Society of Doctoral Candidates at NMBU (SoDoc)

Society of Doctoral Candidates at NMBU (SoDoC) is a free and non-political interest organization for PhD candidates and postdocs at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

  • SoDoC was established on 1 February 2016. The purpose of SoDoC is to secure the interests of PhD candidates as well as postdoctoral researchers at NMBU. The organization handles issues of common interest to these groups.

    • Study conditions and professional interests 
    • Economic interests 
    • Social benefits 
    • Rights and duties at the University 
    • Research ethics and issues 
    • Regarding science and society 
    • Social events for improved contact
  • All registered Ph.D. candidates and postdocs at NMBU may become members of SoDoC. Members are free to join relevant trade unions and promote doctoral issues through these forums as well.

    SoDoC has a board consisting of a leader, a social leader, an academic leader, a treasurer, a secretary, and a webmaster. The board is elected at the annual annual meeting.

  • SoDoC board members 2023:

    • Leader / President : Olga Mikhailova and Yahwant Singh Yadav
    • Academic Committee : Harkingto Giam
    • Social Committee : Tomasz Mroz and Aqeel Ahmad (Deputy)
    • Secretary  : Arjun Sham Valiyaveetil Shamgopal
    • Treasurer : Melcy Philip
    • Webmaster : Mandeep Poudel
    • FU (Research committee) : Nikolai Bøgseth Aunbakk and Ragnhild Sødal Gjennestad , Rasa Holen  (Deputy)
    • SU (Study committee) : Crystal Turnbull and Magnus Merkle (Deputy)
    • NOVA : Niranjana Sudheer and Mandeep Poudel (Deputy)
    • Ethics committee representative : Jesper Frausig 
    • SiN representative 
    • Equality and Inclusiveness Committee: Maria Åsnes Moan and Yashwant Singh Yadav
    • Post-Doc Member: Gabriela Schröder


    Leader: The leader is responsible to plan and coordinate the board activities. The leader makes sure that the entire board works towards the welfare of PhD candidates and early-stage researchers at NMBU.

    Academic Committee: The function of the academic committee is to organize academic events for PhD and Postdoc students at NMBU. This includes larger events with invited speakers on topics relevant to your academic career, but also smaller and informal gatherings among the PhD students.

    Social Committee: The social committee organizes annual events like BBQs, Ski trips and Parties.

    Secretary: The key tasks of the secretary include; writing minutes at the meetings, editing annual report, and keeping these documents for future references. The Secretary is also tasked with learning the constitution and bylaws of SoDoC, and ensuring that all activities of SoDoC (especially the AGM) comply with its decisions, rules and regulations

    Treasurer: The treasurer manages and supervises how SoDoc is using its money, keeps checks and balances, and distributes yearly compensations to board members.

    Webmaster: The webmaster is responsible for the SoDoc Webpage as well as the SoDoc Facebook page.

    NOVA: Representatives for the Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network  – NOVA. NOVA is a university cooperation aimed at supporting the understanding of major global challenges in a Nordic context. Together we provide high quality PhD-level courses in subjects related to agricultural, forestry and veterinary sciences, and support PhD- and post-graduate veterinarian specialisation students and NOVA’s scientists in building international scientific networks.

    Ethics committee representative: The Ethics committee provide advice on ethics issues at NMBU, while considering the long-term implications of ethical stands. The specifics of the issues are confidential. What might be said in general, is that some issues may be mitigated by maintaining a good quality of communication throughout processes and resolving issues locally, however some issues require further consideration.

    SiN representative: Representatives of SoDoC in the Stipendiatorganisasjonene i Norge (SiN)

    Equality and Inclusiveness Committee: The committee for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion seeks to initiate and inspire progress within equality and diversity for employees and students at NMBU. The committee wishes to contribute to a university environment for all regardless of gender, ethnicity, national origin, language, views on life, political views, sexual orientation, and functional ability. 

    Specific issues of the committee are how to improve the gender balance at the higher academic ranks (such as professorship), how to balance the priorities of language learning with communication in the workplace and encourage an inclusive environment, where we as individuals can grow by gaining awareness of issues.

  • SoDoC is an independent, nonpolitical, nonreligious, volunteer, nonprofit, democratic interest organization for Ph.D. candidates at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

    Constitution of SoDoC:

    The name of the organization is “Society of Doctoral Candidates”, abbreviated as “SoDoC” and hereinafter referred to as “SoDoC”. SoDoC was established on 1st February 2016 by a merger of Forum for Doctoral students at UMB (FODOS) and the Doctoral Candidates' interest organization in the veterinary environment (DIOV).

    SoDoC is an independent, nonpolitical, nonreligious, volunteer, nonprofit, democratic interest organization for Ph.D. candidates at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

    The purpose of SoDoC is to secure the common interests of doctoral candidates at NMBU, such as:
    - Study conditions
    - Professional interests
    - Economic interests
    - Social benefits
    - Rights and duties at NMBU
    - Research ethics
    - Issues regarding science and society
    - Social events

    The General Assembly (GA) is the supreme decision making body of SoDoC and consists of all participating members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM is held once a year and is open to all members.
    The SoDoC board is the supreme administrative body of SoDoC.

    In special circumstances, the SoDoC board may summon extraordinary sessions of the GA to be known as an “Extraordinary General Meeting” if requested by its members or the board itself. A written notice of the Extraordinary General Meeting has to be circulated to all members not less than 14 days prior to the Extraordinary General Meeting. The decisions of the special session shall be limited to matters stated in the request for such a session.

    All registered Ph.D. candidates at NMBU are de facto members of SoDoC. There are no membership fees.
    All members have the right to:
    - Participate in the activities of SoDoC
    - Attend and speak at the AGM
    - Vote in the AGM

    Amendments to the Constitution
    The Constitution may be amended by the GA during the AGM. A written notice of the amendment has to be circulated to all members no less than 30 days prior to the AGM. Amendment of the Constitution may be agreed only by the GA with at least a three quarters (3/4) majority of those present and voting.

    To regulate matters not described in this Constitution, SoDoC has Bylaws. The Bylaws have to comply with this Constitution. In case of divergence, the Constitution shall override the Bylaws.

    The Bylaws may be amended by the GA during the AGM. A written notice of the amendment has to be circulated to all members no less than 14 days prior to the AGM. Amendment of the Bylaws may be agreed only by the GA with at least a three quarters (3/4) majority of those present and voting. Bylaws may also be amended without prior notice, provided that those present and voting agree unanimously on the amendment.

    Bylaws of SoDoC:

    All members of SoDoC are eligible for the SoDoC Board. The members of the Board should, as far as possible, represent the diversity of the Ph.D. candidates at NMBU. The Board organizes their work freely, and shall call for meetings as needed.

    The Board of SoDoC shall consist of a leader and at least five members. The leader of the Board has two votes whenever there is equality of votes. The Board is elected for one year by the GA during the AGM according to the rules described in the Election paragraph.

    Minimal composition of the Board:
    - Leader
    - Treasurer
    - Secretary
    - Head of Academic committee
    - Head of Social committee
    - Head of Adamstua committee
    Additional board members can be elected by the GA depending on the need.

    Duties of the Board:
    - Prepare an annual report (containing a financial report from the past year and an account of the past year's activity) for approval by the GA during the AGM. The report should be made available to all members no less than 14 days prior to the AGM.
    - Prepare a plan and budget for future activities for approval by the GA.
    - Execute the plan for future activities approved by the GA.
    - Call for AGMs. All members should be informed about the meeting no less than 14 days in advance.
    - Establish committees as necessary.
    The head of the Adamstua committee can appoint a deputy to his / her position at the board when needed.The Adamstua committee is responsible for arranging events at Campus Adamstua and should receive a sufficient part of the budget to manage this.

    General Assembly Procedures
    A chairperson and a secretary shall be elected at the beginning of the meeting. All decisions of the GA shall be reached by a simple majority vote of those present and voting unless stated otherwise in the Constitution or Bylaws.

    Duties of the GA during the AGM:
    - Approve the annual report from the Board.
    - Approve the plan and budget for future activities from the Board.
    - Elect a new Board
    - Elect representatives and deputies to external councils and committees as necessary
    Minutes from the AGM should be sent to all members.

    - Two vote counters shall be appointed by the chairperson. They are responsible for collecting and counting the votes. They will also announce the results. If candidates are interested they can see the counted results.
    - Election for any given position will be decided by relative majority.
    Candidates can be proposed during the meeting.
    - If there is more than one candidate for a position, the elections should be undertaken with a written procedure.
    - The candidates have the right to be present and vote during the elections.
    - If any member or any representative has to leave their elected positions, a new member or representative should be elected at the first social gathering following the withdrawal of the board member or representative, respectively. The election should be announced and candidates presented to the members in an email at least two days before the social gathering. Until this election is held, the board or someone appointed by the board is responsible for the duties of the defected member.

    Members working for SoDoC could have the right to compensation, and should keep track of their working hours and report them to the treasurer before the AGM. The compensation will be distributed by the treasurer proportionally depending on the number of hours worked.