BIO-info (en)

Category: 2016 – Week 22

Fra Toppen – Week 22: Deadlines

By the deadline of the Research Council of Norway 25th of May, 1731 applications had been submitted. Of these, 1271 went to the FRIPRO programme. From BIO, 19 applications were submitted to FRIPRO, of these 12 researcher applications, three mobility stipends and two Young Research Talent applications. In addition, four applications were sent to KLIMAFORSK, three to INTPART, and one to the UTNAM programme. As usual, EECRG is the most active research group, coordinating 10 applications.

This year we have tried a new model, where the applicants have been invited to present their ideas for each other and for a panel of BIO’s more experienced scientists, who have also read the applications and given advice on the project descriptions. We hope and believe that this has improved the quality of the applications sent by the deadline, and that more projects will succeed in getting through the eye of the needle.

It isn’t the number that counts, in fact. And maybe these fixed deadlines are contributing to the generation of more half-good applications, and hence more waste of time, both for the scientists and the evaluation panel, than necessary. An attempt by the National Science Foundation in USA to get rid of the enormous heaps of applications at certain times of the year indicates that it is so.

Since NSF introduced open deadlines for some of its programmes in 2011, the number of applications has been halved. It can seem like it is the half-motivated and sloppy prepared applications that disappear, while the good applications are improved through better preparation and time for polishing.

Another advantage with open deadlines is that fixed deadlines always seem to fit poorly for most people, and especially for university scientists. The May deadline comes at the time of exams and submission of master theses. The September deadline comes just after semester start, student receptions, and is often written at the time when foreign collaborators have their holiday.

Maybe time to skip deadlines also for the Research Council?

Monday this week the Norwegian Ocean Laboratory was opened at Marineholmen. Both rector Dag Rune Olsen, IMR director Sissel Rogne, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg were present when it was also announced that the KG Jebsen Foundation will fund a KG Jebsen Center for Deep Ocean Research, lead by Rolf Birger Pedersen at CGB, and with our own Hans Tore Rapp on the team. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Congratulations also to Richard Telford and coauthors on a level 2 publication in Quaternary Science Reviews.

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Research – Week 22

Note the new calls highlighted in the call calendar as well as the upcoming information seminars:

06.06.16 Information meeting on Digital Life Norway – New call for Researcher Projects in Digital Life

08.06.16 Workshop for Nasjonal forskningsinfrastruktur 2016

14.06.16 Søkeseminar – Utlysing av Norgesuniversitetets prosjektmidler 2017

16.06.16 Informasjonsseminar UiBs søkere til INFRASTRUKTUR

20.06.16 RRI-Matchmaking for Digital Life Norway

22.06.16 Special lecture and roundtable on citation metrics and Science Evaluation


Apply for NFR Proof-of-Concept Funding!

Researchers in Bergen have the opportunity to apply for funding for research projects with a commercial potential from the Norwegian Research Council FORNY2020. Get in touch with BTO asap and before June 25th to start the preliminary discussions! BTO Flyer; More info

Photo of the week – Week 22: Course participants

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MBD researchers at The Genome Analysis Centre (UK)

Over the course of last week, Kenneth Meland, Francisca Carvalho and Joana Xavier participated in an intensive training course at The Genome Analysis Centre in Norwich (UK). This course focused on the molecular and analytical aspects of genotype-by-sequencing (GBS) methods, and guided the participants all the way from the study design and strategy through the computational pipelines and results interpretation. The acquired skills will be used in several projects currently ongoing at the Marine Biodiversity Group, which will be conducted using the NGS facilities in the Biodiversity Lab (BDL).

Upcoming events – Week 22

RRI-matchmaking for Digital Life Norway

On Monday June 20, the working group for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) at the Centre for Digital Life Norway (DLN) will organise an RRI-matchmaking meeting for researchers who intend to apply for funding at the forthcoming call for proposals under the DLN-umbrella. The meeting takes place in Bergen and will last from 09.00 to 12.00, followed by lunch. Register by June 10th, there are room for 20 participants. Questions may be addressed to Read the full abstract here.


Linux seminar

Here is a reminder of the Linux seminar (“Linux. What on Earth does it have to do with penguins?”) being held by Bry Wilson.

Wednesday, June 8th, 1400-1430
Biology B-block, room K3/K4

Tribute for Magnar Aksland

Magnar got his Cand. Real. degree in mathematics in 1971, and was the following year employed as a scientific assistant at the University of Bergen. Here, he was also employed as a university lecturer at the Institute of Mathematics (1973-1975). Further on, Magnar was employed at the Department of Fisheries Biology at UiB from 1975, where he worked as an associate professor until he retired with age pension in 2012.

Magnar was the mathematician at the Institute, and taught the heaviest subjects within modern fisheries biology, where measurements of the populations, age distribution, natural mortality and more were connected in a mathematic virtual population that can be studied in a model tool. Today, computers are able to calculate the conditions of this population with ease, in order to find a sustainable extraction, which forms the foundation of today’s quota.

Magnar was a stringent mathematician, and he taught one of the most important courses in classic fisheries biology: population monitoring. Here, methods of acoustic, trawl cruises, tagging of fish etc were mediated, often with a lot of formulas, including the statistical apparatus behind the modern survey design.

Scientifically, Magnar contributed to the field of biomass measurement of fish on a more fundamental level. He often argued in favor of introducing new technology at an early stage, and this attitude had a great beneficial impact both for the research and for the fishing industry.

Magnar was a competent programmer, who swore to his Macintosh machine, and to pure C programming. The last ten years, he regained interest for acoustics, as he could read raw-digitalized echo signals from split-beam echo sounders with his new Mac. Here, he developed new, interesting methods combining single fish counting and echo integration, which is still not in use on expeditions. Further on, he calculated the statistical benefit and increase in precision, by using multi-beam echo sounders on patches of schooling fish in an elegant way. This is now to be expanded and published by younger scientists.

When Magnar retired with age pension in 2012, he was still in very good shape and we all expected him to hike in the mountains for years to come.

Sadly, this was not the case.

Friends and colleagues at UiB and IMR in Bergen would with this like to shine light on Magnar’s memory.

Egil Ona (IMR/UiB)

Magnar Aksland

New publications – Week 22

Ibanez T, Grytnes J-A, Birnbaum P (2016) Rarefaction and elevational richness pattern: a case study in a high tropical island (New Caledonia, SW Pacific). Journal of Vegetation Science 27:441-451   Lambrechts MM, Blondel J, Bernard C, Caro SP, Charmantier A, Demeyrier V, Doutrelant C, Dubuc-Messier G, Fargevieille A, de Franceschi C, Giovannini P, Gregoire…

Have you registered vacation days?

Are you ready to go?

Summer is soon upon us, and whether you are planning on spending all of it in sunny Bergen or making other arrangements, there is one thing you have to do right away: Register your vacation in PAGA. It is a requirement that everyone registers their holiday, and it is the general rule that all vacation days has to be taken within the year.

Not sure when you’ll be going? Register it anyway (you can change it later), and avoid running the risk of someone else deciding when you’re going on holiday. You will also be relieved from the stress of being followed up through emails and visits from the administration.

The deadline for registering the summer vacation has already passed, so please make it a priority.

Further information on how to register vacation can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding vacation or the registration of vacation I PAGAWEB, please contact your local HR professional at your department.