News from the Senior Management Team no. 40/2011

Agreement on allocation of research funds reached in 2012 finance bill

The government has concluded an agreement with  Venstre - the Liberal Party of Denmark, the Danish People's Party, the Red-Green Alliance,  Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party on the allocation of funding earmarked for research (the "research reserve") for 2012.

A total of  DKK 986 million kroner have been earmarked for research and innovation from the research reserve, which has accumulated DKK 686 million. The parties involved negotiated an additional DKK 300 million to supplement.

As a consequence of the agreement, Danish universities will receive an additional DKK 229 million in basic research funding, which means that total funding for basic research will increase by DKK 15 million to DKK 8.25 billion.  The Danish Council for Independent Research will receive DKK 113 million from the reserve in 2012, which will enable it to retain the same level of financing as in 2011. The DKK 113 million grant is earmarked for the research career programme Sapere Aude, which supports promising junior researchers.

In the area of strategic  research, DKK 120 million has been earmarked for energy research; DKK 40 million has been earmarked for environmental research; and DKK 40 million has been earmarked to food research. Innovation will receive DKK 90 million. The "Knowledge Pilot" and Industrial PhD programmes will receive DKK 15 million. Innovation promotion projects which help researchers start their own businesses will receive DKK 25 million, and the Advanced Technology Group will receive DKK 10 million to support research on sustainable construction with a special focus on solar energy.

DKK 28 million have been earmarked for educational research. The grant is earmarked for practically oriented PhD stipends for research on learning processes in collaboration with the professional university colleges. Aarhus University is responsible for the administration of the stipends (read more in Danish).

That it has been possible to maintain 2011 levels of funding thanks to a broad multilateral agreement is positive. The Danish Parliament has demonstrated that it intends to continue investing in research, talent development, knowledge exchange and education. The agreement also acknowledges that  basic research as performed by the university system is the foundation of the entire system of higher education, which represents real progress.


Academy Council proposal ready for by-laws committee

The formal consultation process for the proposed new structure for AU's academic councils is over, and the report will now be considered by the Board's by-laws committee in the context of a revision of the university's by-laws. The by-laws committee is responsible for drafting amended by laws to be submitted to the Board for approval. After the Board approves the amended by-laws, they must also be amended by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

The complex and lengthy process of developing a new model for the university's academic councils,which began in April with a seminar involving all of the current academic councils at Sandbjerg Manor, is now drawing to a close.

The university must submit the amended by-laws to the ministry before 1 March 2012.


Positive development in bibliometric research indicators

In 2012, Aarhus University scored 5,354 points on the bibliometric research indicator, an increase of ten per cent over 2009, while the Danish university sector as a whole experienced an average increase of 5.3  per cent, according to the latest figures from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Aarhus University was thus responsible for 25.9 per cent of the total number of bibliometric points earned by Danish universities - up from 24.7 per cent in 2009.

On the national level, all four fields (HUM, SAM, SUN and NAT/TEK) increased the total number of points scored, while HUM and SAM increased the total proportion of points scored over 2009.

AU saw progress in almost all publication types. There was an increase in the number of articles published (level 1 and 2),a s well as in the number of monographs and doctoral theses.  However, there was a minor decrease in contributions to anthologies.


Formal consultation on vision for Aarhus University Library

A proposal for AU's new library structure, Aarhus University Library, has been submitted to the main academic areas, administrative divisions, students and the State and University Library for consultation. The report is the work of a broadly representative working group, and is based on meetings with library staff, presentations by international experts, and other input. The report proposes changes to the structure, goals and physical location of Aarhus University Library.

The deadline for comments from the parties involved in the formal consultation is 6 December.


New occupational health and safety organisation on the way

AU's new health and occupational safety committee organisation will be headed by a broadly representative AU occupational health and safety committee, which will consist of a chairman, a representative from the senior management team, a staff representative from each main academic area as well as AU Administration, and two student observers.

The senior management team reached its final decision on the new organisation on the background of a report prepared by an interim health and occupational safety committee over the past few months.  The process was initiated in order to ensure that the university's system of health and occupational safety committees is appropriate to its new structure.

The next step will be to determine the appropriate number of health and occupational safety groups and to elect representatives to health and occupational safety groups and committees.  Additional information on elections for occupational health and safety representatives will be available in the near future. The election is scheduled for December 2011, and all staff members are eligible for candidacy.


Dean Allan Flyvbjerg receives 2011 Erhoff Prize

Dr Flyvbjerg, Dean at Health, Aarhus University, received the 2011 Erhoff Prize at a ceremony at Carlsberg Academy in Valby. The prize includes a monetary award of DKK 250,000. This is the first time the prize has gone to a researcher from Aarhus University.

The prize was established in 2008, and is awarded each year to an institution or person who 'has made an extraordinary, internationally recognised contribution to the understanding or treatment of illness, including the prevention of illness'.


  • 21 November: Visit by Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education
  • 28: Inauguration of "IT Corner" (IT-hjørnet)  in IT City Katrinebjerg
  • 30 November - 1 December: University management seminar at Sandbjerg Manor
  • 6 December: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 15 December: Meeting of University Board
  • 15 December: the rector's Christmas Speech; 3 pm in the Main Hall

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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