Category Archives: This week’s editorial

Time to apply for founding from the Research Council

The Covid-19 pandemic has upturned our daily lives and much of the research, both clinically and experimentally, has stopped. On the other hand, the work situation provides the opportunity to work well with applications.

The application forms from the Research Council are now available and at the same time the deadline for the Research Council has been moved to May 20, giving extra time for application writing. Already, those who intend to apply must contact the economist they have been assigned to plan the budget work. Amra will help with application writing and will give priority to those who have announced that they will apply.

This year, the Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal is open to all research areas; further Research Project for Young Talents (age less than 40 years), 2-7 years after dissertation and Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility.

Good luck

Eystein

About taking care of each other and precautions when lending personnel

Dear employees of K2

We are in an unreal time with an uncertain future. We do not know how severe the coronavirus epidemic will strike in Norway, we do not know how long the epidemic will last. Many people work around the clock to minimize the impact of the epidemic. We have reason to be proud of the enormous efforts the authorities, health workers and many others make. What we can all do, is loyally to follow up on all the advices and orders given by the authorities.

The need for information is of course huge. There are general guidelines that the information channels be relatively few in order to avoid opposing advice and orders. Therefore, the management at K2 has been careful to send out too many mails or newsletters. The disadvantage can be that local conditions might not be addressed in the general information. Please, let us know if there are things you are wondering about, and that we should be informed about.

The University wants most of our information to be collected at uib.no/korona. In addition, we relate to Helse Bergen and FHI’s information pages.

Lending personnel
One subject that will become increasingly relevant is that you may be asked to serve in health care organizations or municipalities. Agreements have now been made with health authorities throughout the Helse Vest and the Bergen Municipality. Please, refer to the Norwegian version of this newsletter for further details.

Take care of each other
The Prime Minister calls for unity and care for each other. It is extremely important to work together now towards a common goal. Furthermore, there are many who can be anxious, feel lonely, and need practical help with childcare, grocery shopping, etc. Here, we can all make an effort!

I am impressed by the positive, constructive, and innovative attitude I have experienced from the staff last week. Professional meetings are already held with presentations for up to 33 participants (!) via Skype or Zoom, teaching is done via Skype or Zoom, and practical training is replaced by You Tube videos, TBL material online, and alternative material from eg. Harvard Medical School. I’m very proud of what you have achieved so far! We learn something new every day, much of what I think will be used even after the coronavirus epidemic is over.

There seem to be a few days without rain coming up. Enjoy the good weather – not at the cabin of course, but perhaps on a hike over Vidden or Fløyen where it should not be a problem to keep 2 meters distance to other people.

Make the best of your weekend!

The corona virus epidemic: K2 closes, but does not stop

Dear all employees at the Department of Clinical Science

We are experiencing a dramatic time with no parallel in Norway at peace. But we have to deal with this. We have over 350 employees with large resources in many different ways. Now it is important to use these in a good and constructive way. This is going to cost; it is changing daily life for all of us. But I already notice that you are taking this in a positive way. Thank you so much! Although most of us do not need to worry about the infection itself, it can mean a long illness and even death for old people and those with serious chronic illnesses. And if the hospitals are unable to maintain the basic staffing, it will hit everyone anyway. Henceforth, we must faithfully follow all the advice and orders of the authorities to prevent and prevent the spread of infection. Here are some clarifications and practicalities for K2:

K2 is physically closed
As you are informed by email from Pro-Rector Margareth Hagen and Dean Per Bakke, the entire university is physically closed from yesterday at 18. All activities on campus will be stopped as soon as possible and at the latest during the weekend. With few exceptions, no one should come to work. All activity must now be done digitally. For those premises that have the Helse Bergen IDs card as an access cards, these will function as before. It is possible that doors operated by UiB’s ID cards will be closed to those who cannot access by exception. This is unclear at the time of writing.

What about equipment and special laboratory experiments?
There are certain exceptions when it comes to people who need to inspect or repair instruments as well as special laboratory tests. I have delegated to the research group leaders, that today they will decide which people and what trials will be involved in stopping the trials over the weekend, which persons and trials must continue to be of special importance in terms of scientific and financial importance , and what equipment and people are needed to inspect and if necessary repairing important instruments in the labs, as well as making a list of these issues.

How is Management reached?
The Management has from now on home office, but Julie Stavnes, Eystein Husebye and I will physically be able to get into the buildings in emergency situations. Use mail or phone to reach us.

What are the Management´s phone numbers?
Pål R. Njølstad 481 41 578
Julie Stavnes 995 91 846
Eystein Husebye 994 04 788
Silk Apple 410 80 067
Jone Trovik 924 25 171
Emmet McCormack 482 03 610

What about economy and staff functions?
These should be taken care of as far as possible through a home office.

How do we do it with signatures from the Head of Department?
Signature documents must be sent to me or Eystein in electronic format. If something is urgent, make sure we are available via sms.

Teaching
As communicated before, this must be done digitally, and here you have to be creative. It is referred to previous mails from the Faculty and K2.

How can I set up Skype or video conferencing from home?
For help setting up Skype or video conferencing from home, see https://it.uib.no/Skrivebord.uib.no

Who is the contact person for equipment?
This is Eystein Husebye

It will be a different weekend and time ahead of us. Take good care of each other.

Pål

The corona virus epidemic

This is to refer to the information sent out from the University Director and the Faculty of Medicine February 28 on handling the coronavirus at UiB (https://www.uib.no/en/corona).

Since we work in a health institution, we must also follow the guidelines of Helse Bergen, which in turn follows the advice of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. We therefore ask all employees who have been in areas with a persistent spread of coronavirus to stay home from work for 14 days after returning home. The purpose is to reduce the risk of infection to patients and employees in the health and care service. The health and care service is particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of infection that can affect vulnerable patient groups. This council has retroactive effect for travelers returning home after February 17.

Travelers who develop respiratory symptoms during the first 14 days after returning home should isolate themselves at home and contact their GP on the phone. If you do not get in touch with your GP, call an emergency room on telephone 116117.

Symptoms of corona virus infection are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory symptoms.

Sustainable sites include mainland China, Iran, South Korea, Italy (all regions of Italy north of Rome – Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Emilia-Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Tuscany), Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The University management wants to be constantly updated on which employees we have at all times. Employees may have stayed in risk areas even in their spare time, but it is still important that this information is shared.

We hence ask you to register your own travel activities in the following form whether you have stayed, are staying or will be staying in areas with the spread of the coronavirus in the form that you find here: https://skjemaker.app.uib.no/view. php? id = 8138964

We do not yet know the extent of the epidemic and whether it will be a pandemic. If there are many who have to stay home without being particularly ill, I urge you to be inventive in meeting the most important university assignments. Mail is probably handled 24/7 for most of you anyway, but it is also possible to hold lectures or group lessons via Skype or similar platforms so that students get the education they need. Lectures and meetings that were scheduled in or outside Bergen can be conducted with video or telephone conferences if planned. As mentioned, it´s just to be innovative 

Have a nice (corona free) weekend!

Pål Rasmus Njølstad

From Sjusjøen about RETTE

We have already written quite a lot about RETTE here, but since there are still many projects with lacking information in the system, I will write a bit more here.

The RETTE system was established by the UoB in order to comply with GDPR and ensure that we follow existing legislation. UoB shall have an overview and control of all research projects and student projects that process personal data. Medical/Health research projects need approval from REK. Some projects have consulting duty with data protection officer, and NSD can assist in considering assessing privacy. After assessment or approval, information from NSD and REK is transferred to the RETTE.

RETTE automatically transfers projects approved by REK. Several of you have probably received an email stating that you have one or several projects in RETTE. When you log in the system (https://rette.app.uib.no/) you can fill inn additional information about the project and answer certain questions before you confirm the project. This is the responsibility of the project leader. I can recommend looking at “Start the project wizard” and “Documentation” on the website where you will get some answers as to what needs to be registered.

We will also have a faculty lunch with RETTE as topic in the near future.

Greetings from sunny and snowy Sjusjøen

Silke

What to do when your grant application is rejected

After a windy and rainy winter, deadlines for the 2020 applications are approaching. Related to this, James Mitchell Crow just wrote an interesting commentary (Nature 578, 477-479) on what do to when your grant is rejected. Because for most applicants, rejection is the rule and not the exception. Rejection can be a rollercoaster experience with anger, disappointment, despair, and grief. Give yourself time to digest the response, and only then get back to the application when you have a clear mind to do it constructively.

At the National Institutes of Health in the US, the 2017 aggregate success rate for research grants was 20.5%. The success rate is similar in Novo Nordisk Fonden. At Wellcome in the UK, around 50% of applications 2017-18 made it through the preliminary stage. Of those, around 20% were funded. In the initial H2020 programme, the success rate was only 14%, and at the Research Council of Norway, it is unfortunately even lower; around 5-10% in the open calls. Hence, a good idea is no guarantee of grant success, and very good applications are rejected due to lack of funding.

So, what to do?

Most importantly, never give up. For each time you write a grant application, it improves a little and suddenly you are over the threshold and/or a new reviewer likes the application.

Can you get key manuscripts for the idea submitted? Can you collect and present preliminary data and/or run a pilot study? These points may be important to satisfy reviewers regarding the key evaluation criterion feasibility.

To establish new collaborations can improve your science by other people scrutinizing your research. Also, that can improve your network and track as a PI.

If you discuss the grant rejection with your colleagues, mentors and others, you might get emotional support in the short term, and constructive feedback to help reapply for the grant at the next round.

When you have feedback from the reviewers, it is vital to address the concerns of these. Still, it is unlikely that the same reviewers will evaluate your application once more, so work through all aspects of the application for the next round.

Most often, your application was not read by an expert in your field. Therefore, it may be helpful to share the revision to scientists who are not experts in your field. Can your spouse understand your abstract and main outline? If not, you should try to rewrite. A message can never be too simple. And think of your application as a story you want to tell and make that journey exciting so the reviewers want to read more.

Good luck preparing your grant applications for 2020. But before that, enjoy the winter holidays!

Pål

Education Awards and Teaching Day

Does your research group /UoB-unit know an excellent teacher or an excellent teaching environment? If so: you may nominate them for the Faculty’s educational awards! The nomination may be promoted by an environment (research group, academic environment, institute but not by an individual).

There are no specific price categories, but one main prize of NOK       150 000 is awarded, and up to two more prices of 50 000 each!

What may be the basis for nomination?
• Quality-enhancing measures in education
• Excellent teaching
• Digitalization of education
• Internationalization
• Testing of new teaching and assessment forms
• High quality in practical teaching
• Student active learning
• Innovation in education

The nomination must contain a description of the measure in question, show what results have been achieved and mention the transfer value and further plans for the measure. The institute and program committee may deliver the nomination via Ephorte, student organizations and other entities send it via e-mail to eirik.dalheim@uib.no. Deadline for nominations: 24th of February!

Moving on to the Teaching Day 01.04. (no it’s not April Fool …)
We will show You How to create your educational portifolio (will be required for future academic positions), practical use of MCQ in Mitt UiB and Martin Biermann will talk about how to use e-learning platforms to promote learning. After lunch, we sum up the OSCE (objective structured clinical exam) –experiences , and we may all take part in groups creating new OSCE  tasks that may be included in the exam database. Please register here.

Consul Søren Falch and Ophthalmologist Sigurd Falch’s Foundation

This year, the Faculty of Medicine will also nominate Falch’s Lecture and Falch’s Junior Prize for Younger Researchers.

The Falch Lecture 2021

The award is up to NOK 30,000 to cover fees, and travel and accommodation expenses. Cost estimates are attached to the application. Multiple awards may apply.

Guidelines for Falch’s Lecture:

  1. The proposer is the Board of Directors, which can invite generally recognized researchers at a Nobel Prize level or very high international level to hold a guest lecture and / or seminar at the Faculty of Medicine.
  2. The Board may invite employees to submit proposals and document their research efforts. The criteria may be publishing in prestigious scientific journals, international awards, leadership positions in important and active international scientific associations, and conferences.
  3. The Falch Lecturer should have collaborated with or otherwise contributed to the research activities at the Faculty of Medicine. However, this is not a requirement to propose a candidate.
  4. The Falch Lecturer is awarded a diploma marking the event.

Proposals are sent to okonomi@med.uib.no by 14/2 2020 and are being considered by the board of Consul Søren Falch and Ophthalmologist Sigurd Falch’s Medical Science Fund.

Junior Prize for Young Scientists

The candidate must be under 40 years of age at the time of the application. There is (unfortunately) no reduction for maternity leave or other leave.

The bylaws of the Fund state that:

  • The purpose is to promote medical scientific work
  • The work must be of great scientific or social importance
  • The work can be from all branches of medical science
  • The work must be completed

The Board has set the Prize at NOK 50,000 for operating expenses to the researcher.

Proposals for candidates for the Prize may be presented by Department Heads and Professors at the Faculty of Medicine, and should include:

  • The candidate’s curriculum vitae
  • The candidate’s publication list
  • Documented results of the work
  • A scientific description of the proposal (maximum two pages)
  • A descriptive presentation of the candidate’s work in the language of the general public (press release)

Based on the Fund’s bylaws, the Prize is awarded according to these criteria:

  1. In-depth, original works with methodical complexity.
  2. Research findings that have led to applied results in the form of new or improved diagnostics, therapy, or knowledge.

Proposals are sent to okonomi@med.uib.no by 14/2 2020 and are handled by the Board of Consul Søren Falch and the Ophthalmologist Sigurd Falch’s Medical Science Fund.

This is an excellent opportunity to invite a high-profile collaborator to a seminar or meeting, and to get some of their best researchers to shine.

Have a great weekend!

Pål R. Njølstad

Build your teaching resume

The Faculty of Medicine has a dedicated strategy to contribute to the best possible learning conditions for the students. Competence building of teaching staff is done through courses, seminars and prepared guidelines under the auspices of the Unit for Learning.

Teaching experience is now given greater importance when evaluating candidates for permanent scientific positions. What was previously called “basic pedagogical competence” has now been renamed “basic educational competence”; the content of which is summarized in national guidelines. At UiB, educational basic competence is normally achieved by completing a program for university pedagogics equivalent to 20 credits, but it is also possible to apply for an equivalent qualification on by the folder alternative.

This option may be relevant for many because education skills are now required before being employed as professor. For associate professorships, you still have 2 years to gain such expertise, but having this in place at the time of application is a strength. It can be problematic for people in, for example in a full hospital position to dedicate time for extensive educational courses. For these then the folder alternative might be a good option. The folder should contain a self-declaration of educational skills and overviews of completed teaching, teaching planning, courses – on the whole, everything that you have done related to teaching can be registered. Unit for learning organizes workshop on educational folder building, University pedagogics for medicine and health sciences, Introductory course for PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows (PHDPED900), Introduction to medical and health sciences didactics (MEDDID601) and the seminar series Pedagogical supplement which all count in folder. It is therefore important that both UiB and HUS staff involved in teaching take care to register and build their folder. I strongly believe this will also improve teaching for the students!

Have a great weekend when that time comes.

Eystein

The Postgraduate School of Clinical Medical Research

This is an arena for PhD students from Department of Clinical Medicine (K1) and Department of Clinical Science (K2) to socialize and present their own research to fellow students. The research school organizes courses that may be included as part of the training component of the PhD-program, and as seminar series where current research from the faculty is presented by excellent speakers.

Every year in January, PhD candidates from K1, K2, and Haukeland University Hospital are invited to present their work to fellow researchers and the general audience. Posters are at display in the lobby of Sentralblokka, and oral presentations are given, usually in the Birkhaug Room. A genius thing is that the posters and oral presentations should be those that have already been presented last year at national or international meetings and conferences. Hence, it is not necessary to make new presentations, which scientifically is “recycling” and “sustainable” 🙂

This week, 44 posters and 23 oral talks were presented, which engaged lots of researchers and others leading to scientific and social interactions and networking. Prizes of NOK 10 000, 5 000, and 3 000 were awarded to the three best poster and the three best oral presentations. Dean for Research Marit Bakke presented the winners. The poster awardees were Christina Clausen (1st), Pernille Svalastoga (2nd), and Ninnie Oehme (3rd). The oral presentation awardees were Trine Ludvigsen (1st), Ida Viken Stalund (2nd), and Sepideh Mostafavi (3rd). The prize to a post doc was given to Heidi Espedal and the popular vote prize to Martha Eimstad Haugstøyl. Congratulations to the winners and their environments! And thanks to all other presenters and those organizing the event; especially to the scientific committee Harald Wiker, Renate Grüner, Øyvind Torkildsen, and Gottfried Greve, as well as the leader for the Postgraduate School of Clinical Medical Research, Stian Knappskog.

Enjoy the week-end!

Happy prize winners Postgraduate School of Clinical Medical Research 2019

(Norwegian) Ukens leder

Først og fremst ønsker jeg dere alle et godt nytt år. Jeg håper at planleggingen for det kommende året er godt i gang.

Det medisinske fakultet vil også i år utpeke Årets publikasjon, årets ph.d.-arbeid og pris for fremragende forskningsformidling. Fra 2019 vil prisen for årets forskningsgruppe bli erstattet med en pris for årets forsknings-/innovasjonsmiljø.

Om de enkelte prisene

Begrunnelse Årets publikasjon
Gi en begrunnelse som inneholder argumentasjon for kvalitet (bl.a. impact factor), originalitet og nyskapning. Der det er relevant bør nominasjon også redegjøre for konsekvenser for videre kunnskapsinnhenting, klinisk anvendelse eller innovasjon. Nominasjon til årets publikasjon bør avspeile instituttets egen forskning og originalartikkelen som nomineres skal sendes fakultetet som eget vedlegg (pdf-fil av trykket artikkel).

Begrunnelse Årets ph.d.-arbeid
Gi en kort begrunnelse som blant annet inneholder argumentasjon for kvalitet, originalitet og nyskaping. Der det er relevant bør nominasjon også redegjøre for mulige konsekvenser for videre kunnskapsinnhenting, klinisk anvendelse eller innovasjon. I tillegg skal kandidatens eget bidrag og selvstendighet beskrives. Bedømmelseskomiteens innstilling må legges ved og komiteen vil ta hensyn til denne i sin vurdering. Den nominerte avhandlingen kan sendes som som pdf.

Begrunnelse Årets forsknings-/innovasjonsmiljø
Gi en begrunnelse som blant annet inneholder argumentasjon med utgangspunkt i forskningsproduksjon og/eller innovasjonsaktivitet (For eksempel: fremme av innovasjonskultur, kontakt med næringsliv, innsendelse av/tilslag på søknader om innovasjonsprosjekter, oppnådde lisenser, selskapsetablering, fremragende tjenesteinnovasjon), vitenskapelig kvalitet eller evne til nyskaping. Også arbeidsmiljø, rekruttering, kjønnsbalanse og evne til å utvikle yngre forskere vil bli vektlagt og må presenteres i begrunnelsen. Miljøet som nomineres bør ha tett samarbeid og ikke ha karakter av å være et løst knyttet nettverk. I tillegg bør bidrag til nasjonalt og internasjonalt forskningssamarbeid eller innovasjonsaktivitet, nettverksbygging og bidrag til utdanning av studenter og ph.d.-kandidater kommenteres. 

Begrunnelse Formidlingsprisen
Gi en kort begrunnelse som blant annet inneholder argumentasjon for hvordan en forsker eller en forskningsgruppe har evnet å formidle nyere forskning på en fremragende måte til et bredt publikum. Forskningsformidlingen skal være av høy kvalitet med hensyn til faglig innhold, utforming og utførelse. Den bør engasjere, vekke nysgjerrighet, gi inspirasjon og ny kunnskap. Formidlingen skal svare på samfunnets behov for informasjon og kunnskap om forskning og høyere utdanning.

Frist

Bruk linken å nominere kandidatene dine:

https://skjemaker.app.uib.no/view.php?id=7848679

Frist for innsending av grunngitte forslag settes til 07.02.2020.

Happy New Year!

Christmas and the holiday season at the end of the year are over. It has been a busy time – everything must be fixed and arranged for a few, intense days. However, for most people it has been a precious holiday with time together with the ones we love, as well as an opportunity for contemplation and reflection. It provides motivation and strength to embark on a new year with new opportunities.

It is natural to begin a new year with strategic thinking. In February, the management will conduct a strategy seminar for research group leaders, platform leaders and UGLEs (if the institute council adopts the new scheme). The main theme this year will be communication. Later in the spring we will have a dedicated day focusing on teaching and in the Autumn,  there will be a seminar with HMS work on the agenda. Last year’s K2 seminar (K2 Retreat) at Solstrand for everyone was a success, but the budget situation means that we cannot repeat that for this year. However, we hope to be able to repeat the K2 seminar for everyone at Solstrand in 2021.

Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

Another year will soon be over. Autumn is often perceived as hectic due to application deadlines, congresses, meetings, and new student courses. And the semester is relatively short compared to the spring semester. Hence, as the year is nearing it’s end, it is good to be able to look forward to a holiday with the opportunity for peace and reflection.

For K2, 2019 has been a very good year. Our faculty members and scientists have published in the best journals and been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the Faculty of Medicine’s awards, the Research Group of the Year to the Mohn Cancer Research Laboratory by Per Eystein Lønning, the Falch’s Senior Award to Birgitta Åsjø, the Falch’s Junior Award to Bergithe Oftedal, and the Helse Vest research award to Endocrine Medicine with Eystein Husebye. Congratulations to all these environments!

We do not yet know the result of this year’s awards from the Research Council of Norway, but nevertheless solid research funding was achieved in 2019. Although the fiscal year has not yet been concluded, it appears we will well reach our goal of 101 mNOK in consumed external funding this year 🙂

Very good news last week was that Jenny Mjösberg from the Karolinska Institute was awarded the TMS Starting Grant from the Trond Mohn Foundation. Congratulations and welcome to K2! On the teaching side, K2 was responsible for this year’s OSCE, and it went very well. A big thank you to everyone involved.

But there are many others who also contribute to K2 being a good place to work. We have a superb administration that I know maximizes the potential for better research, teaching, innovation, and communication. And we’re so lucky to have a splendid technical staff: Without you, K2 stops!

For many, Christmas and the holiday season is the highlight of the year where family and friends gather for a holiday filled with traditions and a sense of belonging, followed by some days off that can provide opportunities for other activities at home in Bergen, trips to the mountains or abroad. Then comes a fun and exciting time with the New Year’s Eve, the New Year’s concert and the traditional Ski Jumping Week – before another year arises.

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 gathering this year. I have been to the United States for four Christmas holidays and have always been invited home to someone during the holidays. I am embarrassed when I realize that I myself have not been good to include others in my own holiday celebration. Here we have something to learn – being better at including others who are alone or lonely during the holidays. Is there room for someone else at the inn?

With wishes for a peaceful Christmas and holiday season and all the best for 2020.

 

This week’s editorial

Congratulations to Jenny Mjösberg on getting a Starting Grant from the Trond Mohn foundation! Congratulations also to those who received funding from Helse Vest!

Since we have many projects dealing with patient material and personal information, we want to say some words about RETTE:

What is RETTE and why another system? UiB has established the RETTE system in order to comply with GDPR and ensure that we follow existing legislation. REK has made it clear that even though they approve a project it does not mean that all aspects of GDPR are covered. RETTE is thus a supplement and a tool for internal control.

What is positive is that RETTE automatically transfers projects approved by REK. Several of you have probably received an email stating that you have one or several projects in RETTE. When you log in the system (https://rette.app.uib.no/) you can fill inn additional information about the project and answer certain questions before you confirm the project. This is the project leaders’ responsibility. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Finally we would like to remind you about the archive and open access to scientific articles in Cristin.

Silke and Amra

Tighter economy in 2020

In recent years, K2 has had a relatively good economy. This has given us the opportunity to various strategic initiatives, e.g. in bioinformatics, public health studies, nutrition and genomics. The budget for 2020 that the University of Bergen will give to the Faculty of Medicine means a tighter economy for K2. An increase of 8 million NOK is provided as profit growth and a 3% increase as compensation for the price and wage increase. The downside is that UiB deducts 1% in a so-called strategy cut. These funds will be used by UiB to build up a fund that they wish to use for strategic initiatives. 0.5% is also deducted in a efficiency cut. But what really affects the economy is that the rent for our spaces increases by 5.1%. Furthermore, the Faculty loses 7 recruitment positions.

The Faculty is unable to cover all these cuts, so the departments must take some of these, including K2. The employees had a solid increase in salaries in 2019, but UiB’s compensation for the price and wage increases only covers approx. 1/3 of this. K2 must in 2020 therefore financially be more cautious. We have decided that K2 will in 2020 not repeat the K2 Retreat for everyone, but rather focus on a Strategy Seminar for the research group leaders, platform leaders and education leaders as well as an HMS Day for all employees as before. We must also freeze some positions. K2 aims to be in budget balance to have a healthy economy and not be in arrears. It gives us a momentum even if the economy gets tighter.

K2 is the faculty’s largest department and one of the largest at UiB. We perform research, teaching, innovation and communication at the very top of the university sector in Norway. We have reason to be proud of ourselves and what we do!

Have a great weekend!

Genetically modified organisms (GMO)

K2 has appointed Professor Audun Nerland as GMO responsible at the institute. Background and work instructions are as follows:

In spring 2013, K2 was notified of an inspection by the Directorate of Health (HOD) regarding work in the laboratories with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The K2 management hence asked Professor Audun Nerland for help because he had worked on such matters at the former Gades institute and the Institute of Marine Research. The inspection resulted in both K2 and the Faculty being instructed to give training to their staff working on GMO.

Because of this, Nerland organized an internal course for staff at both the Faculty and Haukeland University Hospital. He later took the initiative to create and teach at a new university course (HUMGEN302) for students and fellows on regulations for working with GMOs.

The Gene Technology Act instructs us:
– that the laboratories are approved according to the risk level of GMO work
– that a notification / application is submitted about the work, which includes a risk assessment (project application); For work in risk classes 3 and 4, there must also be an impact assessment of what can happen if the relevant GMO is accidentally released into the environment
– that protocols for the work are written properly
– that the staff involved in the work receive thorough training
– that waste management and transport of GMOs are carried out in accordance with the regulations
– that there is a contingency plan in case the GMO unintentionally releases into the environment

It is important to have good procedures for GMO work in the laboratories in the event of an accident. We must expect new inspections from the Directorate of Health. Furthermore, there are frequent questions from both staff at K2 and other institutes about how applications should be designed and work routines / safety when it comes to working with GMOs, and there is a need or representation in various committees and resource groups. Therefore, I have found it necessary to have someone who is formally GMO responsible at K2.

The GMO responsible at K2 shall:
1. Advise those who are going to write applications / reports on working with GMOs (project applications).
2. Coordinate applications for approval of laboratories for work with GMOs.
3. Make sure we have an up-to-date database of applications / approvals for laboratories and projects.
4. Conduct inspections to ensure that the laboratories are organized in accordance with the regulations and that work is carried out satisfactorily.
5. Provide training as required by law, eg. through an e-learning course
6. Together with the HMS Manager, make sure that the “Guidelines for working with GMOs” is updated.
7. Establish a local GMO risk assessment committee.
8. Prepare an overall contingency plan in case of accidental release of GMOs.
9. Be in contact regarding GMO issues with the Faculty / UiB / Directorate of Health / Ministries.
10. Create a website for information and help with applications etc.

Thank you to Audun for his good work so far and for taking on this important task.

Have a great weekend!

World Diabetes Day November 14

I am writing this editorial on the World Diabetes Day. This is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who was one of the discoverers of insulin in 1922.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225.

The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to be the platform to promote by International Diabetes Federation advocacy efforts throughout the year, and to be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.

The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

Every year, World Diabetes Day has a specific theme which runs over one or multiple years. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes.

Several initiatives are also happening in Norway. One is to put emphasis on diabetes research. The Diabetes Association has a long tradition of distributing research funding to a wide range of diabetes research through the Diabetes Association Research Fund. The Diabetes Association’s Research Award was for the first time awarded in 2017, and aims to stimulate more Norwegian diabetes research. The award committee consists of recognized Nordic researchers.

Simon Dankel and I were invited as previous prize winners (Simon won the Research Award for Young Researchers in 2018, I the senior Research Award in 2017) at the award ceremony at the University of Oslo’s Aula and following dinner at Hotel Bristol. Professor Kåre Birkeland at the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital received the Diabetes Association’s Research Award, for his efforts to improve the treatment of type 2 diabetes and to understand the underlying mechanisms of the disease. Postdoctoral candidate Christine Sommer, who won the Research Award for Younger Researchers, has excelled in Norway and internationally for her research on gestational diabetes.

A very special honor was awarded to Professor Emeritus Kristian Folkvord Hanssen at the University of Oslo receiving the King’s Fortjenestemedalje for his long efforts to better treatment of diabetes. Of extra relevance to us here in Bergen is that his grandfather was Olav Hanssen, a former famous physician and researcher at Haukeland University Hospital. Congratulations to the three winners!!!

Enjoy the week end!

 

How can you increase innovation in your lab? How can you combine being a scientist and a health innovator?

These are some of the topics that will be discussed at the innovation intro course for professors to be held in Trondheim at the end of this month. The School of Health Innovation is a collaborate initiative between UIO, NTNU and Karolinska Institute aiming to provide life science researchers and clinicians with tools and insight into how innovation can be put to work for the benefit of patients, the healthcare system and our society. The course was initiated in 2017 delivering courses to life science PhDs, post-docs and clinicians from Nordic universities. There is no course fee, and lunch/dinner is covered by the School of Health Innovation. Participants cover expenses for accommodation and travel. There are only 20 slots available for this course, so please sign up! If you are interested please register by 15 November, by sending your CV to Bjarte Reve, project manager for School of Health Innovation (HIS) bjarte.reve@medisin.uio.no

Program – School of Health innovation for professors(pdf)
Learning outcomes
After completion of the course the participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the opportunities of health innovation and entrepreneurship for utilization of research
  • Increase innovation and productivity in your lab/research group
  • Utilize incentives in order to increase innovation in your lab/department
  • Apply scientific background and knowledge of health innovation to address challenges and develop services and products within a clinical setting and a biopharma/medtech setting
  • Use various business tools for ideation and feasibility studies; to develop, prototype and test solutions to user needs
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the Tech Transfer Office and other innovation support actors can support the commercialization process
  • Apply the basics in financing a startup company from private and governmental funding bodies
  • Assess their skills in health innovation and reflect on the exploitation of their own research
  • Combine being a scientist and a health innovator/entrepreneur

When & where
Dates: 28-29 November 2019.
Venue:Det Kongelige Norske Vitenskapers Selskap, Elvegata 17,Trondheim
Hotel for participants: Quality Hotel Augustin

A little more about the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology 2019

This year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded to William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for the discovery of how cells sense oxygen and adapt their metabolism to different oxygen levels. Their findings are of great clinical relevance and explain, among other things, how erythrocyte formation is regulated and the mechanism for the development of various cancers as also discussed in the K2-editorial in Week 42.

I think it is interesting that all the three award winners are clinicians and have approached the problem of oxygen sensing from different angles. The paediatrician Semenza and the nephrologist Ratcliffe studied erythropoietin regulation, while oncologist Kaelin’s approach was to understand a rare tumour syndrome characterized by stress hormone-producing tumours in the adrenal medulla (phaeochromocytoma), angioblastomas in the central nervous system, and multifocal renal cancer (von Hippel Lindau’s syndrome (VHL)). He found that the VHL protein forms a complex with hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1a) that leads to degradation of HIF1a. Lack of VHL generates a hypoxic signal eventually leading to angiogenesis and tumour formation.

What can we learn from them? Perhaps one message is that it is difficult to predict where the next major medical breakthrough will come from, and that too much ear marking of research resources in specific directions (read research programs) is less fruitful than letting scientists choose their own problems to study. As one research leader put it: “We don’t care what you do; we want you to be one of the leaders in your field”. Another tenet is the power of translational research in which studies of rare monogenic diseases can lead to breakthroughs in the understanding of basic physiological mechanisms that, in turn, open up to the development of new exciting therapies.

Let this year’s Nobel Prize be an inspiration for good translational research

Eystein

The OWLS prepare for landing…

It is hard to keep track regarding the variety of teaching and teachers affiliated with K2 and participating in the range of University initiated subjects within the programs of dentistry, medicine, nutrition and pharmacy. Each program are using teachers across departments. With K2’s organizational structure the Research group leaders are those formally “in line” but their main focus are regarding the group/participants’ research. To fully be aware of each of their group members’ participation and competence regarding teaching may not be on top of the leadership agenda.

K2 therefore has initiated a process to bring forward the teaching responsibilities we hold at our department and propose the function called UGLE (OWL); Norwegian UndervisningsGruppeLEder (Group leader for teaching/education). The UGLE should hold a permanent academic position and within the specified subject allocated, surveil all the teachers at K2 within this subject, across research groups.

The working group has proposed a mandate and suggested who will be honored with the first 2-year round of being an UGLE. We have also named their vice-UGLE who should step up during UGLE-absence and as UGLE for the following period.

I would ask all of You teachers to look through the mandate; are the functions amended to the UGLEs appropriate?  Are there teaching areas/subjects that we are unaware of? Do You find which UGLE cover your teaching area(s)? The working group really need Your feedback to correct the mandate before we release the UGLEs.

Another matter: as mentioned in K2-nytt before summer break: K2 will prioritize bioinformatics. We thus embark on a survey regarding what You as academics consider needed to be provided of bioinformatics education. Anagha Joshi (the K2 affiliated bioinformatician) will submit at questionnaire to the academic staff. I hope most of you will provide answers: WHAT are Your needs? Hopefully then we may tailor the bioinformatics education to the different needs within K2.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to cancer researcher William G. Kaelin Jr, physician-scientist Sir Peter Ratcliffe and geneticist Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”. The ability of organisms to respond to changes in oxygen availability is of fundamental importance to life on earth. The prize-winning scientists have revealed how cells sense and respond to oxygen by switching genes on and off by oxygen-sensitive post-translational modification and the subsequent proteasomal degradation of hypoxia inducible factors. Among the applications of their discovery is a better understanding of how the body reacts when oxygen levels drop owing to exercise or stroke, and efforts to manipulate the response to slow the growth of oxygen-hungry cancer tumors.

Interestingly, in 2017 William G. Kaelin wrote in a commentary in Nature that many of the papers that he, Semenza and Ratcliffe wrote leading up to their discoveries “would be considered quaint, preliminary and barely publishable today”. “The goal of a paper seems to have shifted from validating specific conclusions to making the broadest possible assertions,” he argued, calling for a return to a focus on quality over impact.

What can be the causes for today’s inflation of impact and claims? One might be the emphasis funding agencies have on impact and translation of the results. Another can be that technological advances have made it easier to generate large amounts of research data, which can be published as online only supplements. Both these factors can encourage editors and reviewers to ask for extra experiments that can be byproducts, peripheral to the main conclusion or targeted to increase the impact.

In his comment in Nature in 2017, Kaelin concludes that he main question when reviewing a paper should be whether its conclusions are likely to be correct, not whether it would be important if it were true. Food for thought!

Have a nice week end!

Autumn has arrived

Following our tradition we will also this year have a K2 Junior retreat for PhD fellows and postdocs at K2, this year 4.-5. November in Myrkdalen, Voss. This year’s topic is creative thinking and stress management, and not to forget networking. A big thank you to the organization committee for this interesting program. It is not too late to register, the deadline is today 11.10.

This autumn we also have the possibility to improve our grant-writing skills. The research advisors arrange a seminar on the 7thNovember, 12:00-13:00 in the seminar room 7.1/2, Laboratory building. We have been so fortunate to show you examples of granted proposals from our researchers and will focus on excellence and impact sections of these. You will see examples of introduction, objectives and various types of impact. The difference between communication and dissemination is not so easy to delineate and we will therefore show examples of both. Finally, we have prepared an overview of upcoming deadlines and will also show examples of prizes and awards you can nominate yourself or others to. The seminar is relevant for everyone who at some point plans to submit a proposal for funding. The department will serve lunch so we kindly ask you to register here.

Talking about awards: the Department of Clinical Science wants to promote candidates for the Kong Olav V cancer research award. Suggestions can be sent to Silke by 4.11.2019.

And last but not least: the faculty’s candidate professor Bruce R. Zetter will be appointed honorary doctor at The Faculty of Medicine, and in connection with this will he give a guest lecture on Monday October 14that 14:15 (“RNA as a tool for cancer therapy”; Store Auditorium, main building Haukeland University hospital). There will be served tapas afterwards, so please register here.

About RETTE

Data protection and privacy for individuals is the right to privacy and the right to decide on your own personal data. GDPR Article 30 strengthens the requirements for overview and control. UiB has a legal responsibility to safeguard the privacy of employees, students, and research participants. In order to meet this responsibility, RETTE is now being implemented to ensure compliance with and increased competence for key legislation in research and education.

RETTE stands for risk and compliance (Risiko og ETTErlevelse ) in research projects, and is UiB’s system for monitoring and control of the processing of personal data in research and student projects. The system will also have an overview and control of tasks and projects related to quality assurance of patient care and teaching, and projects related to learning analysis purposes.

RETTE will be available for registration of information on projects that process personal data at UiB from October. The Faculty of Medicine is the faculty that first gains access to the RETTE. Registration, follow-up and confirmation of projects will be carried out in the administrative line with RETTE arranging for responsibility for confirmation from the project manager, the department management, and the faculty management on their project portfolio.

RETTE aims to increase the competence in the privacy rights for students and staff, and should be a tool for the institutes at UiB so that they can be sure that personal data is processed in accordance with current legislation.

In practical terms, RETTE is a website linked to UiB.no/personvernportalen where no installation or special technical skills are required to use the system. The system consists of a registration module for students and staff, and an admin module for the use of institutes, faculties and management.

There are role-based approaches in RETTE, and the Dean and Head of Department designate and select faculty and department heads for RETTE within the system. At K2, it is research leader Silke Appel who will be operationally responsible for monitoring projects in RETTE.

Health research projects must first seek REK. Approved projects are then transferred to RETTE from Cristin, and researchers will be told to provide supplementary information in the RETTE. Projects requiring exemption from the duty of confidentiality must first seek REK, and follow the procedure in RETTE. Completing the form in RETTE is stated to take approx. 10 minutes. For more information, see https://www.uib.no/personvern.

It is great that UiB takes the Privacy Act and GDPR seriously. RETTE seems to be a tool that is practical and useful for the purpose.

Happy fall holidays!

Pål Rasmus Njølstad

Single cell studies, new technique established at K2

The Human Cell Atlas Project is an international collaborative effort that aims to define all human cell types in terms of distinctive molecular profiles (such as gene expression profiles) and to connect this information with classical cellular descriptions (such as location and morphology). This quote is from the presentation of “The Human Cell Atlas” in eLife. The Human Cell Atlas Consortium is an international collaborative project aimed at describing all types of human cells and linking this information with classical cell biology knowledge such as localization and morphology. The atlas will be openly available to all researchers. In June, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative granted $ 68 million to 38 research groups around the world to study various organs and systems (like the immune system) in different populations using blood and organ specimens (organ donors, surgical tissue). In the next few years a host of information will be available to increase our understanding of normal physiology and pathology.

Some of the research groups at K2 have started using these methods, but now nine different groups at our faculty have pitched in money to buy the10X Genomics technology, making it easier to get started with single-cell studies. With 10x technology, up to 10,000 single cells can be studied in one experiment. The technique is based on the isolation of single cells in oil droplets together with a package of barcoded primers. In addition to RNA-seq 10x performs copy number profiling, ATAC sequencing at single cell resolution and long read genome- and exome sequencing (https://www.10xgenomics.com/). This enables one to extract information about the individual cell after bulk sequencing of the sample, and for example construct a tissue map where the cells are grouped according to properties. The technique opens up a wealth of opportunities to study disease processes at the single cell level and test out various treatments. A nearby example is cancer treatment and treatment responses to various tumor cells.

The 10X machine will be located on the Flow Cytometry Core Facility at K2. Those interested can contact the Core Facility for further information. I hope that many groups will seize the opportunity to use single cell techniques.

Good luck

Eystein Husebye

Time for registration of side line jobs

I write this editorial onboard my flight to Vienna. There we have Allgemeine Krankenhaus, the hospital where Ignaz Semmelweis demonstrated the connection between doctors and midwives’ lack of hand hygiene and the prevalence of puerperal fever. Our class at medical school visited the hospital and were able to follow an excellent round from an undoubtedly important professor with a looooong tail of people behind….. Good memories! Maybe I will have time to stop by again, although my mission is now to focus on genetics and not the environment by giving a lecture on monogenic diabetes at the annual meeting of the European Study Group for Pediatric Endocrinology.

These types of congresses provide important academic replenishment. The funding of travel and accommodation changed drastically many years ago to maintain clearer lines between university and health care professionals and for-profit businesses, which I think was right in terms of potential competition as well as individual loyalty. That brings me to side line jobs, and our duty to update them twice a year.

By side line jobs is meant job placement, job acquisition, assignments and assignments that an employee at UiB has outside his / her position at UiB, regardless of whether the work or job is paid or not. Work carried out for an enterprise or company wholly or partly owned by the employee is also regarded as a side line job.

The principles for side line jobs can be found in UiB’s Regelsamling (Norwegian only) and apply to all UiB employees, irrespective of the category of job and the number of positions. They must protect our reputation and the trust and integrity of the employees. There should be openness about side line jobs that may have an impact on the work of the university. Everyone must report on their own side assignment on their own initiative.

The following need not be registered: Membership in external review committees, referee for professional journals, assignments as external examiner, professional assignments that accompany main position or individual minor assignments in teaching or dissemination at other institutions, or unpaid appointments of limited scope for non-profit institutions.

The following must be reported: Side line jobs that may be in competition with the University’s activities, are of a long or extensive nature, and may cast doubt on the employee’s loyalty, willingness or ability to carry out his work at the University in the manner indicated by the position and the University’s purpose, and persistently use of the university’s resources and infrastructure.

Applications for side line jobs are evaluated according to the University’s principles for side line jobs, see above. Both registration of page tasks that require approval, and those that are only to be registered, are done in Pagaweb. Information about the side line jobs is stored there and will be made publicly available.

The Department Head approves or rejects applications. Rejection of an application can be appealed to the Faculty Board or the University Director. Violation of the principles of side-tasks can lead to personnel consequences under the Civil Service Act and other reactions under the rules of default in the civil service.

This may seem negative? No, side assignments are positive as long as it does not hamper or slow down our regular work, can damage the university’s reputation, or mix its own and the university’s resources.

Have a great weekend!

This week’s editorial

With the Helse Vest deadlines just around the corner, I would firstly like to wish anyone who is applying the best of luck with their respective applications. Also, please be aware of the possibility of applying for innovative projects through Helse Vest. Later this month we also have deadlines for SFI applications and with several researchers from K2 involved in these applications, Id like to wish applicants there the best of luck!

As institute leader Pål discussed recently when the Rector of UiB was visiting the medical faculty a number of weeks ago, external funds brought in by K2 researchers accounted for approximately 15% of the total external funding attracted to UiB in 2018. That is an incredible statistic for one institute, and demonstrates what can be achieved when state-of-the-art core facilities of the university and the innovative minds of our researchers combine with the clinical potential of Haukeland University Hospital (HUS). With tougher times ahead for UiB, resultant of dwindling funding from the government, the emphasis on attracting external funding, particularly from NFR and EU, will intensify. Resultantly, we need to continuously evolve our collaboration with HUS so that our research remains relevant, competitive and innovative. This will get us some of the way, but as always the devil is in the details – particularly budget details, as many of you with translational projects will have experienced.  The challenge here will be to have greater flexibility and dynamism in how HUS and UiB interact, and that they can find a symbiotic and synergistic relationship to further nurture and not hinder this uniquely innovative research environment at campus Haukeland. Thus, I would urge our leaders both at the university and hospital to find workable solutions around these challenges for the betterment of the research environment and benefit of the faculty’s purse strings.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to innovation week OPP (https://www.innovasjonsukenopp.no/om-opp/) that starts next Monday 16thof September. OPP is a celebration of innovators! The aim is to to inspire people to explore the possibilities within innovation through events all over our region, aiming to connect entrepreneurs, collaborators and investors. OPP is thus a great place if you have a good idea you want to discuss, if you want to learn more about specific topics or if you want to learn more about innovation.

Employee interviews

Autumn is often the time for the annual employee interviews. These are part of targeted management and employee development. Therefore, the annual, systematic and mutually prepared personal conversations between an employee and the immediate superior are.

The employee interviews should be linked to K2’s strategic plans and be a real and results-oriented management tool to achieve set goals. The conversation is also an important arena for clarifying expectations of performance, providing mutual feedback and insight into each other’s work situation and addressing the working environment and conditions at the workplace.

The conversation will also be used to uncover competence needs, change and development. Elements related to life phase can be addressed as a theme. The content of the employee interview should be focused on the relationship between the manager and the employee can do something about.

As a natural part of the performance appraisal and the expectation clarification, the contractual conversation about pay is included as part of the employee interview. It is important to remember, then, that we have established wage bargaining systems.

As head of the department, I am in principle responsible for all employees being offered annual employee interviews and am responsible for including the results of the discussions in the unit’s plans and budget. It is not possible to do this for all of K2’s 350 employees, so the conduct of the talks is delegated in such a way that I have employee interviews with the research group leaders while again being responsible for conducting the conversations with their group members. When it comes to administrative staff, Julie Stavnes is the head of administration.

It is important to communicate what you want to achieve in the employee interview and to facilitate the confidentiality needed for the conversation to have added value for both parties. This can be a gradual process that may take some time. To foreign employees, it is important to pay attention to their need to understand overall strategies and goals for the business, the importance of a good and inclusive work environment and the individual’s opportunities for contribution to the community. Relevant topics may also be their social networks, trust vis a vis the leader and colleagues, experience of belonging and in some cases facilitation and integration also outside the workplace.

Finally, I will remind you of the Faculty Lunch on Wednesday 11 September at 11.30-12.20. The Faculty management by Per Bakke and Marit Bakke will discuss the importance of external funding / BOA for the future of our university.

Locally sourced educational refill!

On Monday 26th, those who wanted, might attend the AMEE (Association of Medical Education) congress free from any “PLANE SHAME”! By Skype, from the Congress in Vienna, we could attnd the main lecture and the following plenary discussion on “Medical work and Learning in Transition”. Provided with breakfast rolls and coffee those of us gathering in the Board room in the house of Armauer Hansen could discuss our local study organization!

The Unit for Learning continues with providing more low-threshold education: in the same location in the Armauer Hansen’s house, in early afternoon (during 15.00 to 15.45), the following drop-in sessions will be held:

30.09 Strengthening of practice (we host a lot of skill teaching in both pharmacy and medicine!)

28.10 Flipped classroom, how do students prepare for teaching?

26.11 Stringent PowerPoint use

09.12 Longitudinal assessment: experiences from map-evaluation in the 11th semester of the medical study.

And more in-depth pedagogy: do you need PRACTICAL training in using MittUiB / Canvas (the site where we will actually post handouts or literature proposals and create quizzes), or how to create multippl choice questions (MCQ) to be posted in the MCQ-database?

Our “super-user” Harald Wiker has offered to organize hands-on courses! First in line is the pharma environment (who cannot find their former posted files after the site front-page was reorganized..). Could please all group leaders ask their teachers what they need; new employees as well as long-time professors. We will come back with specific time- and theme slots. If these times do not fit with your needs, contact me and we will reorganize.

Welcome back from vacation!

I hope everyone has had a nice holiday returning with the batteries reloaded.

At the time of writing, the students have already begun, and many K2 employees are fully occupied with teaching. It is often busy getting started after the holiday. Switching from vacation to a hectic university life takes time. New students means more work at the start. Research never rests. Although many have picked up email and delt with the most urgent, most have probably a lot of outstanding tasks that now need to be sorted out.

On August 21, we had the visit of Rector Dag Rune Olsen, Vice-Rector for Education Oddrun Samdal and Vice-Rector for Global Relations Annelin Eriksen. Presentations were given by Researcher Randi Bertelsen (A New ERC Starting Grant – BRuSH), me (A completed ERC Advanced Grant – SELECTIONpreDISPOSED), Researcher Bergithe Eikeland Oftedal (Innovation in endocrinology), and Professor Stian Knappskog (Personalized Medicine in Cancer Treatment). Afterwards there was a tour of the university premises in the Glass Blocks. It was clear that the Rectorate was impressed with the quality of the research, that K2 alone stands for approx. 15% of all BOA at UiB, and great premises for research and teaching. Thanks to all who contributed.

Good luck with a new term!

HAPPY SUMMER VACATION!

At the time of writing, the OSCE was just finished. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your great efforts in planning and implementing this. Many have been involved, and in particular I would like to emphasize all administrative employees who have participated in time-consuming preparations and execution of the day. As last year, I participated this year as a sensor on a task in pediatrics. In addition to being exciting to see how the students solved the task, it was inspiring to learn that they liked this exam form. A student actually wanted several OSCE exams. Furthermore, it is fun to be part of such an event. One can also meet employees at the faculty across departments and type of employment in an exciting setting. Lunch and plenty of coffee promote small talk and a cheerful atmosphere.

We have recently submitted the budget proposal for 2020. It is an ambitious budget that takes into account the challenges we see in the coming year when it comes to education, research, innovation and dissemination. The finance department needs a big thank you for solid work on the budget.

As discussed at Faculty Lunch and announced in previous K2 News, we now want to look at adjustments in the research groups. This is necessary because of natural retirement and changes in activity for some of the groups now when it is six years since the groups were formed. We have therefore initiated a process of changing the composition of some of the research groups. Permanent scientific staff for relevant groups are summoned. We hope for a constructive dialogue and cooperation in this process and that the outcome provides a better everyday life for the individual. Feel free to contact us by mail regarding input in this process.

After an unusually warm April we had to pay back with a cold May. Now the heat comes slowly but surely, and we are preparing for the summer holidays. For most, it has been busy times with applications, OSCE and all the meetings at the end of the semester. Hence, it will be good to get some weeks off to do completely different things. It is important to recharge the batteries so that we can start the autumn with new energy and inspiration. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their great efforts this year. Have a really good summer holiday!