QuSpin Balance Project 2021-2022

QuSpin Balance Project 2021-2022

Our center has received the RCN grant of MNOK 1  over the period 2021-2022. This is part of the RCN Balance Program, a programme on Gender Balance in Senior Positions and Research Management.

RCN project

The RCN Balanse Programme

The BALANSE programme supports the efforts of research institutions to promote gender balance in Norwegian research. New knowledge, learning and innovative measures will lead to greater gender equality and gender balance.

The work programme provides an overview of:

  • Challenges, objectives and priorities
  • Anticipated results, impacts and societal outcomes
  • Available resources and budget

Andre Balanseprosjekter 2017-2022

Group photo female researchers QuSpin

SFF QuSpin research center at NTNU part of RCNs Balance Program


Group of women. Photo

Female researchers at QuSpin. From left:  Atousa Ghanbari (PhD candidate), Payel Chatterjee (PhD candidate), Lina Grøvan Johnsen (PhD candidate), Verena Brehm (PhD candidate), Marion Barbeau (Postdoc), Anna Cecilie Åsland (PhD candidate) and Sol H. Jacobsen (researcher doctor). Postdoc Chi Sun and PhD candidate Therese Frostad were not present when the photo was taken.


Female researchers are totally absent within permanent positions as professors and associate professors at our center. We want to change this.  Our goal in participating in this program is to contribute with experience and new knowledge. And to benefit from ideas, knowledge and experience from others.

QuSpin is an international research center of excellence at NTNU within theoretical and experimental quantum physics and nano technology. We are in the forefront of quantum spintronics research, competence and publications.

We hold a diverse center of permanent and temporary research positions with people from thirteen different countries. But female researchers are totally absent within permanent positions as professors and associate professors. In other words we have a strong male dominant center by whom the premises are set for our leadership, strategy, research, culture and recruitment. The permanent top positions are few and the competition and qualification requirements tough.

We want to change this situation. Our goal is that 1/3 of all new recruitment shall be females. We need to understand what hinders this today and how to reach this goal in the future. It is necessary to analyze todays situation, and work on change processes to raise everyone’s awareness, clarify requirements and expectations, and take specific measures on all levels in QuSpin, for females and males.

We have very few female candidates and applicants. And we need to understand how we can make an academic career more attractive. We have several female researchers with the competence and personnel skills whom we want to help qualify for future top positions. To further develop their career plans, competence as well as individual skills and mentoring are important tools in this developing towards top positions. We want to be actively communicating and sharing experience from our project.

Our project is organized with the center director being responsible for the project, and the center coordinator as project manager. The participants are members of the center with special focus on the leader group, the section and group of female researchers. We will draw on external expertise as well and establish a mentor group with female professors from our own network nationally and internationally.

Main project activties

Main project activities 

This is an action based project where we want to map status, analyse and to raise everyone’s awareness, clarify requirements and expectations and implement relevant measures to make a change at our center.

The activities we will focus on are:

  • Mapping survey on gender and balance at QuSpin with analysis and reports.
  • Establish an international mentor group.
  • Continously develop career plans, competencies and activities.
  • Organise and fasilitate workshops and in-depth dialogues.
  • Arrange QuSpin cafees towards female master students.
  • Document the processes and write articles.

Project Group

Project Group

Center Director/Professor Arne Brataas (project owner, QuSpin/NTNU)

Center coordinator Karen-Elisabeth Sødahl (project manager, QuSpin/NTNU)

PI/Professor Asle Sudbø (QuSpin/NTNU)

PI/Professor Jacob Linder (QuSpin/NTNU)

Professor Vivian Anette Lagesen (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture/NTNU)

Senior Researcher Dr. Sol H. Jacobsen (QuSpin/NTNU)



Mentors for our mentees

Professor Dr. Daniela Pfannkuche, Hamburg University, Germany.

Professor Jason Robinson, Cambridge University, UK.

Professor Siri Fjellheim, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway. 

Professor Kathrine Røe Redalen, NTNU, Norway

Signe Haver, Executive coach and trainer of coaches, 3B, Norway.

QuSpin Balance Project Video

QuSpin Balance Project Video


We have made a video presenting our work of the QuSpin Balance Project 2021-2022 to help get more female researchers into top positions in Academia. (9 min.)


Short version

(3 min. 40 sec.)

Andre Balanseprosjekter 2017-2022

RCN Balanse Projects 2017-2022


1. PRIO – Institutt for fredsforskning 

2. Norges Handelshøyskole 

3. Universitetet i Tromsø – Prosjektleder Kjersti Fjørtoft

4. SIMULA – Prosjektleder Rachel Thomas

5. Høgskolen i Innlandet – Prosjektleder Lars Petter Mathisrud

6. Høgskolen i Østfold - Prosjektleder Camilla Gjellebæk

7. Universitetet i Bergen, Det matematisk-naturvitenskapelige fakultet – Prosjektleder Elisabeth Müller Lysebo

8. Universitetet i Tromsø - Fakultet for naturvitenskap og teknologi – Prosjektleder Anders Andersen

9. Universitetet i Tromsø – Fakultet for ingeniørvitenskap og teknologi – Prosjektleder Tanita Fossli Brustad

10. Universitetet i Bergen, Institutt for geografi – Prosjektleder Judith Dalsgård

11. Høgskulen i Volda – Prosjektleder Henriette Hafsaas

12. Norsk utenrikspolitisk institutt (NUPI) – Prosjektleder Kristin Marie Haugevik

13. Universitetet i Oslo, Psykologisk institutt – Prosjektleder Bjørn Lau

14. NTNU – Institutt for fysikk – Prosjektleder Karen-Elisabeth Sødahl

15. Universitetet i Oslo, Det samfunnsvitenskapelige fakultet – Prosjektleder Anne Julie Semb

16. Universitetet i Tromsø, Fakultet for humaniora, samfunnsfag og lærerutdanning – Prosjektleder Kenneth Rud

17. Nord universitet – prosjektleder Ketil Eiane

18. Universitetet i Oslo, Det matematisk-naturvitenskapelige fakultet – Prosjektleder Solveig Kristensen

19. NTNU, Fakultet for informasjons- teknologi og elektronikk – Prosjektleder Letizia Jaccheri

20. NTNU, Institutt for tverrfaglige kulturstudier – Prosjektleder Vivian Lagesen

21. UiO, Senter for tverrfaglig kjønnsforskning – Prosjektleder Beret Bråten