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Weekly Intel: ERC grants / The course for divorce

The latest university news stories in brief from Copenhagen and beyond

ERC: Denmark got DKK 112 million in grants

If you are in it for the funding, this day can be bigger than Christmas. It is the day the European Research Council (ERC) announces who got a research grant.

Danish researchers got six of the 222 advanced grants, making Denmark happy as it was not outperformed by the countries it normally compares itself to (Sweden got six too, for example, as can be seen on this comprehensive list of all the winners).

Among Danish universities, the University of Copenhagen got three, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) got two and Aarhus University got one of the prestigious grants, totalling DKK 112 million.

At the University of Copenhagen, Martin Bizzarro’s DEEPTIME project will be probing the history of matter in deep time, Dan Zahavi will be asking ‘Who are we? Self-identity, Social Cognition, and Collective Intentionality’, Morten Axel Pedersen will be looking into the The Political Economy of Distraction in Digitized Denmark. Jesper Mørk and Georgios Kontogeorgis took a grant home to DTU, and Jens Stougaard got a grant for Aarhus.

Not all researchers were celebrating, of course. Only 11 per cent of applicants received grant funding this time round.

Villum Investigators

The Villum and Velux foundation family is also in a giving mood. 11 scientists have been chosen (from 80 applicants) to become the next Villum Investigators, and they will receive DKK 410 million over six years for research projects ranging from climate to cybersecurity. The grants run over six years.

Among them is Staffan Persson, who specialises in plant cell walls and cellulose, and who will move his research from the University of Melbourne to the University of Copenhagen, Guojie Zhang, who has been working on biodiversity genomics at the University of Copenhagen since 2012, and Eugene Simon Polzik, a Russian-born American quantum physicist who will also continue his research here.

The goal of the Villum Investigator Programme is to provide »long-term funding … to give investigators the freedom and the opportunity they need to concentrate on the research field they are most passionate about, hoping that it will result in breakthroughs and unexpected results,” says Thomas Bjørnholm, Executive Chief Scientific Officer at the Villum Fonden.

Novo foundation into art and art history

Paintings in gold, corpses as aesthetic material in contemporary art, mechanical sculptures of Jesus from the Middle Ages and the significance of the French Art Exhibition in Copenhagen in 1888. These are all examples of topics that have now got the big ‘OK’ from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

A total of DKK 26.5 million went to nine PhD scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, two Investigator Grants, one visiting professorship and seven projects on art history research.

The next application round is expected to open in November 2019.

Get a job in Denmark

Are you an international student? Do you want to get a job in Denmark? Then this event is for you. It happens out at the Microsoft branch in Copenhagen, and the purpose is to inspire you to take the first important steps towards a job.

At the event, you will meet international graduates working in Denmark and get their best tips. You can learn about career counselling, mentor programs plus professional networks that can help you on your way.

And the bonus? The organisers will be handing out an exclusive list of companies that are interested in getting in contact with international students and graduates.

When: May 6th 2019 17.00-20.3
Where: Microsoft, Kanalvej 7 2800 Kgs. Lyngby
Sign up: Will be open here from April 12th – participation is free of charge for international students

UCPH man behind new mandatory divorce course

Better, nice clean divorces, after course

Denmark is said to be one of the happiest countries in the world. And it has the highest divorce rate in western Europe. Who knows? The two things might be related.

What we’ve done is target areas of the divorce process which are difficult, such as how to communicate with ex-partners and also understanding your own reactions and the reactions of any child

Professor Gert Martin Hald

Either way, couples seeking a divorce are now required to take a course before their marriage can be legally ended, and  Professor Gert Martin Hald, from the University of Copenhagen has helped develop the course, according to Euronews.

»The course, which is available on an app, gives advice on communication with your former partner and how to help your children,« he said. »Some divorces here are occasionally premature, now they will have to have a three-month reflective period.«

In 2017, almost half of marriages in Denmark ended in divorce.

»What we’ve done is target areas of the divorce process which are difficult, such as how to communicate with ex-partners and also understanding your own reactions and the reactions of any child,« he says,

This new course, only for couples with children, is designed to help both parties reflect on what life will be like apart.

Brexit could devastate Danish fishing

Danish fishing industry (photo: Department of Food and Resource Economics)

Photo: Department of Food and Resource Economics, UCPH

The Danish fleet of fishing boats lands 30 percent of its income from British waters. So there is lots at stake for the Danish fishing industry (photo: Department of Food and Resource Economics)

If Brexit eventually come to pass, Danish fishermen might find themselves in a »creek without a paddle« as a scribe from the Copenhagen Post puts it.

If Denmark’s fishing fleet is denied access to British waters, the country’s fleet will lose out on 30 percent – about 1 billion kroner – of its total annual income, according to a new report from the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen.

Read the entire report in English here.

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