International COVID-19 Student Well-being Study

There are a couple of new surveys that have been posted on Innsida. One of them is regarding the well-being of students and the effects that coronavirus related lockdowns have had on the work, mental health, productivity and learning. The results are relevant to our university/college because it can feedback information on how to organize potential future lockdowns. Because this survey is conducted in multiple countries, they will also be able to access the impact of national policy on well-being and health in the student population.

If you were looking for a chance to give your feedback on how things were handled, this is it. We recommend you to take the survey.

The survey can be found here (International COVID-19 Student Well-being Study):…/E…/Student+surveys+about+Covid+-19

Take-away from the digital NTNU staff meeting on handling of the pandemic

This morning, there was a digital staff meeting on handling the corona situation, where current news and guidelines have been discussed with Rector Anne Borg.

DION attended the meeting and summarized the following key notes, some specifically relevant for PhDs, PostDocs and temporary staff:

  • From 25. May slow opening of campus to more employees. It is still recommended to work home office if you do not need to be present at campus. All measurements to prevent the spread of the virus still apply.
  • Contract extension: NTNU sticks to individual assessment of each PhD candidate for extensions. Make sure to be in contact with your leader/supervisor so they are aware of what you are struggling with and how much you are delayed. Recommendation from unions and DION: List your daily working hours to record how much time you are potentially losing due to home office.
  • Extension for externally funded projects: Talk to your leader/supervisor. NFR has for example signaled that they are potentially willing to adjust the delivery goal for projects financed by them. Check out this possibility if you are externally financed.
  • Research exchange/conference after the summer: Not recommended until end of 2020, there can be exceptions when necessary. In general this also depends on future travel recommendations/rules from the government.
  • Teaching will be a combination of digital and physical activity in autumn. There will be more information which courses shall be thought how in the near future.
  • If you struggle physically or mentally, please contact the occupational health service to receive help and advice (the OHS is a free and independent service for all employees)

New board

The Board Election results are in, and the new DION board will consist of the following members:


Idd Andrea Christensen, PhD Candidate, NV-IBT

Board Members:

Aida Akbarzadeh, PhD candidate, IE-IIK

Anne Kristin Kvitle, PhD candidate, IE-IDI

Elodie Besnier, PhD candidate, SU-ISS

Faiga M. Alawad, PhD candidate, IE-IIK

Irina Mihaela Ciortan, PhD candidate, IE-IDI

Lisa Tietze, PhD candidate, NV-IBT

Masab Khalid Annaqeeb, PhD candidate, IV-EPT

We wish you the best of luck for the coming year!

Join DION Board

Are you interested in a leadership position representing around 3000 of your colleagues? Do you want to influence the working situation of the academic temporary staff and get insights into how the university works?

Then the DION board could be just the thing for you!

DION is the only organization at NTNU which represents PhDs, post-docs and temporary academic staff from across the university. We are a contact point for PhDs, Post-Docs and other temporary scientific staff, sit in important committees and hold social events. And now is your chance to become part of this!

How can you become part of the DION board?

A new board will be elected at the online annual general meeting (AGM) on the 28th of April 2020. We encourage all PhD candidates, post-docs and temporary scientific employees from across NTNU to consider joining the board! If you are interested in running for the board, email us at or introduce yourself at the meeting. A board position on DION can be credited

as up to one month of duty work, or one month extension of the PhD project period; whilst the president receives two months (Forskrift om stipendiater ved NTNU, §2). More details about the board election will be published in the discussion board.

The DION Board consists of 5 to 8 members, including DION president, who serve for 12 months (until spring 2021). We hold monthly board meetings and discuss wide-ranging questions we receive from PhD students, post-docs, institutes, and the NTNU Board. This is an opportunity to influence the work situation of academic temporary staff and get insights into how the university works. We also serve as an important social arena, and hold events targeted at different groups throughout the year. All PhD students, post-docs, and temporary scientific employees are eligible to run for a DION board position! What is needed from the candidates is:

  • All candidates must be employed at NTNU as a temporary scientific employee (such as PhD student and Post-doc) and have a contract for at least until spring 2021;
  • For the president position, Norwegian proficiency is required.


Send your short application including name, affiliation, short bio and motivation (1 page max) to if you’d like to join next year’s DION Board. This information will be published on our website. Due to the current situation we strongly encourage you to do this well ahead in time.

This year the AGM will take place online. Candidates will have the opportunity to present themselves. To make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible and that no one struggles with technical issues, we strongly encourage you to you to send us a short video (1-2 min max) by Friday 24th April 2020. In this video you can state why you would like to become a board member, what your plans for the future of DION would be, a fun fact about yourself, etc. We will show all of the videos of the candidates at the AGM.

What do DION members worry about in times of Covid 19 and Home Office

Further to the confinement and restriction measures implemented in Norway and at NTNU due to the coronavirus, DION has organized a consultation with its members to identify their potential concerns, issues but also good initiatives under the current situation.

We created started a group on Microsoft Teams, where people can send in their questions and on March 25th, 2020, we organised an e-lunch discussion to collect further feedback and examples. DION summarised the findings of this e-consultation in a short brief, which was shared with NTNU’s prorector for research, NTNU board member for temporary scientific staff and union representatives. These actors have welcomed this input as they continue their discussions on how to address delays in research and the principles for possible contract extension.

DION will continue to monitor the situation of NTNU Phds, post-doc and temporary scientific staff closely. Therefore, the Microsoft team created for this consultation will remain open to keep collecting information and answer your questions when we can.

Further resources for NTNU Phds, post-doc and temporary scientific staff can also be found on our webposts on Working at NTNU in times of coronavirus and Surviving confinement, as well as on our Facebook page and forum. DION president also gave an interview to UniversitetAvisa [in Norwegian], published on April 1st, 2020 alongside a statement from NTNU Prorector for Research. Finally, announcements and guidelines from NTNU regarding the current situation are regularly posted on Innsida.