News from the senior management team no. 28/2019

Several encouraging points in the agreement on research reserve funds 

Comments from Rector Brian Bech Nielsen

An united Folketing has agreed on allocation of the research reserve funds for 2020. I would like to acknowledge that the Minister for Higher Education and Science has managed to establish a broad agreement that balances the way in which the funds are to be used. I hope that we in the sector can look forward to more broad agreements.

It is also positive that the climate and green transition have also received the necessary consideration. We are facing major upheavals in society, and the clear green imprint in the agreement is a strong and important signal.

I also see that the thematic initiatives are relatively broadly formulated. In my experience, the best results are generated when researchers are left to formulate their own projects as far as possible.

I am also delighted that the Grundtvig Study Centre will be well catered for in 2020. I see this as confirmation that politicians recognise the weight and significance of the project."

Lone Ryg Olsen is the new head of enterprise and innovation at AU

Aarhus University has appointed Lone Ryg Olsen as the new head of enterprise and innovation. She comes from a position as the CEO of the Danish Food Cluster; the leading collaboration organisation for food innovation in Denmark.

Lone Ryg Olsen will head the university's newly established focus area for business and innovation and she will be part of the university's central business committee, which consists of the senior management team. She will take up her position on 1 February 2020.

After the investigation of DCA reports, we’re cleaning up and looking ahead

Email from Acting Dean Lars Henrik Andersen to employees at Science and Technology.

We’ve now finished investigating DCA’s reports based on collaborations with external partners for the past five years. You’ve probably read about this in the press, and some of you have been directly involved in this very extensive and demanding work. I’d like to acknowledge and thank you all for the hard work you have put in. We now have an overview, so we can rectify the mistakes of the past and at the same time look ahead.

As far as I can see, the investigation of the reports shows that our researchers can vouch for their choices of method, as well as their results and conclusions. That being so, it is also clear that there have been shortcomings regarding declarations and independence in relation to external partners. Some of the errors revealed by the investigation are less serious. But there are reports in which transparency in the collaboration has been seriously deficient. This means that readers may doubt our credibility. Clearly this does us no good at all. We have decided to present the missing information in full to give the public a comprehensive insight into the how the reports were prepared. We did this using digital inserts in the actual reports themselves (link).

Science and Technology will and must continue to collaborate with public authorities, the business community and special interest organisations. Regardless of the subject area, we must be clear, aware and responsible with regard to our research integrity throughout the process; all the way from project start to publication. We’ve prepared guidelines to make the framework for external collaboration more transparent. If you have any questions, your managers are available to clarify any dilemmas that inevitably may arise in connection with a research project. In conclusion, I’d like to stress that I will continue with you to defend the values behind good and sound research and communication.

Vote in the university elections

From Monday 11 November, you can vote for the candidate you want in your local board of studies, academic council, PhD committee and in the University Board. This year, both staff and students will be able to vote in the university elections, and the senior management team encourages everyone to do so. Votes can be submitted electronically until 4:00 pm on 14 November.

Senior managers from upper secondary schools and Aarhus University discuss gender and education

This week, Pro-rector Berit Eika welcomed senior managers from Aarhus University and 40 upper secondary schools from all over Denmark to a networking day under the theme "The gendered study choice – true or false?". It was clear that there was broad agreement among the 90 participants that there is a lack of diversity in many subjects and degree programmes. 

AU announces call for tenders for cleaning services in 52 buildings

On 1 November, Aarhus University announced its call for tenders for cleaning services. After this, a two-phase process will follow, to culminate in spring 2020 with a final decision as to who will be responsible for cleaning in the future. The employees affected will continue to be involved through their immediate supervisors as well as the liaison committee system.

Arnold Boon on phishing: Don’t be ashamed if you take the bait...

Phishing emails are becoming more and more sophisticated, both in terms of appearance and method, which poses a huge threat to our digital security and means that we as individuals really have to stay on our toes. University Director Arnold Boon calls for awareness openness and quick reaction for those who fall into the phishing trap.

Flagship grant for excavation at Caesar's Forum in Rome

The Aarhus University Research Foundation has allocated DKK 10 million (EUR 1.3 million) to an international excavation project at Caesar's Forum at the heart of Rome. Professor Rubina Raja is the head of the basic research centre, Centre for Urban Network Evolutions, and he is spearheading the project together with The Danish Institute in Rome.

AUFF flagships are a new type of grant to support extraordinary research activities at Aarhus University. The grant requires collaboration with one or more national players, and there has been an expectation that the project has also obtained funding from one or more other foundations. The selected project is a collaboration with Carlsberg Foundation and it has been through an international review as part of the selection process.

Creativity was the theme of Aarhus Symposium 

Under the theme "Mastering Creativity", Aarhus Symposium once again attracted a full house, with presentations by a number of CEOs from some of Denmark's largest companies. Aarhus Symposium was organised by students at Aarhus BSS and was held on Friday, 1 November. 

Commemoration of the victims of the 1944 bombing 

Thursday 31 October 2019 marked 75 years since the Royal Air Force bombed the Gestapo offices in residence hall 4 and 5 at Aarhus University. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen laid a wreath in memory of the builders and the sutler who lost their lives during the bombing. The wreath laying was part of a remembrance ceremony organised by a group of people interested in history, including eyewitnesses to the bombing.


The senior management team publishes a weekly newsletter. This includes details of decisions and initiatives from the Senior Management Team, plus current activities and discussions.