2016 Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II’s Travel Grant to students at Aarhus University

The award was established in 2010 as a present to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe on the occasion of The Queen’s 70th birthday, and widened in 2012 on the occasion of The Queen’s 40th Jubilee. A total of four awards are granted, one to a student at each of the four main academic areas. Two of the awards are always reserved for a student of political science (The School of Business and Social Sciences) and a student of archaeology (The Faculty of Arts), as The Queen studied these subjects as a student at Aarhus University in 1961-62. The award of DKK 25,000 is intended to enable the award winners to spend a study period abroad in connection with their studies at Aarhus University.


Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University

Jesper Borre Pedersen completed his Bachelor’s degree in prehistoric archaeology in January 2016. During his studies, he has demonstrated a passionate interest in his subject, prehistoric archaeology, and quickly mastered all of the fundamental aspects of archaeology, with high marks in period, theoretical and methodological courses.

Jesper Borre Pedersens Bachelor’s project has been described as ground-breaking, because it challenges previous conceptions of the history of the earliest settlements in Scandinavia. In his project, Jesper Borre Pedersen presents a convincing argument that all of the tools found at the oldest Danish Hamburg culture settlements were made by the same people. His project may result in one or more important articles in international and Danish journals.

HM Queen Margrethe II's Travel Grant will enable Jesper Borre Pedersen to study flint material from sites in Denmark and the rest of northwestern Europe. He will also use the travel grant to finance participation in an international conference in London, where he will present his results and develop his international network.


Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University

Sofie H. Lautrup is working on the first part of her PhD project in molecular biology. She completed her Bachelor’s degree with high marks, and was admitted to the graduate school’s 3+5 scheme in 2014. 

In her research project, Sofie is investigating the positive effects on the brain of certain substances produced by the body during exercise, which include cognitive skills in elderly. In the longer term, Sofie’s project is expected to contribute to new forms of prevention and therapy. The preliminary results of her research are promising, and she expect to be able to publish her work in an internationally recognised journal in the coming year.

Sofie is not only a very talented, committed and energetic student. She has also worked as a student counsellor for molecular biology and students and has taken on teaching in connection with demanding courses for younger students as well as lab sections for primary and secondary school pupils in the context of her job as an internship coordinator at the university.

She will use the travel grant in connection with an eight-month research stay at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States, where she will have access to unique mouse models which will be of great benefit to her research.


Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University

Sophie Brinck is a Master’s student on the medical programme at Aarhus University, where she not only receives high marks on a demanding programme but also participates actively in a variety of academic and social activities.

Her primary research interests are genetics and infectious diseases, and she has completed a research year at Aarhus University Hospital’s Department of Infectious Diseases.
Sophie is energetic, goal-oriented and competitive, both in and outside the laboratory, and has a silver medal in the Danish triathlon championships in the Ironman competition. She brings the same energy and drive to her daily work in and outside the lab.  In addition to her research project and her studies, she has also been a member of the board of the PhD association and co-organiser of PhD Day 2016.

She will use the travel grant to participate in an international conference or congress at which she hopes to present her research in connection with her PhD. 


Department of Political Science, Aarhus University

Johan Gøtzsche-Astrup has received top marks in a wide variety of subjects and is one of the very best students in his class. At the department, he has worked as a student adviser and student teacher in political sociology. He has also been a member of the student council Statsrådet and has helped organise talks on political sociology at at conference at the department.

Now Johan Gøtzsche-Astrup has completed his Bachelor’s degree in political science and is preparing to take a one-year course in political sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“I hope to bring many of these insights home to Denmark, so that Danish business and industry can benefit from a nuanced understanding of the relationship between political institutions and the market,” he says.

When Johan Gøtzsche Astrup is not immersed in his studies, he runs, plays footback or reads, preferably late 18th century British literature or one of the major Russian novels. He is also strongly committed to helping the socially marginalised, and has volunteered for Save the Children.