PhD training in general
The strategy of the Faculty of Bio-sciences, Fisheries, and Economics (BFE) has since 2010 had a clear goal to improve the quality of the PhD training and reduce the time spent from admission to dissertation. I have initiated and conducted several sub-projects in collaboration with colleague professors and the skilled staff at the research and communication department at BFE (see here example of analysis performed together with the administrative staff). After almost eight years of systematic work with administrative routines, requirements on the project description, and continuous development of the supplementary provisions for PhD at the BFE faculty, as well as the establishment of High North Academy, an entity providing courses on transferable skills, we register good progress (see image below, showing the development in the percentage of PhDs finished in 4 years at UiT (starting date of the PhD is shown on the x-axis), and this analysis of the PhD training at BFE).
- Universitetsstyret: Gjennomstrømming i ph.d.-studiet (2017)
- Rapport til universitetsstyresak om ph.d.-studiet (2017)
- Notat om oppfølging av ph.d.-kandidatene ved BFE-fak (2015)
The development of the course in Philosophy and Ethics of Science
The BFE faculty did not have any own course in Philosophy and Ethics of Science and our PhD students had to attend a course at another faculty or university to fulfill this obligatory requirement. We started working with the course planning in 2010 and gave the first course in February 2011. The core team represented several science fields from three different faculties. The following teachers have participated since 2011: P. Arbo (now the course leader), R. Primicerio, N. Yoccos, A., S. Tønnessen and Michaela Aschan. The course name used to be Bio-8306, but it was recently renamed to Philosophy of Science and Ethics SVF-8600.
The course has improved over time as we have received oral feedback from students at course end and quest back evaluations after the submission of the exam paper an essay where the students reflect on a chosen topic in philosophy of science or ethics preferably relating to their PhD project. To ensure an integrated course content and to avoid overlap the teachers have been observing each other’s lectures. This has allowed us to give each other constructive feedback either directly after the course or at the evaluation meeting held when quest back survey is made available for everybody. The evaluations show that the course is well received both when it comes to content, curriculum, ambition and relevance. We develop the course continuously and draw on new science and publications. We strive to make the literature available for the students well in time before the course.
For me personally the continuous evaluation of me as a teacher provided through quest back surveys has been very valuable and I have adjusted and improved my performance accordingly. (Scores: 3.80 in 2013; 4.18 in 2014 and 4.35 in 2017). Below my performance compared to the rest of the teachers who all perform well: