Duty work

In spring 2016 DION released its report on duty work policies at NTNU. Read the PDF here (and on the Projects page):

PhD Duty work report

What is duty work?

Duty work is all kind of tasks that a doctoral candidate is doing for the university or one of its units. The time spent on duty work is credited as a fully paid extension to your employment contract. Duty work could consist of teaching duties, supervising students, administrative tasks, or representation in councils and committees.

Scholarships limited to three years do not include duty work. Scholarships for four years will normally include one year of duty work. However, if you have a three-year scholarship you might be offered teaching assignments. You are not required to accept this, but it might be a good idea to accept in order to develop your skills, especially with respect to teaching experience which may prove valuable later. NTNU must pay you for teaching, either with salary or by extending your employment.

If you have administrative work or is selected as a representative in committees at the department, faculty or institution level, you should also be given an extension on your employment contract.

The departments use their PhD students for different tasks. Contact the administration at your department for details and regulations and remember that the number and level of courses vary a lot from department to department.

Link to NTNUs regulation about duty work:

See also NTNU board meeting case (Norwegian only)

Some important points from the board case:

  • Duty work should be relevant for your education. Administrative duties should be limited to 10 % of the total workload each year.
  • The division between duty work and research should be clearly stated in the employee contract. There should be plans for what is part of the duty work. It is the employers responsibility that you do not perform more duty work than planned and that it does not hinder your academic progression.
  • Updated plans for future duty work and a status of performed duty work should be delivered each year.
  • The reported duty work should reflect the real working hours. Lectures containing new original material (produced by you) should be rewarded by 50 % more time. It can also be given extra rewards for time consuming tasks.
  • During your last year, duty work should ideally not account for more than 10 % of your time.

Duty work is something the university imposes on you as a regular academic employee at your department. However, duty work shall be relevant for your education, it shall be planned in advanced and it shall not have significant impacts on your academic progression. You should ensure that all your duty work is planned in advance and that it is registered.


Question: Do I get one-month extension if I am elected as the department/faculty representative?

Answer: To the best of the DION’s knowledge, there is no official law about this. You are eligible for extension only if the extra work is equivalent to more than 2 weeks according to the following law.


DION’s discussions with a selection of departments suggests that unofficially the departments expects it to be less than 2 weeks (however, there is nothing in written but previous department representatives haven’t received any extension). We recommend that interested candidates seek written clarification from their department/faculty concerning the expected duration of representative duties. Another thing which DION would suggest is that the elected representatives should log in their hours which they spend on this work. Therefore, they have the proof if they have spent more than 2 weeks.