Once a year, the Association of Doctoral Organizations in Norway (“Stipendiatorganisasjonene i Norge", SiN) holds its annual general meeting (AGM) for some formal membership duties (voting on a new board, discussing & adopting a budget, changes to the statutes, etc.) and to discuss current topics that affect all members. This year’s meeting was held at UiB in Bergen on November 27th and attended by the president (Henrik Siepelmeyer) and treasurer (Saishashank Balaji) of UiAdoc.
SiN is an important body for all PhDs and Postdocs in Norway, as it serves as an umbrella organization for the individual PhD and Postdoc organizations of each university (such as UiAdoc). As such, SiN is regularly consulting with Norwegian Ministries and Officials concerning relevant topics, for example through membership in the Council of Representatives of Universitets- og høgskolerådet (UHR). SiN also serves as a networking body for member organizations - so that we don’t all individually have to tackle the same problems!
At this year’s meeting, the discussion centered about several improvements and clarifications of the statutes (two changes proposed by UiAdoc were unanimously accepted by the AGM), and important topics affecting all membership organizations, such as the internationalization of PhD programs and the current debate in the media about this topic. A new SiN board was also elected which will use the discussion outcomes as basis for SiN position statements. The discussions around several other topics (e.g., sustainability within SiN and member organizations, mental health situation of PhDs & Postdocs, etc.) will be continued in SiN working groups throughout the next year. SiN will also publish a more extensive statement on the AGM and results on its website, soon.
Overall, the meeting was very exhausting but productive - and after 10 hours of discussing, we managed to also enjoy some dinner and drinks together. The valuable discussions and positions developed during the meeting made clear that active involvement in SiN is important for making our voice heard and ensuring that topics relevant for PhDs & Postdocs at UiA are also considered on the national level. Perhaps next year, somebody from UiA could also run for a position in the SiN board...
P.S.: As an effort to improve our own sustainability performance, Henrik & Saishashank traveled to Bergen by train - some good fun!