Greetings from the Department – 16.09.2022

Foto: Eivind Senneset, UiB

The autumn semester is well underway and we are doing great work, in challenging times. I would like to commend you all for your efforts, in teaching as well as research.

I would like to highlight the results from the Research Council’s main call. As previously mentioned, Anders Goksøyr was granted a project as coordinator for the Marma-Detox project. In addition, he and Environmental toxicology are partners on two other projects. I really have to say that is a splendid outcome and very well deserved. Many congratulations to Anders, Odd Andre and the others.

Sushma Grellscheid was also granted a project as a coordinator through FRIPRO, which is very gratifying indeed. And before the summer, Alicia Barraclough was assigned the collaborative project ACTIONABLE as coordinator. In addition, Øystein Varpe and Anita Rønneseth have both received grants as partners. We congratulate everyone so much.

We are in the middle of a challenging and highly necessary area reduction process. I would like to praise and thank all the technicians who have made a huge effort in connection with clearing and moving. You are indeed constructive and positive in every way. I know that your contribution here also affects your capacity to follow up on all your other work tasks. We should all be grateful and show understanding and patience when other tasks may have to wait a little longer than in normal circumstances. Many thanks to the technicians who contribute so significantly to the process.

Speaking of moving: We are a bit in a limbo in relation to the time-frame and progress of the process. I understand that this causes frustration.  What we know for sure is that the areas we are to vacate must be emptied no later than 2 December. But unfortunately we still have a number of unresolved issues, i.a. regarding when any external tenants can move in.  This affects our own ability to make decisions regarding the practical relocation of our affected scientific communities. We will provide more specific information as early as possible in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience. I can only regret that the process really hasn’t progressed as quickly as I signaled when we started out.  A main reason for this is the fact that the process is heavily dependent on external players. Some of our groups and communities which are affected by the relocations, are not entirely happy about this. That is understandable.  I still hope we manage to get through the process as well as possible together.

At present we are working on implementing new routines for managing the PhD candidates’ compulsory work.  Faggruppe leaders will get a greater responsibility in managing the use of compulsory working hours within their group (faggruppe) and also across groups where appropriate. It is important that course in charges (emneansvarlige) do not personally engage PhD students in compulsory work. This creates many challenges both for the PhD student, for other course in charges and for BIO. The compulsory work is a very important resource for us and we must manage it in a good way, for the good of the PhD students, BIO and our students.

I wish you all a splendid weekend,

Hilsen Ørjan

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