Data are compiled by Statistics Norway and include data for 47 higher education units (university departments and faculties) and 10 research institutes (institute sector) for the years 2013, 2017 and 2021.

Almost 5 600 researchers at the evaluation units in 2021

A total of 5 580 R&D personnel were employed at the evaluated units in 2021, about 3 700 in the higher education sector and almost 1 900 researchers at the research institutes. Since 2013, there has been a growth of about 1 430 persons, or around 60 per cent in the higher education sector, while the growth of researchers in the institute sector was about 380 persons or 25 per cent.

Low share of women in the higher education sector

For the higher educational units in the evaluation, the overall gender balance among researchers was 25 per cent women and 75 per cent men. The percentage of female researchers was significantly lower compared to the overall percentage of women in higher education, at 51 per cent, and for the personnel in all natural sciences units where women have a share of 37 per cent. However, in the field of engineering and technology, women account for 26 per cent of the research personnel, which is about the same level as for the evaluated units. At the research institutes, 29 per cent of the researchers were women. The gender balance is lower than average in the institute sector, which was 46 per cent in 2021.

Younger researchers than average

The average age of the R&D personnel at the higher education units was 39 years in 2021, which was a decrease of two years since 2013. Overall, the average age for all positions have been quite stable over the period. The average age for professors was 54 years for all three years. However, associated professors decreased in age from 48 years in 2013, to 45 years old in 2021. Compared with the total population of the higher education sectors, the population within this evaluation is younger.  In the total population of the higher education sector, the average age was 45 years old in 2021, while professors were in average 56 years old. However, the average age of the total population in the higher education sector, within natural sciences and engineering and technology was 40 years old for both major fields.

The average age of the researchers among research institutes was 43 years old in 2021. This average age has been quite stable over time.  However, the average age of all institutes in the institutes sector was 46 in 2021.

A high share of foreign PhD-holder/citizens

About 40 per cent of the researchers in the evaluated units of the higher education sector had a foreign PhD-degree in 2021, indicating foreign citizenship. Among the professors, the share was also 40 per cent while the share among associate professors was 33 per cent. As many as 48 per cent of the researchers and postdocs had a foreign PhD-degree as well. Among the research institutes, 20 per cent of the researchers had a foreign PhD-degree.