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EU rewards Aarhus University's new initiative

At the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), researchers can carry out their own work in an international, multidisciplinary environment – regardless of whether their research fits into one strategy or another. The European Union sees enormous potential in this initiative, and has chosen to support AIAS with a grant of DKK 46 million.

2014.02.03 | Ida Hammerich Nielson

The Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) opened in June 2013 and is part of Aarhus University’s focus on research and talent development. The ambition is to strengthen the university’s position as one of the most attractive places in Europe for early career researchers. AIAS is an independent institute at Aarhus University and will eventually host approximately thirty-five fellows at a time.

Researchers at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) are driven by sheer curiosity. Here there are no overall strategies or predetermined common goals. And this has now been rewarded. The institute has just been awarded DKK 46 million – the largest grant ever received by Aarhus University from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). According to Executive Director Morten Kyndrup, the grant shows that AIAS is internationally regarded as having considerable potential.

“Exciting things happen when talented researchers from all over the world are given an opportunity to pursue their own ideas and concentrate on their own research in a multidisciplinary environment. Sparks fly – cutting across the different disciplines – and this can lead to alternative types of breakthroughs. An art historian and a physicist, for example, have just started working together at AIAS on the visualisation of scientific results,” he says.

Room for basic research
Institutes where basic research is carried out in a multidisciplinary environment can be found in other parts of the world – as small classical academies at modern mass universities. And there is a need for this according to Professor Kyndrup.

“Modern institutes have strategies. However, there should also be room for the basic research that is driven by pure curiosity. And this exists at AIAS. It’s not about replacing one with the other. There must be room for both at a modern university. The EU grant acknowledges and rewards the very daring initiative taken by the university in establishing the ambitious Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies,” he says.


Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) receives DKK 46 million
The Marie Curie COFUND project (Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes) has decided to support the fellowship programme at AIAS for a five-year period from 2014 to 2018 with a grant amounting to DKK 46 million. The grant will benefit seventy talented researchers at AIAS by providing them with a fellowship for the next five years.

Read more about the AIAS grant here.

For more information about the grant, please contact
Professor and Executive Director Morten Kyndrup
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
+45 8716 3013/2338 2115

Grants and awards, All groups, Aarhus University, External target group