News from the Senior Management Group no. 19/2011

Merger with the Aarhus School of Engineering approved

The government has just given Aarhus University and the Aarhus School of Engineering the green light to begin negotiating a long-anticipated merger. The merger will strengthen research and degree programmes in engineering, particularly in Central and Western Jutland. The new agreement on professional university colleges is supported by coalition government parties Venstre and the Conservative People's Party, as well as the Danish People's Party, the Social Democrats, and the Danish Social Liberal Party.

When he announced the agreement, Minister of Education Troels Lund Poulsen emphasised that he would give the merger high priority and that he planned introduce a bill in Parliament as soon as possible, so that the merger will be able to take place by 1 January 2012. Aarhus University and the Aarhus School of Engineering will now begin negotiations on the merger. The plan is for Aarhus School of Engineering to become part of Science and Technology.

New deputy directors

The senior management group appointed two new deputy directors last week. The management team which will head AU Administration is now in place.

Maria Volf Lindhardt has been named deputy director for AU Studies Administration. She will start on 1 June. On the same day, Lars Moseholm will take up his responsibilities as deputy director for AU Knowledge, a new directorate which will coordinate outreach and public sector consultancy activities, continuing and adult education, and library services.

ERC grants: AU in European top 15

In connection with the publication of its annual report, the European Research Council (ERC) published a list of the European universities which have attracted the most ERC grants since 2007. AU is number 15 on the list, with a total of eleven starting grants and advanced grants. AU is the only Danish university on the list; Cambridge University is number one.


Call for proposals for new interdisciplinary centres coming up

Researchers at AU will soon be invited to submit proposals for four new interdisciplinary centres. Six new interdisciplinary centres are already planned, and project coordinators have already been appointed for four of these:  Anders Børglum (Centre for iSequencing), Anders Nykjær (Neurocampus),Preben Bo Mortensen (Centre for Integrated Register-based Research) and Søren Rysgaard (Centre for Arctic Research). Two search committees to review possible project coordinators will soon be established for the Centre for Food, Nutrition and Health and the Centre for Global Change and Development.

The process for the proposal and establishment of a new centre involves the submission of a brief preliminary proposal (3-5 pages) by AU researchers (project coordinators). The project coordinators of the proposals selected for consideration will then be asked to submit a detailed application. An  international peer review panel will then evaluate the centre's proposed research programme and strategy. The senior management group will make a final decision with regard to establishment, funding (up to DKK 25 million over a five-year period), and the appointment of a centre director.

A detailed call for proposals and a more thorough description of the application and decision-making process will be published on Tuesday in UNIvers and on the AU website.

Call for AU IDEAS proposals also on the way

A call for AU IDEAS proposals will be published on Tuesday. AU IDEAS is a new collaborative initiative involving AU and AUFF which is aimed at promoting the realisation of original and visionary project ideas. The AUFF Project Development Pool will award grants of up to DKK 500,000 over a five-year period, while the AUFF Pilot Centre will award grants of up to DKK 1.5 million over a three-year to five-year period.

A detailed call for proposals and a more thorough description of the application and decision-making process will be published on Tuesday in UNIvers and on the AU website.

Dialogue meeting on Aarhus University Library

On 26 May, library staff and stakeholder met for a dialogue meeting - the first step in creating the new Aarhus University Library. Pro-Rector Frandsen and Dean Thunø (Arts) of the senior management group participated in the meeting. They both emphasised that the library is a central element in the study environment of the future at AU, and that library services must be an integrated part of the university's research processes and knowledge exchange activities.

As a result of the meeting, a number of groups of library staff will now be appointed to work on recommendations regarding the organisation of Aarhus University Library. The recommendations will be submitted to the senior management group's Aarhus University Library committee. The library process will be initiated in in June, and it is expected that it will be concluded in late October 2011. About 100 staff members participated in the meeting.


  • 15 June: The Rector's summer speech
  • 17 June: AU celebrates
  • 23 June: Main Liaison Committee meeting

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