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Why become a PhD student at iNANO

“Aarhus University is up-to-date with scientific research”

“I am surrounded by nice people who try to help.”

The iNANOschool – being a PhD student at the iNANO center

The Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, iNANO, was established in 2002 and has become a major research and education center at Aarhus University. The iNANO center combines research groups from the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biology and Engineering and strong connections to the medical faculty. The interdisciplinary approach with a focus on high quality collaborations within both academia and the industry provides a dynamic and productive environment and  a strong research tradition for excellence and high impact science.

The iNANO center is located in spacious new buildings on the main university campus in central Aarhus. Similar to the university's research equipment in general, the iNANO center houses a broad range of state-of-the-art equipment

The iNANO center is highly international both in terms of academic staff and enrolled PhD students (approximately one quarter to one third international PhD students). The daily language in research groups with international students is English, and the PhD programme is provided entirely in English. Danes generally speak English very well, and international students will easily manage in English only.

The PhD study at iNANO is characterized by its international environment where different cultures meet, and the general atmosphere is very relaxed and welcoming. As a new PhD student, you will be welcomed by both your PhD partner from the Graduate School of Science and Technology and the in-house PhD administrator, who will help you with all aspects of your PhD which are not related to your research. When you arrive in Aarhus, you will also be invited to a PhD Introduction Day at a Faculty level, where you will meet other new PhD students and receive general information about your PhD study.

At iNANO we have around 120 PhD students enrolled. Together with a large number of postdocs, this is the basis for a strong sense of community between the young researchers at iNANO. To strengthen this even further, iNANO each year arranges an Autumn School as a weekend trip for its enrolled PhD students. The Autumn School focuses both on professional and social aspects of being a PhD students and it provides numerous occasions for socializing and networking.

In addition to this, renowned researchers are invited to give presentations at the weekly Friday morning iNANO lecture. Also, once a year, iNANO hosts an Annual Meeting – a full day with international lectures, postdoc presentations and student posters throughout the day and a reception dinner in the evening.



“AU has a really good website with a lot of information about moving to Denmark. ” 

“The laboratory equipment at iNANO is really good.” 

Graduate studies at Aarhus University

The Aarhus University campus is situated in the city centre. Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark but by international comparison Aarhus is quite small with less than 350,000 inhabitants. Aarhus is a very young city due to the large number of students – 40,000 at the university alone. For more information about Aarhus in general, we refer to the official website or the official website for students in Aarhus.

Although first established in 1928, Aarhus University is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

At Aarhus University, all teachers are active researchers. The settings are informal, questions are welcomed, and you can speak freely with your teachers, who encourage interaction and dialogue.

PhD students at Aarhus University can be enrolled either based on a Master’s degree (the 5+3 model) or through a more flexible 3+5 model based on a Bachelor’s degree and with credits from a commenced Master’s programme, if any.

A PhD study at the iNANO center, under the Faculty of Science and Technology, follows a general structure and you will be responsible for your own research project. As a PhD student, you must live up to certain requirements, such as following courses corresponding to 30 ECTS. A broad range of scientific courses and transferable skills courses are available at the university, and iNANO faculty also organize PhD courses. When you are enrolled at Aarhus University, it is also possible to follow courses at other Danish universities without paying any course fees. During your PhD study, the university offers career counselling and workshops through its Career Services.

The high number of international employees at the university level is reflected in the University culture. The International Centre is dedicated to help PhD students settle down in Denmark. You can sign up for the The University International Club newsletter, or join the International Community in Aarhus, where you will also find activities for your spouse and children, or apply for a local mentor though the iMentor programme.

The University has written a guide for international academic staff that may help newcomers settle down in Denmark and at Aarhus University.

“Aarhus University has many facilities for students”

Targets for Sustainable And Resilient Agriculture (TSARA)

Project abstract

Towards Sustainable And Resilient Agriculture (TSARA) investigates means to support the development of pathways to delivering to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and targets, especially those relevant to the aims of SURPLUS – agriculture, the bioeconomy and the terrestrial environment.

Having classified EU and NZ agricultural land-use and management into major types, the project will use models to forecast the outputs and wider impacts of agriculture over the next 15 years (for the SDGs) and up to 2050 for FACCE-JPI. A series of tables, known as dashboards, will be set up that record the changes in indicators of sustainable agriculture in the EU and NZ needed to achieve the desired targets for SDGs by 2030. The approach is known as ‘backcasting’ and consists of setting out the expected or desired state of agriculture at some point in the future and then taking backward steps to see what conditions would have to be like at intermediate dates in order to achieve targets.

Methods and materials

Target groups

We expect to engage with agricultural and environmental businesses and stakeholders to understand their concerns and solicit suggestions for how to achieve pathways and targets towards the SDGs.  As well as providing valuable and realistic perspectives for us on our research, this engagement also helps ensure buy-in at all levels of society with the eventual project outputs.  These outputs will be a series of challenging strategies to deliver improvements in the sustainability of EU and NZ agricultural practice.


Expected results

A range of alternative, perhaps radical pathways will be devised that explore and reduce the trade-offs between the delivery of improved food production, better environmental quality and social welfare in the EU and NZ bioeconomies as well as the social and political impediments along the way to achieving these.  TSARA thus iterates time-dependent pathways as well as helping with the setting of ambitious levels of delivery to SDG targets together with costs and benefits.

Research gaps

The SDGs are intended to be challenging.  It is likely that by sharing knowledge and experiences and coordinating international effort more might be achieved than could be done by nations acting alone. An example of what can be done is given by coordinated efforts to reduce carbon emissions from electricity production (Williams et al., 2012).  It is likely that significant changes in the way the EU and NZ bioeconomies are managed will be needed in order to meet the challenges set by the SDGs.  Agriculture and society may require large changes and we do not yet understand what these changes are, nor can we envisage the reaction of stakeholders and wider society to these ideas.  TSARA will explore the costs and benefits of possible changes as well as ways to overcome social difficulties that surround delivering the agriculture-related SDGs.



 “Really nice people that help you with your questions.”

Project folder


  • Download the TSARA project folder here
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Revised 20.04.2018

For further information we refer to the website, which is primarily intended for an international audience. The website presents Aarhus University’s resources, services and career opportunities, and highlights a number of good reasons to live in Denmark. Please note that some of the services mentioned on the website are location specific.