Strategy – Preface
Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University is engaged in research, education and innovation in chemistry at the highest level. Bachelors, Masters and PhD students are educated through research-based teaching. Department of Chemistry’s primary task is to train excellent students for both the private and public sectors. The knowledge accumulated is directly helping to solve society's major challenges. Department of Chemistry explores chemistry in a broad sense, and has also established three core areas as focal points: "Life Chemistry", "Functional Materials" and "Energy, Environment and Climate". These interdisciplinary research themes across traditional disciplines of chemistry provide the framework for an innovative research and educational institution.
Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University wishes to maintain and strengthen the strong position we have one of the best chemistry departments in the world. The institute is traditionally founded in basic research, and covers the classical disciplines such as organic, analytical, physical, theoretical, inorganic materials and medicinal chemistry. In today’s modern research culture these disciplines are integrated in interdisciplinary and international research projects involving students, researchers and industrial partners. Our unique cooperation with iNANO contributes significantly to the collaboration across research fields. Department of Chemistry’s strong international position as a chemistry institute in world must be strengthened through more and better research. Therefore, it is an institute goal to publish more and better scientific articles in international journals, to get involved with additional international partners, both academic and industrial, and to establish educational collaborations with other top chemistry institutions around the world.
Education grounded in science
It is important for the Department of Chemistry that the study programs are research-based. Good relations between the academic staff and students are therefore weighted highly. There are calls for an open and inclusive work environment, so you can involve the students in the current and interesting research, already in the Bachelors program. In addition, the students are assigned a mentor among the academic staff, which helps to shorten the distance between students and staff, already at the beginning of their studies. The students have access to research facilities in the various research groups, and this is helping to promote an independent and stimulating student culture.
Elite programs to more students
According to Statistics Denmark, Department of Chemistry educates the largest number of chemists in the country. Training of chemists for society is Department of Chemistry’s core business, and our programs can be described as elite programs in that expectations for students are high, and their future employers appreciate graduates and PhDs who have been trained by us. Therefore, we offer research-based education of undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students at a high international level. These students should acquire skills to help solve major societal challenges, in both private companies and public institutions, and some will be leading in the future in academia. It is the aim of Department of Chemistry that education has close connection between theory and practice, and to develop teaching continuously. There is a massive demand for chemists trained at the Department of Chemistry, which means that there is no real unemployment among the graduates. We want to meet this demand by educating more people and simultaneously maintain the high quality of the programs. This requires that we attract talent from around the world for our programs. We envision all of Denmark as a recruitment base for undergraduate studies, and will through state-of-the-art facilities and excellent teaching attract top talent. The department has set up a special talent program - Challenges in Chemistry – which is an offer for undergraduate students with the highest ambitions. Department of Chemistry also wants to hire more academic staff to carry out these important tasks in the future.
Study environment that promotes student development
The students' well-being is our focus, and we provide a good physical and academic framework for development. Among other things, a student café is offered several times a week, where PhD students offer undergraduates professional help and guidance. In addition there is established a study lounge, which calls for a social and academic community among the students, and a larger number of workstations and group rooms. These facilities and activities will be further developed and given high priority at the department.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Department of Chemistry wants to strengthen the capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship for students and staff. Therefore, it is a goal to integrate a philosophy of innovation in everyday teaching, and raise awareness of the possibilities of creating new start-ups and spin-out companies. Working along with the Faculty of Science and Technology, a plan is under way to establish facilities for enabling this.
Intensified industrial cooperation
By involving small and large companies in the research projects, the distance between the latest science and its application is reduced. As part of this strategy, it is a goal to increase the number of research projects involving industrial partners across the country, as well as internationally. It is also the Department of Chemistry’s aim to increase the number of dialogue and contact activities with industrial partners. This includes several invitations to conferences, seminars and the like. The department also wants to increase the opportunities for companies to access the department's research infrastructure, such as equipment, analysis, etc.
As students and researchers at the Department of Chemistry, one has access to state-of-the art instruments and apparatus. At the Department of Chemistry, we consider the technical staff as being an indispensable part of the department, and therefore these job functions must be attractive to attract the best technical staff. This is achieved by integrating the technical staff in research and teaching, and to offer access to the best research facilities. Department of Chemistry also participates in several international projects, providing access and opportunities for the development of major facilities, such as supercomputers, synchrotrons, neutron sources and XFELs.