From PhD candidate to full-time faculty member

Marco biking through OsloMet campus in fall. He is dressed in a light down jacked and there are green and yellow leaves on the ground.

After completing his PhD at OsloMet in 2020, Tagliabue accepted an associate professor position at the Department of Behavioral Sciences. Tagliabue’s current research focuses on the power of nudging to influence human decision making.

Making the move

What a decision he made to move to Norway!

Although he got off to a bumpy start securing housing before the university’s offerings to better accommodate foreign employees were in place, he still appreciates every step in his journey. He first moved into an apartment he shared with three other people, but the Italian native didn't plan to live there very long.

"The idea back then was to use the shared apartment as a temporary base, but I just happened to stay there much longer than I was planning to," Tagliabue recalls.

"It was a great decision, I think. Not only because it was within walking distance from campus, but also because it was a good way to meet people, start exploring the city, and integrate here."

Portrait of Marco standing against a wall.

Marco is happy he came to Norway for his PhD. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / OsloMet

He has a genuine appreciation for the downtown campus's structural layout and architecture, from the old brick buildings at the northern end to the modern, glass buildings that anchor the surrounding blocks.

The central courtyard serves as an informal gathering space for faculty and students walking between buildings. This campus feeling is something he missed while pursuing his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Turin.

"One of the points of pride of OsloMet is being branded as a European university,” the Italian native tells us.

“This is reflected when you look at the campus in the city centre and have a bit of this romantic feeling of it being the former brewery."

"In addition, being located conveniently in the city allows you to get pretty much everywhere just by taking a short walk after work. You can go out for an ice cream down at Aker Brygge where you can sit outside and watch all the boats coming and going. I really love the sea."

Exploring beyond Oslo

Like a boat at sea, Tagliabue has had several opportunities to travel for work since his time as a PhD candidate.

He received financial support to spend ten days teaching in Iceland, a country that otherwise would have been cost prohibitive for him to visit.

He also took a trip to Thessaloniki in Greece, where he cooperated with the local nudging networking association to learn how to set up his own back in Norway.

Pictures and memorabilia on Marco's fridge.

Travel memories. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / OsloMet

He has been impressed by OsloMet's administrative support applying for and securing both internal and external research grants.

"They require a lot of work. Everyone, I think, would agree with that. There is no easy money. The competition is only getting tougher," he notes.

One of the points of pride of OsloMet is being branded as a European university. – Marco Tagliabue

With backing from a dedicated research and development department, Tagliabue has attended courses on grant writing co-organised with the Research Council of Norway and the external application team at OsloMet.

"They are just there to help because it is a team success if the money comes in, and then we all celebrate!"

If he had one wish, it would be to have designated work hours dedicated to this time-consuming process for individual faculty members and not just the research groups.

"It cannot be left to chance or only as a task to do in our spare time when we are not overwhelmed with the other activities that we are supposed to do on a daily basis."

Marco in a suit in a lecture hall.

A personal milestone

Of all his experiences so far at OsloMet, Tagliabue admits the highlight was his successful defense of his dissertation. The long journey of sacrifices culminated in a moment of pure emotion that he was fortunate enough to share with those closest to him.

"I am very thankful to have been able to do it in person with my family. They were able to fly in and joined my colleagues, friends and the committee. I'm very grateful that it went well, and it was a very rich experience for me,” says Tagliabue.

“Of course, I am also very grateful to have the opportunity to continue teaching and researching and carrying on with my activities at OsloMet."

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