News from the Senior Management Team no. 8/2013

Brian Bech Nielsen appointed new rector

Current Dean at Science and Technology, Brian Bech Nielsen, will take over the post of rector when Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen’s term of office ends in August.

The Aarhus University Board was unanimous in its decision to appoint the 55-year-old physicist, whose contract will run for six years. In making its selection, the University Board emphasised Brian Bech Nielsen's considerable  research, teaching and leadership experience.

Brian Bech Nielsen was awarded a PhD from Aarhus University in 1987, and has previously headed the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He is also a long-standing member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and is also a member of the Danish Council for Independent Research – Natural Sciences.

Strategy 2013-2020 adopted by the University Board

At a meeting on 5 March, the Aarhus University Board adopted the strategy for the 2013-2020 period.

The strategy builds on the university's four core activities: research, education, talent development and knowledge exchange, and thus continues the course set by the strategy for 2008-2012.

In general, the strategy has three strategic priorities which will determined the framework for the prioritisation of initiatives and drive developments at Aarhus University:

Basic research and core disciplines of the highest quality will, together with interdisciplinary research, help to create research breakthroughs, while strong research-based study programmes for all students will be combined with extra challenges for the most talented and motivated students. Finally, the high concentration and mobility of talent at all levels will be realised through the extensive internationalisation of the teaching and research environments.

The strategy builds on wide-ranging work which has lasted more than a year with input from the university's four main academic areas and the four AUcommittees for research, education, talent development and knowledge exchange. In November-December 2012, the strategy was considered by the academic councils, interdisciplinary fora, student organisations, the university's main liaison committee (HSU) and by the main academic areas. Each year, a progress review of the strategy  will be followed up on by an identification of the priorities for the next 12 months.

New European centre for advanced brain research opens in Aarhus

The European flagship in basic life sciences research, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), is now joining forces with Aarhus University as its Danish partner. In so doing, Denmark – in line with Norway, Sweden and Finland – becomes a member of the Nordic EMBL partnership in molecular medicine. The partnership was established in 2007 and, in connection with the inauguration in Aarhus, is being extended for another 10 years.

DANDRITE, or the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience, will strengthen Danish research on molecular and translational neuroscience.

The inauguration ceremony took place last week in the Main Hall. The establishment of the centre was made possible through the Lundbeck Foundation, and the international expert assessment was performed jointly by the Danish Council for Independent Research and the Lundbeck Foundation.

Søren K. Moestrup wins Novo Nordisk Prize

Professor Søren K. Moestrup, who heads the MEMBRANES centre at Aarhus University, has been awarded the Novo Nordisk Prize, considered one of Denmark's most important research awards.

Søren K. Moestrup is being recognised for his ground-breaking studies of cells' transport receptors and their significance for disease development.

The Novo Nordisk Prize is awarded each year in recognition of outstanding medical research. The prize includes a sum of DKK 1.5 million.


  • 18-19 March: Management seminar

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