The University Centre in Svalbard AS (UNIS) is a state-owned limited corporation, owned and administered by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (Kunnskapsdepartementet – KD).

The UNIS Board of Directors

The Board of Directors (Board) is the highest organisational body at UNIS and has the overall responsibility for the management of the company.

The Board of Directors has 11 members, of which four Norwegian universities are represented: the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), University of Oslo (UiO), University of Bergen (UiB) and UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in addition to three external members, three employee representatives and one student representative.

Morten Hald (Chair)UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Nina Frisak (Deputy Chair)External
Robert BjerknesUniversity of Bergen
Brita Lisa SkjelkvåleUniversity of Oslo
Ingrid SchjølbergNorwegian University of Science and Technology
Siri KalvigExternal
Stein Ove S. JohannessenLongyearbyen Community Council
Kåre JohansenEmployee representative
Janne SøreideEmployee representative
Knut Ivar Lindland TveitEmployee representative
Helene RiganStudent representative
Sunniva Bratli SheffieldObserver

The election regulations for staff representatives are available in Norwegian.

Minutes from General Assembly:


UNIS is led by director, Jøran I. Moen.  

The leader group at UNIS is an advisory body for the director, and shall contribute to the sharing of information, cooperation and collaboration between the departments as well as interdisciplinary activities for the development of the company’s research and educational activities. The director decides who makes up the leader group at any given time.

UNIS organisation chart

As of December 2023.

UNIS in the Svalbard Science Centre

UNIS is the core institution of the Svalbard Science Centre, an international Arctic centre of expertise in research and education, which also incorporates other professional and scientific institutions in Svalbard, such as The Norwegian Polar Institute, EISCAT and Svalbard Science Forum.

The 12,000 square meter Svalbard Science Centre, inaugurated in April 2006, is a modern building with optimal conditions for education and research linked to Arctic nature. The Svalbard Science Centre also houses Svalbard Museum, the Norwegian Polar Institute‘s Svalbard office, SIOS, and Svalbard Science Forum, and is a centre of competence for Arctic research, teaching and logistics.