You are here: AU  Research Research Centres Centres of Excellence

Centres of Excellence

In addition to basic research centres, Aarhus University has a considerable number of other research centres – see a list of the other major research centres

At present, the Danish National Research Foundation finances more than 40 centres. 14 Centres of Excellence  are located at Aarhus University, as well as three Danish-Chinese research centres, funded by the Danish National Research Foundation:


The aim of Carbon Dioxide Activation Center (CADIAC) is to unveil fundamentally new science for the activation of carbon dioxide (CO2), thereby providing smart sustainable solutions for the exploitation of this molecule as a valuable reagent to high-value chemicals of industrial importance. 


Centre for DNA Nanoteknologi - CDNA

The research at CDNA is dedicated to exploring DNA as a programmable tool for assembling molecules and materials.

Centre for Insoluble Protein Structures (INSPIN)

The mission of the Centre for Insoluble Protein Structures (inSPIN) is to develop and apply new methods for analysis of proteins in insoluble biological structures, including membrane proteins, fibrillating proteins, and extracellular matrix proteins.

Centre for Carbohydrate Recognition and Signaling - CARB

The aim and ambition of the centre is to understand interactions between cells and organisms by investigating the role of polysaccharides exposed on cell surfaces and secreted polysaccharide signal molecules.

Centre for Quantum Geometry of Moduli Spaces - QGM

Classical and quantum mechanics rests on solid mathematical foundations. In contrast, quantum field theory, which plays a central role in modern theoretical physics, lacks a mathematical foundation. The major challenge of the centre is to discover the mathematical mechanisms to define quantum field theory as a mathematical entity, to justify mathematically the recipes used by physicists, and to unify quantum theory with gravity.

Centre for MAssive Data ALGOrithmics - MADALGO

The main motivation behind the centre is the rapid increasing availability of massive high-quality data, and the desire to be able to access and process this data on many diverse computing platforms.

Centre for Materials Crystallography - CMC

CMC has access to the world’s largest and most advanced radiation research facilities in the USA and Japan – direct partners in the centre. The aim is to create an international leading center for fundamental materials research, where strong competences within synthesis, characterisation and theoretic modelling are combined to a unique platform that can handle some of the great challenges in materials science.

Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism

The centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism investigates functional and structural aspects of the formation, regulation and quality control of messenger RNA (mRNA) nucleoprotein particles (mRNPs). Our goal is to understand the molecular organisation underlying the functionality of mRNPs.

Center for Music in the Brain

Center for Music in the Brain is an interdisciplinary research centre aiming to address the dual questions of how music is processed in the brain and how this can inform our understanding of fundamental principles behind brain functioning in general

Centre for Research in Econometric Analysis of Time Series - CREATES

The focused research areas can be categorized as follows: Theoretical time series econometrics with particular emphasis on long memory, persistence, and optimal inference, empirical modelling of asset returns and volatility, non-linear time series modelling and Time Series Forecasting.

Center for Geomicrobiology

The Center for Geomicrobiology studies the interactions between microorganisms and geochemical processes in the Earth's largest ecosystem - the deep biosphere.

Stellar Astrophysics Centre

The purpose of the Stellar Astrophysics Centre is to study the stars and their planetary systems based on a comprehensive strategy that seeks to produce a complete picture of the structure, atmosphere and magnetic activity of the stars and the planets in their orbit. The centre plans to combine new observations from the Kepler space telescope and data from the so-called SONG (Stellar Observations Network Group) network of telescopes with advanced data analysis and theoretical models.

Centre on Autobiographical Memory Research - CON AMORE

The centre integrates many different aspects of autobiographical memory research, including basic autobiographical memory research with adults, development of autobiographical memory from infancy to young adulthood and dysfunctional aspects of autobiographical memory, such as in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and amnesia.

Centre for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease - PUMPKIN

The focus of the PUMPKIN Centre is to analyse the structure and function of pumps that are found in all cells of all plants and animals and accordingly investigate how the pumps work.

Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet)

The centre is aiming at comparing the archaeology of urbanism from Medieval Northern Europe to the Ancient Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean World and determine how, and to what extent, urban networks catalyzed societal and environmental expansions and crises in the past.

The Sino-Danish Center for the Theory of Interactive Computation - CTIC

The centre will perform basic research in the field of theoretical computer science. Theoretical computer science is the mathematical discipline which forms the foundation for the IT systems of the future. The centre’s research focus areas are computational complexity theory, cryptography, quantum information theory, and algorithmic game theory. CTIC is a collaboration between the Computer Science Department at Aarhus University, Denmark and ITCS, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Danish-Chinese Centre for Self-Assembly and Function of Molecular Nanostructures on Surfaces

Self-assembly of molecules and molecular recognition underlies all processes of living organisms and the self-assembly and function of molecular nanostructures is therefore a central theme within the emerging field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The exploration of molecular interactions at the molecular level is important to the fundamental understanding of how the immensely complex processes of the molecular machinery in Nature operate. It also provides insight into molecular mechanisms in chemical processes and enables us to design artificial self-assembled structures with desired properties and functions.

Danish-Chinese Centre for Proteases and Cancer

One of the most important purposes of cancer research is development of new methods for metastasis-inhibiting treatment of cancer patients. The activities of “Danish-Chinese Centre for Proteases and Cancer” aims at developing exactly such methods. The centre works with a group of protein-degrading enzymes, which has been shown to play an important role in cancer spread. These enzymes enable the cancer cells to degrade the surrounding normal tissue, allowing the cancer cells to spread to the entire body.

The Danish National Research Foundation

The Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) The foundation works at strengthening Danish research through larger-scale investment in long-term basic research endeavours. The main strategy of the foundation is to establish and fund Centres of Excellence. Since 1991, the foundation has committed itself to supporting the Danish research environments with more than DKK 6 billion.