New Researcher Track in Informatics

Acting Education Minister, Henrik Asheim, and the Executive Director of the Research Council of Norway, John-Arne Røttingen visited the Department of Informatics in November 2017. The Department of Informatics’ planned researcher track was on the meeting agenda.

This is a translation of the original Norwegian press release.

Pro-rector Gro Bjørnerud Mo (UiO), Head of Department Ellen Munthe-Kaas (IFI), Professor Einar Broch Johnsen (IFI), Minister of Education Henrik Asheim, Executive Director John-Arne Røttingen (NFR), Professor Kristin Braa (IFI), Student Lilly A Helmersen (IFI) og Ph.D. Cathrine Nørstad Engen (medicine)

The Researcher Program Pilot

  • Einar Broch Johnsen and Knut Liestøl represent the Department of Informatics in the National Committee on Researcher Track Pilots.
  • The pilot researcher track started in autumn 2018.
  • Bachelor students are admitted to the track after their 2nd year, at the start of the 5th semester.
  • The program includes a supervised bachelor project and theoretical courses.
  • The program will have 8-10 students.

Initiated by the Research Council

One of the Research Council’s proposals for the 2018 national budget was the setting up of five researcher tracks to strengthen recruitment of students into research. The University of Oslo chose Informatics as the subject area for the pilot project. The Executive Director of the Research Council, John-Arne Røttingen, described the initiative. A researcher track in medicine has given many positive results. The initiative has shown that students start PhD work earlier, completion rates rise and that students use less time to complete their degrees.

Executive Director John-Arne Røttingen from the Research Council

Minister of Education Henrik Asheim has, among other things, responsibility for the government’s policy for higher education and research. Asheim showed that he was enthusiastic about the plans, and used the occasion to ask questions during the presentations.

Minister of Education, Henrik Asheim

A Facilitated Career as a Researcher

The enthusiasts at the department, Professor Einar Broch Johnsen and Professor Kristin Braa, outlined the plans for the researcher track at the Department of Informatics. The good labor market for our graduates results in many students receiving attractive job offers during their studies. It is therefore important to introduce the possibility of a research career early in the study program. We want to awaken curiosity among our students and hope that the researcher track can also lead to increased diversity and recruitment of more female scholars, says Professor Kristin Braa. The students will receive close follow-up from outstanding researchers in the department’s largest research projects, which are the health information systems centre HISP and the SIRIUS research and innovation centre.

Professor Kristin Braa

Awakening the Joy of Research

The Minister was also given the opportunity to ask questions to Cathrine Nørstad Engen, who completed the researcher track in medicine in 2012 and defended her PhD thesis in June 2017. Informatics students were represented by Lilly Arstad Helmersen, who studies Informatics: Design, use, interaction. Through the research track, students can gain an advantage when starting a doctorate. For the right candidates, being able to delve into and solve problems from early in their studies will give rise to both great and small research joys along the way.

Student Lilly Arstad Helmersen