Grant application support for researchers is being restructured

As of next year, grant application support procedures will be divided between the faculties and the Research Support Office. The overall framework is already in place, and further details about how this framework will be implemented will be provided soon.

Picture of the amphteater in the university park.
Photo: Jesper Rais

The scope of external research funding has grown in recent years – as has the complexity of the application requirements and processes. This has led to a rise in the demand for support with applications. The new structure for grant application support will ensure a clear division of responsibility between the Research Support Office (part of AU Research) and the faculties.

From 2024, the Research Support Office will focus its efforts on helping researchers with applications to specific EU foundations, selected programmes under the Innovation Fund Denmark, the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centres of Excellence, and complex multi-partner projects. The Research Support Office will also offer application support for selected grants for which its specialised competencies and knowledge can prove particularly beneficial for researchers.

The faculties will provide administrative support for applications to other external foundations. This applies to foundations for which subject-specific specialist knowledge and competencies are central. For example, the Independent Research Fund Denmark and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

This division of responsibility does not apply to Health, where the collaboration on application support needs to be clarified with Aarhus University Hospital and Central Denmark Region.

The overall framework for the new structure of application support has been discussed and approved in the senior management team. In dialogue with the faculties, the management at the Research Support Office and the university director, Kristian Thorn, will now establish how this new division of responsibility will work in practice.

“It’s important that AU maintains its excellent external funding record in the years to come. This is why we are now working with the faculties and the Research Support Office to establish the details of the new framework. Our goal is to make it clear to researchers whom they should contact to get help with which applications – and that they receive good support”, says Kristian Thorn.

New structure comes into force in 2024 – but with some flexibility

Faculty management teams have now begun a process to explore how they can best organise the application support for which they are responsible.

The new structure is due to come into force in early 2024.

However, in some cases, it may make sense to implement the new division of tasks slightly later. During the transitional period, researchers can rely on the Research Support Office being flexible and prioritising coordination and knowledge sharing.

“We need to make sure that nothing falls between the cracks. From now on, we will collaborate closely across AU on this issue, and, with the new structure, the Research Support Office will be in charge of a network that ensures coordination and knowledge sharing across the university”, says Kristian Thorn.