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New offer for students with research ambitions – and talent

The first 15 students at Health now have the chance to apply for a special honours programme, where they will conduct research and networking while taking their Master’s degree programme – and do so within the prescribed study period. Students from all of the study programmes at Health can apply for the new course, which will begin in September.

Come September 2017, 15 Master’s degree students who can come from all of the degree programmes at Health, will be able to begin on a brand new, interdisciplinary honours programme worth 30 ECTS, which will – once completed – result in a "Graduation with distinction" on their Master's degree diploma.

A research-oriented honours programme has just been adopted by the faculty management team at Health. It offers talented students the chance to embark on extra educational activities:

"The initiative should be seen in direct extension of our work to ensure that talented students have good opportunities for development, and in the longer term, to become part of the young research talents at the university," says Vice-dean for Talent Development at Health, Lise Wogensen Bach.

The plan is to increase the number of places over time if the programme is a success after the first two years.

Two pillars over four semesters

The research-orientated honours programme at Health must be completed within a maximum of four semesters and comprises two pillars: 

  • One pillar consists of a student research project with supervisor which concludes with a scientific product such as an article or poster.
  • The other pillar consists of joint interdisciplinary activities such as workshops that focus on research questions within selected subject areas and with mutual feedback across Health's study programmes.

"The honours programme offers a new path into the world of research for all Master’s degree students at Health. It can be seen as a supplement to the research year, which is only for medicine and dentistry students. In other words, the programme also makes the recruitment of researchers at Health more diverse," says Lise Wogensen Bach.

Who can apply?

The idea behind the new honours programme is to support the students' academic development and their ability to create networks, as well as to strengthen their mutual feedback and interdisciplinarity. The goal is to generate new insights and greater overview. Another important element is also for participants to become better at combining their knowledge with other subjects.

"In the future, we will need some researchers who are different to those we meet today, as the health challenges and issues we face increasingly presuppose an interdisciplinary approach and interdisciplinary competences. This is something that the honours programme will take into account," says Lise Wogensen Bach.

Expectations for the participants include:

  • The desire, will and commitment to make an extra effort.
  • An interest in health science research and the courage to challenge yourself.
  • Good English language skills.
  • Potential to become even more skilled.

This means that the admittance criteria include an assessment of results, motivation and potential. Similarly, there is a requirement for students to simultaneously follow their ordinary degree programme and not to prolong their time to degree. It is not possible to apply for a leave of absence, as is the case in connection with the research year.
Students must apply at the beginning of the first semester of the Master’s degree programme – though this deadline is the second semester for medical students who were winter admissions.

Details about the new initiative – including deadlines for applications, forms etc. – will shortly be available on the graduate school's website.

Business-oriented scheme also in the pipeline

Aarhus University strives for a broad range of talent which also includes those students who do not necessarily plan to pursue a career in research, but who may have a talent for entrepreneurship and innovation.

For this reason, an additional talent track is in the pipeline at Health under the term "business-oriented talent track", where the students are closely affiliated with companies. 


  • Ever since the senior management team put 'The talent culture at AU" on the agenda in April 2016, a working group at Health has been working to develop the scheme. In very general terms, this should be viewed in continuation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Ministerial Order on Talent Activities from 2015, where the purpose of "offering extra educational activities" cf. Section 2 is:
  • "(…) to support and strengthen the efforts for particularly talented students at institutions of higher education, such that a limited proportion of the most talented and highly motivated students receive greater academic challenges than through the requirements made by the degree programme to which they were admitted, as well as receive recognition of this on the diploma."
  • The working group comprised: Vice-dean Lise Wogensen Bach (project owner), Associate Professor Mette Krogh Christensen (CESU), Associate Professor Sebastian Frische (Department of Biomedicine), Clinical Professor Vibeke Hjortdal (Department of Clinical Medicine), Associate Professor Lene Baad-Hansen (Department of Dentistry and Oral Health), Associate Professor Niels Trolle (Department of Public Health), Medical Student Kasper Glerup (The Society for Medical Student Research (SMS)), Division Manager Lise Terkildsen (HE PhD Administration) and Adviser Tanja Hansen (Secretariat).




Vice-dean for Talent Development Lise Wogensen Bach
Aarhus University, Health
Mobile: (+45) 2548 8522