For employees – presentation of candidates

Board election 2018 for temporary academic staff is now closed

These are the new members of the NTNU Board for temporary academic staff:

See Board election

See also: Student election

Candidates for the board election

Ane Tolnes Haugdal

PhD Candidate at NTNU Business School

Hi, I'm Ane, a PhD-Student from NTNU Business School, who enjoys meeting new people! I have a master's degree in Business Administration, have been working in the private sector as an accountant in PwC, before I returned to academia as a PhD-student last November.

In the merge we are now in the middle of, cohesion is an issue I am concerned with. I think it's important to create a sense of belonging to NTNU, for all the different departments. Creating cohesion to the university, for all employees, is important in order to maintain the different disciplines and the professional competence NTNU currently holds. A possible tool to achieve this, is a broader academic collaboration across the campus. In this matter I believe we can learn from the students and their organization of major events such as UKA, where students of different backgrounds collaborate across different disciplines.

As a former student at both HIST and NHH and now as a PhD-student at NTNU, I can see both what is good and what is less good in today's system, compared with other institutions. The fact that I was employed after the merge also gives me the advantage of seeing NTNU as a whole, regardless of whether you have a workplace at Elgeseter, Gjøvik or Dragvoll.

I want a place on the board of NTNU because it is an opportunity to be involved in decision making in a particularly exciting time for NTNU, given the merge and the project for co-location of campus in Trondheim.


Espen Arntzen

Position: PhD Candidate, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

What are you concerned with and why should voters vote for you?

I started as a PhD Candidate in May 2017, and came from TINE SA, where I worked as a consultant for improvement work and optimized operation of production facilities.

As a board representative, I want to prioritize better working conditions and professional development for temporary academic staff, and prioritize measures aimed at reducing the negative effects that may result in temporary employment.

Good financial management is key, and I will advocate that new processes are designed and implementation in a good and suitable way. I also want to work towards a better relationship between employees and management, - prioritizing measures to reduce the gap between management and employees.

Kristin Norum Skoglund

Position: PhD Candidate, Educational Management, Department of Teacher Education

What’s important to you?

For me life is too short for us temporary employees to always be on the serving side – giving our time, energy and knowledge without security for the future. With no strings attached from our employer!

As a member of my departments R&D-board, I’ve fought for guidelines for sabbatical leave, where temporary members of staff draws the shortest straw, with the only path to qualify is through a permanent position.

How will the new Campus influence us?

A new Campus should not be about the destruction of public parks, but rather how the physical work environment enable’s us to do a better job and give students an improved learning situation. Great opportunities lie ahead for future knowledge development!

In this exiting process, we must aim high and secure temporary members of staff’s ability to do our job in the best possible way -and not end up in the cupboard under the stairs.
Why me?

As a former School leader and currently a Ph.d. candidate in Educational Leadership, I believe my back ground is very relevant for this board position. In all humbleness, I’m hoping you will allow me this opportunity!

Nina Helen Aas Røkkum

Position: PhD Candidate, SU, Department of Social Work

What are you concerned with and why should voters vote for you?

First and foremost, I am keen to reduce the number of temporary positions at NTNU. Equally important is to focus on those already in a temporary employment situation. I am concerned with the working conditions of temporary staff at NTNU and how they experience their working day. As temporary staff you feel the unpredictability of having an end date to relate to. If you find yourself in a temporary employment situation for a long time, many people experience that life is put on hold, and that you face an uncertain future. During the course of the year, several aspects of the temporary condition have aroused my interest and my commitment.

For example, many experience the temporary condition as stressfulness, - affecting the mental wellbeing of the employee. Particularly problematic is the uncertainty that it brings with it, which impair the quality of life. This will in turn affect the quality of teaching and research. What do we do with this?

Another matter that engages me is career policy, including the opportunities inside and outside the academic profession after the end date has passed. “Postdoktorløftet” is a strategic initiative at NTNU, in short aiming to place the Postdocs in a better position to build their career. This initiative must be followed-up. If you ask me, NTNU should also provide similar frameworks for other temporary employees at NTNU.

I wish to continue as a board member and representative of the temporary staff at NTNU, and experience that continuity as important in the work of the Board. Furthermore, I will continue the cooperation with DION, the interest organization for temporary staff at NTNU, as well as New University Norway and ProtestPub. I want to build on the experience from the previous period and continue to work on measures to reduce unwanted temporarily, as well as focus on the daily working conditions and career development of temporary academic staff.

Finally, I wish everyone a good vote.

Marius Korsnes

Position: Post Doc at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture
I am concerned with the following topics – vote for me if you also think these are important:
  • Increased quality in education and improved training of scientific staff to achieve this: Temporary academic staff—that indeed do much of the teaching at NTNU—should get necessary training in new education methods that engage and include
  • Fair treatment of temporary employees: A high share of temporary employees can lead to a lack of inclusion in different fora and neglected basic rights that those with fixed positions enjoy. This could be connected to an unhealthy culture and understanding of what temporary positions at NTNU are and should be, which should be changed.
  • NTNU should be more grounded and aim to achieve a stronger connection with society. As of today, NTNU is perceived as too elitist and disconnected from what is happening in society. This should be avoided, and we must aim to ensure that our research is closely tied with and pays close attention to societal development and trends.
  • Economic concerns should not be (the most) important criteria for our research priorities. Increased use of external research projects and increased competition may have such effects and may as well increase the need for temporary positions that lack long-term guarantees to perform the very important job we do.
  • Demands for efficiency, co-location and mergers, as well as other demands that are motivated by increased savings and efficient management should not be central in major decisions made at NTNU in the future

Sigrid Rønneberg

Position: PhD candidate, Department of Structural Engineering

I am running as a candidate for the Board of NTNU because I want to influence NTNU to better the working conditions and terms for PhD candidates, post doctors and other temporary employees.

As a member of the Board, I will focus on working to improve the conditions of what has been known as temporary permanent employees, which are considered permanent employees at NTNU until their external financing ends, at which point they are let go.  In addition, I will work for the extra stipend for temporary employees who are on leave for 6 months or more that was approved by the current board, to be made available for all faculties. In general, the future should be easier and more predictable for temporary employees at NTNU, including possible career paths. NTNU has a lot of potential to improve the predictability of its temporary employees.

At present, I am elected as the representative for PhD candidates and temporary employees at the Board of Tekna at NTNU, and am currently working with writing input to the future strategy for salary negotiations at NTNU. I have, among other activities, arranged a special meeting for PhD candidates and post doctors for input to what these policies should include.

As a person, I am positive, enthusiastic and passionate, and enjoy new experiences. I have experience from working for the rights and conditions of PhD candidates in Tekna for several years, and am very motivated to continue this work on the Board of NTNU, such as through a tight cooperation with DION.

I wish you all a good election.


Silje Marie Smitt

Position: PhD candidate within thermal energy systems at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering, IV. 

I have decided to run as a candidate for the board because it is a great opportunity to contribute to the changes happening in the next year to come. One of NTNU’s main goals for 2018 is to become “united as one”, which I believe is very important to follow up on, as we have become a large institution spread across several locations. 

The rights of PhD candidates and researchers are important since we are not protected by the law in the same manner as the permanent academic staff. There have been several news stories on this topic, mainly in relation to the high percentage of long-term temporary researchers here at NTNU. Even though the university have indicated that they are working on reducing the number of temporary positions in favor of permanent ones, the number is still too high. This issue should be pursued more strongly to relieve the burden of contractual work for our fellow colleagues and contribute to a more inclusive academic culture.

NTNU must be competitive relative to the private marked in order to recruit the best minds. Benefits and salaries are ways of achieving this, but in reality, the salary for PhD candidates has decreased since 2014. Even though working conditions and salary at the universities are mainly determined by legislation, we are the ones that can plant a seed for change. I would like to contribute to this and will work to the best of my ability to represent us and strengthen the position of temporary employees here at NTNU.  


Vegard Stolsmo Foldal

Position: PhD Candidate, MH, Department of Public Health and Nursing

I am currently an employee representative and representative of temporary academic staff at one of the largest departments at NTNU, Department of Public Health and Nursing. As temporary academic staff, we make up the main mass of employees who actually research and produce knowledge at NTNU, and I therefore think it is necessary that temporary academic staff are well represented in matters relating to NTNU's future and vision.

The temporary status of employment is an important topic. When NTNU takes decisions relating to campus development, national and international collaboration, knowledge transfer and other important priority actions, our work security must be included in the considerations. I would like to represent temporary academic staff in such decisions in order to ensure that NTNU develops in a direction that is sustainable for the future, enabling both innovative, outstanding and practical research and dissemination.

I addition to the above, I am also concerned that temporary academic staff are not underrepresented in matters pertaining to us our future and career in research and dissemination. It is thus important that you cast your vote to ensure that we are well represented in matters pertaining to us.


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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