Aarhus University granted funding for three new basic research centres

For the eighth time ,the Danish National Research Foundation has awarded grants to twelve new Centres of Excellence. Researchers from Aarhus University won three of these grants.

The three new centres are:

  • The Center for Urban Network Evolution (UrbNet) under Professor Rubina Raja
  • The Center for Carbon Dioxide Activation (CADIAC) under Professor Troels Skrydstrup
  • The Center for Music in the Brain (MIB) under Professor Peter Vuust

The three AU researchers behind these centres are from Health, Arts and Science and Technology respectively. The centres will conduct research into such questions as the ability of music to explain the functioning of the brain, the conversion of carbon dioxide to a valuable, energy-efficient resource, as well as the application of new dating methods to the exploration of the history of urbanisation.

All three centres are based on the conviction that the answers to these questions are to be found at the intersection of very different disciplines. The research groups associated with the three centres involve collaborations between musicology and neuroscience, as well as between archaeology and the natural sciences.  The three new centres bring the total number of basic research centres at AU to 16. All of these centres make a valuable contribution to increasing the level of research activity and quality, says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen:

“On behalf of the researchers and the university, I’m very pleased that we’ll have three more basic research centres. These basic research centres give researchers a unique opportunity to explore their fields in depth, and the contribute to attracting and developing talent.”

Danish basic research centres are international heavyweights

The three new AU centres will join an elite international community. All 88 Danish basic research centres were evaluated earlier this year by an international panel of researchers which rated the centres’ results as on par with those of the best American universities - and as the best in Europe.

One of the reasons for their success is the high degree of self-determination and long time-frames ensured by the terms of the centres’ grants, which gives researchers the freedom to forge new paths. Professor Dorthe Berntsen can confirm this. She is the director of the basic research centre Con Amore, which received a grant to perform research on autobiographical memory in 2011:

“We’ve been able to do research that we didn’t have the equipment or expertise to do before we got the centre grant. We’ve created opportunities for junior researchers to develop that would not have existed otherwise.  And we’ve become visible internationally in a way we hadn’t been before,” she explains.

The new centres will open their doors in early 2015.

Read more about UrbNet (in Danish)

Read more about CADIAC (in Danish)

Read more about MIB (in Danish)

Read the press release from the Danish National Research Foundation (in Danish)

For more information, please contact
Press Consultant Sys Vestergaard, + 45 2367 0012