Here you will find reports from some of DION’s research projects into working conditions for our members at NTNU.

Onboarding survey

In this survey analysis, DION sheds light on how much time new temporary scientific employees at NTNU need to settle in. We investigate how much and which kind of support they received, how the different types of support increase or decrease settling times and if there are differences based on job position and citizenship. Overall, the analysis show that citizens from the EU/EAA or outside of EU/EAA and Norwegians have similar experiences, with the exception for challenges that are unique to being a foreigner in a new country. Scandinavian citizens struggled the most and were the most dissatisfied with the settling process. PhD candidates and Post-Docs shared the same experiences regarding how fast and easily they settled in. The type of help new employees receive has a strong influence on the time needed to settle in. Receiving a written guide reduced settling times dramatically. Participants also thought that the settling process was quite inefficient. If the process was more efficient, most participants estimated that they could have saved up to 50% of their time during the settling process in the first months. This suggests that NTNU should provide an overhauled written guide to all new employees when or before they start working at NTNU.

The whole survey can be found here.

What is good supervision?

DION was invited by the The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (MH) to contribute to a supervisor seminar. The seminar targeted new supervisors at the MH faculty. DION was asked to summarize what PhD candidates could wish for from their supervisors. After meetings with over 30 participating supervisors we have written a report that summarizes our findings of the most central themes for being a good supervisor. The report looks at the relationship between supervisor and PhD candidate from a very general perspective and can hopefully give supervisors and impression what PhD candidates care and worry about.

The whole report can be found here, with the central themes being:

– Open door policy – be welcoming to your student.

– Clear expectations – and communicating them.

– Balancing freedom and guidance for the PhD-student.

To complete the report, the board and a sub-working group met several times and discussed from their own and their peers’ experiences what are best and worst practices regarding the supervisor to PhD candidate relationship. DIONs contribution at the seminar was held in an interactive manner. The 30 participating supervisors were encouraged to engage in group discussions regarding their own good and bad experiences as a PhD candidate.

Working conditions and PhD with kids

During 2016-2017, DION conducted an analysis of the PhD working conditions at NTNU, with special focus on PhDs with children. All NTNU PhD candidates were invited to respond to a survey regarding working conditions and children. In total 583 PhD candidates responded, resulting in the following report.

PhD with kids report (2017)

Survey among post-doctoral researchers at NTNU

During the spring in 2016 DION had a survey directed toward post-doctoral researchers at NTNU. The goals of the survey were to 1) find out needs of this group of temporary employees at NTNU and how DION can offer support, 2) gather an overview of post-doctoral researchers at NTNU and their work and life situation, and 3) raise the visibility of DION towards this specific group. Around 400 researchers received our survey by email, and 140 valid responses were gathered.

DION postdoc survey results_Final report (2016)

PhD budget regulations at NTNU

During 2015-2016, DION conducted an analysis of the various PhD budget (aka driftsmidler, aka working capital) related definitions, best practices and processes in place throughout NTNU. All faculties were invited to respond to a questionnaire regarding PhD budget practices, and a total of 7 faculty and 10 department responses were received. The following report presents findings from this survey. A variety of definitions and processes exists, some of which need unification and refinement. Based on the analysis as well as legacy material and DION case history, measures are proposed how to elaborate on the current situation.

PhD budget report (2016)

PhD duty work regulations at NTNU

DION regularly provides advice and support to PhD candidates at NTNU with regards to PhD duty work (aka pliktarbeid, or teaching load). Duty work makes up 25 per cent of a candidates total workload if that candidate has a four-year PhD position. Required duties may include: contribution to teaching, training, elected positions in the university’s board and councils, and others. DION mapped and analyzed duty work issues based on responses from 7 faculties and 10 departments.

PhD Duty work report (2016)