Salaries negotiations – an update

In October, we shared some information about the debates on the latest round of negotiations affecting PhD candidates’ salaries, which had led to some inequalities between new-hires and staff already in post. Earlier this month, the outcome of the NTNU negotiations was published on Innsida It shows that NTNU is trying to improve the current situation about the unequal payment of employees. We at DION think that the outcry from PhD candidates all over Norway has been heard and we are happy that the unions also put their part forward in this. 

It should be noted that the new negotiations do not lead to senior candidates earning more money than the new candidiates, despite their seniority. However, now at least, senior PhD candidates won’t earn less than new-hires, as it had been the case after the national salary negotiations earlier this year. 

At DION, we applaud the fact that the concerns of PhDs over pay inequalities have been taken into account in these local negotiations. We also appreciate that over time, these changes in salary scales for newly-hired PhDs will lead to better wages for the other categories of temporary scientific staff. However, we regret that the salaries of post-docs and temporary scientific staff currently employed at NTNU, as well as PhD candidates hired before 01.05.2018 have been left out of the current agreement. 

DION has reached out to unions present at NTNU for a statement about the local negotiations and how their members might be affected:

AKAD union 

“For the AKAD labor union group the results of the local salary negotiations are:  

 Doctoral students:

  •  – Doctoral students starting from 1.1.2019 will be raised to the new minimum salary of 479.600.
  •  – Actual salary 1.12.2019 will be computed for doctoral students starting between 1.5.2018 and 31.12.2018. They will have an additional salary increase up to maximum 7.600, lower if they reach 479.600.
  •  Other doctoral students will get 1.55% and the annual raise of 3% each year, resulting in a 4.55% total salary increase in 2019.  
  • – Some doctoral students lack a raise of 2.500 by 1.5.2018 and this will be corrected.

Postdoctoral employees:

  •  Postdoctoral positions will get 1.55% and the automatic increase of 1.1% during 2019 (each year from the month starting). In addition, postdoctors will get an additional raise of 3.000.-  Combined, postdoctors will have a salary increase in 2019 of about 3.15%.”



Forskerforbundet/The Norwegian Association of Researchers (NAR) put forward claims for both Phd. and Post.doc. employees in this years negotiation, in addition to a wider claim for all permanent staff at NTNU with long continued employment at NTNU.

We are satisfied with the result for the Phds, although we understand that some Phds are not. As a trade union our focus is on negotiating better wages for our members. We have unfortunately found that a large percentage of the Phds are not in any union, and therefore not among the employees that NAR prioritize in wage negotiations. Trade unions receive membership fees from their members, and in return the union works for better working conditions for their members, including raising wages in pay negotiations. Employees who choose not to be part of any union will not be considered or prioritized in pay negotiations by us. A lot of the work that the unions do benefit both organized and non organized members, but only the organized members actually pay, and therefore contribute to the work being done by the unions. We understand that the traditions for unions is different around the world, and we therefore find it important to emphasize that unions primarily work for the benefit of their members.

In this years negotiations we put forward a claim to raise the wages for the Phds., but it was not possible to raise the wages for all Phds. First of all, this would have meant using the majority of the money in this years negotiations only on Phds. This is difficult to justify for several reasons, but one of the key reasons for us, most of them are not organized. Choosing an option that would mean that most of our members would receive no raise at all, is not an acceptable option.
The negotiated solution is one that we are satisfied with, because the salary for Phds. has been raised nationally long term, which benefits all new Phds. At the same time, we have locally ensured that those who have just started or are in the beginning of their Phds. get almost the same and in a lot of cases the same salary as those who started 1 May 2019.
With regards to Post-docs we have registered that the employer often offers the lowest possible salary, and that they have one of the worst pay progressions among the different groups of employees at NTNU. For that reason we put forward a claim to make a permanent special agreement that guarantees that are given a higher salary when they sign their work contracts than what they have been so far. This is probably not enough to solve this problem, but we find this to be an important step in helping the situation. At the core of this problem, we find that there is a lack of appreciation of contribution at NTNU. We are pleased that the the other unions and the employer agreed with us in this claim.”

This post will be regularly updated with new resoruces as they become available. 

Welcome to the new semester

Welcome back to a new semester at NTNU. We would like to use this opportunity to inform you about DION in general and the current DION board in particular.

What is DION?

DION is the interest organization for all PhD students, post-docs, and temporary scientific employees at NTNU – so DION is an interest organization for you! All in all, these are around 3000 people spread across all campuses (Trondheim, Gjøvik, Ålesund), faculties and departments. By being a PhD candidate, post.-doc. or another temporary scientific employee at NTNU, you are automatically part of DION.

What can DION do for you?

We represent you!
Firstly, DION is an important link in NTNU’s democratic constitution.

We contribute to debates concerning the precarious situation of PhD students, post-docs, and temporary scientific employees both at the NTNU board as well as at the University Research Committee (forskningsutvalget). We also work closely with labor unions and other networks at NTNU and beyond.
Our second mandate is to create a social and attractive environment for PhD students, post-docs, and temporary scientific employees at NTNU. We are a low-threshold contact point for you, who needs support or help with your process at NTNU. Even though we cannot give legal advice, we can give pointers to what your options are, whenever you feel insecure or stuck during you PhD or post.doc. Whatever the trouble is – issues with your supervisors, your work environment, a kindergarten spot for your children etc. – we will help you as good as we can. Furthermore, we regularly organize informative events on relevant issues, which are aimed to help you to navigate through often opaque and in many ways challenging processes. Common topics include: career development, mental health, parenthood and work-life balance, and other practical issues during employment.

Additionally, we also organize social events as fora for meeting co-workers from all over the world and all over NTNU. These events are fun and an informal and a good way to balance our often solitary work in labs and offices.

We are currently planning: the establishment of a DION choir, an improv workshop with Gibberish, art workshops, skiing, movie nights, the ever so popular board game and Shuffle board nights, and so much more!
DION-sponsored events are usually free or low-price.
Find out about our upcoming events on our Facebook page and through our newsletter.

Who is in the current DION board?

The DION president and board is elected annually. The board consists of eight representatives in total, who are themselves PhDs, Post-Docs or temporary scientific employees.
This year, the board consists of these motivated people, covering broad disciplinary grounds.
Even though there is no representative from Ålesund in this year’s DION board, we continue a close and ever-improving contact to the NTNU campus Ålesund and are aiming for social and professional events in Ålesund in 2019/ 2020 just like on the other campuses.


If you want to know more about DION and be updated on future events, please keep visiting our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Innsida.
And if you want to enter into conversation with us directly, you can also use our email address:

DION call for grant applications 2019

DION is happy to announce a new round of support grants for educational or social activities for our members at NTNU! All PhD candidates, Postdocs and other temporary scientific employees at any NTNU campuses are eligible to apply for a grant (up to 2500 NOK) to cover expenses related to organizing activities that create opportunities for PhD students and post-docs to network, learn, and enrich their experience. Please note that Master degree students are NOT eligible.

DION will give preference to applications which are targeted towards an open audience. Applications for the exclusive benefit of one department or faculty will still be accepted but applications that are accessible for all DION members will be prioritized.

This year, we also decided to give preference to applications addressing the topics of “parenthood” (for example by making the event explicitly family friendly, by organizing an event around the topic of parenthood during PhD/ post-doc, etc.) or “mental health“. We also highly encourage those interested to apply as a group, although grant applications by individuals remain welcome.


  1. The deadline for sending the application is 23:59 CET 01 October, 2019. Applications will be evaluated by DION board members. You can apply via the application form filling out all mandatory fields and sending it to
  2. Funding should be used by the end of January 2020
  3. The organizers are expected initially to cover the costs of the event and then seek reimbursement of the costs from DION. No a priori funding is given. Please note that the receipts and all reimbursement documents should be submitted to DION at the LATEST two weeks after the event, but before the end of January, 2020 – whichever comes first. Otherwise, reimbursement of the costs is not guaranteed.
  4. In case of approval of the grant, the organizers should promote DION by making it a co-host of the Facebook event, and allowing a DION board member to attend the event for promotion purposes. A DION board member will be assigned to each approved application, and the organizers will liaise with them about the event.
  5. Please note that the maximum amount DION can reimburse is 2500 (two thousand and five hundred) NOK. If overall cost of the event exceeds 2500 NOK, it is organizer’s sole responsibility to get extra funding from other sources. Any requests for more than 2500 NOK from DION will be automatically declined.

Last year’s successful grant applicants were (these are just examples – you are not requested to organize a similar, or a follow-up project):

  • Randomized Coffee Trials
  • PhD and Postdoc Choir
  • Smart City Day
  • OK Computer: Being a researcher in the digital era
  • How to pitch your research “story” to a non-academic audience
  • Laser tag in Gjøvik
  • Stoic Principles for a Healthy Academic Life


We are looking forward to your applications!

Temporary employment at NTNU – tips and tricks of the trade (29th May)

Tekna NTNU and DION invite all PhD candidates, postdocs and others with a temporary employment at NTNU in Gjøvik to a free seminar. We will enlighten you on all the tips and tricks of being employed here at NTNU, the benefits and challenges.

When: 29th May (Wednesday)

Time: 11am – 1pm

Where: K102, Ntnu Gjøvik

There will be time for discussion, and the seminar is open to everyone.

Image may contain: text that says 'DION Tekna'
Any questions, requests, ideas, or feedback for DION? This is a great opportunity to meet a DION board member and discuss in person.

Binding registration is required! Please register here:–tips-and-tricks-of-the-trade–iv-faculty-38127/Enroll/

Follow the facebook event for more updates!

Congrats to the new elected DION Board 2019/2020

Congrats to Angelina Penner for becoming DION President 2019/2020!

PhD Candidate

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture
Faculty of Humanities

Congrats to the elected DION Board members:

Elodie Besnier

PhD candidate, SU-ISS

Davit Gigilashvili

PhD Candidate
Department of Computer Science Gjøvik

Lisa Tietze

PhD Candidate
Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

Mattia Veroni

PhD candidate
Department of Information Security and Communication Technology

Erland Årstøl

Phd candidate
Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

Masab Khalid Annaqeeb

PhD Candidate
Department of Energy and Process Engineering

Tor Anders Bye

Department of Sociology and Political Science