Institutt for global helse og samfunnsmedisin


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Department Meeting

IGS Department Meeting Aug 2018

Steady progress on multiple fronts!

IGS Department Meeting


29 August, IGS head of Department, Guri Rørtveit, led the second Department Meeting of 2018. These meetings are held twice a year, at the beginning of each semester, to inform all Department staff of important developments, and to invite feedback and discussion.

The 29 August meeting provided information about a number of processes on-going at IGS.

  • Communication Plan for IGS
  • Education Strategy
  • Research
  • Global challenges
  • Risk Assessment
  • Alrek Helseklynge


IGS Communication Plan

Bente Moen has led a group developing the Plan, which has now been out for hearings in the thematic sections. It will be presented to the Department Board in September.

The plan aims to promote and support IGS’ values:

  • We will share science-related insights and dilemmas with the public
  • We will contribute to debates on health-related societal issues
  • We will present research and reflections in a sober and comprehensible way
  • We may take sides in a public debate when there are good reasons to do so
  • We support and encourage colleagues who have been in or are going to the media


Education Strategy

Guri Rørtveit presented the Education Strategy on behalf of IGS’ Education Leader, Edvin Schei, who was attending a meeting in Brussels. The long-term plan for IGS’ Education and Research strategies is to re-evaluate them every, alternate 2-years. 

Among other things,

  • Working to increase the status of teaching competency and education activity across IGS
  • Increasing the pedagogic qualifications of IGS staff
  • Promoting education research and innovation in education activities at IGS

Specific initiatives include:

  • Ensuring that pedagogic competencies and teaching quality are considered with equal merit as research competencies and quality when hiring, promoting and paying staff.
  • Requiring a pedagogic portfolio as part of the document requirement when hiring; replacing the trial lecture with a teaching activity.
  • Promoting IGS’ pedagogic culture when hiring and clarifying the pedagogic competency of new employees
  • Working with MED Faculty to implement a merit system for promoting excellent Education practice and a Pedagogic Academy, following the example of other practices currently being implemented around UiB
  • Offering pedagogy courses and teaching workshops for IGS staff, led by IGS staff, every semester
  • Establishing routines for ensuring that IGS staff are able to fulfill IGS’ demand for basic pedagogic competency
  • Establishing cross-disciplinary collegial, mentor and student collaboration
  • Establishing of an IGS Education Prize, to be awarded annually on Department Day in May (including criteria, cross-disciplinary requirement, etc.)
  • Promoting collaborative activities across disciplines and groups in the new Alrek helseklinge
  • Developing structure and strategies for further development of researcher education and PhD supervising



Ingvild Fossgard Sandøy underlined the importance of becoming involved in the bigger process of grant applications, as this is an effective way to improve one’s own application writing. To this end, IGS is having an Application Evaluator Seminar 11 September – through evaluating applications, one learns to write better, more successful applications oneself.

In November, there will be another Application Writing Seminar. NB the next major application deadline is 29 September.

Sandøy reminded everyone to be aware of the new privacy legislation (GDPR), which came into effect in Norway 20 July 2018. The UiB response is being prepared, and should be available in the form of a web portal very soon. Read more.

Sandøy encouraged all PhD supervisors (and all PhD students) to register in one of IGS’ 2 Researcher Schools. Read more.

At this time PhD and post-doc positions are being allotted by MED. Sandøy notes that many IGS PhDs originate as medical students pursuing the research programme, and she encourages all at IGS to promote this programme.


Global Challenges

Bente Moen is the Leader of this university theme area – one of 3 at UiB. Although multi-disicplinary in nature and cross-Faculty, Global Challenges is based at MED, and tightly associated with IGS. The theme focuses particularly on issues within Migration, Health and Equality. This past year the theme announced funding for multi-disciplinary research projects. There were 21 applicants and funding was awarded to 2 projects, and more such funding will be available next year.

The thematic area also supports conference activity. There will be an international conference on Migration 15-16 November.


Risk Assessment

There has been increased emphasis on Risk Assessment across Norway, and UiB is no exception. Siri Smith has been involved with this activity at IGS and presented some of the work they have been doing, in particular relating to the specific case of a fire at Kalfarveien 31. Learn more about Security at IGS and UiB.

There will be a HMS round later in autumn. Siri invites all who have concerns or questions to contact her.


Alrek helseklynge

IGS will be moving to the new facilities in 2 years. Guri reminds us that this is not too much time to work on thinking about new networking and partner opportunities for both research and teaching. Not only will there be several different research entities, but Bergen Kommune will also have some departments there, which will facilitate activities such as student placement etc.

She encouraged everyone to sign up for the Alrek newsletter (contact alrek@uib.no)

 – and to participate in Alrek activities, such as the Breakfast Meetings (the next one is 24 Sept - about how to make an inspiring teaching environment at Alrek)

Alrek is happening – and it can bring positive new opportunities!