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Two vice-deans to the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Aarhus University

Aarhus University is recognised as one of the world’s 100 best universities, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences has several leading international research environments. There is an ambition to expand the faculty’s existing strongholds and to develop new ones in an interplay with the outside world and across disciplines. The primary activities of the faculty cover research, education, and collaboration with the business community within the fields of biology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, computer science, molecular biology, and nanoscience.

We are looking for two new vice-deans, a vice-dean for education and a vice-dean for research, and together with the newly appointed dean, they will be responsible for consolidating and developing the new faculty and for the daily management of research and education. A central task for the vice-deans will be to work with the dean and the heads of department, and involve staff and students, to describe and cultivate the new faculty’s core values and, under the auspices of the new AU strategy, to develop the faculty’s own strategy. See the new Aarhus University strategy here.

We are aware of the gender balance in the management at the Dean’s Office, and we encourage female researchers and managers in particular to apply for the positions, in line with a charter for more women in management signed by AU.

Faculty of Natural Sciences
The faculty has very strong and international basic research environments that address major societal challenges. There is also a proud tradition of communicating scientific contexts and insights to policy-makers and the general public. The faculty comprises seven departments, a department-like centre, a graduate school, and a number of research centres. There is also a number of interdisciplinary centres and initiatives across Aarhus University.

Faculty of Natural Sciences is one of five faculties at Aarhus University and has approx. 3,300 students and 1,400 employees. The faculty was established on 1 January 2020 when the former Faculty of Science and Technology was divided into two separate faculties. Read more here.

We offer two exciting positions as part of the faculty management team
Together with the dean, the two vice-deans make up the faculty’s senior management team. The vice-deans are also members of the faculty management team together with the dean, the heads of department at the faculty, the head of administration and the chief adviser. The vice-deans have a central role, with close and good collaboration with the departments, and as part of AU’s interdisciplinary collaboration with vice-deans from other faculties. The vice-deans also help profile the faculty externally and nurture collaboration with Danish and international foundations and companies.

The specific areas of responsibility and tasks for the two vice-deans will be agreed with the dean, but they are outlined in general below.

Vice-dean for research
Together with the dean, you will have primary responsibility for determining the faculty’s strategy, development and day-to-day management in the field of research. In general, this entails development of the faculty’s research activities (including evaluation of departments and centres), management of the graduate school at the faculty, and recruitment of researchers with an eye for ensuring that gender equality and diversity are part of the deliberations in connection with appointments. Ongoing development of the faculty’s external funding and research infrastructure are essential focus areas, as well as increased collaboration with the business community and the public sector and expansion of international partnerships.

Vice-dean for education
Together with the dean, you will have primary responsibility for determining the faculty’s strategy, development and day-to-day management in the education area. In general, this includes quality assurance and accreditation, as well as development of new study programmes, at the faculty and across Aarhus University, in close collaboration with the boards of studies. Important focus areas are the recruitment of students, including increasing the number of female students as well as international students, student exchange, increased business collaboration, retention, the study environment and development of further and continuing education.

Competences and qualifications
Candidates for the positions must be internationally recognised researchers, at least at associate professor/senior researcher level, within one of Faculty of Natural Sciences’ research areas. For the position as vice-dean for research, you are also expected to have considerable insight into, and experience of, research management, research policy and research funding in an international perspective. For the position as vice-dean for education, you are expected to have considerable insight into, and experience of, education policy, programme accreditation/quality assurance, and education in an international perspective.

In addition, applicants are expected to have management experience from the university sector as well as insight into, and experience of, education and a university’s interaction with the surrounding society, including in-depth knowledge of university development in an international perspective. You must be able to communicate clearly and navigate in a complex organisation. You must also be able to navigate in an internationally oriented university environment. You are willing to take the lead together with the dean and you have a large and active network to draw on. It is crucial that you have good interpersonal skills, and that you are skilled at forging relations across the faculty and AU. Personally, you are good at involving, listening and building on other people’s ideas, and at the same time, you are gratified when others are recognised for your own ideas and initiatives. You have strong communicative skills and are able to communicate the faculty’s goals and frameworks for education, research and collaboration with the surrounding society.

If the successful candidate is a non-Danish speaker, there is a further requirement that he/she acquire the necessary Danish skills within a reasonable period of time.

The description of the two positions and the personal profiles outline the expectations regarding the academic and personal qualifications required. For the description and personal profile of the vice-dean for research, you can read more here, and for that of the vice-dean for education, you can read more here.

The appointment process
Your application should include a CV and a short (max. 2 pages) description of your qualifications within research, education and management.

To ensure academic and managerial legitimacy, an advisory committee has been appointed to advise the dean during the selection process.

If you have any questions about the positions, you are welcome to contact Dean Kristian Pedersen at email: or mobile: + 45 20 11 74 77 or senior recruitment consultants from Hartmanns – Erik Bernskov at email: or mobile: + 45 4121 1329 (for the position of vice-dean for research) or Mads Jakobsen at email: or mobile: + 45 4121 1326 (for the position of vice-dean for education).

The recruitment process is in collaboration with Hartmanns, who will hold preliminary interviews in week 35 (24-28 August). Applicants invited for a second interview will be expected to take a personality profile analysis.

The application deadline is 16 August 2020 via the Aarhus University website.

Expected start in the position is 1 November 2020. The place of employment is Aarhus.

Formalities and salary range

Salary and terms as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Unions.

This position is a fixed-term appointment in accordance with the Collective Agreement for State-Employed Academics (Overenskomst for Akademikere i Staten). An agreement may be established on a fall-back employment option as an associate professor or professor at the end of the fixed term employment, as well as an agreement on funding for a subsequent period with a view to resuming work within research and education. The fixed-term employment is for three to six years with the option of extension for up to a further three years.

Both women and men are welcome to apply for the position. See the university strategy here.

No one will be given priority, and all applicants will be assessed in accordance with the requirement profile for the position.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at