VILLUM FOUNDATION awards grants to five young researchers at Science and Technology

Five talented postdoctoral fellows at Science and Technology, Aarhus University, have been granted a total of DKK 16.5 million by the VILLUM FOUNDATION’s Young Investigator Programme.

2015.01.16 | Christina Troelsen

Victor Silva Aguirre, Department of Physics and Astronomy (photo: VILLUM)

Oliver Kirsebom, Department of Physics and Astronomy (photo: VILLUM)

Anne Ersbak Bang Nielsen, Department of Physics and Astronomy (photo: VILLUM)

Christoffer Karoff, Department of Geoscience (photo: VILLUM)

Thomas Bruun Madsen, Department of Mathematics (photo: VILLUM)

In this round of the Young Investigator Programme, the VILLUM FOUNDATION has granted DKK 100 million to 21 young researchers at five Danish universities. This is the fourth time the VILLUM FOUNDATION’s Young Investigator Programme has been awarded.

The following five researchers at Aarhus University have been awarded grants:

Victor Silva Aguirre

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Grant of DKK 4 million

Galactic archaeology: deciphering the history of the Milky Way
Since the birth of our galaxy 13.5 billion years ago, it has been shaped by different physical processes that have left a unique imprint on the fossil remains – the stars. Using the latest space observations, the project manager and a postdoctoral fellow will determine for the first time the exact properties of stars in distant areas throughout the galaxy, thereby mapping the most important physical processes that formed the Milky Way as it appears today.

Oliver Kirsebom

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Grant of DKK 2.9 million

New understanding of nuclear astrophysics via high-precision measurements
In the same way that molecular biology provides us with a microscopic understanding of biological processes, nuclear astrophysics gives us a microscopic understanding of astrophysical processes. The project will help to clarify key issues in nuclear astrophysics. For example, what fate awaits stars that are 8 to 12 times the size of the Sun? Will they be gradually extinguished or explode as supernovae? The grant finances the appointment of the applicant, purchase of experimental equipment and visits to international laboratories.

Anne Ersbak Bang Nielsen

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Grant of DKK 4 million

New models for anyon research
Anyons are particle-like objects that can arise in complex systems. They have properties that ordinary particles do not possess, and there are interesting prospects for technological applications. However, research into anyons is hampered by the complexity of the systems, and the project aims to build models that provide particularly good opportunities for studying certain anyons and their properties. The grant finances the appointment of the applicant and a postdoctoral fellow, as well as the purchase of a computer cluster.

Christoffer Karoff

Department of Geoscience
Grant of DKK 3.5 million

Influence of the Sun on the Earth’s climate
The grant makes it possible to set up a new international research network that will study how the Sun changes on timescales from minutes to millennia, and the impact of these changes on the Earth. The research network will consist of 12 internationally recognised solar physicists, geophysicists and climate researchers. The network will provide the work necessary to make the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) even more reliable. The grant will also finance the applicant’s salary for a three-year period.

Thomas Bruun Madsen

Department of Mathematics
Grant of DKK 2.1 million

Special geometry, torsion and symmetry
Special geometries provide a systematic approach to finding and describing new solutions to modern physics equations. These include Einstein’s equations from the general theory of relativity and equations from string theory. The main purpose of the project is to develop a theory describing a new class of special geometries that can lead to new solutions of Einstein’s equations, for example. The grant covers the applicant’s salary for a three-year period, travelling expenses and visits of international collaboration partners.

The researchers will be formally honoured at the VILLUM FOUNDATION’s presentation of the Villum Kann Rasmussen Annual Award for Technical and Scientific Research on Friday 23 January 2015 at 16.00–18.30.

Read also the media release from the VILLUM FOUNDATION (in Danish only): DKK 100 million for research into galaxies, biofilm, astrophysics and molecular mechanisms.

List of all the recipients of awards in the VILLUM FOUNDATION’s Young Investigator Programme 2015 (in Danish only).

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