News from the senior management team no. 18/2018

Two top researchers from Aarhus University presented with Holst-Knudsen science award

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research – one of Denmark's oldest scientific awards.

Professor of astronomy Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard and professor of economics Annette Vissing Jørgensen were each presented with DKK 100,000 on Wednesday, 30 May. 

Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard is one of the most prominent researchers in the field of contemporary stellar astronomy, and has been a driving force in the exploration of exoplanets. Annette Vissing Jørgensen graduated from Aarhus University and now works at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a prominent researcher and lecturer in finance and heads the Finance Department at the Haas School of Business.

Both researchers presented their research as part of the event held in the Main Hall. At the same ceremony, the Aarhus University Research Foundation presented awards of DKK 50,000 to five PhD students.

Reaccreditation: one step closer to a decision

Last week, Aarhus University received a visit from a panel sent by the Danish Accreditation Institution. The panel must decide whether the university's quality system is capable of achieving positive accreditation. This accreditation is necessary to allow AU to offer new study programmes from 2019 onwards.

A number of degree programmes were discussed by the panel on the Thursday and Friday, along with answers to questions regarding, in particular, the monitoring of the research basis and the five-year degree programme evaluations. These were the themes that formed the basis of the conditional positive accreditation awarded to Aarhus University in June 2017.

Pro-rector Berit Eika is pleased with the reaccreditation process so far.

"The process has demanded many hours of dedicated effort by lots of members of teaching staff, as well as managers and students, and they all deserve a big thank-you for their undaunted fighting spirit now that we are making our second attempt at accreditation. I hope this will bring us one step closer to being able to offer the new degree programmes we are ready to launch in connection with our engineering and digitisation initiative," says Berit Eika.

The panel is currently preparing a report based on the visit and the supplementary self-evaluation report submitted by AU earlier this year, and the university is expecting consultation on this to take place in September. The final decision will be given at the end of November.

Apply for strategic funding for projects on retention and educational IT

If you have any good ideas on how to improve retention and reduce drop-out rates, or for projects in the field of educational IT, you can apply for strategic educational funding. The deadline for applications is 6 August, and the funds must be spent in 2018.

19 projects over four faculties were granted strategic funding in 2017, and the first experiences from these projects are now in place. Last year saw a broad range of topics being approached, and a number of them have presented solid results, including a pilot project at the Aarhus University School of Engineering which was aimed at secondary schools and a number of business-oriented initiatives for the university's sports students.

Independent Research Fund Denmark offers DKK 1 billion for non-targeted research

Independent Research Fund Denmark is offering DKK 1 billion, and applications are welcomed from researchers all over the country who are engaged in innovative research. 

Open Science Festival 2018 – new ideas in abundance

Researchers, students and industry representatives met on Thursday, 31 May at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center for the Open Science Festival 2018 to celebrate open research collaboration. Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen pointed out in his opening speech that Open Science is persuading industries and researchers to work together on creating shared objectives, as well as relevant and requirement-driven research projects. 

Open Science will also be up for discussion when Aarhus University attends Denmark’s Political Festival on Bornholm in about a week or so. The subject will be up for debate here on Thursday, under the heading "what can we learn from Open Science?".

AU seeking new research-based external member of University Board

AU is currently looking for a new external member for the University Board. This is also the first time that the new appointment procedure for the Board is to be used in practice.

This means that the nomination committee at Aarhus University is now collecting proposals for the new external board member. The committee will then nominate at least two suitable candidates, and the university's selection committee has to choose between them. In other words, the selection committee deals with the final selection of the new external board member.

This will involve searching for someone with a background in international research and who understands the university in a global context. He or she will replace Professor Margareta Wallin Peterson, who will be stepping down on 1 July at the end of her second term in office.  

RejsUd replaces AURUS

Aarhus University will be switching to RejsUd, a new travel expense management system, on 21 August. The new system can automatically calculate distances using Google Maps, and can be accessed from both mobile phones and tablets. All open travel expense reports in AURUS must be dealt with before the summer holidays if possible, and by 1 August at the latest.


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