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Record-breaking EU grant to support basic research at Aarhus University

The Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies at Aarhus University has been awarded an EU grant of DKK 38 million. This is the second time AIAS has brought a major EU grant home to Aarhus University. The grant is for non-targeted research, and will help the university continue to attract the world’s best researchers.

The grant of DKK 38 million to the international research institute the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies is the largest single grant ever awarded to Aarhus University under the attractive European framework programme Horizon 2020. This is the second time AIAS has won a  major grant for basic research under the Horizon 2020 pillar for Excellent Research. Aarhus University Professor Morten Kyndrup, who is head of AIAS, calls the grant a boon to non-targeted basic research in Denmark.

“These funds will help ensure that AIAS can continue to attract and recruit some of the most qualified researchers from all over the world. This contributes to internationalisation and our high level of academic excellence,” says Kyndrup, who emphasises that AIAS also attracts top Danish researchers from abroad.

“The particularly attractive conditions we offer researchers at AIAS are also a tool to combat unfortunate brain drain,” he adds.

AIAS is the first and only IAS (Institute for Advanced Study) in Denmark, and the institute offers researchers from all fields a unique opportunity for long-term research stays. The institute offers exceptionally good conditions for in-depth study, with a focus on the development of individual research careers and strengthening international research networks.

The new grant will co-fund about 77 research fellowships over the next five years. In its short history, AIAS has already been awarded approx. DKK 84 million from Horizon 2020.

“The Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies has existed since 2013, so it’s impressive that they have succeeded in attracting two major EU grants at a time in which funding for basic research is under pressure. This is a very admirable and important achievement with major importance for Aarhus University,” says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.

One of the major grounds for awarding the grant to AIAS is the institute’s rigorous, transparent recruitment process, which attracts many highly qualified applicants from all over the world. In addition, AIAS also offers high-quality career development services and extremely favourable conditions for conducting research and strengthening international research networks. 

Facts about the EU grant


  • The DKK 38 million EU grant was awarded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for researcher mobility and training (COFUND, a Marie Sklodowska- Curie Action under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme).
  • The grant is non-earmarked funding to support excellent basic research, and will co-fund about 77 research fellowships over the next five years.
  • Fellowships have a duration of up to three years, and applicants must not have been performing their primary activity in Denmark for more than 12 months out of the three years prior to the application deadline.



About AIAS (Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies)  


  • Is an international research institute at Aarhus University.
  • AIAS promotes research of the highest quality with a focus on independent basic research and talent development within all fields.
  • Researchers at the institute are called fellows, and are selected exclusively on the basis of their qualifications in open competition by an international assessment panel.
  • Currently hosts 34 fellows of 17 different nationalities (mostly from China, USA, UK, Germany and Denmark). 
  • There is a roughly equal division between the natural and medical sciences and the humanities and social sciences, and between genders.
  • Fifteen per cent of current fellows are Danish researchers who have returned from abroad.
  • AIAS was established in 2013 and received its first EU grant in 2014, a total of DKK 46 million.
  • In the period 2014-22, about half of the funding for AIAS international fellowship programme derives from EU grants.
  • AIAS is a member of the global network UBIAS (University-based Institutes for Advanced Study), which AIAS has chaired since 2016, with Professor Morten Kyndrup serving as chairperson. 

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