The mission of the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies is to advance highest quality research at Aarhus University (AU) by attracting talented, highly qualified fellows worldwide and within all disciplines. Fellows are proved ideal opportunities to further develop their research in short to long fellowship periods by ensuring fellows’ participation in various kinds of collaboration and exchange with researchers, research groups and advanced students at AU and abroad.
Housed in a completely renovated building that opened in the spring of 2013, the AIAS provides a physical home and programmatic framework for excellent researchers who come to the Institute from outside Denmark for shorter or longer periods, as well as for fellows competitively selected among Aarhus University’s researchers. The AIAS works to promote the exchange of ideas and research results among the fellows and to build connections to AU’s research environments. Furthermore, the AIAS functions as a base and entry point for other guest researchers from abroad.
The goals for the AIAS are ambitious and reflect the increasingly influential position of AU as a world-class research university. Most importantly, the AIAS reflects the commitment of AU and other stakeholders to support research talent and realise the promise inherent in the research endeavor. The AIAS includes a comprehensive spectrum of disciplines with a view to foster cutting edge research results.
Research at AU will be strengthened by the international and high level scientific environment at the AIAS, as the Institute provides a setting for scholarly pursuits outside the normal organisational and disciplinary obligations of faculty members. AU’s international positioning and profile will also be strengthened over the long term as fellows move on to research careers at leading universities internationally and in Denmark.
It is expected that the AIAS fellows will be empowered to pursue significant research projects within international research areas of growth— including transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary spaces.
The primary criterion for selection of fellows is excellence and not research topic. Therefore, fellows represent a broad scope of academic disciplines and are hereby contributing to the multidisciplinary setting of the Institute. Fellows are encouraged to engage with each other and with local researchers, but this is completely on a voluntarily basis, not a criterion.
It is essential that all parts of AU have access to the resources of the AIAS and can find ways for their own researchers to engage with the AIAS and find inspiration here. The Institute therefore also encourages the local AU researchers to take part in the events held at the Institute, such as the AIAS Fellows’ Seminars in order to establish new collaborations, between as well as across disciplines. The AIAS is attentive to the rewards that can issue from such collaborations, and are pleased to facilitate these.
AIAS Fellowships typically lasts between one and three years. AIAS also offers a base for senior guest researchers who are at AU for shorter periods.
The most important goal of the recruitment process for AIAS is to obtain the strongest possible group of fellows.
Talent development is one of the four pillars in Aarhus University's mission. Together with internationalisation, education and research, talent development at Aarhus University aims to increase opportunities for research collaboration and breakthroughs in scholarship and science. Read more about Aarhus University talent development and research here.
Both scientific and social interaction with AU researchers are essential for the AIAS fellows to thrive and grow as researchers. Through close contact with local resources, the AIAS fellows experience the University’s strong disciplinary connections, and may contribute to them. On the social side, ensuring day-to-day contact with AU faculty members and Danish colleagues will enrich their stay in Aarhus while increasing the chances that fellows will form a bond with AU and Denmark that lasts long after they move on in their careers.
During the last decade, Aarhus University has consolidated its position as one of the world’s top-ranked universities with a very high research impact, state-of-the-art research infrastructures and several research groups belonging to the absolute world elite. Aarhus University is widely acknowledged for its outstanding pioneering work within basic research, as illustrated by research awards such as the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Since 2007, 38 European Research Council (ERC) grants have been awarded to researchers at Aarhus University, representing more than a third of the ERC grants in Denmark. In addition, AU is committed to provide opportunities for highly qualified early career researchers through a dedicated focus on talent development.
The key characteristic in an AIAS fellowship is the opportunity to pursue one’s own research. A stay at the AIAS is a unique opportunity for fellows to engross themselves in their projects for a period of time.
At the same time, the AIAS also includes a number of common activities that will continually help to link research activities to the overarching theme. Guest lectures, Fellows' seminars and other forms of network facilitation is an important part of the Institute, as are more informal activities such as brown bag lunches, workshops and the like, giving fellows and AU colleagues the possibility to meet in a relaxed atmosphere.
Finally, social activities are planned for the spouses and the family of fellows. The reputation and attractiveness of the AIAS is enhanced by opportunities for fellows and their families to feel welcome and integrated.