Practical information

This site contains practical information for new VISTA scholars, project managers and for administrative staff at the host institutions. The site will be updated frequently.

General information for VISTA Scholars and Project Managers

Deadline: December 15 – Expense reporting
All costs related to the project must be reported by December 15 in order to be included in the operational budget of the current year.

The project manager will receive quarterly overviews of the total incurred operations-related cost of the project. Project managers are required to hold a complete overview of the projects expenses, and are obligated to report any significant discrepancies between what VISTA has registered and what they have registered themselves. A difference is significant if it exceeds 50 000 NOK. Please note that the project manager is responsible for making sure the costs do not exceed the allocated funds. If a project exceeds allocated funds in one year, the amount will be deducted from next year’s budget. If a project exceeds allocated funds in the final year of the contract, VISTA will request a refund of the overspending from the project’s host institution.

Deadline: January 15 - Annual report
Every year, by December 15, all projects, including projects that finish in the same year, must complete an annual report. Please see the template for download in the up-right corner.

Deadline: One month after the project has finished - Final report
All projects are required to complete a final report within the first month after the project’s completion. A template is available for download in the up-right corner.

Upon the start of a project period, each candidate will get access to Simployer. Simployer is a tool for registration of holiday and sick leave, and for claiming reimbursements for travel expenses. When requesting reimbursements, please include a picture/scan of the original receipt.

If you have not received your login-information within a few weeks of starting your employment, please check the spam folder on your e-mail. If you still do not find the login information, please contact the VISTA coordinator. Please note: A Norwegian D-number is required to gain access to Simployer (Please see more information on this under “New scholars”).

Annual events

VISTA has two annual VISTA events:

VISTA Scholar Day invites all VISTA scholars to meet and hear lectures and introductions to various subjects. In the past, the focus has been on popular science communication and career opportunities.

The Annual VISTA Day gathers politicians, academics and industry to discuss prevailing issues related to energy and the Norwegian shelf. The event is usually in Norwegian, so foreigners who do not master the language are excused from participating.

Employment arrangements
We aim to be flexible, and we will try to be forthcoming and open to suggestions regarding employment arrangements. It is not uncommon for a candidate to be employed 75 % by The Norwegian Academy and 25 % by his or her host institution, with a corresponding prolonging of the scholars contract. Please contact the coordinator to discuss your options.

The role of the project manager briefly explained
The project manager is responsible for:
-          Supervising the project
-          Ensuring that the costs do not exceed allocated funds
-          Ensuring that the VISTA scholar’s work environment is satisfactory

If there is any overspending due to the accrual of costs, the VISTA coordinator must be informed as soon as possible. Any overspending will be deducted from the next year´s budget. If the spending exceeds the total budget at the end of the project, the host institution will be asked to cover the discrepancy.


Information for VISTA scholars

This section is divided into three parts. The first contains information relevant for new scholars. The second is information that can be useful to all scholars, and the third is directed at scholars who are about to end their project.

New scholars

Project start for foreign VISTA-scholars
Approximately 50% of VISTA scholars are from abroad. Finding your way in a new environment can be challenging. Here you will find practical information regarding employment in Norway.

Q: I do not know anything about working in Norway…?
Working in Norway – The Official Guide
NAV stands for Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration and is the Norwegian public welfare agency. They have made an official guide about working in Norway. In our experience, NAV functions quite efficiently. Most matters can be sorted out online.  Please visit: https://www.nav.no/workinnorway/en/Home

Q: I have become a VISTA scholar. What do I need to do to get started?
1. Norwegian D-number
When you receive the great news that you will be employed as a VISTA scholar, the first thing you need to do is to apply for is a Norwegian D-number. Find out how here:
2. Norwegian Bank Account
Once you have your D number, you can apply for a Norwegian bank account. You will need a bank account in order to get paid.
3. Address
Once you know where you will be living in Norway, please forward your address to VISTA.
4. Tax reduction card
This is not strictly necessary, but will prevent you from having to pay 50 % of your wages in taxes. If you pay too much tax one year, you will receive the difference in the autumn of the next year. Likewise, if you pay too little, you will need to pay back the same amount. Apply for a tax reduction card here (We will get a notice from Skatteetaten): https://www.skatteetaten.no/en/International-pages/If-you-work-in-Norway-you-need-to/Have-a-tax-card/Have-a-tax-card/

Q. I do not have a Norwegian account yet. Can I get paid anyway?
If you do not have a Norwegian account when you are about to receive the first salary, we can only wait until you do. We cannot legally pay the salary to your supervisor or a trusted friend.

Q: Can my operational budget cover the costs related to relocation?
No, unfortunately not. However, the operational budget may cover costs related to getting a work permission.

Q: I have no bank account, and I need to rent a home
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters can offer the landlord a guarantee for payment. Please contact the VISTA coordinator.


General information for all scholars

Salary and pay slip
Wages are paid on the 12th of every month. You will receive a pay slip by email. The slip is password protected. The password is the five last digits of your bank account number.

About holiday and holiday pay
General information
Employees in Norway are required by law to take a minimum of four weeks of vacation during the course of a calendar year. Employees are entitled to the equivalent of 12% of the previous year’s wages, to compensate for the loss of wages. Holiday pay is paid in full in June. If you have any further questions, please download the document available in the up-right corner for more information.

Holidays for new employees
If you are a new employee of this year you will not be entitled to holiday pay from The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. It is therefore up to you to decide how much, if any, of your vacation you wish to take out, since taking a vacation will result in wages being deducted. If you were employed in Norway in the previous year you will be entitled to holiday pay from your previous employer, unless you have already been compensated for this. Please inform the VISTA coordinator by email about your holiday plans by May 1st .

Registration of holiday
You can apply for holiday through Simployer (where you can also ask for reimbursements and report sick leaves). You must let VISTA know by May 1st  how much of your vacation you wish to take out. If we do not hear anything, we will assume that you will take out the full five weeks of vacation. Plan your holiday absence in cooperation with your project manager.

Transfer of holiday days
If you have any vacation days left at the end of the year, you can apply to have these transferred to the next year. The transfer is limited to 10 vacation days. Apply for this through Simployer.

Generally, you can only get an advance of payment to cover operational costs. However, if you intend to buy a place to live, VISTA offers an advance of up to one month gross salary payment. Contact the VISTA coordinator for further information.


About the operational budget
General information
The operational budget is allocated to you on a yearly basis. At the start of every year, the VISTA scholar and the project manager will receive an allocation letter that states the amount available for the year. The budget covers project related expenses such as travel and accommodation in relation to conferences, publishing, necessary equipment, and lab-time. Foreign scholars may also use funds to cover language courses. The budget may also cover expenses for personal equipment that is needed in order to perform the job, such as for instance new glasses. If you are in doubt, please ask the VISTA coordinator.

Budget transfer
If you have not used the full allocated budget one year, and you wish to have these funds transferred to the next year, you will need to apply for a transfer. A justification as to why the funds should be transferred must be provided. The application form is available for download in the up-right corner. Send the application to the VISTA coordinator within December 15.

Who pays for what?
VISTA prefers that you generally pay for travel, conferences, meetings, equipment etc. yourself, and request reimbursements through Simployer. In cases where your university pays, they can send an invoice labeled with your project number to fakturamottak@dnva.no. The same is also the case if you wish that the Academy pays for the invoices directly.

Other useful information:
Regarding taxes in December
The December tax break is a Norwegian tradition. All earnings in November or December are taxed half of the regular amount, with the result that all employees will receive some extra money right before Christmas.

Extension of contract
In cases of parental leave or prolonged illness, the contract will be automatically extended. Apart from that, extensions are rarely granted, except under very special circumstances. You can apply for an extension by using the form available for download in the up-right corner.


Information for administrative staff at the host institution

How do we invoice VISTA for accrued costs on a project?
Please send the invoice to fakturamottak@dnva.no and mark it with the relevant project number. Make sure always to include supporting documents (receipts etc.).

What about the overhead?
Please send an invoice to fakturamottak@dnva.no and mark it with project number and overhead. As supporting document, please attach the current university-wide TDI-rate. The overhead is calculated as 87,5 % of the current TDI-rate.

Other relevant information
Costs that exceeds 15 000 NOK must be approved by the Project Manager.

Drammensveien 78 · NO-0271 OSLO · NORWAY
Tel: +47 22 84 15 00 / +47 415 10 974
E-mail: vista@dnva.no