Category Archives: This week’s editorial


Dear everyone!

There were many from both UiB and Haukeland hospitals who competed for the 4 final places in order to apply to K.G. Jebsen centers for medical research. As many as 3 out of 4 researchers who were invited to send a full application are from K2: Eva Gerdts, Bjørn Tore Gjertsen and Stian Knappskog. Congratulations! We are very proud and wish good luck!

Foto: ukjent                           Foto: Øystein Fykse/Haukeland universitetssykehus      Foto: Melanie Burford

May 17th is approaching with great steps, and all UiB employees are invited to participate in the main procession (departure from Museplassen at 9:30, or meeting at 10:15 at Koengen, kolonne 4). We will keep an eye on the weather forecast, but so far it looks promising 😊 With the Ascension of Christ the day after May17th, there are probably many who take a long weekend. There will therefore be no K2nytt next Friday.

Have a nice weekend!


Temporary report on RCN’s upcoming evaluation

In recent decades, RCN has carried out two evaluations of Norwegian research. Now a third round is underway. In November, two of the evaluations started: life sciences and natural sciences. In 2023, the remaining subjects are due, organized in two rounds: One evaluation for medicine and health, EVALMEDHELSE, in which the Faculty of Medicine is involved, and one for mathematics, IT and technology.

The main aim of the evaluation is to evaluate the quality and framework conditions for life science research in Norway.

Two levels are planned for evaluation: Administrative units and research groups. The administrative units for the Faculty of Medicine will be the institutes, i.e. K2 for us. When it comes to research groups, it is a big advantage for K2 that we all have defined research groups. The RCN has decided that the minimum requirements for a research group must be that there must be at least five researchers, of which at least three are permanent and as main position (at least 50%)  and they must have existed for at least three years. Here, of course, there is room for individual definitions. NFR states that it is not necessary to register everyone who is employed at an institute. It is also possible to merge groups that fit together. The division can thus be strategic, and one will naturally report on those who are good.

NFR will set up several expert panels that will report to a smaller number of evaluation committees. These in turn report to a national report committee.

The evaluation criteria include that the research must be relevant to society, be relevant for institutional purposes, work for diversity and equality and have a solid research output.

There will be more information about the evaluation at the Faculty Lunch on Wednesday 10 May.

The Department’s management will, in collaboration with the environment, define the research groups to be evaluated. A self-evaluation must be made for K2 and for each research group. Here it is important that the groups themselves come up with proposals for which research groups should be defined.

RCN will hold a webinar on 15 May 14-15. Follow here for more information.

The first deadline for schematic feedback to the faculty is 5 June. The evaluation itself will have a deadline of mid-September.



Servant leadership

Servant leadership is a management philosophy formulated by Robert K. Greenleaf in the 70s. The main idea is that the manager should serve the employees and the organisation, and differs from traditional leadership where the manager’s role is to promote the organisation’s interests.

A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of employees first and helps people develop and perform at their best. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. Greenleaf put it this way: A servant leader must ask himself the question: “Are my employees growing as people? As they serve, do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely to become servants themselves?”

Do we have a serving leadership at UiB and for that matter the hospital we are an integral part of? As a scientific employee, many others and I experience that tasks that others previously did for us, now have to be done by us. We spend more and more time on documentation, filling in forms, organizing teaching and other administrative tasks. It feels like there are various administrative groups around us who are more concerned with leading us instead of serving us. This means that we have less time to do the university’s core tasks, namely research, teaching and communication.

We need a debate about this. I did not have Fredrik Solvang available, so as an introduction I asked ChapGPT if we had serving leadership at UiB. It answered, among other things: “There is a growing interest in servant leadership in higher education institutions around the world. Many universities have introduced servant leadership principles into their management structures and have seen positive results.

UiB has also taken initiatives to promote servant leadership. For example, they have organized seminars and workshops on the subject and have also included this as one of their core values. Furthermore, in its vision for 2022, UiB emphasizes that it wants to promote responsible management, including servant leadership.

We now need to discuss how this vision can be implemented in practical terms?

With warm wishes for a good the coming weekend

Eystein Husebye
Deputy leader K2


Vacation 2023

I hope everyone had a nice Easter holiday with friends and family. The weather and snow conditions were some of the best I can remember for the season.

Not everyone takes a holiday at Easter but finds quiet days to be an opportunity to get professional work done or there is a deadline that makes working at Easter necessary. I would like to single out Eystein Husebye and Helge Ræder who sent a comprehensive EU application yesterday and therefore had the impetus for the application during Easter. They received invaluable administrative help from, among others, Corina Guder, Susanna Pakkasmaa, Andreas Westermoen and Håkon Solheim, even on several of the “red days”. I would like to thank everyone in the team for their efforts, and we are crossing our fingers for a good process with a positive outcome!

Finally, I would like to remind you of the vacation accounts for 2023. By 1 May, everyone must register in the Self-Service Portal ( which days they plan to take vacation. It is possible to change days afterwards. The most important thing is that the number of days planned is entered. This is not only important for K2 to know when K2’s employees are present or absent, but it has an impact on the budget. Vacation that is not registered or taken will be marked as liabilities in our accounts for 2023 and worsen the financial balance. So, register your planned vacation as soon as possible and by 1 May!

Have a great weekend!


Welcome to Teaching Day!

At K2, we take pride in providing excellent education. In order to maintain excellence in education, we need to continuously develop ourselves as teachers. A this year’s Teaching Day, we can learn from the best as the teaching group for geriatrics tell us about their award-winning educational development. We will also discuss how we can improve collaboration regarding teaching even further, as well as some recent and ongoing changes (Vestlandslegen, changes in MED5-MED6).

We wish to see as many as possible of you at the Teaching Day on Wednesday May 3rd at AHH (half-day from lunch). Meet up for lunch with good colleagues, inspirational talks and discussion about teaching and learning.

We will also announce the K2 Teaching Award – please send 7our nomination to by Monday April 24th!

Velkommen til K1 og K2s Felles undervisningsdag onsdag 3. mai!

Sted: Auditoriet i AHH



12.00 Lunsj 15 min

12.15 Velkommen

12.15 Nyskapende undervisning v/Marit Stordal Bakken

12.45 Ferdighetssenteret: hva tilbyr vi og hvor går utviklingen? v/Bernt Aarli

13.00 Vestlandslegen v/Audun Vik-Mo

13.15 Pause 15 min

13.30 Erfaringer med samarbeid i undervisingsgruppe for gynekologi v/Ragnar Sande

13.45 Utvikling av faggruppe på tvers i ortopedi v/Trude Gundersen

14.05 Diskusjon: Hvordan kan vi samarbeide bedre om undervisning?

14.15 Pause 15 min

14.30 Endringer i MED5-MED6 v/Harald Wiker, Jon Hardie, Magnus Berle

15.15 Prisutdeling undervisningsprisene

15.30 Slutt


Joint Research Day UiB – Helse Bergen 170323 – and UiB – Helse Stavanger in the autumn!

Last Friday, the Joint Research Day for UiB and Helse Bergen got off the ground. The aim was to stimulate increased research collaboration between the hospital and the university. This was a success. We counted 160 people present in the room – i.e. more than the maximum number at registration. Consequently, there were not enough chairs, and some had to stand. There is nothing quite like feeling that something is so popular that it is cramped for space 🙂

CEO at Helse Bergen Eivind Hansen and Vice Chancellor at UiB Gottfried Greve opened the seminar together. They emphasized that today’s culture of collaboration is very good and little governed by what is difficult, but that you must constantly work to overcome the challenges that arise. Together we are stronger 🙂

This was followed by great, scientific talks on the corona pandemic by Professor and Senior Physician Nina Langeland, on rhythmic hormone diagnostics by Professor and Senior Physician Eystein Husebye, on possibilities for treating a rare cause of blindness by Associated Professor and Senior Physician Cecilie Brederup, and finally on mechanisms of action in anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders by Associated Professor and Senior Physician Olga Therese Ousdal. The research that was presented represented some of the best we have at Haukeland Campus, i.a. based on articles in the Nature, Science, and Lancet class.

The research seminar should definitely be repeated! If we e.g. aim for seminars four times per year, one can imagine themes such as patient cases with translational aspects, clinical studies, new techniques and methods, interdisciplinary studies, as well as presentations by  young, promising researchers.

In connection with the half-yearly meeting of the Joint Education Council between the Faculty of Medicine and Helse Stavanger last Monday, the implementation of the first step for the new course of study Vestlandslegen at Helse Stavanger from the autumn was on the agenda. There was no doubt that the students will be well received with concrete plans for teaching for the coming 4th year in Stavanger.

Before the corona pandemic, we had planned a research seminar between UiB and Health Stavanger with the same goal as the meeting we had last week at Haukeland Campus. The corona pandemic caused this seminar to be cancelled, but now the initiative has been brought back to life. There was still great interest in such a meeting in Stavavanger, and I certainly believe that it is mutual when it comes to researchers in Bergen. There is much we can learn from each other with opportunities to create new research collaborations for mutual benefit and fun. We are therefore planning such a meeting in connection with the first meeting of the Joint Education Council in the autumn.

Have a great weekend!


The Department’s Day 2023

I would like to remind you about the Department’s day 290323. It is a merger of the previous strategy seminar and the Health, Environment and Security Day (HMS). We aim to be at Solstrand with accommodation every two years. We were there in 2022, and therefore this year the seminar is local. We will be at the Eitri innovation building. We think that will be inspiring and exciting.

The program includes an article on clinical trials by newly appointed Professor of pediatrics, Camilla Tøndel. Clinical trials will receive a much greater focus in healthcare companies in the future, and here the university can be an important player.

Professor Camilla Krakstad from the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics has recently had a research term at Harvard Medical School and will talk about how she proceeds when it comes to collaboration on large-scale genetics analyses, something that is relevant now with the restrictions of the GDPR.

An absolute highlight will be that Dean Per Bakke will come to talk about the new economic everyday life and what it means for the faculty and department.

Then we will hear about an exciting study on the effect of a metabolite on delirium and the risk of hip fracture in elderly patients by newly appointed Associate Professor of Geriatric Lasse Gil.

The day ends with a presentation from the IT department regarding IT security. This is a very important topic that we must take very seriously.

It is still possible to register for the seminar! We can also tempt you with lunch, coffee and probably something unhealthy, but definitely good, with the coffee 😉

Have a great weekend!


Dear all!

It is time for the allocation of small research funds (SMÅFORSK). The funds are a joint effort between NFR and UiB. The intention is that the funds should be given to research groups that have not received large grants so that they can start new projects. It can be applied to cover expenses for travel, seminars, courses, materials, technical-administrative assistance and other operating costs.

Requirements for application and criteria for allocation:

– The funds go to researchers who do not have large operating assets already.
– The size of the individual grants is between 15 000-150 000 NOK.
– The funds must be used by 2023 and cannot be transferred to 2024.
– Recipients must be active researchers in a permanent scientific position at K2, Prof. II or II.
– Recipients must have applied for external funds in recent years.

All permanent scientific employees (including scientific employees in 10-50% position) at K2 can apply. It is done via this link. Deadline is 27.3.2023.

Then there will also be an infrastructure announcement from NFR this year, the guidelines are still unresolved. However, the faculty wants a survey of the applications with a deadline of 17 April on this form.

Have a nice weekend!

Silke Appel

(Norsk) Ukens leder

Editorial K2 nytt 240223
Pål R. Njølstad

Export control and export license – a new dimension to advertising and filling positions

Export control and sensitive knowledge transfer means that certain goods, technology and services cannot be exported from Norway without a license issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. PST and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do not have detailed knowledge of what is subject to a license, it is the institutions and professional communities that must assess this.


For our part, export control is mainly about control of knowledge transfer and research collaboration, with associated mapping of equipment and technology required to be licensed as well as awareness when exchanging students/employees, guest lecturers, data security etc.

As Head of Department, I must assess whether an export license should be applied for, based on the candidate’s nationality and whether the subject area in which the person is to work is sensitive, and may therefore be problematic in relation to the export control regulations/knowledge transfer.

An export license is mainly applied for when there are candidates who come from the countries: Iran, China, Pakistan and Russia. Applications are made regardless of whether the candidates reside in countries other than their citizenship.


  1. When a position is advertised

I will assess early in the recruitment process whether the position is within a sensitive subject area. When scientific positions are to be advertised, the text of the announcement to this effect must be worded if the subject area requires it:

“UiB is subject to the regulations for export control and the regulations apply when processing applications for the position”.

An export license is applied for if I consider that the subject area is sensitive, and the candidate(s) has a nationality which means that it should be applied for. An application for an export license is sent before an offer letter is sent to the candidate.

The HR employee can send out an offer letter when we have received feedback that the candidate is not subject to a license. If necessary, reservations can be included in the offer letter and/or the employment contract pending a response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the application for a license.

  1. Visiting researchers

I will assess whether the subject area and the candidate’s nationality indicate that we should apply for an export license. Applications are sent well in advance of the planned stay.

When a position is to be advertised, the person wishing to advertise the position must send information to me about the following:

  • project description
  • description of the work tasks
  • equipment/instruments the candidate must use in the work
  • what qualifications the person appointed to the position must have in order to carry out the work tasks
  • the candidate (competence, background and why the candidate is assessed as the right person)

Processing of the application by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can take 3-6 months. It is therefore important that the time aspect is carefully assessed before the announcement and that, if necessary, appears from the advertisement text that the appointment of the candidate must take place soon. If so, this will be emphasized when recommending and offering the position.

This is complicated, and the most practical method has not yet been found. A representative from PST will come to our department head meeting in 1-2 weeks so that we can find out more about what an export license means and how we should proceed.

Have a great weekend!



Dear all!

This year’s first application round to NFR is in full swing, and several have already submitted an application to Researcher Projects for Scientific Renewal/Women’s Health and Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges. Our young researchers have an application deadline in a few weeks (Researcher Project for Young Talents (FRIPRO). NFR is now introducing changes that will be implemented from the FRIPRO calls for proposals published in the autumn, following a request from the Ministry of Education and Research to reduce the number of applications, limit the use of resources and increase funding to 25 per cent. In brief, it will be the following:

  • ongoing FRIPRO application processing
  • quarantine for applications awarded a mark of less than 5.5 (Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal) or 4.5 (Young Talents)
  • Once the FRIPRO application has been submitted, you as project manager will be given a 12-month waiting period before you can submit your next application.
  • you cannot be project managers for more than one FRIPRO project at a time
  • requirement of 6 years of post-doctoral experience for a Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal


More information can be found on NFR’s website (

Have a nice weekend!

Silke Appel


Are you home?

Does your website show that you are an active employee, that you constantly publish ground-breaking research and that you are a media darling? If not, it might be time to update it.

All employees have an automatically generated personal page on This contains contact information and formal information about your position, but it looks undeniably bare if you have not entered any self-selected information such as:

  • A portrait of yourself
  • A description of your competence, both as a researcher, teacher and communicator
  • Your research group and projects, consortia you are part of which may have their own website
  • Link to social media if you disseminate research there
  • Publications from CRISTIN

Feel free to use fields of competence, so that people looking for experts in immunology, diabetes, proteins or something else find you.

The K2 leaders encourages everyone to upload a photo of themselves as a minimum (but we accept that some do not want this for personal reasons), that you specify your subject/field of work and upload a link to publications in CRISTIN. You will find instructions on editing your personal page here:

Why is this important? If you apply for funding from The Research Council of Norway, Helse Vest or EU funding, there is a relatively high chance that some of the evaluators will check out your page. If it looks like no one is at home, it is not positive for the evaluation.

Good luck

Eystein and Susanna


Helse Vest’s Education Award for geriatric teaching

Helse Vest’s Education Award for 2022 this time went to the teaching group in geriatrics at the Department. A reception and award took place during the Education Cooperation Agency’s meeting at Clarion Hotel Bergen Airport the day before yesterday.

Geriatrics is a small but important specialist area and certainly in the present conferring the reports in the media last week!

The construction of the environment has a long history. Gudbrand Fossan and Olav Sletvold were pioneers in Bergen in the late 1980s, followed by a period of little activity. A collaboration between the Kavli Trust, Helse Vest and UiB meant that from 2008 Anette Hylen Ranhoff could be employed in a shared position between Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo and K2, UiB. She has systematically built up an enthusiastic group here in Bergen with a focus on clinical and interdisciplinary teaching, and with the use of innovative methods and great commitment. The teaching has very good feedback from the students.

In addition, Ranhoff has built up a research group with several doctorates in recent years.

K2 congratulates so much and is very proud of the group!

Pål R. Njølstad

From left: head of institute Pål R. Njølstad, and award winners Katinka Nordheim Alme, Elisabeth Skaar, Marit Stordal Bakken, Susanne Hernes and Anette Hylen Ranhoff. Photo: private


Last week, the Government launched a new strategy for personalized medicine Strategi for persontilpasset medisin – . The strategy underscores the need to integrate research and clinical work as personalized medicine becomes an integrated part of the health services.

One of the three thematic aims is of particular relevance to those of us who teach: Personalized medicine is an evolving field, necessitating life-long learning as well as a continuous process of  updating the curriculum and programmes in which we teach, in line with adjustments in RETHOS. E.g. molecular biology and microbiology and advanced decision making algorithms and analyses based on artificial intelligence are examples of fields in probable need of expansion and development.

Please remember the upcoming deadline – Monday February 6th – for nominations to the Faculty Awards for research and teaching. Information was published in a previous K2-nytt.

Mette Vesterhus
Head of Teaching


By: Pål Njølstad

BOA record!

I am reporting some really good news: In 2022, K2 has set a record in terms of external funding with NOK 119.4 million. It is a fantastically great result, especially in these times of failing funding.

And it is significantly better than the other departments: IGS had 74 million, IBM 60 million, K1 50 million and IKO 40 million. This is also very good, but K2 is the strongest in terms of its competence to get external funds.

BOA is a very important source to keep the wheels turning when other funds are reduced. I would like to thank everyone who contributes, but also thank those who applied but did not make it. As is well known, those who do not apply get nothing. And with grant percentages that are very low, it can be random who gets it, at least if one is among the top 20-30%.

Ola Borten Moe wants a grant percentage threshold of 25 at NFR. It may make sense, and it will be exciting to see how this can be achieved without allocating more funds from the State. Personally, I hope that the solution will be that the allocated sum for the individual project will be smaller, and that the institutions will not decide who can apply.

Have a great weekend!


Dear all!

Do you/your research group/research group know anyone who has excelled in 2022, either on the research front (publication, research environment, PhD work, dissemination), as an innovation environment or in terms of teaching? The Faculty of Medicine has announced a number of prizes for 2022, so now you have the chance to nominate colleagues/environment (or yourself!). The categories are

  1. Publication of the Year (NOK 100 000)
  2. Research environment of the year (NOK 150 000)
  3. PhD work of the year (NOK 75 000)
  4. Dissemination award (NOK 75 000)
  5. Innovation award (NOK 150 000)
  6. Education Award (up to three awards for outstanding initiatives in education, a main prize of NOK 150,000 and up to two more prizes of NOK 50,000 each!)

We from K2 can put forward one candidate in each category, so do not hesitate to submit proposals (with supplementary reasons) by Monday 6 February. More detailed information can be found here.

Proposal for Publication/PhD/Group/Dissemination/Innovation

Suggestions for Education Awards

Have a nice weekend!


Sense of belonging

A college just shared a very interesting paper by Twitter focusing on sense of belonging in research groups. I think there is a lot for group leaders to learn from that paper, which is why I have extracted the central points here:

Sense of belonging is the experience of positive personal relationships with others in a given environment. It is an important predictor of well-being and retention. There are benefits associated with developing a strong sense of belonging including improvements in academic performance, mental health, self-esteem, sense of purpose, and connectedness. On the other hand, there are consequences of having a low sense of belonging such as increased risk of stress, anxiety, depression, health problems, feelings of loneliness, rejection, and low self-esteem. When we feel like we belong, we become positioned to do our best work. Creating and maintaining a strong sense of belonging thus benefits individuals and teams and improves the quality of science that your team produces. In the article, the authors draw from research on sense of belonging and educational psychology to inform best practices for fostering a sense of belonging in the lab suggesting ten rules:

Rule 1: Reflect on belonging (and repeat)
Self-reflection is an important first step in identifying what kind of culture and environment the group leader want to foster in your research group. She/he can begin the reflection process by thinking about a time during early career when she/he felt like you belonged.

Rule 2: Be mindful of names, pronouns, and diverse identities
Do not underestimate the importance of knowing names and how to pronounce them correctly. It is likely that are people in every group from identity groups (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality) that are different from the group leaders.

Rule 3: Proactively engage with lab members
Many group leaders are busy; but when this happens, members are likely to feel unimportant to the leader. Active involvement allows the leader to witness practices and behaviors that can be proactively addressed to prevent major conflict.

Rule 4: Discuss, document, and embody research data
Discussing data will demonstrate to the lab that the group leader are interested in what group members value and how they want to shape the space. By documenting these, group leaders and other senior lab members can model them leading to active participation and shaping of the space more inviting and accessible for all group members.

Rule 5: Be transparent about expectations
When expectations lack transparency, students without knowledge of how the environment operates will feel left behind or left out. Be clear about rules and procedures. It is important to be clear about what is expected from each member. Transparent norms ensure everyone is on the same page.

Rule 6: Provide opportunities to learn about each other
Every group member is unique with their own cultural blend of traditions, values, and practices. Learning about each other provides opportunities to find connection among each other and to build a sense of belonging among all members. Examples are a website that has information about each member, storytelling, and take turns bringing food to meetings.

Rule 7: Foster connection outside of the environment
Fostering connection outside of the group provides members a chance to learn more about each other and strengthen social ties within the community. It is important to plan the events in an inclusive way.

Rule 8: Build in time for kudos
People feel valued when their work is recognized. Recognizing individuals for their contributions and accomplishments is a great way to grow a sense of belonging among group members.

Rule 9: Conduct equity checks
It is important to build in check-ins to gauge and sustain good performance. Equity checks provide an opportunity to embody values and establish an actionable expectation. Psychological safety is key when conducting meaningful equity checks.

Rule 10: Ask for feedback regularly
Asking for feedback is a common management and leadership practice and can make more effective leaders. It signals to group members that their experiences are valued and the leaders are interested in understanding them. Feeling valued by leadership is one way to increase the sense of belonging of members in the environment. Feedback can be gathered about different aspects of the research group through varied methods such as equity checks, surveys and informal check-ins.

Happy New Year!

Pål Rasmus Njølstad

Sense of belonging? Picture from a freezer in the lab of Professor Graeme I. Bell at the University of Chicago where I had a post doc 1998-99.


Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!
Another year is almost over. For most of us, it is a busy autumn with application deadlines, congresses, meetings, and new cohorts of students. So now it is good to be able to look forward to a holiday with the opportunity for peace and reflection.

At the time of writing, the Covid-19 pandemic is a growing challenge, especially for the healthcare system, even if the new variants seem milder. Fortunately, strict hygienic measures such as social distancing, face masks, and frequent alcohol washing, as well as communication and teaching through digital media, are not necessary as the situation is now. But NIPH predicts a Christmas holiday with a large degree of intercurrent diseases in the population due to the coincidence of several epidemics with gastroenteritis, influenza and RS virus in addition to Covid-19.

For K2, 2022 has been characterized by new challenges linked to the economy. A series of cuts in funding from KD, UiB and the Faculty have turned the financial situation at the department upside down. Since over 90% of our economy is linked to positions, freezing vacancies is unfortunately what is needed some years to overcome the problem. In addition, we are working on how we can make better use of space and teaching; space efficiency and how to free up time for research through more efficient teaching, so that our scientific activity is not affected.

In this new situation, it is important that we have a common understanding of the challenge and that we must stand together in it. Then, as mentioned, there is also an opportunity to rethink and find new solutions that can nevertheless improve our primary tasks: research, teaching, innovation, and communication. K2 Retreat 2 on Solstrand went as planned despite the tight economy. The Retreat is a very important venue for strategy discussions and generation of new ideas. We therefore aim to carry out K2 Retreat 3 in 2024. We must not lose our hearts, we must manage to come out of the situation even stronger!

For many, Christmas is the highlight of the year, where family and friends gather for a holiday filled with traditions and a sense of belonging, followed by space Christmas, which can provide opportunities for other activities at home in Bergen, trips to the mountains or elsewhere.

What most of us take for granted is not necessarily so for everyone. Some have lost a loved one, or have no close friends or family gathering this year. And in the past year, we have received many refugees from the senseless events of the war in Ukraine. Are we able to think extra about these and perhaps include them in our own Christmas celebration?

In conclusion, I would like to thank each and every one of you for small and large contributions to our primary tasks and for creating a good place to be.

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


The financial room for maneuver at the universities has been significantly reduced in the last year, and the Faculty of Medicine has had major cuts in its budgets. K2 is the largest department at the Faculty of Medicine and has received the largest reductions. The Rectorate has given the faculties a deadline of approx. 2 years to break even.

To reverse the trend, K2 is introducing a number of measures. One of these is linked to the possibility of saving money through area efficiency, to slightly reduce the large amount of area that K2 uses. The faculty pays well over NOK 75 million in area rent. If K2 can reduce the areas somewhat, K2 will receive funds as compensation.

K2 has therefore set up an area committee led by Silke Appel to make a brief analysis of the current situation for the use of offices and laboratories in the Laboratory Building and outline a proposal for how approx. 358 square meters in the Laboratory Block, which are particularly expensive to rent from Helse Bergen, can be saved and which models, if any, can be used. This applies, for example, relocation of entire research groups, joint use of laboratory space and more open office space. The committee will look at the possibility of saving the areas by allowing the staff to work more closely or by using less expensive areas, e.g. in BBB.

The committee has delivered its analysis and identified approx. 355 square meters essentially divided into three areas and which can potentially be saved. The proposal will form part of a process with the Dean’s Office and UiB central regarding possible agreement with Helse Bergen on temporary takeover of these areas. Affected research groups will be involved in the process if Helse Bergen shows an interest in this.

It can be a demanding exercise, but it should be possible to use less space. When it comes to offices, most people today can get by with a PC and a screen, although some may have a greater need. People in reduced positions can e.g. share an office with a little planning. The laboratories are very important for translational research, but here too we have to think anew. Much of the research is done today via core facilities and on a computer today, and it is possible to share bench space with others.

Times are more demanding than before, but I believe it is temporary and that with a skipper roof we can get through the process. It is important that we stand together in this and that everyone, in different ways, gives a little extra now in terms of flexibility so that the institute as a whole will come out of the situation – even stronger. It is possible!

Enjoy the week end,



Dear all,

2022 has been a particularly busy year for our PhD coordinator Irene Hjelmaas and Christina Flornes with a total of 41 PhDs originating from K2, which must be possibly record-breaking. In order to be able to carry out so many disputations, we are dependent on all associate professors and professors taking on the task as custos from time to time, and it is very nice to get help from our professors emeritus / emerita for it – it is almost impossible to beat the number of disputations Birgitta Åsjö has been custos for this year, thank you!

But back to the task as custos: Custos means guardian or orderly man in Latin, and as custos you are stand in for Dean Per Bakke and act on behalf of the faculty. You lead the way when the committee and the candidate march in and out of the auditorium in the prescribed order of trial lecture and public defence, that is, there is something very solemn about this task, especially when you are wearing your cloak for the defence. But it is a very nice task to lead the next generation of researchers through trial lecture and public defence and learn about what kind of research is taking place at K2.

It is of course also exciting to just listen to, and here everyone is welcome to join. We try to advertise all trial lectures and disputations from K2 in K2nytt, and a full overview from UiB can be found on the website (

Have a great weekend!


Teaching is a team sport

Recently, I was in a meeting at SUS with our teachers in Stavanger. A useful take-home message was that the distance to colleagues in the other campuses may feel long: one may feel left alone to solve the issues related to teaching. Conversations with colleagues in Haugesund confirmed this experience. However, some colleagues in Bergen in smaller fields have also reported feeling left alone regarding teaching responsibilities. Hence, the issue is not geography but communication.

If you want to go fast, walk alone – if you want to go far, walk together. All academic employees at K2 should belong to a teaching group led by a UGLE. The UGLE can facilitate contact with the coordinator who can give access to relevant information in MittUiB. If you know someone who may not know which UGLE they “belong” to, or you yourself need help to get in touch with your teaching group, please contact me at .

My hope is that we learn to talk more about teaching in teaching groups spanning all relevant educational programmes and campuses. For Medicine, work is ongoing both in the project group for Vestlandslegen in Stavanger and in a working group making plans for changes for year 4-6 in Bergen. It should stay a goal that the students achieve the same learning objectives and that the quality of the exams and other forms of evaluation is the responsibility of the collective teaching staff within teaching groups across single teachers and campuses.

The UGLE are invited to a meeting on Tuesday November 29th at 11:30 (further info in email).


What is happening on the research front at the Faculty of Medicine?

The K2 Leader Group asks scientic personnel for sketches on a maximum of one A4 page of research areas/projects that are relevant to focus on in the coming years and that are good starting points for collaboration across departments/faculties/institutions, see below. The proposals are sent to research advisor Susanna Pakkasmaa ( by Monday 28 November.

Background (information from Dean of Research Marit Bakke)
The faculty management, in consultation with the Department Heads at the Faculty of Medicine, has decided that they will map directions and central activities in research at the Faculty. The purpose is to identify areas for collaboration across Departments and other institutions so that we can better develop impactful projects that are competitive in relation to external funding and dissemination. It may be appropriate to separately promote prioritized initiatives for external funding sources.

In this context, the Faculty asks the Departments to identify research areas/projects that are relevant to focus on in the coming years and which are good starting points for collaboration across Departments/Faculties/Institutions.

  1. Each Department must present a prioritized list of relevant research projects (up to five). Each initiative must be described in approx. an A4 page and sent together and signed by me as Head of Department to the Head of the Research Section, Tone Friis Hordvik, by 01.12.22.
  2. The prioritized initiatives from the Departmentswill be discussed collectively in extended research management and at Department Head Meetings under the auspices of the Faculty.
  3. The outcome of the discussions will govern how the initiatives are worked on in relation to e.g. development of cooperation and applications. The Dean’s Office can also decide (on the basis of the discussions) whether certain initiatives should be promoted specifically against selected funding sources.

Process at K2
The Department Management at K2 has discussed the matter and decided that we want an open process where all academic staff will have the opportunity to put forward proposals. Since we can only forward five proposals, it is important that the proposals include several researchers and preferably several environments and themes across research groups, Departmentys and possibly Faculties.

It is important that the proposals represent innovative top research that we shall focus on the next years.

Good luck with the process!

Pål Rasmus Njølstad
Head of Department


Are you curious?

Or to rephrase, are you interested, inquisitive and questioning? Asking many questions, challenging established truths, finding alternative solutions, makes us smarter and better researchers. In Harvard Business Review you can read about the “Surprising Power of Questions” (

The authors summarize that asking questions is a unique tool for learning and exchanging ideas. It makes conversations more productive, gives innovation better results and it builds trust in the organization. It can also uncover unforeseen dangers and pitfalls. Despite this, many of us probably do not think that asking questions is an art that can be developed and improved. By asking questions you improve your emotional intelligence, which in turn makes us better questioners. The article gives tips on how different questions should be used – “not all questions are created equal”.

As researchers and teachers, we can also become better at asking questions, we can learn more and I believe our research will be better – what is the question you want answered when you do an experiment, and what is your lab neighbour doing?

I hope you will be inspired to become more questioning and curious.

Have a good weekend

Eystein Husebye

Vice head, K2


The medical students have decentralized teaching at Helse Stavanger, Helse Fonna and Helse Førde. This arrangement is necessary to cope with such large student groups as we have now. It is also very good for the students in that the teaching is more practical than what we can offer in Bergen. Lecturers in Stavanger, Haugesund and Førde are also involved in research as an important part of their work.

It is a challenge to ensure a good and efficient connection to Bergen, and my impression is that this could be better.

All employees at K2 must belong to a research group and a teaching group. The administrative lines run through the research and teaching group leaders. It is therefore important to know which research and teaching groups the individual belongs to so that all employees ger the information sent through the research and teaching groups. If it is unclear which research and teaching group you belong to, contact Silke Appel (research) or Mette Vesterhus (teaching)

We have educational meetings with the decentral hospitals twice a year. My impression is that this is not enough for the decentral hospitals to feel they are involved in the activities here in Bergen, especially when it comes to research.

We have involved personnel at the decentral hospitals at K2 Retreat, but due to the cost, we have only had these meetings every two years. Would an extension of the teaching meetings with a block for research presentations be a possibility? We could have thematic meetings where there are presentations from both parties.

It is also possible to imagine digital meeting places with thematic presentations. In any case, we in Bergen should be better at remembering you at the decentral hospitals so that there is always a Teams link at the meetings here in Bergen that are relevant to you, and that you are invited – to the right email address! (we will arrange this).

Last year, K2 had 40 dissertations. This year, it looks like there will be at least the same number. One way to get in touch with the communities in Bergen, is for the academic staff to act as custos at defenses. I would like to take this opportunity to thank personnel in Stavanger in particular for volunteering several times!

I would also like to encourage the research and teaching group leaders to be more active regarding to think about and involve personnel from the decentral hospitals.

I think we have a lot to gain from a closer collaboration between the parent department and the decentral hospitals! Feel free to make suggestions!

Have a great weekend.


Dear all!

The area committee is in the process of mapping the area use in the laboratory building. All research group leaders who are housed there have been sent an excel file and asked to fill in the forms for their groups so that the committee can begin the job of preparing suggestions for better utilization. Everyone is welcome to give your input!

And then I want to remind everyone that autumn is the time for personal development interviews. Mia is responsible for the employees in the administration. As Pål wrote a few weeks ago, he has the interviews with the research group leaders, while the research group leaders have been delegated the responsibility to have the personal development interviews with the members of their research groups. It is therefore important that all academic and technical employees belong to a research group! Let us know if you don’t know which group you belong to and we’ll figure it out.

Have a great weekend!

(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, 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 ( 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


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!


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


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 ( .

Mette Vesterhus
Head of Teaching


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!



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!