News from the Senior Management Team no. 7/2013

Letter threat against Taasingegade buildings was a false alarm

The letter threat against university buildings at Taasingegade was a false alarm. This is the conclusion reached by East Jutland Police after searching the entire area and the buildings 1440, 1441, 1442, 1443, 1444 and 1447.

The letter threat - written in Danish - was found Monday 4 March, 07.41 a.m. at a door leading into building 1442.

Employees and students were quickly evacuated, and the police searched the buildings without finding anything suspicious.


Extensive follow-up on WPA launched

The results of the psychological WPA have highlighted a number of areas for follow-up in the coming period.

Problems and possible solutions are already being discussed in the academic and administrative units and on the staff website, medarbejdere.au.dk. Here, you will find interviews with union representatives and managers as well as a number of postings on the debate site. The senior management team has also expressed its views in speeches and contributions to the debate, and we will continue to do so.

We wish to improve the work environment at Aarhus University and will, in dialogue with the employees, find out how to make the necessary adjustments. This could, e.g., be to improve the contact between administrative staff, researchers and students.

We must quickly and systematically follow up on the results, but it is important that we do not rush the follow-up process and that employees at all levels are involved.

At the level of the main areas, the liaison committees and occupational health and safety organisations have held meetings this week:

Arts: The Faculty Liaison Committee (FSU) and the Faculty Occupational Health and Safety Committee (FAMU) met on 1 March to decide on a final action plan, and local and central follow-up will be started immediately after the meeting

Science and Technology: FSU and FAMU held a joint meeting on 27 February, and dialogue meetings will be held at the departments in March.

Health: The WPA advisory group held a meeting on 28 February, and work has started on preparing local action plans

Business and Social Sciences: FSU and FAMU held a meeting on 28 February, and the departments’ local liaison committees will hold dialogue meetings in the coming weeks

AU Administration: The WPA advisory group held a meeting on 28 February, and local processes will be initiated in the local WPA contact groups in the administrative divisions 


Expert committee to investigate Greenland’s natural resources

Aarhus University is represented on a university committee that will look into how Greenland’s geological resources can be exploited for the benefit of both the development of Greenlandic society and relations between Greenland and Denmark.

Ilisimatusarfik (the University of Greenland) and a number of Danish universities are represented in the committee, which has the backing from Greenland’s premier, Kuupik Kleist, and the Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

The university committee will, e.g., analyse how the extraction of resources can lead to sustainable growth and employment.


Aarhus University’s new research vessel now named

Aarhus University’s new research vessel will be named Aurora.

The vessel, which will be ready for service in summer 2014, will be named after the Roman Goddess of the Dawn.

The vessel is the first newly constructed Danish research vessel since the construction of Dana more than 30 years ago. The new vessel will enable the researchers to better investigate and understand marine ecosystems and thus benefit all Danish oceanographers and many new students. Fourteen persons can go on expeditions for up to ten days at a time.


AU participates in scholarship programme for developing countries

Last week, Universities Denmark and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark launched a new scholarship programme that will allow talented Bachelor’s degree graduates from developing countries to embark on a Master’s degree or Master programme in Denmark.

A total of 60 student FTEs are offered to selected partner universities in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Nepal.

Aarhus University offers scholarships for programmes within four academic platforms:

  • Growth and Employment
  • Environment and Climate
  • Stability, Democracy and Rights
  • Human Health

The scholarship programme forms part of the ‘Building Stronger Universities in Developing Countries’ initiative which contributes to building strong research and educational institutions in developing countries.


ERC awaiting negotiations on Horizon 2020

The European Research Council (ERC) has still not published the application deadlines for next year’s ERC Grants. The ERC is awaiting the EU budget negotiations which will determine the size of the new Horizon 2020 research programme. 

Horizon 2020 is proposed as a EUR 80 billion funding programme, and most recently a number of research and industrial leaders have, in an open letter, called on EU politicians to escalate investments in research and innovation.

Each year, the ERC awards grants within four categories: Starting Grants, Advanced Grants, Consolidator Grants og Synergy Grants (see a flyer describing the grants under ’ERC Grant Schemes’)


Calendar

  • 5 March: University Board meeting at 15.00
  • 5 March: Inauguration of new research centre, DANDRITE and EMBL partnership
  • 18-19 March: Management seminar

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 info.au.dk/medarbbreve, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Team, please go to info.au.dk/medarbbreve/index.asp. The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/. You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/2013.