Category Archives: This week’s editorial

(Norsk) Ukens leder

Long-term strategy and career building

Good research requires strategy, not only academically, but also to have an infrastructure and finances to put the research plans into practice. This means that we must have both short-term and long-term goals. You don’t have to run after every “ball” and research opportunity, but you must focus on your “ball” and work strategically with research funding and competence building.

Application writing is a long process. The longer you spend, the better. Of course, larger projects and applications need more time. Positioning begins several years before the actual application: what do you need on your CV to be a competitive applicant. Concept development: about a year before the deadline; and ideally use 6 months for the refinement and the actual writing

The research group leaders must help the younger ones forward. Those who will eventually become group leaders must obtain senior authorship and “co-PI” positions in applications. They can apply for smaller funds that are easier to get, join networks and practice critical senses by being a reviewers or help their group leader to review. Future group leaders must be helped into career programs and build up their teaching portifolio, and UiB has many career building opportunities for younger researchers (for example UiB Ferd https://www.uib.no/ferd), use them!

New calls in Horizon Europe have been published and several of the calls in the work program 2023-24 will suit K2’s groups well. Contact Susanna Pakkasmaa if you plan to apply – that way you can get started early and write a competitive grant application.

Next week is the EU Research & Innovation Days (https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/events/upcoming-events/research-innovation-days). If you want to become wiser about what is happening in Europe, follow this digital conference.

Have a great weekend when the time comes
Eystein and Susanna

Editorial

Personal development interviews
There is still time for the annual personal development interviews. These are part of targeted management and employee development. Therefore, they are annual, systematic and mutually prepared personal conversations between an employee and their immediate superior. All employees who have a main position at UiB must have staff meetings. This also includes fellows. For employees with 20% positions, the manager can agree with the employee that it is not necessary.

New from last year is that it is not enough that the personal development interviews are offered – they must also be carried out. These interviews are an important arena for clarifying expectations for performance, giving mutual feedback and insight into each other’s working situation and addressing the working environment and conditions at the workplace. The conversation must be linked to K2’s strategic plans and be a real and results-oriented management tool to achieve set goals.

Elements related to life phase can be taken up as a theme. The conversation will also be used to uncover skills needs, change and development. The content of the employee interview must be focused on conditions that the manager and employee can do something about.

It is important to communicate what you want to achieve in the personal development interview and arrange for the confidentiality needed for the interview to have added value for both parties. This can be a gradual process that can take some time.

For foreign employees, it is important to pay attention to their need to understand overall strategies and goals for the organization, the importance of a good and inclusive working environment and the individual’s opportunities to contribute to the community. Current topics can also be their social network, trust vis-a-vis manager and colleagues, experience of belonging and in some cases facilitation and integration also outside the workplace.

As a natural part of the performance assessment and the clarification of expectations, the contractual conversation about pay matters is included as part of the personal development interview. It is therefore important to remember that we have established systems for salary negotiations. As you know, salary negotiations are ongoing this autumn.

As Head of Department, I am responsible for ensuring that all employees carry out annual personal development interviews and am responsible for the results of the interviews being included in K2’s plans and budget. It is not possible to carry out this for all K2’s employees, so carrying out the conversations is delegated. I have staff meetings with the research group leaders, while they in turn have responsibility for their group members. When it comes to administrative staff, head of administration Maria Holmaas is responsible.

Most of the time, I think time goes terribly fast in the autumn, and suddenly it’s Christmas. It is therefore advisable to start the employee interviews as soon as possible. Good luck!

Editorial

New opportunities in Horizon Europe

While we wait for feedback from the Research Council on the applications sent this spring, it might be an idea to study the draft of the calls under the area ​​Health in Horizon Europe. There are many calls that are relevant to K2’s researchers. The various so-called destinations in the program are:

Destination 1 – Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society

Destination 2. Living and working in a health-promoting environment

Destination 3. Tackling diseases and reducing disease burden

Destination 4. Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care

Destination 5. Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society and reducing disease burden

You will find calls that suit your area of ​​research. Several announcements under Destination 1 are aimed at personalized medicine. Under destination 5, it is possible to apply for projects that integrate artificial intelligence and health, including the development of new tools both for healthcare personnel and patients for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

The call has not yet been published, but you can access the draft by contacting our research advisor Susanna Pakkasmaa. She and the Research Department can be helpful with advice and guidance for those who are interested. Susanne is otherwise interested in meeting the institute’s research group leaders to get acquainted with the ongoing research.

Consider applying for EU funds both as a partner and coordinator

Good luck with your future applications

Eystein Husebye
Vice head of institute

Editorial

Start of the semester – new possibilities

The start of the semester always seems filled with a special energy. The students seem particularly motivated this year. Hopefully your batteries are full after the summer vacation. Maybe this is the time to try out some new teaching techniques?

The first group of “Vestlandslege students” counting 200 students are now entering into clinical courses. MED3 and MED4 have been revised to handle increased student numbers and to improve teaching and learning. Change is never completely smooth, and I hope we will all work together to provide the best possible teaching and overall experience for the students. Then we may adjust the plans along the way.

K2 wishes to put together a working group to look into possibilities for developing postgraduate educational courses as a means of income to help turn the economy around. Please tell us if you have any good ideas!

The deadline for nominations to the Helse Vest Teaching Award 2022 is September 20th: : Kven er din kandidat til Utdanningsprisen i Helse Vest? – Helse Vest RHF (helse-vest.no) .

Mette Vesterhus
Head of Teaching

Editorial

Welcome to the new semester!

Then it’s on again! Hope everyone had a nice holiday and recharged their batteries.

At the time of writing, the students have already started, and many K2 employees are busy again with teaching. It is often in a hurry to get started after the holidays. Transitioning from holiday to hectic university life can be a bit brutal and takes time. New cohorts of students entail additional work at the start. Research never takes a vacation. Although many have picked their e-mails and got rid of the most urgent, for most it has piled up with tasks that now have to be sorted out.

This autumn, K2 must focus on finances. As previously mentioned, for various reasons we now have a large deficit – a development that we must reverse. If we stand together, we will be able to get through this, hopefully even stronger. It is often in adversity that one becomes innovative and completely new ideas are created. So I repeat the call before the summer: Help us figure out how we can manage with slightly fewer areas, slightly fewer people and slightly less funds via K2, and how we can create more income that shows up in K2’s budgets.

Good luck with a new term!

Editorial

HAVE A NICE SUMMER!

As of this writing, we are submitting a draft budget for 2023. This year, too, there is an ambitious budget given the framework and which takes into account the challenges we see in the coming year when it comes to finances. The main focus in the last six months has been the economy due to the Ministry of Education’s proposals for cuts in the basic allocation to all universities related to pensions, efficiency, travel, and more. Reference is made to Dean Per Bakke’s e-mail today. The Faculty of Medicine has drawn up a budget for 2022 with a deficit of NOK 30 million, while K2 has a deficit of NOK 12 million. This makes our operations difficult. But as Per Bakke says, if we stand together in this, we will be able to get through this period. My goal is that we will even emerge stronger from it. It is often in adversity that one becomes innovative and completely new ideas are created. So here’s a challenge for all of you: Help us figure out how we can manage with a little less space, a little less people and a little less funds via K2, and how we can create more income that are visible in K2’s budgets. This can help us to remove the current requirements from the Faculty, that we are not allowed to advertise new positions for the time being and with some exceptions. It’s a bad situation we have to get out of as fast as possible!

After a cold and wet June, today we have finally got to taste the heat. We are now preparing for the summer holidays. For most, spring has been a busy time with applications, OSCE and all the endings at the end of the semester. So it will be good to get a few weeks off to do completely different things. It is important to charge the batteries so that we can start the autumn with new energy and a desire to work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their great efforts this semester.

Have a really good summer vacation!

Pål

Editorial

Teaching prize and summer thoughts
The annual Teaching Day was successfully conducted on May 18th in collaboration between K2 and K1, with good attendance. I want to thanlk all of you who contributed to making this into a great day!

The K2 Teaching Prize was awarded to professor Jone Trovik. She was awarded the prize for developing an elective course in gynecological ultrasound for medical students.

Do you need basic training in teaching? Summer is low season for teaching – perhaps it should be high season for booking courses in teaching or documenting your teaching skills and experience.

Perhaps you have creative ideas regarding teaching or the organization of teaching and learning? The recent UGLE meeting discussed how we should start thinking through what we should or could teach, and how we teach, when student numbers increase.

Good luck with your last efforts before end-of-term and summer vacation!

Mette Vesterhus
Head of Teaching

Editorial K2 News week 23 2022

As of this writing, the OSKE12 exam is just finished. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your great efforts in planning and implementing this. Many have been involved, and I would especially like to highlight all administrative staff who have participated in time-consuming preparations and implementation of the day. As in previous years, I participated as an examiner in pediatrics. In addition to the fact that it is exciting to see how the students solve the assignments, it is inspiring to learn that they like this form of exam. Furthermore, it is fun to be part of such an event. You also get to meet staff at the faculty across departments and employment relationships in an exciting setting. Lunch and plenty of coffee help to keep the conversation going and the atmosphere is nice. However, it is a resource-intensive form of examination and with the challenges we now have financially, I doubt that we can spend more resources on this form of examination.

Summer holidays are approaching, and I would like to remind you that everyone must register their holiday wishes in the self-service portal. The deadline was May 1 and there are still many who have not registered the holidays for 2022. In addition to the fact that this is something we as an employer should have an overview of, there is another reason why we stress this. If you do not register the holiday, it will affect our finances. Unfinished vacation will be a debt to the employees at the turn of the year and increase the deficit in our budget. This may mean that we must freeze positions or something else in order to achieve budget balance. SO RUN AND REGISTER YOUR HOLIDAY NOW !!!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Pål
Head of Department

Editorial

Dear all of you!

These are difficult economic times, and the political game around the Research Council is worrying. We have to look for alternatives when it comes to research funding, and it was therefore very nice to see that K2 was well represented at the workshops on “Horizon Europe and Beyond” organized by the FIA. We received many practical tips on how to proceed, and worked a little with a tool created by Hiwa Målen from the FIA that makes it easier for researchers to find suitable calls for proposals. Do not hesitate to contact our research advisor Susanna Pakkasmaa if you need help.

At K2 we also have several good examples of successful external research funding from alternative channels: Eva Gerdts and her Centre for Research on Heart Disease in Women  recently received support from Godvik Sanitetsforeningen, Bjørn Tore Gjertsen was awarded funding for CD37 CAR T cell therapy from the regional health enterprise program KLINBEFORSK, and Nina Langeland sitt Vestnorsk research centre for antibiotic resistance (CAMRIA – Combatting Anti-Microbial Resistance with Interdisciplinary Approaches) supported by the Trond Mohn Foundation had a grand opening this week with the Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol present, where Randi Bertelsen is one of the PI that receives support (https://mohnfoundation.no/vestnorsk-samling-om-forskning-pa-antibiotikaresistens/). Congratulations to everyone involved!

And last but not least: we at K2 are actually very good at educating the next generation of researchers with a total of 21 public defences in the first half of 2022! There is some research funding aimed at younger researchers, so just contact Susanna if you need advice.

Have a nice Pentecost!

Editorial

Research for the students

The students at the faculty want to have more contact with researchers and academic life. A portal where students can get in touch with us researchers at the departments is therefore being established at the faculty. It is important that more researchers, from PhD-level up to professor, sign up for this portal so that we can reach out to many students. I encourage everyone to participate, see more details about this here.

Enjoy the weekend!

Pål R. Njølstad

More about research funding

We have previously written that the Faculty and the departments must cut costs. Now it’s The Research Council’s turn. In Khrono (khrono.no), Nobel Prize winners Moser and Moser warn for the effects of funding cuts. They are shocked and they are not alone. Khrono writes: In order to save NOK 842 million this year and next year, it is proposed, among other things, to reduce the allocations this year by 20 per cent, not to announce funds for ground breaking research (Fripro) next year and postpone the start of new Centers of excellence”. In addition, there are proposals to postpone the funding of research infrastructure.

How should we handle this as a department? I think it is important to apply for funding from the Research Council even if the “eye of the needle” is even narrower than before. Furthermore, we must look for alternative sources of funding. Here, Horizon Europe stands out as a great opportunity. While Norway cuts research funding, the EU will invest 95.5 billion Euros in Horizon Europe (2021-2027)!

The research department arranged an information day on 13 May where the application possibilities were explained, and they are many and organized in 3 pillars

  1. Excellent science (ERC scholarship, Marie Sklodowska-Curie mobility program)
  2. Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness, where, among other things, Health is one of the programs
  3. Innovative Europe

Horizon Europe has a special focus on adaptation to climate change, cancer, climate-neutral smart cities, healthy seas and lakes, soil health and food

Here are opportunities to apply that we pursue. The Research Department at UiB and our research advisers are ready to help.

I’ll make Nike’s slogan my own: just do it!

 

Eystein Husebye

Vice Head, K2

Editorial

Dear all of you!

I will use this week’s leader to remind you of two things: RETTE and the teaching day.

I am responsible to follow-up projects at K2 in RETTE, therefore I just have to ask everyone to check that all the necessary information has been transferred from REK (and as of today there are some projects that require change in RETTE). When you log in to the system (https://rette.app.uib.no/), you will have the opportunity to fill in more information about the project and answer some questions and then confirm the project. It is the project managers who are responsible for doing this.

RETTE was established by UiB to comply with GDPR and to ensure that key legislation is followed. UiB shall have an overview and control of all research projects and student assignments that process personal data. Medical/health research projects need approval from REK. Some projects have a consulting duty with the data protection officer, and NSD (Norwegian Centre for Research Data) can help to assess privacy. After assessment or approval, information from NSD and REK is transferred to RETTE.

Finally, I want to remind all of you of The Teaching Day 18 May at 12-15:15 which I hope many will attend. The program for the day can be found in K2nytt today. Remember to sign up:

UNDERVISNINGSDAG FOR K1 OG K2 18 MAI 2022 /TEACHING DAY FOR K1 AND K2 18 MAY (uib.no)

Have a nice weekend!

New application opportunities

 

Susanna Pakkasmaa, our new research advisor is in place and ready to assist, as is our team of economists. Do not hesitate to get in touch, have a chat, or invite Susanna to group meeting.

The Norwegian Cancer Society’s call for researcher projects is open with an application deadline on Tuesday 31 May at 1 pm. Read more https://nettsoknad.kreftforeningen.no/#home. If you plan to apply, contact Linn Iversen (finance) and Susanna Pakkasmaa (research advise)

For cancer researchers, there are also new announcements within the EU’s Mission Cancer, which opens on 24 May. EU Missions address some of the greatest challenges facing our society. The European Commission has identified five Missions that they want concrete and ambitious solutions to by 2030. One of these is cancer, another is soil health and food that may be of relevance to nutritionists and others. Read more about missions on the Research Council’s website https://www.forskningsradet.no/eus-rammeprogram/horisont-europa/missions/ (in Norwegian) and

European Commission website https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe/eu-missions-horizon-europe/cancer_en

It is K2’s clear ambition to strengthen the portfolio of EU projects. Therefore, see if you can prioritize UiB’s workshop on Horizon Europe, which will be held on 13 May at Scandic Ørnen. This all-day event is for all UiB researchers. More information Horizon Europe Inspiration Workshop | Research and Innovation Department | UiB

It is also possible to influence the research profile of Horizon Europe by participating in one of the Research Council’s reference groups that are now recruiting new members. There are 10 reference groups, including health, research infrastructure and digitization. The members should have a good knowledge of the framework program, and competence to provide relevant professional input. They are not representatives of the institution, but must have a good dialogue with institutions and companies in their respective areas. This is a great opportunity to influence and gain insider insight into Horizon Europe. The nomination deadline is 6 May and we must receive the proposals by Monday 2 May at 12 o’clock. Read more here:

https://www.forskningsradet.no/nyheter/2022/vi-soker-nye-medlemmer-til-referansegruppene-for-horisont-europa/ (in Norwegian)

Regards,

Susanna Pakkasmaa                                                      Eystein Husebye

Research adviser                                                            Acting head of department

Springtime for teaching & learning

At K2, we take pride in providing excellent education. The teaching and learning activities that we contribute to are important for the educational programmes for Medicine, Pharmacy, Odontology, Nutrition and some others. In order to enable continuation of the excellence in education for which we are known, we need good teachers with up-to-date knowledge within their field – but also within the field of teaching and learning. Therefore, we wish to see as many as possible of you at the Teaching Day on Wednesday May 18th at Auditorium AHH (half-day from lunch). Register and meet up for lunch with good colleagues, inspirational talks and discussion about teaching and learning – and meet the winner of the K2 Teaching Award!

It is time for rotation of the UGLE positions. All teaching groups should propose their UGLE and vice UGLE by the UGLE meeting Tuesday May 3rd at 08-09 am. UGLEs will be invited by email.

UiB will support projects intended to strengthen research and education associated with digitalization by 1 million NOK. Project proposals must be signed by Eystein Husebye and delivered to MED by April 27th.

Eystein at the helm

Dear K2 employee

This week I took over as head of department after Pål, but only for a short period – Pål has a short leave until 10 May and I will try to provide the same good service as him in the meantime. Now that it is time for Easter, it is appropriate to thank all K2 employees for their efforts so far this year. Research and teaching are taking place at a high pace, even though resources are scarce. Falch’s Junior Prize will be awarded and the research group leaders are asked to promote candidates, see announcement in this issue of K2-news.

A special thank you to Maria Holmaas and the rest of the administration who are making a formidable effort to keep the wheels turning. K2 is a fantastic workplace and has an enormous potential for good research and teaching. Carry on and do what is good better.

I hope all of you all take the opportunity to enjoy some days off over Easter, and recharge your batteries with both physical and perhaps spiritual food. The war in Ukraine is a strong reminder that we cannot take freedom and democracy for granted.

 

Easter greetings,

 

Eystein Husebye

 

Budget realities – the K2 leadership takes action

Head of Department Njølstad has explained K2’s finances, which entail major cuts in our budgets. This means that we must take radical action to obtain balance. Therefore, the we propose that the salaries of all K2 employees be cut by 5%, with the exception of those in the leadership. After all, we are heavily burdened by doing so. Furthermore, all operating funds for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows will be confiscated. You can apply to the Head of department for a refund of up to half of your operating budget for particularly important tasks. Furthermore, all PhD students or their research group must pay for the assessment of the PhD dissertations. Finally, all KG-Jebsen and Trond Mohn centers at K2 will be charged an extra “tax” to cover the deficit, approximately 250,000 per year.

We regret that we have to take such radical steps to get the budget in balance, but we see no other options. You can read about the detailed cuts by click on this link.

Good weekend, when the time comes

On behalf of the leadership group

 

 

Peer review

Peer review guides the journal’s editorial staff in making publication decisions and identifying substandard manuscripts that should not be published. It also provides authors with the opportunity to improve the quality and clarity of their manuscripts. The purpose of peer review is not to demonstrate the reviewer’s proficiency in identifying flaws; negative critiques are not obligated. Reviewers should identify strengths and provide constructive comments to help authors resolve weaknesses in the work.

 

Because the number of scientific articles published each year continues to grow, the quality of the peer-review process and the quality of the editorial board are cited as primary influences on a journal’s reputation, Journal Impact Factor, and standing in the field. Scientific journals publishing peer-reviewed articles depend heavily on the scientific referees or reviewers who typically volunteer their time and expertise. In addition to fairness in judgment and expertise in the field, reviewers have significant responsibilities toward authors, editors, and readers. Reviewers also have ethical responsibilities, such as confidentiality, be constructive in the critique, have necessary competence, be impartial and hold integrity.

Published biomedical papers may have a direct impact on clinical practice and inform policy. Therefore, it is crucial to have the peer review system and that peer reviewer reports are of the highest quality possible to inform editors’ decision on the fate of the manuscript. It is crucial that we spend time on peer reviews for the journals. As reviewers, will also learn from the process and it is way to stay informed about how the field is moving before the research is in print.

Professor emeritus Jan Erik Nordrehaug at K2 has performed peer reviews for a number of journals in a lifetime including the Norwegian Journal of the Medical Association. For this, he will now have the Journal´s award “The Reviewer of 2021”. The Scientific Director, Siri Lunde Strømme, says “We have benefited greatly from an impressive number of, and always solid, reviews from Nordrehaug over the years, so also in 2021”. Congratulations!!!

Have a nice week-end,
Pål.

 

 

 

 

Dear all of you!

Now it has already been more than 3 weeks since we finally got to meet at Solstrand again for our strategy seminar. It was incredibly nice to meet so many of you! I hope that there are more people who thought that it was nice and useful to have the seminar, but feel free to give feedback here (link).

Speaking of meeting people: 17-18 June 2022 it is UiB’s turn to organize the NorDoc conference for PhD candidates from Nordic countries with scientific presentations and debates from leading researchers. The goal is to raise awareness of responsible research and innovation as a strategy for achieving sustainability in health and medical science.

The program is available here: https://www.uib.no/en/med/149977/programme-nordoc-2022 The conference offers PhD candidates not only network opportunities, but also workshops on career development and transferable skills. So, this can be very useful to you!
The registration deadline is 16 April.

 

Visit by the university management

Last week, the university management visited the Faculty of Medicine. On Thursday they were with us at K2. Those who attended were Rector Margareth Hagen, Vice-Rector Pinar Heggernes, Vice-Rector Benedicte Carlsen, Senior Consultant Morgan Reza Rashidi Alangeh, University Director Robert Rastad, Assistant University Director Tore Tungodden and Department Director Kari Fuglseth.

We held the meeting in Glasblokkene with a good view of the many buildings K2 is located on Campus Haukeland and to show the close relationship with the university hospital. There was room for three short professional talks. Professor Eva Gerdts seemed to convince everyone that there is a big difference between women and men in terms of heart disease and that more research is needed to better treat women with heart disease. Researcher Marc Vaudel aroused interest in data showing that the child’s own genes are most important for birth weight and increased risk of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life. And Professor Eystein Husebye demonstrated the Endopod, a teaching podcast developed by a medical student in his research group.

The university management had wanted to hear our thoughts on opportunities and challenges. Regarding the first, we pointed out the opportunities for research, teaching and innovation in the close relationship with Haukeland University Hospital. We have several centers under planning and have an application for a COE in the finals. We see many opportunities to increase external funding, especially EU funds, and that building a culture on K2 is important. When it comes to challenges, the failing economy is key. We perceive that there is a gradual reduction of K2 by a significant reduction in our basic allocation over the last three years. The cuts hit us especially hard due to our large BOA economy. We perceive this as unfair and demoralizing. We also explained that so far, we have not had any streamlining or improvement of the economy through the introduction of the BOTT systems, centralization of finance and specialists. Both the Rector and the University Director agreed with our description of the situation and that this is of great concern. Various measures were discussed. The university management works intensively with the case through various channels. They want to come back to visit some of our centers to learn more about how they work. These are good signals from the management!

Wishing everyone as good a weekend as possible given the situation in Ukraine. My thoughts go to the Ukrainian people who are having a terrible time now.

Pål

Finally – the Solstrand Strategy Seminar

Right now, many of us are assembled at what has been a highly successful seminar. Vice dean Marit Bakke and hospital director Eivind Hansen met a well-prepared panel for a debate regarding collaboration between the university and the hospital. We have also learnt how we can improve our presentation of our research in the media – another important arena. Not least, we have just plainly had a nice time together, those of us who are here. Having a nice time together is also important: Friendship fosters trust and collaboration and lead to improved research and education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The library – more than just articles

The University library  offers several useful services in addition to retrieving and printing papers that we do not get hold of ourselves. They offer guidance in literature searching for systematic reviews and PhD theses as well as how to handle references (including individual guidance for master- and bachelorstudents), contact ubbmed@uib.no. In addition, they can help you on the way to making your research accessible in line with Open Science requirements. They may help you in developing a Data Management Plan (contact research-data@uib.no). Open Science is becoming a more frequent requirement and the library offers courses in how to publish open access (contact bora@uib.no).

Mette

Welcome to the K2 conference at Solstrand!

Next week, K2’s conference at Solstrand kicks off. This is the second time we are arranging a combined EHS day and strategy seminar for everyone, which was previously organized as separate days and where only the research group leaders were invited to the strategy seminar.

We have put together a program that we hope is of interest and creates curiosity and debate. The four core tasks of our social mission are represented.

In research, we will learn more about how to apply for EU funding and discuss how to better utilize our great research advantage – to be closely linked to Haukeland University Hospital. Dean Per Bakke and CEO Eivind Hansen will initiate a debate. This will also include how to better utilizate our common resource in teaching. The Unit for Learning will present new ideas about exams as a form of learning. This will be put into practice by everyone completing an OSCE exam – it will probably be the highlight of the conference!

The struggle for attention in the public space is getting bigger and bigger and more and more important. A separate session is therefore devoted to research communication.

Innovation is now included in many announcements about funding for research, and we will therefore learn more about what opportunities Eitri has to strengthen innovation in our work. And I want to inform about what has become a new economic reality at K2 and the entire faculty in general and ask for input on how you think we can meet this.

A very important part of all conferences is the social dimension. And now after almost two years of reduced social contact due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be wonderful to meet and interact with people from the entire institute again!

Well met!

Pål

Head of Department

Your face outward needs a touch-up

We are announcing a competition among the research groups for the best website (see details in this week’s K2-nes). The winners will be announced at the strategy seminar at Solstrand. Researchers, journalists, patients and others use our websites to find out about research, teaching and innovation at our department.

What do they find if they look us up today? Overall, pages with major shortcomings. People who no longer work here are posted in group photos, projects are not up to date, there is no English translation, and many items are missing.

We have an enormous potential for improvement – to show a “better face” to the outside world. You and your research group now have the opportunity for a “kick start” and competition against the others. Websites are like vegetables and fruit – they need to be fresh. Former employees must be taken “off the poster”, new ones must appear, news must be published and disseminated.

We simply have to interact with the outside world in a better way

Grap the chance, gather your group and update your pages!

Good weekend, when the time comes

Eystein Husebye
Deputy Director

Finally “at home”!

Bishop Per Lønning had “Finally at Home” as the title of a book he wrote when he was called as bishop in Bjørgvin diocese and returned to Bergen after 18 years in Oslo. After almost 2 years with large and historically unusual restrictions on activity at work and in leisure time due to the coronavirus pandemic, we as UiB employees can now return to our normal workplace on campus – finally “at home”!

As is well known, the government has removed the one-meter rule in teaching for universities and colleges. We must now strive for full physical presence in teaching.

There will no longer be a requirement to facilitate home offices and employers must assess how much home office is right in the individual workplace. Any agreements on the use of a home office during parts of the working hours in the future must be agreed between the manager and the employee. At K2, this authority is delegated to the research group leaders with regard to the scientific staff, and to the Head of Administration (Mia) for the administrative and technical staff. The research group leaders must agree this with the Head of Department (me).

Nevertheless, there is still great contagion pressure in society and high sickness absence. The use of digital meetings and home offices can still be a relevant tool at K2 to prevent many people from becoming ill at the same time and to ensure continuity in work tasks and functions.

As also is well known, there will also no longer be a number limit for indoor events. For events with fixed, designated seats, the distance requirement is removed when sitting on the seat. The organizer shall facilitate that it is possible to keep distance otherwise in the venue or event area.

It will be good to return to normal conditions at work and in leisure time. It feels like being at home again after a long journey.

 

Have a great weekend!

Pål

Head of Department

 

This weeks editorial

Dear all of you!

Do you/your research group/teaching group know someone who has excelled in 2021, either on the research front (publication, research/innovation environment, PhD work, dissemination) or in terms of teaching? The Faculty of Medicine has announced several awards for 2021, so now you have the chance to nominate colleagues/environment (or yourself!). The categories are

 

  • Publication of the Year
  • Research group/innovation of the year
  • PhD work of the year
  • Award for outstanding research dissemination
  • Teaching award (There are no specific price categories, but a main price of NOK 150,000 and up to two more awards of NOK 50,000 each are awarded! )

We from K2 can put forward a candidate in each category, so do not hesitate to submit proposals (with justification) by Monday 7 February. More detailed information can be found here  

Proposal for Publication/PhD/Group/Dissemination

Proposal for Teaching awards

A new financial everyday life

We are unfortunately heading into a time of a new financial everyday life. There will be permanent cuts in the basic allocation to our faculty. The framework for the basic allocation for 2021 was 718 MNOK. The reduction in the framework for the faculty from and including 2022 is as much as 50 MNOK.

The reasons for this significant cut are many. A main cause is the reorganization of the pension calculation, which is determined by KUD. In addition, KUD has reduced the allocation to the universities as part of the reorganization of the financial systems and the expectation of streamlining. In addition, there will be increased expenses for UiB due to increased room rent and expected savings due to more use of open access. The faculty takes a large part of the 50 MNOK, but the departments still get a significant cut. This is calculated on the basis of the size of the basic grant, and for some of the amounts this includes BOA. Since K2 is the largest department, we get the biggest cut, twice as much as the other departments. The amount is stipulated to be 6.3 MNOK per year.

Political efforts are being made through various channels to reduce the cuts from KUD. We can hope that this reverses a part of it, but it will still be a new economic everyday life for all universities in Norway.

What to do with this? We must increase revenues and reduce costs by a similar amount. Is this possible? Yes, I think so, but it will be demanding, and everyone must contribute. A main goal is that we should not revoke positions. We will nevertheless increase research, education, innovation and dissemination.

To increase revenue, we must increase the BOA. This is one of K2’s strongest cards. We can do this! But, we must be even better at making good applications and directing them where there is the greatest opportunity for grants. I think there is a great potential in EU funds, and this will be discussed at the 2nd K2 Retreat at Solstrand February 24-25. We can create courses for continuing education of various professions and make money on these courses. We must help students complete their studies and not drop out. If UiB gets a breakthrough for Vestlandslegen, this will give a boost to our funding.

But we must also cut costs. How can we work better for less money? Area efficiency is a great opportunity. Here we have to think innovatively. My office at the old Department of Pediatrics had approx. 20 shelf meters with binders. All this had to be shrunk to 1 shelf meter when moving to Glasblokkene. It was a demanding exercise, but it worked. The most interesting thing, however, is that after 5 years I have not yet used the papers even in this meter. Some may have a greater need, but most can manage with a PC and an monitor. The laboratories are very important for translation research, but here too we must think new. Much of the research is done on platforms and on a computer today, and it is possible to share bench space with others. In the administration, we must reduce personnel costs. Specialist teams have been introduced. And the introduction of new personnel and finance systems must eventually pay off.

These were some thoughts on how we can cope with the challenging measures and hopefully come out stronger, but I also need good suggestions from you. The first opportunity will be at the 2nd K2 Retreat. We will have a separate session on the economy there.

Have a great weekend!

Pål

Editorial

Who deserves K2’s Teaching Award?

Teaching is one of our core activites and we want to stimulate GOOD teaching at K2!

Our institute wishes to honour a teacher or teaching environment who has demonstrated an extraordinary effort within the field of teaching or development of innovative teaching and learning programs, by forwarding the K2 Teaching Award (NOK 50’000). Think of a nominee an e-mail the name of your candidate and a brief explanation to mette.vesterhus@uib.no by March 15th. The K2 Teaching Award is awarded at the Teaching day in the spring.

“Norway is re-opened, and we are back in the auditoriums!” I yelled into the microphone in September as the students burst into applause in a crowded auditorium at AHH. Restrictions returned after that, but we are going to return to “live” teaching on campus – a decision will be made sometime this month. We will bring along some innovative solutions:

“Videonotat”: The faculty as well as the students want us to provide hybrid solutions, or sufficient information for the students so that they may acquire similar knowledge, in order to accommodate those students who should stay at home due to infection. Hybrid teaching can (most often) be simpler than you might think! In MittUiB there is a link to “Videonotat”. For information on how to use it, see https://www.uib.no/diguib/78854/opptak-av-forelesning-videonotat. Contact information for technical assistance may be found in the auditorium/room. For other questions, contact UiB læringslab or the study administration studie@kliniskmedisin.uib.no.

Editorial

Happy New Year!

Christmas and the holiday season is over. I hope most people have had an experience of holiday and the opportunity for reflection, and gathering with those they love. It gives motivation and strength to embark on a new year with new opportunities.

2022 starts with increasing coronary infection wave due to omicron variant. It presents several challenges for our activity, but my impression is that it is going pretty well anyway. We have become accustomed to this situation. Fortunately, we work at an institution that comes out relatively well since most people have permanent jobs and the activity has not stopped with bankruptcy that threatens the way other enterprises experience. The ones I think come out the worst are children, young people and the elderly due to isolation for groups that have a great social need. Let us hope that the vaccination coverage will soon reach a level that reduces the waves of infection and allows normal activity to resume.

With a new year, there are many exciting opportunities. I will remind you of the application deadlines for RCN 2/2 and 9/2. It is difficult, but not impossible, to get funded, and he/she who dares nothing, wins nothing. The feedback is better than before, and it provides a good basis for improving the application for a next round. I will otherwise draw attention to the new programs in Horizon Europe. We should apply for more EU funding!

Enjoy the new year!

Editorial

Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

Then another year will soon be over. Autumn is often experienced as hectic due to application deadlines, congresses, meetings and new student cohorts. And the semester is relatively short compared to the spring semester. So now that time is almost running out for us, it is good to be able to look forward to a holiday with the opportunity for peace and reflection.

Covid-19 has unfortunately become an increasing challenge this autumn despite a large degree of vaccine coverage in the population. The pandemic is turning research and teaching upside down for most of us. Hygienic measures such as social distancing, face masks and alcohol washing, as well as communication and teaching through digital media, have required a lot from the individual and the organizations, including K2. But it has been great as a leader to see how well you have coped with this upheaval with acceptance and constructive measures. Thank you very much!

Although we have learned a lot of new things in many areas through digital forms of communication, it is understandable that many are starting to get tired of social distancing and a number of hygienic measures. I still think we will emerge stronger from the pandemic, even though there are some things that have been delayed or made more difficult. And it is important to turn the situation into something positive. What can we do more efficiently and better? Will it be easier to find peace to write applications and articles? Can the national and international networks be strengthened since it does not matter where we live?

Despite covid-19, 2021 has been a good year for K2. Employees have published in the best journals and been awarded prizes. Employees been successful in fierce competition for funding from the Research Council of Norway (Camilla Krakstad, Emmet McCormack, Yenan Bryceson), the Norwegian Cancer Society (Camilla Krakstad, Emmet McCormack, Hans Petter Eikesdal, Stian Knappskog), the Novo Nordisk Foundation (Bergithe Oftedal, Simona Chera, Stefan Johansson) to name a few. Eva Gerdts received the award for Research / Innovation Environment of the Year from the Faculty of Medicine and the Research Group of the Year at Helse Vest. Furthermore, King Olav V’s cancer research prize was awarded to Bjørn Tore Gjertsen. Congratulations again to everyone!

It seems that we are reaching our goal of external research funding for 2021. We are very proud of that. K2 coordinates one SFF application (signed) and is a partner in another (Anagha Joshi). We hope that at least one of these will make it! Thanks to Silke and Emmet for being temporarily willing to move up!

For many, Christmas is the highlight of the year where family and friends gather for a holiday full of traditions and a sense of belonging, followed by Christmas in space, which can provide opportunities for other activities at home in Bergen, trips to the mountains or elsewhere. Covid-19 unfortunately places restrictions on this again this year, but then we get the opportunity to form even closer ties within our own family.

What most of us take for granted is not necessarily the case for everyone. Some have lost someone they loved or have no close friends or family gathered this year. Do we manage to think extra hard about these and maybe include them in our own Christmas celebration?

With wishes for a peaceful Christmas and all the best for 2022.

Editorial

Christmas is approaching and with that, a new round of application deadlines is approaching again. In this context, I would just like to remind you to report via the following form that you are seeking external funds. This will ensure both good application support and that one of our economists is assigned to help with the budget. And I would also like to remind you that there are sources of funding other than NFR, such as the EU. I encourage you to attend UiB’s information day on 14 January 2022 in the aula (NB! Requires registration by 31.12.21, follow the link for more information and the registration form.

I hope you take care of each other also in this year’s Christmas season dictated again by Corona restrictions, despite cancelled joint activities.

Have a really good weekend!

Editorial

The economy is tightening

It’s never nice to talk about finances when it’s getting worse. Unfortunately, the economy will be tighter in the future.

The Corona pandemic has so far entailed several extra expenses for UiB, which are now distributed among the faculties according to the size of their basic grant. Since the Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest faculties, we therefore get one of the biggest cuts in the budget for the next three years. Our faculty takes most of the bill, but some is distributed among the departments, also here according to the size of the basic grant. For K2, this means a cut of approx. NOK 2.2 million annually for the next three years.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Upon its departure, the Solberg Government served a major cut for all universities in Norway. A change in pension financing means that the university and college sector will no longer pay pension costs as a fixed percentage of the salary base but will pay for actual pension costs throughout the year. Together with some other measures, more than a billion kroner will be cut for the universities as a whole. Unfortunately, the new Støre Government has not only sustained it, but rather increased it. This is a permanent cut in the basic allocation to the universities. That means a weakened economy for K2 in the years to come. We will try not to withdraw positions and look for other ways to reduce costs. And then there is the issue of increasing our revenues: external financing is becoming more important than ever. So, get on with the applications. K2 cheers on you!

In this new situation, it is important that we have a common understanding of the challenge and that we must stand together in this. Then there is also an opportunity to be innovative and find new solutions that can even improve our primary tasks: research, teaching, innovation and communication. And for the record: K2 Retreat 2 on Solstrand is going as planned. That will be a good opportunity to discuss across research groups, teaching groups, staff groups and organizational units – alternative and better ways of working with somewhat less use of resources.

We will make it through this! Let’s develop an even better K2.

Have a great weekend!

Pål R. Njølstad
Department Head