News from the Senior Management Team no. 32

Navitas construction resumed

Construction of the Navitas building on the waterfront in Aarhus was resumed on 26 September. The clients, including Aarhus University, have signed an agreement with the contractor A. Enggaard to complete the last 20% of the work. Nothing has happened at the building site since the original contractors, Pihl & Søn,declared bankruptcy on 26 August.

Among other tenants, the Navitas building will house the Aarhus University School of Engineering.

Three basic research centres extended

On the basis of an interim evaluation carried out by panels of international experts, the Danish National Research Foundation has just extended the funding for three basic research centres at Aarhus University, which now have funding until 2019.

The three centres are:

The Centre on Autobiographical Memory Research (CON AMORE), headed by Professor Dorthe Berntsen, has been extended after receiving a grant of DKK 42 million. 

The Centre for Quantum Geometry of Moduli Spaces (QGM), headed by Professor Jørgen Ellegaard Andersen, has been extended after receiving a grant of DKK 35 million.

The Centre for Materials Crystallography (CMC), headed by Professor Bo Brummerstedt Iversen, has been extended after receiving a grant of DKK 55 million.

  • Read more about QGM and CMC

The Danish National Research Foundation also extended six other centres at Danish universities, and reports in a press release that all the centres impressed the international experts.

  • Read the press release from the Danish National Research Foundation (in Danish)

Aarhus University has a total of thirteen basic research centres supported by the Danish National Research Foundation.

Grundfos Prize for AIAS professor from Bioscience

On Thursday 26 September, Professor Niels Peter Revsbech at the Department of Bioscience was awarded the Grundfos Prize of DKK 1 million for his research into sensors and the relationship between microorganisms and the natural conditions under which they live. Among other things, this research has resulted in a ground-breaking understanding of the oxygen and nitrogen cycles in the world's oceans.

While DKK 250,000 of the Grundfos Prize is awarded in personal recognition of the researcher, DKK 750,000 is earmarked directly for research.

Niels Peter Revsbech is also affiliated with the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) as a Jens Christian Skou Senior Fellow. He will be speaking in this autumn's seminar series at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies on 21 October, when he will give a presentation in English entitled"Nitrogen cycling in nature – Observing microbial processes at a microscale".

The AIAS seminar series runs all autumn. It started with a presentation by Marie Braad Lund, Dale T. Mortensen Fellow at AIAS.

ERC Advanced Grant goes to genetics researcher

Torben Heick Jensen, professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, has received an Advanced Grant in the Life Sciences category from the European Research Council (ERC).

The title of the project which is being funded is Eukaryotic Regulated RNA Catabolism (EURECA). 

Torben Heick Jensen, who heads the basic research centre the Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism, conducts research into the quality control of genome expression at both DNA and RNA level and has been working at Aarhus University since 2001.

The latest round of Advanced Grants saw EUR 660 million being awarded under the EU's Framework Programme FP7. The next Advanced Grants will be awarded under the Excellent Science column of the new EU research framework programme, Horizon 2020. 

New head of the Department of Forensic Medicine

Associate professor of forensic chemistry Christian Lindholst takes up his appointment on 1 October as new head of the Department of Forensic Medicine. Forty-year-old Christian Lindholst holds a PhD in biology and chemistry, and has been affiliated with the department since 2005. After having served as head of the department's narcotics section for a number of years, in 2012 he became as deputy head of department with responsibility for knowledge exchange.

Christian Lindholst replaces Annie Vesterby Charles, who has been head of the department since 2005. She is continuing as state-appointed forensic pathologist at the department. 

Closer collaboration with University of York

Aarhus University has just signed a collaboration agreement with the University of York out of a common desire to intensify an already strong partnership. The intention is, among other things, to investigate the possibility of double degrees at PhD level.

Dean Mette Thunø signed the agreement in connection with a visit to the University of York the week before last, and last week a delegation from York returned the visit with a trip to Aarhus. Here, academically-oriented meetings had been organised within history, languages, iNano as well as physics and astronomy. The representatives from York also learned about Aarhus University's research support unit and the university's talent development programme and paid a visit to the International Centre.

Students working for ministry

Last Tuesday 24 September, 20 students from different degree programmes at Aarhus University were welcomed as new employees at the Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs.

This happened when the minister, Carsten Hansen, opened the mini-department which was based at Aarhus University in connection with the ministry's week-long relocation project.

The mini-department served as a base for the ministry's various activities in East Jutland, and the students spent the entire week working on specific projects which were presented to the minister at the end of the project on Friday.

Feature articles in national newspapers by Allan Flyvbjerg and Søren E. Frandsen

On Saturday 21 September, the Danish newspaper Berlingske published an article by Dean Allan Flyvbjerg that warned that Denmark’s strong research position within the analysis of registry data is in danger due to an extremely unfortunate conflict of interests. The feature article’s co-authors were Peter Munk Christiansen, chairman of the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) and professor at Aarhus University, and Niels Borregaard, chairman of the Danish Council for Independent Research, Medical Sciences (FSS), and professor at the University of Copenhagen.

And on Friday 27 September, Pro-Rector Søren E. Frandsen and chair of InnoTech under Universities Denmark had a feature article in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten on technology transfer from universities to the business community. Frandsen’s article warns against the media’s narrow focus on the universities' earnings from technology transfer. Focus should be shifted to discussing an even closer and more trust-based collaboration between the universities and the business sector, including the development of new models and platforms for collaboration.


  • 3 October: Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with Rector Brian Bech Nielsen
  • 9 October: The senior management team meets with the Department of Culture and Society
  • 6 November: University Board meeting
  • 13 November: The senior management team meets with the Department of Business Communication
  • 11 December: The senior management team meets with the Department of Biomedicine

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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