News from the Senior Management Team no. 6/2012

Three AU PhD students offered international career opportunity with EliteForsk prize

On Thursday 9 February, three young researchers from Aarhus University were honoured at the annual EliteForsk (elite research) conference.

The three PhD students Ian Zerny, Peter Arendorf Bache and Søren Dinesen Østergaard were each awarded the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education's EliteForsk travel grant of DKK 300,000. The grant will allow the talented researchers to study abroad for an extended period of time and strengthen their contact with international research environments.

On the same date, the ten AU recipients of the Danish Council for Independent Research’s Sapere Aude grant in the young elite researcher category were also celebrated. In December 2011, the ten young researchers received funding of between DKK 1 and 4.5 million to financially kick-start a promising research career.


iNANO – ten years in the fast lane

iNANO celebrated its 10th anniversary on Monday 6 February. When Professor Flemming Besenbacher first introduced the idea of iNANO, it was met with internal resistance, but Besenbacher insisted and the idea became a reality.

Over the past decade, the interdisciplinary centre has become an internationally recognised leading research centre. Not least due to the now retired director of iNano, Professor Flemming Besenbacher. In addition to celebrating the anniversary, the ceremony also served to welcome Flemming Besenbacher's successor as centre director, Professor Niels Chr. Nielsen. Besenbacher will continue as a professor at iNANO while serving in his new position as chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation.


Opening of cancer vaccine development centre

Friday 10 February marked the official opening of the Genome Research Center. The Genome Research Center is the first European subsidiary of the recognised Chinese Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI). It was decided to place the centre in Denmark because its activities are conducted in close collaboration between BGI, the world's largest gene sequencing centre, and researchers from four Danish universities, including Aarhus University.

The three other universities are University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and University of Aalborg. Called the Danish Platform for Large-scale Sequencing and Bioinformatics, the partnership also includes two Danish businesses: Bavarian Nordic A/S and Genomic Expression ApS. One of the specific research objectives of the centre is to prevent cancer by developing vaccines.

Pro-Rector Søren E. Frandsen participated in the official opening of the centre with the Chinese ambassador to Denmark, Xie Hangsheng, the President of BGI, Professor Huanming Yang, the Executive Director of BGI, Professor Jun Wang, who is affiliated with both Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen, as well as Carsten Orth Gaarn-Larsen, Managing Director of the Advanced Technology Foundation, and Prorector Thomas Bjørnholm, University of Copenhagen.

For Aarhus University, the Chinese connection dates back to the 1980s, where Professor Lars Bolund established a research partnership with Beijing Genomics Institute.



  • 15 February: Deadline for comments in development contract consultation
  • 27 February: Kick-off date for heads of department development course
  • 29 February: Meeting of University Board
  • 15 March: Debate meeting on foreign policy with Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal
  • 28-29 March: Management seminar

Kind regards

The Senior Management Team

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