For employees – presentation of candidates

The new board representatives for temporary academic staff are:

The term of office for temorary academic staff is one year.

See Board election

See also: Student election

Candidates for the board election

Bart Iver van Blokland

Foto av Bart Iver van BloklandStipendiat, Institutt for datateknologi og informatikk (IE)

I’m deeply engaged into making NTNU the best workplace possible during my stay here. For instance, back in the summer of 2016 I wrote a program in my spare time which could download forum posts, assignments, personal messages, and other content off the It’s Learning website. It has been used by over 1500 employees and students. I’ve also been a member of the IE faculty board.
NTNU is currently in a period with major challenges, as well as making decisions that will shape the work environment for many years to come. 
Currently the most important of such challenges is the prevalence of temporary employment. While steps have already been taken in an attempt to reduce this, I think it’s also a matter of hiring processes and career development. I’d like to propose measures to promote the hiring of temporary candidates on a permanent basis. For example, it should be possible for institutes to postpone publishing new positions if it means one or more internal candidates can compete for them. 
We are also currently in the design phase of the new campus. Unfortunately, I fear that due to the 23m² area per employee norm set by Statsbygg, we are headed to a situation where extensive parts of the new buildings will have open landscape office spaces. Experiences from other institutions in Norway and abroad, as well as an increasing body of research shows that these settings complicate contact with students, increases stress due to visual and audible noise, and ultimately significantly reduce productivity. The supposed advantages really don’t translate to academia either. I’d like to make sure all other avenues are exhausted before having to resort to open landscape spaces.
Other issues I’d like to be able to address are:
  • Reducing the distance between all employees and NTNU leadership by actively collecting written opinions on ongoing matters
  • Adding more granularity in the way plagiarism in student assignments is handled (known as “koking”)
  • Partnering with local vendors for offering discounted private use laptops for employees and students.

Erik Frydenlund Hofsbro

Foto av Erik Frydenlund HofsbroResearch assistant, AD, Department of architecture and planning.

In 2019 NTNU enters exciting times with a more convergent campus development and several decisions which will have both a physical and institutional impact on the future of our university and working environment. At the same time the representative for the temporary employees will be elected into a board which is already half way through their election period, and it is of most importance to get up at speed and to be à jour.

My experience comes from my time as an institute- and faculty trustee and board member at the AD faculty. This have provided me with valuable knowledge and insight which will be an asset in the work as a representative and board member. Through my profession as an architect I also possess a competence and ability to switch between short- and long-term perspectives, which can be essential in the period to come.

As a representative for the temporary employees, it is important to combine these perspectives with the ongoing processes towards better working conditions, simultaneously as new measures must be taken to deal with the current situation. The temporary employees are after all a valuable resource and capacity which NTNU must preserve and develop, without going at the expense of the employees needs for safe and defined working conditions. Therefore, as a representative, I will work towards addressing the use of unnecessary temporality at NTNU, which lead to poorer working conditions as well as reducing the university’s attractiveness as an employer. 

For me, the role of being a representative and board member also comes with a certain trust and responsibility. As a representative I will do my best to forward our interests and views in close communications with our interest groups and employees. As a board member I will be given the possibility to contribute to NTNU’s long-term strategic development as a university, a responsibility and trust which I will handle with the upmost severity.

Ewa Morsund

Photo of Ewa MorsundPhD Candidate, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences

The share of temporary scientific staff at NTNU is still considerably higher than the share of temporary employees in working life in general. Temporary staffing may cause great uncertainty for the individual employee, and in its most dire consequence represent a formidable obstacle to one’s professional development.

This forces employees to prioritize positioning themselves for their next project, instead of concentrating on their current scientific pursuit. A series of studies indicate that many PhD-candidates struggle psychologically. As a part of the NTNU Board I wish to emphasize mental health as an issue and I will work towards having NTNU prioritizing a number of initiatives which can make a great difference to the individual.

The future careers of temporary staff upon the completion of their PhD is also among the issues that matter the most to me. It is my expressed opinion that outlining career options both outside as well as inside academia for those that have completed a PhD at our institution is vital. NTNU should be in the forefront of building bridges towards life outside academia and demonstrate how best to take advantage of our education.

If you want a representative working to improve your influence over your own working life, you should give your vote to me. If you want a representative always willing to listen and available for discussion relating to working conditions at NTNU, you should give your vote to me. As a temporary employee at NTNU, I am your representative. I will aspire to be the link between those of us who know our own line of work best, and those who decide upon the terms of the work which we have been put here to do.

Jørgen Veisdal

Photo of Jørgen VeisdalPhD Candidate, Department og Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Faculty of Economics and Technology Management

Hi! My name is Jørgen. I am 30 years old, from Stavanger, and in the third year of my Ph.D. programme at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management (IØT) at Gløshaugen Campus in Trondheim. Here, I’m conducting research on entry strategies for platforms in multi-sided markets. Before that, I completed a M.Sc degree in engineering at NTNU School of Entrepreneurship and B.Sc degrees in mathematics and industrial design. In addition, I have experience from co-founding a company developing medical sensor technology (Moon Labs AS) and as a freelance designer.

Like most of us, I feel incredibly grateful to get the opportunity to pursue a doctorate at NTNU. Here, I’ve benefitted from the freedom and patience that many Ph.D-programmes are missing, and also gotten to work with incredibly resourceful students and an innovative industry.

That is not to say that I think everything about NTNUs ph.d- and post.doc-programmes is perfect. As temporary employees, we’ve all grown used to living with unpredictability. Every day, we struggle with insecurity about how we are performing, how our work will be received, whether we’ll be able to publish enough and if our advisors are happy with our performance. As your candidate to represent temporary employees at the Board of NTNU in the period 2019-20, I will therefor work hard to promote the following agenda:

  1. Better predicability for Ph.D. candidates looking for further employment, including more awareness and transparency about potential career opportunities at NTNU;
  2. Better quality assurance of the candidate/advisor process, including responsibilities and expectations about independence;
  3. Increased focus on international cooperation and sharing of information about existing partnerships, financing and experiences;
Last but not least, I will work hard to maintain NTNUs culture and identity as Norway’s leading university of engineering science and technology.
Thank you for your consideration!

Kristin Norum Skoglund

Position: Ph.d. Research Fellow of School Development and Educational Leadership, Department of Teacher Education

At NTNU we are about 2500 temporary employees. If I get the possibility to represent all of you at the NTNU board, I would actively work to promote our perspectives in strategic discussions concerning the entire organisation. We, temporary employees, are an important resource and asset in the further development of NTNU, despite the fact there being an end date in our contracts. We are employees on equal terms, with needs of safety and predictability for our own long-term planning. I want to focus on temporary employees' needs in the discussions in the board, as we contribute to NTNU together with everyone else.

We are in the middle of a process of co-localisation, with a focus on interdisciplinarity collaboration. Is this a success? Have we achieved a relevant co-localisation that strengthens the academic environment and our achievements as professionals? These are central questions that will be discussed at board level during the coming board term. Our perspectives as the temporary employees must be presented in these discussions.

Another topic I will focus on, though it does not  only apply to temporary employees, is better start-up routines. We have all had our first working day at NTNU. How much time did you spend arranging your new workplace? What was your first impression? Achieving a position at NTNU can be an honor or a dream come true. Nevertheless, everyone is spending too much time searching to find out the same practicalities. Where can I sit? Do I have my own office? How do I get the necessary equipment? Ordering travel? Can I apply for funds? Do I have to download the software myself? Where? How? Mentor scheme? These are key issues when starting a new employment in all organizations. Let's get started working and focus on our assignments rather than exploring the system and routines.

So why vote for me? As a former school leader and now a ph.d research fellow in School Development and Educational Leadership, I believe my background is directly relevant to this position. Vote for me and I will be vocal in expressing our needs and perspectives!


Sebastian Krossa

Sebastian Krossa – postdoctoral Fellow at the MR Cancer group, Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine

My Background

  • Born and raised in a small town near Hamburg, Northern Germany
  • Studied biochemistry and worked as Postdoc in structural biology/X-ray crystallography at the Kiel University, Northern Germany
  • Happily married with 2 kids (all true Trøndere)
  • Started my Postdoc at the NTNU in April last year

My Motivation

I am currently working as a postdoctoral Fellow in (prostate) cancer research at the NTNU. I started last year and am very happy that I took the leap from Kiel to Trondheim. NTNU provides a great scientific environment, Trondheim is a beautiful city, and Trøndelag is a very nice place for raising a family. So far, my whole scientific career has been a long chain of temporary employments. PhD and Postdoc positions are defined as education and thus are temporary. Unfortunately, the positions that are generally the next step in an academic career, while referred to as permanent, are often linked to temporary projects and are terminated when the project ends. Hence, if I wish to continue as researcher at the university, this situation of temporary employments is unlikely to change in the near future.

I guess we can all agree on that the academic career path is challenging in many respects – and especially when you have kids to take care of, long-term economic predictability is an important consideration. On the other hand, complete economic predictability is unlikely to be achievable - not just for our profession - and this is basically the same for an academic researcher anywhere around the globe. Nevertheless, I truly believe we can - and therefore must - try to improve the situation of all temporary employees.

The NTNU does a great job in educating us to become excellent academics and creates a fruitful scientific environment. But we should also recognize that not everyone is able to or wants to pursue an academic career after a successful PhD or Postdoc. Thus, in addition to fairer and more honest employment conditions for those wishing to stay in academia, I would like to see a more dedicated and broader commitment of NTNU to help us understand and potentially seek non-academic career paths. I can already see some great advancements in this regard, like encouraging entrepreneurship and creating a start-up friendly environment through courses and support. I am convinced that with the right team, there is still potential to increase these efforts further and expand on different levels, like more help with individual carrier planning or more education of relevant skills and knowledge.

In conclusion, I have both experienced and am currently experiencing the problems associated with temporary employment myself, and I truly want to tackle them – not just for me, but for all of NTNU’s many temporary employees. In this spirit, I would love to hear your opinions and ideas about this, as I believe that we are stronger together!


Follow the discussion at the bottom of this page.


If you need more information about the election, please contact Kristin Wergeland Brekke


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