Research personnel

Updated: 26 October 2023

Next update: 21 March 2024

Share of female professors in higher education sector
Share of female professors in higher education sector
2022
35.8
per cent
R&D full-time equivalents (FTE), researchers
R&D full-time equivalents (FTE), researchers
Full-time equivalents (FTE), researchersChange in FTE, researchers (percentage)
202120222021 - 2022
All sectors38 97140 1172.9
Business enterprise sector17 32118 4036.2
Institute sector7 0047 1031.4
Higher education sector14 64614 611-0.2
2022 numbers for the business enterprise sector are preliminary.
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Doctoral degrees by awarding institution, last 5 years.
    Doctoral degrees by awarding institution, last 5 years.
    20182019202020212022
    Total1 5641 5831 6341 6011 562
    University of Bergen226229242245220
    University of Oslo468483497428424
    Norwegian University of Science and Technology397377406412399
    UiT - The Arctic University of Norway118120117132121
    Norwegian University of Life Sciences87101668668
    University of Stavanger5062745260
    University of Agder3741514443
    Nord University3025182834
    Oslo Metropolitan University3636314945
    University of South-Eastern Norway2534292736
    Molde University College - Specialized University in Logistics47625
    NHH Norwegian School of Economics1917131719
    The Oslo School of Architecture and Design23786
    MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society87446
    Norwegian School of Sport Sciences171111118
    Norwegian Academy of Music327410
    BI Norwegian Business School1577116
    Oslo National Academy of the Arts06714
    VID Specialized University4410812
    Volda University College00014
    Western Norway University of Applied Sciences0161015
    Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences1810252117
    Explanation of symbols
  • R&D personnel by sector and year
    R&D personnel by sector and year
    Higher education sectorInstitute sectorBusiness enterprise sectorTotal
    201330 58312 29725 32468 127
    201431 52812 26528 15371 947
    201533 16611 83231 06876 066
    201634 94812 24133 49580 684
    201736 31512 58236 08884 976
    201836 91912 89536 79686 610
    201937 95513 06138 84889 864
    202039 16113 57638 60491 341
    202140 63914 02039 58294 241
    202241 29014 28841 20196 779
    Explanation of symbols
  • R&D full-time equivalents (FTE) by sector and year
    R&D full-time equivalents (FTE) by sector and year
    Higher education sectorInstitute sectorBusiness enterprise sectorTotal
    201312 7159 44916 37138 535
    201413 0109 35517 93240 297
    201513 9529 37019 08742 409
    201614 9379 36519 61643 918
    201715 6759 35521 20546 235
    201816 2379 38520 97946 602
    201916 9579 58722 17848 722
    202016 1269 73123 09048 947
    202117 99410 18723 74551 926
    202218 02110 36125 19053 572
    2022 numbers for the business enterprise sector are preliminary.
    Explanation of symbols
  • Researchers and academic personnel by sector of performance, immigration category and year
    Researchers and academic personnel by sector of performance, immigration category and year
    20102014201820212022
    All sectors
    Total29 67731 74336 24239 27639 786
    Immigrants6 5878 11310 72212 74513 405
    Norwegian-born to immigrant parents119127190269271
    The rest of the population23 09023 63025 52026 26226 110
    Institute sector
    Total7 5067 4147 3327 8647 913
    Immigrants1 5991 8602 0962 4922 588
    Norwegian-born to immigrant parents......4143
    The rest of the population5 9075 5545 2365 3315 282
    Higher education sector
    Total18 57420 07823 91526 04626 671
    Immigrants4 3525 3827 5599 1469 725
    Norwegian-born to immigrant parents......145150
    The rest of the population14 22214 69616 35616 75516 796
    Health enterprises
    Total3 5974 2514 9955 3665 202
    Immigrants6368711 0671 1071 092
    Norwegian-born to immigrant parents......8378
    The rest of the population2 9613 3803 9284 1764 032
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics on research personnel provide an overview of human resources for research and development (R&D) in the higher education sector and the institute sector. It includes R&D personnel and R&D full-time equivalents (FTE) and covers aspects such as awarded doctoral degrees, types of positions, gender, and immigration status.

Research and development (R&D)

R&D is creative activity conducted systematically to gain increased knowledge, including knowledge about people, culture, and society. It also involves new applications of available knowledge.

It can be challenging to distinguish between R&D and other related activities. Important criteria that must be met for the activity to be considered R&D are that it contains something new, is creative, has uncertainty related to the result, is systematic, and can be transferred and/or reproduced.

R&D personnel

All personnel directly engaged in research and development (R&D), including researchers and technical/administrative staff.

R&D full-time equivalent (FTE)

The R&D work performed by R&D personnel over the course of one year, converted to full-time equivalents.

The relationship between R&D personnel and R&D full-time equivalent (FTE)

R&D personnel is the number of individuals working with R&D, usually divided into two main groups: researchers and academic staff and technical/administrative staff. R&D FTE indicate how much time R&D personnel spend on research and development work. If a person works full-time and dedicates half of their working time to R&D, this constitutes 0.5 R&D FTEs.

Positions among the R&D personnel

Researchers and academic staff

  • Professor
  • Docent
  • Head of research and development
  • Associate professor
  • First lecturer
  • Assistant professor
  • Other permanent scientific positions
  • Postdoctoral fellow
  • Researcher
  • Chief physician
  • PhD research fellow
  • Scientific assistant

Technical/administrative staff

  • Administrative staff
  • Technical staff

R&D personnel are categorized into the following fields of R&D depending on the institute to which they are affiliated:

  • Humanities and the arts
  • Social sciences
  • Natural sciences
  • Engineering and technology
  • Medicine and health sciences
  • Agricultural sciences

Other key variables

  • Institution and department affiliation
  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Name
  • Job title
  • Position fraction
  • Source of funding
  • Higher education
  • Doctorate degree
  • Citizenship at the time of disputation
  • Starting date and disputation date of the PhD program
  • Degree title
  • Field of R&D and subject for the dissertation
  • The language in which the dissertation is written

The statistics on diversity in research use the Standard classification of immigration categories:

  1. Born in Norway with Norwegian-born parents

  2. Immigrants

  3. Norwegian-born with immigrant parents

  1. Foreign-born with one Norwegian-born parent

  2. Norwegian-born with one foreign-born parent

  3. Foreign-born with Norwegian-born parents

The doctoral degree statistics use the Standard classification of country and citizenship.

Research personnel

21 March 2024

421 Division for R&D, technology and business dynamics statistics

National, key figures at the regional and county level.

Statistics for R&D personnel and R&D full-time equivalent are published together with other R&D statistics for the higher education sector and the institute sector in October the year following the end of the statistical year (international reporting deadline) (t+10 months).

Statistics for awarded doctoral degrees are published in April the year following the end of the statistical year (t+4 months). The statistics on diversity in research is published in November the year following the end of the statistical year (t+11 months), and the researcher recruitment monitor is published in December (t+12 months).

Reporting to OECD and Eurostat.

Microdata and information about units and populations are stored permanently. You can read more about the services provided by Statistics Norway (SSB) for extracting microdata and statistics.

The purpose of the R&D surveys is to map national R&D activities in the business enterprise sector, The institute sector includes research institutes subject to guidelines for government basic grants to research institutes and research groups, and other units that conduct research and development (R&D) in the public sector. This encompasses health trusts without university hospital functions and private non-profit hospitals., and The higher education sector encompass institutions with a certain scope of research and development (R&D). This sector includes universities, specialized university institutions, state university colleges, other educational institutions, as well as university hospitals.

The first R&D statistical surveys in Norway were conducted in the late 1950s, driven by the need for systematic information from the Norwegian research councils about research personnel, researcher recruitment needs, and comparisons of research investment between Norway and other countries. Norway, represented by various research councils at that time, including the Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities (NAVF) and the Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (NTNF), participated early in the development of R&D statistics in line with OECD's initiative. The other Nordic countries also participated early in the work, and the Nordic countries have had close cooperation on this statistics over the years. The year 1963 is considered the establishment of international R&D statistics, and Norway has been involved in the work since the beginning. In 1993, the five research councils in Norway were merged, and official R&D statistics for Norway have since been compiled by Statistics Norway (SSB) and the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research, and Education (NIFU) in agreement with the Research Council of Norway.

From the 1960s until the end of 2021, the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research, and Education (NIFU) and its predecessors were responsible for conducting the survey for the institute sector and the higher education sector. Statistics Norway (SSB) conducted the survey for the business enterprise sector from 1991. Starting from 2022, SSB conducts the R&D survey for all three R&D-performing sectors. The surveys and results are prepared following guidelines outlined by OECD in the "Frascati Manual."

The research personnel register

The research personnel register is part of the national R&D statistics. The register was established in 1965 and contains data dating back to 1961. From 1977, the register was updated every two years and annually from 2007.

The research personnel register is an individual-level register, including researchers and academic personnel involved in R&D as well as technical/administrative staff in the higher education sector and the institute sector, including health trusts with and without university hospital functions.

Researchers in the business enterprise sector are not included in the register, except for some professor II with a main position in the sector. An individual-level register for researchers in academia is unique internationally and provides a basis for high-quality statistics and analysis.

Doctoral degree register

The doctoral degree register is closely integrated with the research personnel register and includes all doctoral and licentiate degrees awarded at Norwegian education institutions throughout history. The register dates back to 1817 and contains information about the candidate's background and the doctoral thesis.

The work of collecting and compiling data on doctoral degrees began in the 1960s. The register is updated based on information reported by the degree-granting institutions to the Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH), owned by the Directorate for Higher Education and Competence (formerly under NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data).

Individuals who have obtained more than one degree are registered with each degree. This means that the number of entries corresponds to the number of degrees awarded, which is slightly higher than the number of individuals in the register. As of the end of 2021, the register included 37,000 entries.

The statistics on diversity in research

The statistics on diversity in research provide an overview of immigrants and descendants of immigrants among researchers and academic staff, as well as technical/administrative staff with higher education, in Norwegian research and higher education. In the diversity statistics, data from the research personnel register is linked with the system for personal data and employment statistics (immigration status, country of origin, and employment status). The statistics was developed in collaboration between SSB and NIFU, with the Ministry of Education and Research as the client and input from the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (Kif Committee).

Researcher recruitment monitor

The researcher recruitment monitor is a system developed to follow the professional careers of doctoral students from when they enter into an agreement on doctoral education at an educational institution until they retire. The monitor currently covers the period from 2005 onwards and is published annually.

The basic population consists of individuals who enters a doctoral education at a Norwegian higher education institution. Information about these individuals is retrieved from the Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH)/HKdir, Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (formerly under NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data). The monitor was developed in collaboration between the Research Council of Norway, SSB, NIFU, and the former NSD, with the Ministry of Education and Research as an observer.

Key users of the statistics include government ministries and subordinate agencies, the Research Council of Norway, research communities, health trusts, educational institutions, and journalists. The statistics are a crucial component of the knowledge base for research policy and are used in evaluations, research, and analysis. The results are also utilized by the OECD and Eurostat for international comparisons.

The national R&D figures are the sum of the figures for the three sectors:

  1. Higher education sector
  2. Institute sector
  3. Business enterprise sector

Note that university hospitals are part of the higher education sector, and health trusts without university hospital functions and private non-profit hospitals are part of the institute sector.

The research personnel register is often linked to data from the system for personal data and employment statistics.

SSB reports R&D statistics on R&D personnel and R&D full-time equivalents (FTE) for Norway to OECD and Eurostat, but with a slightly different sector classification internationally than the Norwegian classification. OECD's sector classification consists of:

  1. Higher education sector
  2. Government sector
  3. Business enterprise sector
  4. Private non-profit sector (PNP)

The higher education sector corresponds to the national higher education sector.

The government sector includes the national institute sector, excluding research institutes primarily serving the business enterprise sector, which falls under the business enterprise sector.

In addition, the business enterprise sector includes businesses, i.e., enterprises with at least 10 employees.

The PNP sector (Private Non-Profit) conducts limited R&D in Norway and is therefore combined with the government sector in R&D statistics. The same applies to the PNP sector in many other countries.

Statistics Act (lovdata.no). Law of June 21, 2019, No. 32 on official statistics and Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå) § 10 on the obligation to provide information.

European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 on European Business Statistics.

The statistics on research personnel include R&D personnel and R&D full-time equivalents (FTE) in the higher education sector and the institute sector, including health trusts (research personnel register). The statistics also cover awarded doctoral degrees at Norwegian educational institutions (doctoral degree register), immigration status of research personnel (diversity in research), and the career paths of doctoral students (researcher recruitment monitor).

The R&D mapping of the higher education sector includes:

  • universities
  • state specialized university colleges
  • private specialized university colleges
  • state university colleges
  • art university colleges
  • other university colleges
  • university hospital

The mapping of the institute sector includes research institutes subject to guidelines for state basic funding for research institutes and research groups (regjeringen.no), other research institutes, and other units with a small or large element of R&D in the public sector. Health trusts without university hospital functions and private non-profit hospitals are also included in the institute sector, although data collection occurs through a separate survey.

Unit

The survey unit is the individual person participating in R&D work in all units with a certain scope of R&D in the higher education sector and the institute sector, including health trusts with and without university hospital functions, and private non-profit hospitals.

R&D personnel, time-use surveys, and surveys of specialized units at research-performing institutions are used as sources for R&D full-time equivalent (FTE).

Sample

The R&D statistics are a total survey that includes individuals with their primary position in the higher education sector or the institute sector, including health trusts and private non-profit hospitals. The position percentage must be at least 25 per cent for the person to be included in the R&D statistics.

From 2016, the data source for the research personnel register is the educational institutions' own personnel statistics reported to the Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH). Meanwhile, health trusts, the institute sector, and educational institutions that do not report statistics to DBH directly report data to the R&D survey. This was also the case for all educational institutions before 2016.

Workload

Statistics Norway (SSB) has not calculated the time burden for respondents in this statistic. Educational institutions reporting their own personnel statistics to the Database for Statistics on Higher Education do not spend time reporting to this statistic, unlike the administration at health trusts, the institute sector, and educational institutions reporting data directly to the R&D survey.

Editing

There are several built-in controls in the electronic reporting of administrative data. Any errors and omissions in reporting are addressed with the data owner.

Calculations

The research personnel register is a crucial part of the basis for calculating human R&D resources in the higher education sector. Each position/position category in this register is associated with a position fraction, average salary, and R&D percentage, which SSB uses to calculate R&D salary expenses across educational institutions' core budgets and R&D full-time equivalents (FTE).

The position fraction is derived from the data SSB receives from the Database for Higher Education/Directorate of Higher Education and Competence. Furthermore, SSB calculates an average salary per position category and educational institution based on earnings statistics for individuals in the research personnel register.

The R&D percentages are based on time-use surveys among the academic staff at universities and university colleges, conducted approximately every five years. The latest survey was conducted by the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research, and Education (NIFU). Health trusts and the institute sector provide data on R&D personnel/R&D FTEs directly through questionnaires. For museums, R&D FTEs are calculated based on the number of professional positions.

Not relevant

Result from the R&D statistics on research personnel is published at an aggregated level, ensuring that individuals cannot be identified. Figures for R&D personnel are disclosed only when there are at least 3 individuals behind each observation/indicator.

Norway has participated in international cooperation on R&D statistics since its establishment in 1963. From 1977, total surveys for the higher education sector in Norway have been conducted every other year (odd-numbered years). For intermediate years (even-numbered years), key figures are compiled. For health trusts, annual resource measurements for R&D were conducted from 2006 to 2017, followed by every other year, similar to educational institutions. Organizational changes and alterations in definitions and classifications make longer time series not always equally meaningful for all indicators.

District university colleges are included in the statistical base from 1974. Before 1991, personnel and R&D full-time equivalents (FTE) performed at central administrations of universities and university colleges were categorized as other personnel. According to revised OECD guidelines, they are not included in personnel and FTE figures from 1991 onward.

In 1993, estimates for R&D activity in FTEs for the entire regional university college sector (pedagogical university colleges, engineering university colleges, social work university colleges, and health science university colleges) were included.

In 1994, the former regional university colleges were merged into 26 state university colleges, and from 1995, units at these university colleges were included in R&D statistics. This means that personnel figures for the sector include state university colleges from 1995 onward, whereas previously, only district university colleges were included.

Several educational institutions have been included in R&D statistics at later times. For more details on comparability over time, refer to "About the Statistics" under R&D statistics for the higher education sector and the institute sector.

The quality of the research personnel register depends on educational institutions registering and reporting data using established code systems for position titles and other categories. If, during the production of R&D statistics, deficiencies or error codes are identified, they are reported back to the Database for Statistics on Higher Education/educational institutions so that the data can be corrected.

There have been no major revisions of the statistics on research personnel. Any changes of significant nature are disclosed in metadata and footnotes. Refer to general revision principles in SSB (Statistics Norway) here.

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