University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


If a scientist is posted abroad, it should be categorised as such

Postings abroad — Being posted abroad as a University of Copenhagen scientist often involves years of preparation. But it is being hampered by the university categorizing it as »a transfer of workplace location«. Would the problem not be solved if it just began to call them postings? Professor Anja C. Andersen asks.

In response to Konstantin Khodosevich’s featured comment about the problems in using research scholarships abroad, the Associate Dean at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Hans Brauner-Osborne and Prorector David Dreyer Lassen responded:

»The problem partly arises because the government regulations are designed for all types of government-employed staff, and here the researchers’ postings are not taken into separate consideration. The main challenge is that sabbaticals or research postings that are organised on the researcher’s own initiative are technically regarded as a so-called transfer of workplace. This is processed differently than an actual posting, where the employee is sent out by the workplace.«

So the big unanswered question is: Why has the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) decided that a sabbatical should be regarded as »a transfer of place of employment« rather than as a posting?

It takes years to plan postings abroad

It’s not that we as researchers can just take off.


This is a featured comment/opinion piece. It expresses the author’s own opinion.

We encourage everyone to read the whole piece before commenting on social media, so that we only get constructive contributions.

Disagreement is good, but remember to uphold a civil and respectful tone.

It takes years of preparation and not least permission from your department management team as well as a successful grant application. The idea is that you, as a researcher, go to another university in another country, that is you move abroad for a period of time.

It is not simply moving your place of employment, as there are lots of tasks in your day-to-day life at UCPH that can’t be done while you are posted abroad. That’s why it takes such a long time to plan and get permission to take a sabbatical. So a sabbatical actually resembles a posting in this government sense.

More stays abroad will benefit UCPH

When a researcher is on a sabbatical, then UCPH benefits. The researcher serves as an ‘ambassador’, helping to make UCPH visible to researchers at the foreign university. It is something that counts in university rankings. UCPH does not score well on this, and it is therefore something that UCPH should have more focus on.

When the researcher returns with new knowledge from their posting, it will benefit the department as a whole and help enlarge the department’s network and internationalization.