News from the senior management team no. 1/2014

World-leading economist dies at 74

It is with great sorrow that Aarhus University has learnt of the death of Nobel Laureate Professor Dale T. Mortensen, who passed away on 9 January after being seriously ill for three months.

In 1998, Dale T. Mortensen from Northwestern University, USWA, spent research leave at Aarhus University, where he studied the detailed Danish register-based matched employer-employee data. Dale's great contribution was to create economic models which can explain the spread in these data by taking into account the fact that it is time-consuming and risky for companies and employees to meet and match.

Following his research leave in Aarhus, Dale T. Mortensen continued the collaboration with researchers at Aarhus University, and from 2006 he was employed on a five-year Niels Bohr professorship, paid for by the Danish National Research Foundation. Subsequently, he became affiliated with the research unit Cycles, Adjustment and Policy, supported by the Danish Social Science Research Council and Aarhus University.

Dale T. Mortensen was at Aarhus University when, in 2010, he learned that he had been selected to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics 2010 jointly with Peter Diamond and Christopher Pissarides. 

Budget process: concrete discussions locally

On 13-15 January, the local liaison committees were informed of the departments' and the administrative divisions' budgetary framework and cost-cutting targets. This marks the start of discussions between local managers and liaison committees on how the local cost reductions will be made, including which criteria will apply for dismissals in the respective units.

After the local liaison committee meetings have been held, the area's employees will be informed about the budgetary framework and cost-reduction targets, and the local management will start work on budget implementation and compliance plans.

The plans must be finished on 31 January and will be discussed by the liaison committees in early February.

Time for annual supervisory meeting

This week, Aarhus University will receive a visit from the Danish Agency for Higher Education for the annual supervisory meeting.

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education has already identified a number of items for further discussion, including, among other things, the merger with Aarhus University School of Engineering, the coming spending cuts, initiatives to improve study improvements, as well as their relevance in the study programmes.

Moreover, as usual, there will be a status on Aarhus University's work within areas such as internationalisation of degree programmes, PhD programmes and innovation.

The supervisory meeting results in a supervisory report which, later in the spring, is published on the ministry's website. Similar reports are prepared for other Danish universities. 

New national laser centre with AU management

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education has just granted DKK 20.3 million from the research infrastructure fund for a new national laser centre, DANLASE.

DANLASE is an interdisciplinary centre with close collaboration between Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Also taking part in the DANLASE project are the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark and Aalborg University.

DANLASE will represent Denmark in connection with major EU collaborative projects and grants. The centre will be headed in collaboration with representatives from Danish industry to ensure close professional development between industry and the researchers. In addition, it will give industry access to the new and state-of-the-art laser facilities.

The ministry wants to maintain Denmark's leading international position within laser technology and make Danish research groups attractive partners in connection with Horizon 2020 research partnerships and European research infrastructure projects.

Funding applications welcome for international visiting researchers

In 2014, the research foundation is again supporting visits by internationally recognised researchers/scientists to Aarhus University through the AUFF visiting researcher/scientist fund. The first application deadline is this Thursday, 16 January.

All tenured researchers at associate professorship level as a minimum at Aarhus University can apply for funding for a continuous stay by a visiting researcher/scientist for a period of up to six months.

In assessing the applications, particular emphasis will be on the visiting researcher's/scientist's research qualifications and their expected contribution to the development of the university's international researcher network, especially the establishment of new partnerships.

Deadlines in 2014:

  • 16 January 2014 at 12.00
  • 9 April 2014 at 12.00
  • 28 August 2014 at 12.00
  • 15 October 2014 at 12.00

Read more about the researcher/scientist fund

ERC allocates EUR 1.7 billion for frontier research in 2014

The European Research Council (ERC) has published its budget for 2014 in which approx. EUR 1.7 billion has been allocated for excellent research.

The ERC funds are part of the Horizon 2020 programme and comprise four different funding schemes:

  • Starting Grants (EUR 485 million)
  • Consolidator Grants (EUR 713 million)
  • Advanced Grants (EUR 450 million)
  • Proof of Concept Grants (EUR 15 million)

Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants have already been announced with application deadlines in March and May, while Advanced Grants are expected to be published in June with the deadline in October. It is possible to apply for Proof of Concept Grants now, but only by researchers who have already received an ERC grant.

The ERC is expecting more interest in the programme, for which reason project applications are being assessed more rigorously. This means, for example, that researchers whose applications receive the lowest marks may be excluded from application rounds in future years.


  • 23-24 January: Rectors' meeting in the Hamburg/Kiel/SDU partnership
  • 3 February: Minister for Health Astrid Krag visits Health
  • 12 February: Joint HSU/HAMU meeting
  • 26 February: Board meeting

Kind regards

The Senior Management Team


The Senior Management Team publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Team, please go to The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at