Implementing the Charter and Code at NTNU

Recruitment, working conditions and career development for researchers


NTNU is actively supporting the EU programmes for researcher mobility:

  • Since 2004, academic positions have been posted on the EU job portal ERA-More/Euraxess Jobs. 
  • In 2006, a contact point and later a Euraxess Service Centre for mobile researchers was established.
  • In 2008, NTNU was among the first universities in Europe to sign the European Charter for Researchers (Charter) and the European Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Code).

As a member of the first cohort of universities committed to the HR Strategy for Researchers incorporating the Charter and Code (HRS4R), NTNU has gone through the five steps of implementation:

  1. Internal GAP-analysis conducted in 2009
  2. NTNU Action Plan for the implementation of the Charter and Code published 2010
  3. EU Commission acknowledgement obtained 9 March 2010
  4. Mid-term self-assessment and updated NTNU Action Plan 2012
  5. External evaluation site visit 18 June 2014

Since 2014, NTNU has published a dynamic Action Plan on this website while awaiting new guidelines for a "strenghtened" HRS4R process. Following the new process to be implemented as of 2017, NTNU aims to develop a Revised Action Plan incorporating the policy of Open, Transparent, Merit-based Recruitment of Researchers (OTM-R) and enter the strengthened HRS4R at the latest by the end of 2018.

A dynamic HR Strategy for Researchers at NTNU

The Charter and Code is a description of best practise in Europe as to recruitment, working conditions and career development for researchers. The GAP-analysis shows that Norwegian legislation and NTNU practice comply with the Charter and Code principles, but our attitude is that there is always room for improvement. Quality development should thus be a continuous process.

The NTNU Action Plan 2010-2013 gave an overview of NTNU strategies, ongoing projects and actions relevant to the Charter and Code. From 2014 onwards, NTNU has published the university’s HR Strategy for Researchers in the form of a dynamic website providing links to best practise in the main areas covered by the Charter and Code principles. We will publish news on progress and results, as well as information about new initiatives of importance to researchers.

The HR Strategy for Researchers is a commitment to the implementation of improvement measures, as well as to a systematic self-assessment of progress made and results achieved. An updated progress report for the internal review of the Action Plan 2014-2017, will be available in the autumn 2018.

HR strategy for researchers - main focus areas at NTNU 2014-2018

Implementation of International Action Plan 2014-2017

  • Actions to stimulate international mobility for NTNU’s academic staff:
    • Adopt common policy for sabbatical stays abroad
    • Plans for international mobility to be drafted upon commencement of position as doctoral and post-doctoral fellows
  • Actions to stimulate international researcher mobility to NTNU:
    • Launch new schemes for international recruitment:
      • International Chair
      • NTNU Onsager Fellowship for talented young researchers
    • Evaluation of international researcher support

Implementation of Action Plan for a better gender balance 2014-2017

  • Actions to stimulate recruitment and career development of female academic staff:
    • Start-packages for new female professors in male dominant areas
    • Mentoring programme for female young researchers and female staff
    • Skills Development Stipend for female associate professors
    • Equal opportunities and recruitment of female staff to be included in NTNU leadership programme

Follow-up of the Work Environment 

  • All employees encouraged to participate in the work environment survey in 2017. All units carried out follow-up meetings in spring 2018
  • In 2016 - during the university merger process - all units are to place the work environment on the agenda as well as follow-up individual staff to ensure a safe work environment in the transition phase.
  • All employees encouraged to participate in the work environment survey in 2014. All units carried out follow-up meetings in spring 2015

Recruitment and Career Development

  • Develop operational plan for career development at NTNU
    • Career Development Programme for assistant professors (lecturer) to qualify for associate professor (senior lecturer) ("Førstelektorprogrammet")
    • Outstanding Academic Fellows Programme for young talented researchers ("Stjerneprogrammet")
    • Postdoc Career Development ("Postdoktorløftet")
  • Develop recruitment policy with emphasis on qualifications requirements, speed of recruitment process and international recruitment

Latest news on activities and results


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:

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.

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 new 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

Researcher’s Ethical and Professional Responsibilities


Recruitment and Mobility


Working conditions


Researcher Training and Career Development

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