Greetings from the Department – 16.02.2024

Instituttleder Ørjan Totland. Foto: Eivind Senneset, UiB

Dear all,

Yesterday we had a department council meeting where accounts for 2023, with a result of approx. 6 million in operating profit, were adopted. As previously mentioned, this means that our deficit is now NOK 40.9 million. It also means that this is going in the right direction, thanks to a very good effort from all of us.

The budget for 2024 was also adopted. We are budgeting to go into surplus in 2024 as well, thereby reducing the deficit further, from 40.9 million to 38.9. We all know that this means spending money as restrictive as before and that we are still dependent on good income from external projects. I am optimistic that we will manage it for 2024 as well. But then I’m a little more worried. In 2023, 66% of our external funding came from NFR. After the Research Council switched to a rolling application deadline for free funds, we see that the number of applications from BIO is quite low and reduced compared to before. At the same time, I know that many of us are sitting on very good project descriptions and ideas. Now we have to throw ourselves into it and get the applications sent to FRIPRO. I don’t think we should fear quarantine and and all that. We are pretty sure of our own quality. So to all those who are actually quite ready to send an application to FRIPRO: do it and you have my and everyone’s full support, and maybe NFR’s too!

At the same time, we have many people now working intensively with approximately 30 applications towards various application deadlines in February-April in both the EU and NFR. Very well done.

A lot of work is currently being done on follow-up of the employee survey. Processes have been initiated in the subject groups to shed light on the staffing situation in relation to the teaching activity and the course portfolio (measure 1), we will establish a working group that will provide input on a strategic level and our action plan (measure 2) and we will examine how we can become even better at internal information and communication (measure 3).

These days there are elections for candidates for department council for groups B (temporary academics) and D (students). It is very important to the department that these groups are well represented on the council. I therefore encourage all fellows, post docs and students to get involved, take part in democracy, vote, discuss and debate and vote for the best candidates. It is important.

God helg til dere alle

Hilsen Ørjan

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