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Recruitment, working conditions and career development for researchers

Implementing the Charter and Code at NTNU

Recruitment, working conditions and career development for researchers


NTNU has for more than ten years actively supported the EU programmes for researcher mobility; posting academic positions on Euraxess Jobs, establishing a Euraxess Service Centre, and joining the first cohort of universities committed to implementing the Charter & Code principles through the HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). This website provides information on NTNUs implementation of the HRS4R, as well as on institutional actions and good practises of relevance to the Charter & Code.

NTNU implementation of the Charter & Code (HRS4R)

NTNU obtained the HR Excellence in Research Award in 2010, and maintained the acknowledgement by the European Commission after the external evaluation in 2014. NTNU continued the work during the "interim phase" while awaiting the "strenghtened" HRS4R to come in place.

In 2018, NTNU entered the "award renewal phase" under the "strengthened" HRS4R. With input from a representative group of stakeholders, the GAP-analysis against the 40 Charter & Code principles was updated, input for improvements collected, and a strenght-weakness analysis conducted. An OTM-R analysis was also undertaken. The past Action Plan 2014-2018 was reviewed, and a new Action Plan 2019-2021 adopted by Rector in December 2018. The external evaluation and Site Visit took place 29 April 2019.

On 19 June 2019, the Commission confirmed that NTNU may continue to use the "HR Excellence in Research" Award. The assessors underlined that "The integration of the HRS4R Action Plan to the institutional strategy is an excellent means for ensuring that the principles of the Charter & Code will be implemented". Referring to the site visit "It was clear from the interviews that the staff in the university have very good working conditions". The assessors recommended that NTNU increases the visibility of its excellent HR work for researchers. With respect to quality development, they emphasized the significance of involving stakeholders in the implementation and evaluation of actions, and the benefits of having clear indicators for monitoring progress. 

HRS4R NTNU prosess 2018

HR for Researchers - focus areas at NTNU

The Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers consist of 40 principles describing best practise in Europe as to recruitment, working conditions and career development for researchers. The Charter also describes the responsibilities of researchers in terms of ethical norms, legal and contractual obligations. The GAP-analysis shows that Norwegian legislation, NTNU policies and guidelines are in conformity with the Charter and Code principles. However, there is always room for improvements, - thus quality development must be a continuous process.

The actions included in the NTNU Action Plans for the implementation of the Charter & Code, are firmly embedded in the NTNU Strategy and HR policy. The recruitment and development of talented academic staff is recognized as essential to achieving NTNU's ambitions as an internationally oriented research university. The NTNU Strategy is implemented through thematic action plans and strategic measures. For the Charter & Code Action Plans 2014-2018 and 2019-2021, the NTNU steering committee selected actions pertaining to HR for researchers mainly from:

  • the NTNU International Action Plans 
  • the NTNU Action Plans for Gender Equality and Diversity 
  • NTNU programmes to stimulate excellence in research, education and innovation
  • NTNU actions for the competence development of academic staff and management

The HR Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) is a commitment to the implementation of improvement measures, as well as to a systematic self-assessment of progress made and results achieved. According to the "strengthened" HRS4R process, the GAP-analysis, the OTM-R checklist, the Internal Review and Action Plans are uploaded on the online database of the European Commission (E-Tool). 

Latest news on activities and results


NTNU Strategic Programme for Knowledge-Based Innovation (December 2018)

The strategic programme for Knowledge-Based Innovation is a targeted development project aimed at increasing the conversion of NTNU’s knowledge, ideas, technology, methods and results from research into specific innovations. In 2018, NTNU recruited 15 new innovation managers who will work together with researchers to identify and develop ideas with a commercial potential. NTNU is investing NOK 50 million over three years in the development project, which is unique in its kind, and with a stimulus package that includes:


Pilot project on recognition of teaching merit (January 2018)

NTNU wishes to increase the status of good teaching among academic staff. It is desirable that teaching qualifications carry more weight in the competence qualification assessment for professors. It is also important that our lecturers are given opportunities to further qualify to become first lecturers and dosents. Processes are on the way in both areas. The pilot project on recognition of teaching merit, is a third path. In the first round of the pilot project 2018-2020, 37 academic staff applied to obtain the status of "meritted teacher". The assessment committee found that 9 associate professors/professors were qualified. They had a scientific approach to teaching and learning, and had also shown good pedagogical leadership over a long time. The status qualifies for a wage increase, and as an institutional incentive, their Department will also obtain 30 000 NOK as a one-time bonus. When the system is better known, more good applications are expected the coming years. The pilot project is part of the NTNU Top Education activities.


NTNU policy for gender equality and diversity 2018-2021

The new policy replaces the previous Action plans on gender equility and widens the scope to cover education, research and administration. Of particular relevance to HR for researchers, we draw attention to these two action points:

  • Gender balance in recruitment to and in career development in top-level academic positions and managerial positions
    Strengthening the proportion of women in scientific doctoral positions and managerial positions is the most important goal for fulfilling the vision of a university with gender equality. It is important to emphasize that increasing the proportion of women in scientific doctoral positions must be seen in the context of recruitment to study programmes, which is where the foundation is laid.
  • Better integration of international employees
    To fulfil its social mission and its vision of knowledge for a better world, NTNU needs diversity in experience, knowledge and perspectives to achieve quality and relevance in research and education. Here, NTNU has an important resource in its international employees. 

For the list of action points, we refer to the Action Plan for gender equality and diversity 2018-2021.

Postdoc career development - pilot began autumn 2017 ("postdoktorløftet")

The pilot programme on career development for postdocs is the start of a strategic effort to improve the career prospects of postdocs within academica and outside. The pilot programme is offerede to 36 postdocs who will be given extra career support over a two year period. Experience from the pilot will feed into a future postdoc policy that will benefit all postdocs at NTNU. The pilot programme covers: 

  • Appraisal interviews - career planning and internationalization
  • Mentor programme
  • One-day seminars
  • Courses and competence development activities


New NTNU policy for sabbatical adopted 1 January 2016

Academic staff may apply for sabbatical every five years according to the new NTNU policy for sabbatical. In addition to their salary, they are guaranteed a mobility grant to cover the additional cost of living abroad. A higher grant is available for staff who bring their family along on their sabbatical. Practical advice is also provided to reduce the administrative barriers connected with going abroad. See the NTNU policy and practical information here: https://innsida.ntnu.no/forskertermin

New webpage with practical information for PhD candidates "PhD 1-2-3" (March 2015)

PhD candidates reported that it was hard to find practical information about the PhD education as it was spread across NTNU and Faculty webpages. A project team held workshops with stakeholders (candidates, academic and administrative staff) to get insight into their information needs. The result is a new "one-stop-shopping" webpage covering all information the candidate needs in the three main stages of the PhD process: 1) Start, 2) Underway, and 3) Completion. https://innsida.ntnu.no/doktorgrad.

Record high participation in the Work Environment Survey 2014 (5 December 2014)

NTNU is conducting work environment surveys every two years. This year 75.5 % of the employees participated in the survey. This was up 20 percentage points compared to 2012.

We have learned from the evaluation of last survey and listened to the advice of staff, working partners and management. This time, managers have taken true ownership to the survey and encouraged their employees to participate. The wide involvement is promising with regard to the follow-up process in 2015.  

17 young researchers selected for the new Outstanding Academic Fellows Programme (spring 2014)

The Outstanding Academic Fellows programme is designed to give young university researchers, who are already internationally recognized, the opportunity to grow their careers.

With the support of international mentors, research visits, get-togethers, money and the expertise of the Norwegian Olympic Committee in talent development, the fellows will have the opportunity to improve their competitiveness in the international research world.


Good Practice at NTNU

Good Practice at NTNU

Researcher’s Ethical and Professional Responsibilities


Recruitment and Mobility


Working conditions


Researcher Training and Career Development

External Links

External Links