Join social initiatives supported by DION Grants!

Dear fellow PhDs,

As the nights draw in, we must find some more creative ways of keeping ourselves sane and warding off the black dog of depression through the long winter months. Skiing is all very well, but what about something you can do indoors, staying warm whilst drinking coffee – and even better, meeting new friends? I think it is high time that PhDs from different faculties and departments got to meet each other and have some fun, and luckily Dion has agreed to support two new initiatives:

1.       Randomised Coffee Trials (RCTs): a regular opportunity to meet someone new from among NTNU’s PhD, postdoc and temporary researcher community over a cup of steaming coffee –with the first one paid for by DION! People need people, it’s as simple as that, and this is a social and professional ‘matchmaking’ service which was started by researchers in the UK ( and has since been responsible for facilitating exciting projects and enjoyable conversations, sparking new friendships, giving people a chance to share their experiences of researcher life – and much more. Every other week you are allocated a random name and email address from amongst the pool of people who sign up. You then have 2 weeks to get in touch with each other and arrange to have a coffee/tea/waffle/lunch at a mutually agreeable time and place. You will then be given another name – and so on and so on. Who knows what might happen? To join this exciting and oh-so-simple initiative and find out more about the people in your researcher community, all you have to do is leave your name, email address and department on the Google form.

You can use this event on Facebook as a platform for communicating with the organizer and with those who are interested.

2.       Singing is for Everyone: ever wanted to join a choir? Or test your vocal chords outside of the shower? Studies have shown that singing can relieve stress and anxiety and provide us with mood-boosting endorphins… and it’s also a great antidote to sitting in front of a computer or being trapped in a lab! Now there is an opportunity for you to feel good and get healthy indoors during the Norwegian winter by getting together with some like-minded people to sing for a couple of hours every week or two. No performances involved, and no talent or ability required – just bags of enthusiasm 🙂 If you are interested in joining this PhD ‘choir’ please register your interest on the form (name, email address, department and any previous singing experience /ability to read music. If you also have experience of helping to run a choir or are able to sight-read at the piano, we would love to hear from you!).

You can use this event on Facebook as a platform for communicating with the organizer and with those who are interested.


Contact person: Lucy Chamberlin,

Yoga with DION

Join us for a free yoga session courtesy of DION!

Location:  Sit Portalen, Sal 2
Time: 12:30 to 14:00
Date: 24 November 18
Cost: Free
Clothes: Loose fitting gym clothes.

Yoga is a great form of exercise, for anyone from the seriously muscle bound, to people who just want a bit of a stretch and relax.
Most importantly though, exercise is brilliant for one’s mental health, and yoga is popular, individual, and very ubiquitous.
If you would like to join, it’s free of charge, but you will need to sign up on the form.
Not a member of SIT? Don’t worry, so long as you sign up, you can come in for free. You just have to register at the front desk. Note: you will not be allowed to use the other gym facilities.
Space is limited to 30, and it’s first come, first served.
Afterwards, those who want can head to Solsiden for a coffee and a chat together.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow the event on Facebook for updates:

Happy Hour with DION 26.11

Join us for this social event after working hours 🙂

DION invites PhDs, Postdocs and other temporary scientific employees to join the Happy Hour with shuffleboard (sponsored by us) at Work-Work! Grab some food and drink or just enjoy the social atmosphere and a game of shuffle board. If you have not tried out shuffle board yet, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try. It is super easy and reminds of a table version of curling – so give it a go and join us! We will reserve a shuffle board table for one hour from 18.30 – 19.30.

When: Monday, 26 November 2018, 18:00-21:00

Where: Work-Work (Munkegata 58, Trondheim)

Follow the event on Facebook to stay updated:

Hope to see you there!

DION’s call for Grants Winners

DION’s call for Grants applications 2017-2018 is finished!

Now we are happy to announce the successful applicants:

1. Lucy Chamberlin (Department of Design), “Randomized Coffee Trials (RCTs)”
2. Lucy Chamberlin (Department of Design), “PhD and Postdoc Choir”
3. Amir Sinaeepourfard (Department of Computer Science), “Smart Cities”

Congratulations! We will soon contact you with more detailed information about how to use the grant.

DION thanks all the applicants who submitted their applications and encourages all members to apply next year!

We are looking forward for all supported activities!


Summary of the Work and Mental Health Event for Temporary Staff

Mental health is unfortunately an important subject for temporary employees in academia. PhD Candidates are especially overrepresented in mental health complaints. This Tuesday, at the event “Temporary Scientific Employees, Work and Mental Health” we started a discussion around this topic, which will be a priority area for DION this year. Although there are a number of preventative measures you can do yourself, the universities are responsible for creating a good work environment and still have a way to go.
The panel agreed that there was a clear connection between a highly demanding work situation, lack of predictability and mental health issues. Ingeborg P. Helland from The Young Academy of Norway, pointed out that, although there will always be some level of temporary employment in academia, we need to focus more on how this group is treated in the workplace. Many feel that they are treated differently on the basis of their employment status, being left out of decision processes, projects and information loops. A survey conducted by the academy showed that only about half of researchers would recommend an academic career to others –  which should be alarming for the universities. Jo-Kristian Stræte Røttereng pointed out that conflicting expectations can be a particular burden in academia, and that a good integration into the work environment for new employees is often lacking at some institutions. Eli Rognes Klepp from the HOS section at NTNU gave us some advice on how to prevent depression and stress symptoms, such as getting enough sleep, exercise, social contact and a good work-life balance. She suggested that one should try to actively integrate into the work environment, and that this is a good way of improving it. She pointed out that it is not the number of hours you spend at work that counts, but rather the quality of these hours. Getting enough rest and sleep is the key to the quality of your work! One way to take some time off is to join the social events hosted by us or NTNU International Researcher Support (NIRS).
The streamed videos of the event are available, as well as the slides of the speakers (find the attachments below), and we recommend you check them out.
DION will continue to work with this issue, and we are open to your suggestions of how NTNU could facilitate to help with the prevention of mental health issues among the temporary academic staff.