Bygge kompetanse for å beholde kompetanse: «Fix the system and achieve unique institutional goals»
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Since 2015, the Norwegian Police University College (NPUC) has received funding from the Research Council of Norway and the Balance programme (Work Programme 2013-2017, RCN, 2013) to work on gender balance in research through the FIX project (RCN, 2015). The aim has been to increase the proportion of professors in general, especially female professors, and to strengthen police science as a discipline. The project has worked on building a more systematic and targeted career development both for the organization and for the individuals involved. This report presents the FIX project and its main findings. During the project period Professor Qualification Groups (PQG) have been active. As of March 2018, of the total of 36 possible associate professors that could have participated, about 63 % had taken part. Further local regulations which define the requirements for qualifying as a professor have been developed. These regulations included training in academic writing and trial/mock evaluations of CVs have been conducted. Such evaluations included the possibility to have a pre-evaluation of one’s profile and academic quality with regards to police science in particular. In addition, professional guidance and supervision of internal applications for professor qualification have been offered and an internal Research Leadership Programme has been developed and conducted. Arenas for disseminating the progress and results from the FIX project have included several internal channels for communication, as well as external talks given at relevant international, Nordic and national venues. Since 2015, three NPUC employees have become professors in police science, two of which were female and one male. It appears that all of them have held permanent work positions with fixed research time of 50 % or more. Several professors have left during the same period, two female and two male, due to retirement or accepting other positions. A total of 27 participants partook in the PQG and two rounds of pre-evaluations were held. The project has provided knowledge about underlying structural and cultural processes that promote and obstruct the proportion of professors at the NPUC. For instance, the use and support of academic expertise across the four NPUC campuses was uneven, and the institutional research leadership was described as weak. Furthermore, while some leaders perceived that qualifying for professor was not an aim for female associate professors, their employees did not necessarily feel the same about the issue. Lastly, while some associate professors perceived leaders as being reluctant to provide time and resources for Research and Developmental Work (R & D), some leaders described a dilemma in relation to providing their staff with these resources. Gender balance in research is one way to contribute to the unique role NPUC has in the reform that is taking place in the Norwegian Police Service (NPS) in general and the challenges related to diversity in senior police and research management in particular. Thus, the results of the project may have positive spill over effects on the NPS in general; police practice is still somewhat characterized by gaps be tween research and practice and there are fewer women than men in formal senior and top police leader and management positions.