Since October 2017, UNIS is part of the same merit system for teaching as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bergen. Teachers at UNIS from all four scientific departments have the opportunity to get their pedagogical competence and efforts evaluated for the distinction Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP) by the Pedagogical Academy at the University of Bergen.

Svalbard forskningspark
Photo: Fabienne Mannherz

The distinction is awarded to teachers that can document a systematic effort to develop their teaching and student learning, and that contribute to a scholarly and collegial teacher culture. Those awarded with the status as ETP become members of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ Pedagogical Academy at UiB, and will also get a rise in salary.

Appointment of Excellent Teaching Practitioners takes place every two years and have been announced in 2018, 2020 and in 2022.

In June 2023 professor Maria Jensen attained the status of ETP. Also in 2019 former UNIS professor Pernille Bronken Eidesen was awarded ETP status.

Call for Excellent Teaching Practitioner 2022 (expired)

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science at the University of Bergen (MN-UiB) hereby invites its lecturers and lecturers at UNIS (Group A) to apply to have their teaching competence assessed and be admitted to the Faculty’s Pedagogical Academy. Deadline is set to 28 November 2022.

The ETP system will not replace other systems for career promotion or educational quality assurance and development, but represents a new way of acknowledging quality in teaching and learning efforts. By awarding especially qualified and engaged teachers, UNIS signals that student learning and quality education is a prioritized area. For the individual teacher the system represents an opportunity to get quality work and pedagogical competence assessed and acknowledged.

The criteria for being awarded the distinction Excellent Teaching Practitioner have been carefully developed by a group of teachers, pedagogical experts and educational leaders from UiB and the MN Faculty to ensure that the status rewards excellence in teaching and learning. Four main points are emphasized in the criteria:

  • Focus on student learning
  • Clear development over time
  • A research approach
  • A collegial practice and attitude

Criteria for being awarded the Excellent Teacher Practitioner (ETP) distinction

Status as an Excellent Teaching Practitioner is awarded to teachers based on an application and a subsequent assessment made by an assessment committee. In the application and the appendices, the applicant must describe, analyse, discuss and document a systematic and targeted work with educational quality towards four criterion areas anchored in the principles behind the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

1. Focus on student learning

  • The applicant has a clear focus on students’ learning in all their teaching activities
  • The applicant has a conscious relationship to the connection between form of teaching, learning outcomes, form of assessment, and types of learning.
  • There is a clear and justified connection between the applicant’s basic perceptions of teaching and learning, and teaching activities.
  • The applicant has good relations with the students, and requests and responds constructively to feedback from the students.

2. Clear development over time

  • The applicant strives consciously and systematically to develop her/his teaching, both in form and content, to support student learning
  • The applicant has ideas and plans for continued development work and further development of their own teaching competence and practice in the future.

3. A research approach

  • The applicant plans, maps, evaluates and modifies his teaching practice with a view to what and how one best supports during the students’ learning.
  • The applicant reflects on his or her own teaching activities in the light of university pedagogical theory and subject didactic knowledge.
  • The applicant conducts research-based education, both in the form that the academic content is based on updated and current research in the subject, and that the students use elements from the research process in their learning work.

4. A collegial attitude and practice

  • The applicant shares experiences with others, and interacts constructively with students and colleagues to develop teaching and educational quality.
  • The applicant cooperates with others through mutual exchange and sharing, for example through discussions, conferences and publications.
  • The applicant contributes to reaching the strategic goals for educational quality at the institution.

Application process

In the application, the teacher should explain how he or she has worked consciously and systematically to improve teaching quality over time in order to promote and develop the students’ learning. Additionally, the applicant must show how he or she has shared their experiences with others and contributed to the community.

With support from literature and other sources, the applicant must problematize and reflect on his or her choice of teaching and assessment methods, and shed light on how he or she, with the help of the literature, has developed his or her practice related to students’ learning and their own teaching.

The application must include documentation in the form of selected examples from the teacher’s own teaching practice, which show what, how and why the teaching was conducted in the chosen manner, and how those choices and practices support student learning. Examples must be supported by documentation of the educational scope and content, impact or influence on student learning, and of how the applicant has dealt with and used the experiences and feedback. The design and content of the application must be linked to the criteria described above.

The idea of rewarding excellence in teaching is based on clear intentions on a governmental and institutional level to give research and education equal status and attention in the scientific community. In the recently published White Paper on Educational Quality merit systems are one of the mechanisms for developing a quality culture in higher education.

The merit system at the University of Bergen was initiated in 2016, and is inspired by the Pedagogical Academy at Faculty of Engineering (LTH), Lund University in Sweden. BioCEED has been a driving force to establish the merit system for teaching with criteria based on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The system at UiB is described in more detail here (in Norwegian).

Contact Head of Administration Marte Emilie Engebretsen ( for more details about the merit system for teaching or next call.


TP Workshop UNIS 2022
Pedagogical Academy MN Faculty at UiB (in Norwegian)
Excellent Teaching Practitioner and Pedagogical Academy MN Faculty at UiB (in Norwegian)
White paper on Quality Culture in Higher Education