News from the Senior Management Team no. 23/2013

AU thanked Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen

People thronged the Main Hall and lined up at the lectern when Aarhus University held a farewell reception for  Rector Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, on 21 June.

Representatives from the university world, the political system and the private sector were there to mark the day and look back on eight years of events and achievements.

Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen is stepping down as rector on 6 August and then taking up a three-year post as a special consultant in international university development and educational policy.

Niels Chr. Nielsen new dean at Science and Technology

From 6 August, centre director and professor Niels Chr. Nielsen becomes new Dean at Science and Technology and a member of the senior management team.

Niels Chr. Nielsen, who is currently director of iNANO, is taking over the job of dean from Brian Bech Nielsen, who has been made rector. The position of dean was advertised both in Denmark and abroad, and there were eight candidates for the job. 

Niels Christian Nielsen, 50, is a chemist who received his degree from Aarhus University. His doctoral work was partially carried out at MIT in Boston. He became professor at the Department of Molecular and Structural Biology in 1999, and was appointed professor at the Department of Chemistry in 2004. In 2005 he became head of the basic research centre inSPIN, and he has been director of the iNANO research centre since 2012. Niels Chr. Nielsen has more than 200 publications to his name and has received a string of prestigious research prizes and major research grants. He has also been an active figure in research policy through his work with a number of foundations, boards and councils, most recently the Danish Council for Research Policy.

Greenland research station inaugurated with the crack of a whip

With a well-directed crack of a dog whip at a bottle of champagne, HRH Crown Prince Frederik opened Aarhus University's and the Greenland Self-Government's new research facilities at Daneborg in Northeast Greenland.

The new research station in Daneborg is the result of a collaboration between the Aage V. Jensen Foundation, Aarhus University, the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education and Greenland's Self-Government.

Yesterday, the delegation, which is made up of HRH Crown Prince Frederik, the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard, Greenland's Minister for Education, Research and Nordic Affairs Nick Nielsen, Chairman of the Aage V. Jensen Foundation Leif Skov, Chairman of the Villum Foundation Lars Erik Kann-Rasmussen, Rector of Aarhus University Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen and head of Aarhus University's new Arctic Research Centre Professor Søren Rysgaard, continued to Station North.

New funds for establishing interdisciplinary networks

Before long it will be possible to apply for funding to establish and support academic networks across the main academic areas.

Funding of up to DKK 250,000 a year will be granted for max. three years, with a total of DKK 8 million allocated for the interdisciplinary networks between now and 2016. The networks will serve as a platform for establishing research projects and preparing joint applications for research funding. In the longer term, the networks can be a launch pad for developing interdisciplinary centres.

The notice is expected to be ready by mid-August. Application requirements and assessment criteria will be stated in the notice.

Before being adopted by the senior management team, the proposal was discussed by, for example, the AU Forum for Research 

Funding to prepare for Horizon 2020 applications

Aarhus University is establishing a preparation grant, which will cover some of the expenses incurred in preparing applications for the coming EU Framework programme Horizon 2020.

For example, coordinators will be able to apply for DKK 80,000 to support the application process, while partners can apply for DKK 15,000 to cover e.g. travel and meetings. DKK 3 million a year has been allocated up until mid-2016. 

The final notice will be published in mid-August. Application requirements and assessment criteria will be stated in the notice.

Open for applications for new basic research centre

The Danish National Research Foundation is now open for applications for new Centers of Excellence.

This 8th application round opens in August with a number of information meetings, with Director of the Danish National Research Foundation, Thomas Sinkjær, visiting Danish universities. Aarhus University is hosting the meeting on 26 August at 12.30 in the conference centre on Fredrik Nielsens Vej.

The deadline for declarations of interest is 25 November, and the final application deadline is 28 April 2014. The centres are expected to be able to start at the beginning of 2015.

Moreover, the deadline for expressions of interest in several of the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation's calls is 21 August.

Universities Denmark publishes new statistics

The second part of Universities Denmark's annual statistics has just been published. The figures provide an overview of the university sector and the individual universities' results within, among other things, economics and PhD activity in the period 2007-2012.

In response to a wish from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, university expenses this year have been calculated in a new way which makes it possible to more precisely see the extent to which management and administration costs stem from research, education, knowledge exchange, public sector services, general management etc.

The study figures, which made up the first part of the statistics, were published in February.


  • 13 September: Inaugural reception for Brian Bech Nielsen
  • 13 September: Annual Celebration 2013
  • 24-25 September: Board meeting and seminar

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