News from the senior management team no. 9/2015

Mentors contribute to more informed choice of degree programme

Mentoring and close collaboration with upper secondary schools can help young people decide on a degree programme. These are the findings of a recently completed project which was carried out by Aarhus University and Holstebro Gymnasium.

In central Jutland, 240 upper secondary school students participated in the project, which aims to help them make more informed choices about their future course of studies and break down some of the barriers they encounter in relation to the university.

The project participants were invited to participate in academic and social events at Aarhus University, while also working with second and third-year student mentors along the way.

The project concluded with a conference last week.

Report on public sector consultancy: The universities are meeting their targets

"The general assessment is that the universities are meeting the objectives of the merger regarding more education, greater international impact within research, more innovation and collaboration with business and industry, and competent public sector consultancy.” This was the conclusion of a report on the universities' public sector consultancy services which the Ministry of Higher Education and Science has just published as a follow-up on the universities’ mergers with the government research institutions in 2007.

Research-based public sector consultancy is one of Aarhus University’s key tasks. In particular, two national centres – the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA) and the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) – and a number of departments provide services to a wide range of government agencies, including the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark, the Danish Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building and the Government of Greenland. All in all, Aarhus University's research-based public sector consultancy generates annual turnover of approximately DKK 1 billion. The funding for the research performed for government is not as stable as basic funding, which is a challenge for the universities. This problem is being discussed with the government agencies and institutions, explains Vice-dean Kurt Nielsen in an article on the Faculty of Science and Technology website.

Nielsen also had an article published last week on Altinget, a news website about Danish politics, where he discussed the cuts which have been made to the framework agreements in recent years. Here, he also encouraged greater cooperation in Denmark between government agencies and institutions, business and industry and the universities with a view to winning international contracts. There is a basis for such cooperation. Earlier in the month, consortia which include AU's Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) were awarded two large-scale consultancy contracts with the European Parliament and the European Environment Agency.

Million-kroner grants to AU researchers

Two more AU researchers have received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) while a third AU researcher has received a large grant from the American Foundation for AIDS. The ERC has awarded Liv Hornekær and Anders Møller a so-called Consolidator Grant.

  • Liv Hornekær of the Department of Physics and Astronomy/Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO)-Physics has received EUR 1,996,147 for the project GRANN.
  • Anders Møller, Department of Computer Science, has received EUR 1,977,382 for the project PAW. Read the article

Denmark has done extremely well in the most recent allocation of ERC funds.

A large American grant has also been awarded to a researcher from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. Together with a German and an American colleague, Ole Søgaard has just received DKK 9.9 million from the American Foundation for AIDS research. The money will go towards a clinical trial aimed at curing HIV infections.

Interviews being held for deputy directorships

The application deadline for the vacant positions of deputy director for AU Research and External Relations and deputy director for AU IT and Digital Media has expired. Fifty-five applications have been received for the position of deputy director for AU IT and Digital Media, and nine applications for the position of deputy director of AU Research and External Relations.

Interviews with applicants will be conducted in the coming weeks.

DHL – registration now open

Aarhus University will participate in the DHL Relay Race again this year. You can choose to register as a team of runners or walkers in Aarhus and Odense, while there are only teams of runners in Copenhagen. For the past many years, the DHL Relay Race has been an enjoyable social event for employees at Aarhus University, and the senior management team hopes that many people will come along again this year.

The deadline for registering is 24 April 2015.

Innovation Fund Denmark to hold info meetings at the universities

Innovation Fund Denmark is visiting the universities in the near future to explain what the fund is, and what it funds. At the meeting, Innovation Fund Denmark will also explain which criteria it uses to evaluate funding applications.

See the calendar below with a link to an invitation to the meeting, which will be held in English


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.

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