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Charter & Code: Career Development and Research Mobility

Thomas Slagsvold og Elisabeth Borhaug på campus Vestfold.
IMPROVING: Director of Research Thomas Slagsvold and Director of Personnel and Organisation Elisabeth Borhaug facilitate for the best possible work conditions for researchers at USN.

In the revised Action Plan for 2022 – 2025 special attention will be given early-stage researchers, addressing on-boarding, psychosocial working environment, career development and mobility.

Following the reception of the "HR Excellence in Research" award in 2020 USN’s Department of Research and Internationalisation and the Department of Personal and Organisation has collaborated in efforts to continuously enhance conditions for research and prospects for researchers.

The implementation of the measures in the action plan has been led by Mrs. Elisabeth Ernø Borhaug (Director, Personnel and Organisation) and Mr. Thomas Slagsvold (Director, Research and Internationalisation). It has been monitored by the steering group.

Some measures have been implemented or are well underway, such as:

  • revision of Principles for work planning
  • establishment of Staff mobility team
  • strengthened on-boarding
  • new templates for recruitment
  • new templates for appraisal interviews and career development plans, tailored for researchers 
  • increased awareness of, and usage of the EURAXESS job portal

Other measures, such as the development of an USN Career policy and the revision of the framework for research groups, has been extended to align these to the overarching organisational development process currently ongoing at USN.

During winter and spring 2022, a working group has carried out an interim assessment and developed the draft for a revised Action Plan 2022 – 2025. The Action Plan has been on hearing before being approved by the steering group and adopted by rector.

The assessment, which has been based on surveys and interviews with USN researchers, indicates that there is room for improvement with regards to on-boarding of newly recruited researchers, especially PhD candidates and researchers with foreign background. The assessment also shows a need to strengthen the support for research mobility and to establish career guidance services for early-stage researchers. In order to address areas of improvement, an initiative has already been taken to facilitate the establishment of a PhD union at USN, giving early-stage researchers a stronger voice and strengthened representation. 

Mr. Thomas Slagsvold (Director, Research and Internationalisation), says HR Excellence in Research" award is important to USN. It shows that we actively facilitate for researchers having a good place to work and a good place to make a career:

 –  We are also happy to see that measures we take in the Charter & Code coincide very well with priority focus areas at USN. In particular, this applies to our desire to recruit the best researchers to USN, build research careers and management skills and  give our academic staff good conditions for researching together in groups and centers.

READ MORE: USN information on Charter & Code.


Charter & Code

EU's Charter & Code are 40 best practice-recommandations, addressing responsibilities and obligations related to ethical and professional matters, recruitment and selection, working conditions and researcher education and career development.

Endorsing the Charter & Code principles and receiving the “HR Excellence in Research” award is only the beginning and not a once and for all event. Instead, implementing the Charter & Code principles is a persistent process that commits our organisation to strive continuously to further strengthen the facilitation for good conditions for research, predictable careers and mobility opportunities.

Read more about the implementation of Charter & Code at USN

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