News from the senior management team no. 37/2015

Universities Denmark submits consultation response on Danish Act on Taxable Nonstock Corporations

Universities Denmark has decided to draw the attention of the Danish Ministry of Taxation to the fact that changing the Danish Act on Taxable Nonstock Corporations (Fondsbeskatningsloven) may have major consequences for university funding.

According to the consultation material, the Danish tax authorities expect proceeds of approx. DKK 200 million in 2015 alone as a result of the change. Initial responses from private foundations suggest that the universities will find it far harder to attract private funds on a large scale, as it is expected that foundations will demonstrate greater restraint when awarding funding. This flies in the face of the Danish government’s objective that the universities must attract more private funding. At a time of very substantial cutbacks in public research financing, this is a very regrettable development, and one which will hamstring Danish research while also undermining Denmark’s international competitiveness. 

Universities Denmark is not on the consultation list, but wanted to inform the Danish Ministry of Taxation of the problems that the bill will cause. 

Two new ERC projects at Aarhus University

Two researchers have been awarded ERC Starting Grants for projects at Aarhus University. One ERC Starting Grant totalling EUR 1.5 million has been awarded to Sadegh Nabavi, group leader at the interdisciplinary research centre DANDRITE. The ERC project will provide answers to such fundamental questions as why do some memories last, while others are soon forgotten?

Sarang Suresh Dalal has also received an ERC Starting Grant 2014 of EUR 1.5 million, and he has chosen Aarhus University as the host institution for his ERC project. He is affiliated with another of Aarhus University’s interdisciplinary research centres, the Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN).

Sarang Suresh Dalal conducts research into the interplay between the processing of visual stimuli in the eye and in the brain in humans.

13 PhD projects strengthen school research

The PhD Council for educational research has awarded thirteen grants for projects which will strengthen the knowledge base for the teacher education degree programme and primary and lower secondary schooling. 

The projects are all being carried out in cooperation between a university and a university college. Aarhus University is involved in a total of seven projects, and the research fellows are working with the VIA, UCC and Metropol university colleges.

The PhD Council for educational research was recently recognised for its solid academic assessments which provide a sound basis for awarding grants.

New editorial on health policy 

On 25 November, Dean Allan Flyvbjerg published a piece in the Danish national newspaper Jyllands-Posten on health data. Together with Henrik Illum, chairman of the Organisation of Danish Medical Societies, and Erik Jylling, executive vice president for health policy at Danish Regions, Allan Flyvbjerg writes about the government initiatives that will secure the first few million Danish kroner for a project that will use gene technology and health data as tools for developing medicines that are more effective in treating individual patients.

On 24 November, Dean Allan Flyvbjerg also had an article on Altinget’s health portal about rare diseases. Here, the dean writes that more political focus and funding are needed for rare diseases.


  • 3 December: University Board meeting
  • 4 December: Dean’s challenge
  • 7 December: Christine Antorini, of the Danish Social Democratic Party, meets with Rector Brian Bech Nielsen
  • 9 December: After-work meeting on teaching evaluation
  • 14-15 January: Research and Innovation meeting 2016

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