News from the senior management team no. 32/2017

Research reserve funds: More funding for non-earmarked research

The research reserve funds for 2018 total just over DKK 1,010 million against DKK 555 million in 2017, while Independent Research Fund Denmark is receiving DKK 45 million more from the research reserve funds than originally called for in the government’s proposal. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen welcomes this positive development. But at the same time, he finds it questionable that the research reserve funds are now also being used to patch budgetary holes which they have not previously been used to finance.

Next call for tenders for public-sector consultancy announced

On Thursday 2 November, the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark announced the next public sector consultancy services to be put out to tender.

Before the summer holidays this year, the ministry announced that all public sector consultancy service areas will be put out to tender in the coming years. This round of tenders concerns contracts which are currently handled by the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) at Aarhus University: the focus areas air and emissions (DKK 37 million/year) under the framework agreement Air, Emissions and Risk Assessment, and the focus area species and dry nature under the framework agreement Nature and Water (DKK 20 million/year). Also included are tasks which are currently handled by the University of Copenhagen.

The calls for tender are scheduled for mid-2018. In connection with the two latest tenders for wildlife management and the monitoring of wolves, DCE won both contracts. According to the management, the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy is strongly geared to tackling this challenging task.

Full house at Aarhus Symposium

On Friday 3 November, Aarhus BSS hosted the seventh big student-run Aarhus Symposium event. Under the heading ‘Management through change’, the event featured such prominent speakers as European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, former Danish minister of finance Bjarne Corydon, and Lars Rohde, governor of Danmarks Nationalbank.

Both Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and Dean Thomas Pallesen have high praise for the dedication and competence of the student organisers which resulted in such an impressive programme. 

Thirty-eight student volunteers from Aarhus University were behind the event, which helps build bridges between the university and business and industry. This year, more than 650 students from Aarhus University participated as well as 150 VIP invitees.  

Work begins on a new framework agreement with the ministry

The senior management team and the University Board have started work on a new contract with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. It is Aarhus University’s goal to align the new strategic framework contract with the ministry with the university’s action plan in the coming years.

Aarhus University will be holding its first negotiation meeting with the ministry on 27 November for a preliminary discussion of the contract’s outcome goals. This will be followed by a consultation process at the university.

Restore good cooperation between research and agriculture

Together with Peter Henriksen, head of the Department of Bioscience, and Erik Steen Kristensen, head of the Department of Agroecology, Dean Niels Christian Nielsen is calling for the restoration of the historically good relationship between farmers and researchers in Denmark. The article, which was published in Altinget’s environmental section, comes in the wake of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council’s negative rhetoric about Aarhus University which has been going on for some time. The authors point out that there are several examples of successful cooperation between the parties, and that the university’s researchers exclusively work to contribute to fundamental scientific knowledge  – for the benefit of research, the industry, citizens and, not least, the politicians who have to make decisions.

Millions for research into teacher education and primary and lower secondary schooling

The PhD Council for Educational Research under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science has awarded DKK 30 million to 12 PhD projects which aim to help develop teaching at teacher training colleges for the benefit of teaching practices at primary and lower secondary schools.

All the PhD grants are based on collaboration between a university college and a university. Five of the 12 PhD projects are based at Aarhus University in collaboration with either the university college UCC or the Metropolitan University College.


  • 8–11 November: RE-Value – RethinkIMPACTS 2017 conference
  • 9 November: Joint meeting between the Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee/Main Liaison Committee
  • 9 November:  Two Villum Investigator grants inaugurated at ST
  • 13 November:  275th anniversary of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
  • 14 November:  50th anniversary of Universities Denmark
  • 23 November: Aarhus University hosts the Coimbra network’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of Erasmus(+)
  • 12 December: Aarhus University Board meeting



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