Course code PPFO402

PPFO402 The Way of the Researcher

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Knut Omholt
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course has teaching in spring parallel and June block. Evaluation in June block.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2006-2007
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The purpose of this course is to make the participants aware of the trials and conflicts that they may run into during their qualification as a researcher. The participants will reflect on how they handle critical incidents in their work and on what choices they make as regards the direction of their path. They will learn to communicate about the challenges one may come upon in the developmental processes so that they can talk with their students and colleagues about this.

The course is intended for PhD students, people in similar qualification processes and people who teach or supervise research and development work.

The process of becoming a researcher has both a professional and personal side to it. Persons who aim to present new knowledge may run into several challenges: How motivated are they really for the task? How does their research relate to their qualifications? How courageous do they dare to be when posing their questions? How open-minded can they be about different views? How much staying power will they have in their search? How independently can they sort out all possible answers? How can they bring to light what they have found? How willing are they to confront established conceptions? These questions suggest that one may, on several occasions in the research process, have to choose between keeping to a known line of action or venturing into the unknown. The way one deals with these trials on a personal level influences the quality of the professional work. The personal and professional are closely linked in the discovery of new knowledge. Being aware of the potential conflicts and challenges may help in coping with them. The struggle between creating and conserving forces has always been part of life, and people have tried to delineate and understand such influences. From mythic stories and other works of art, we can see evidence of steps of the creative process. In this course, we will cast light on dilemmas in developmental processes using the participants’ own expressions; motives from mythic stories, poetry, literature and visual arts; and events from the lives of known researchers and artists.

Learning outcome:


The candidate

- knows what kind of dilemmas one may run into in their development as a researcher

- knows motives from myths and art that reflect conflicts in the creative process 


The candidate

- is able to deal with conflicts in research and other developmental processes using mythic and artistic motives

General competence

The candidate

- can apply images of dilemmas in creative processes in one’s supervision of students and in one’s communication with colleagues

Learning activities:
We will meet for two short periods during the course. The first meeting will take place over four days, the second over two days. During the period between the first and second meetings, the participants will write an essay. In the first meeting, we will use media, such as drawing, painting, sculpting, movement and writing, to show how steps in developmental processes may be experienced (no unique artistic talents are required for this). The participants will share what they have gained from the exercises and how the observations relate to their work. We will deepen our understanding of these expressions and experiences using examples of motives from myths, other works of art and the biographies of researchers and artists. In the second meeting, each participant will present their essay to the others, preferably using methods that bring the other participants actively into the considerations.
Teaching support:
The participants can request supervision during the essay-writing time between the Meetings.
A reading list of about 800 pages will be provided.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Participation in a minimum of 80% of the meetings is required.

Written assignment which counts 100 %. Assessment term: Passed/Not Passed

The participants will write an assignment based on their own development using mythic and artistic motives as well as their own expressions to throw light on the process. The participants will present their assignment during the second meeting, and the other participants and the teacher will give feedback.

Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
Lectures: 10 hours. Exercises: 17 hours. Seminars: 17 hours.
An external examiner takes part in the evaluation of the candidates’ assignments.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Passed / Failed