste prosjektet hans var å laga små videosnuttar for undervisningsformål. Me har mange gode minner etter Aksel. Det same har mange pasientar og tidligare studentar.

Minnerike helsingar,


Norwegian Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine

Eystein Husebye6 October came with the news that May-Britt and Edvard Moser together with the British neuroscientist John O’Keefe were this year’s winners of the Nobel Price in Physiology or Medicine, a fantastic achievement. The UiB newsletter “På Høyden” comments in an article 8 October that it is not only the researchers themselves that have been focused in their work, the research leaders at NTNU, The Norwegian Research Council of Norway and the Ministry of Education and Research, and The Kavli Foundation have all pulled in the same direction, providing close to 600 million Norwegian kroners to the Moser group until now.

However, the success is not only about funding. A good framework and research-promoting environment is also paramount. One of the factors that professor May-Britt Moser mentions is mobility and temporary positions. She asks: Would the Norwegian football team Rosenborg have had so much success if every player had a permantent employment? The best research groups have a lot of mobility – people come and go; only the very best stay on and built their own groups. Her conclusion is that Norway needs to apply the American tenure track system. Young talents should have a 5-7 year period to qualify for a permanent position, and not everybody will succeed.

The minister of Education and Research now invites our Universities to a dialogue on how to improve Norwegian research. We have the chance to argue for increased mobility and how to foster an environment that can create new success stories such as the Moser’s have. It is therefore my hope that it will not take 113 years before the next Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to a Norwegian researcher working in Norway.

Eystein Husebye

Acting Head of Department

Skill training in the medicine curriculum

Eva GerdtsIt is time for moose hunting and autumn break, and practical skills are probably useful in both. In the professional medicine curriculum, training of practical skills is also important. Many of these skills were earlier obtained during the medical internship (turnustjenesten), but must now be incorporated into the study curriculum. A national competence list is being worked out and will provide guidelines for what skills must be taught in the medicine curriculum, also here at UiB. However, we as academic lecturers, have to organize and quality assure training in these skills within the curriculum.

Practical training periods at collaborative hospitals are important arenas for skill training, as well as the skill laboratory. On 17.09.14 we conducted a meeting on harmonization of requirements regarding skills and skill training in the 3rd medical term, and a new approval card is currently being developed, and will be introduced starting spring 2015. Remember that the requirements for completed service are, together with exams, what guides the students’ learning and training. In cooperation with K1, an expert group has now been established with the responsibility of developing the training which will be offered at the skill center. Head of this group is Associate Professor Steinar Skrede. Do you have any input as to what skills should be focused on related to your own teaching area? If so, please initiate a discussion on this topic with other teachers in your area.