Q: In what can I use my PhD fund?
A: Basically for anything that is related in helping you to get your PhD. Most expenses will come from travelling to conferences and workshops, but you can also spend it in books, courses or material.
Q: If I want to get something using my PhD fund, what is the process?
A: You have to pay it yourself first, then you can apply for a refund using the DFØ portal, accessible from your employee area in the HVL website. Travelling refunds are usually done once you finished your travelling. If you want to get some expensive equipment (for example a big monitor TV, iPad, robots, etc) then you need to ask Kristin to handle it by our department and IT department. They will pay by using your fund, so you don’t need to pay it yourself first.
Q: I need to get my paysheet outside the office, or applying for refund outside Bergen. Can I access the DFØ outside the HVL?
A: Yes, you can enter to DFØ portal using this link: itportalen.hvl.no and going to SAP Portal (ESS/MSS). Also, you can access it by using the DFØ app https://dfo.no/kundesider/lonn/dfo-app.
Q: How do I know if I can go to a conference or workshop? Do I need to ask for permission?
A: If you find an event related to your research area that you would like to attend and you have enough money in your funding, you should check that you don’t have any other duties during those dates (deadlines, courses, teaching duties…). You don’t need permission (as in strict permission) from your supervisors, but asking them their opinion about the event and if it is ok that you go away during those dates is always nice.
Q: I have started working late in the year and I don’t have many holiday days, is it ok if I go back with my family for Christmas?
A: During the holiday season the HVL is usually empty, even if you don’t have many holidays days talk with your supervisors, what you can do is working from the place you stay. Of course, no one will ask you to work on Christmas Day or New Year’s 😉
Q: I would like to work during standard holidays in exchange of getting some free days later, is it possible?
A: It is possible, talk with your supervisors. As long as they agree there should not be any problem.
Q: How should I interact with my supervisors? What level of formality should I keep?
A: Hierarchy in Norway is more relaxed than in other countries. Your supervisors expect some independence from you (as in you don’t need to ask them permission for everything all the time) and that you come up with your own ideas. Feel free to reach them when you need them (is their job!), and while keeping respect, don’t worry too much about formalisms.
Q: How does the research stay work? How do I find where to stay?
A: As part of your PhD you have to spend between 3 and 6 months in another university abroad. During those months you will get your normal salary. Expenses like rent in the place you stay and transportation will be refunded by the HVL up to 20000 kr. After that, you can get refund from your PhD fund. About where to stay, ask you supervisors. They will know many experts in your field. Also, if you find someone interesting you would like to work with, talk about it with your supervisors. In the end the final decision will be yours. The research stay is usually done around years 2 and 3.
For non-EU citizens, the residence permit in Norway only works for 90 days for visiting another EU country, so if you want to stay longer than 90 days, you need a VISA or a permit for the country you want to stay. Also, if the stay is less than 6 months, you don’t need to inform Tax office for moving and changing address, and you don’t need to register yourself at tax office/population register in the country you will stay, at least within Nordic countries.
Q: How do I find where to publish? And Summer schools?
A: Your supervisors will probably recommend you different conferences and journals. You can also search in Google, use websites like WikiCFP for call for papers or this one for Summer schools around Europe. You can also subscribe to some mailing list related to your field, for Software Engineering SEWORLD is really useful, they send job offers and call for papers.