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Engineering researcher receives huge grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark

Associate Professor Selin Kara from the Department of Engineering is one of the eleven researchers from Aarhus University who received a prestigious Sapere Aude grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark on Tuesday.

2019.11.25 | Jesper Bruun

Associate Professor Selin Kara received a DKK 6.1 mill. (EUR 0.6 mill.) Sapere Aude grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark. Photo: Melissa Yildirim.

With grants of several million DKK, 35 Sapere Aude research directors are now setting a new course in a wide range of research areas in Denmark.

The Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) has pointed to the very best early career researchers with an emphasis on ground-breaking ideas and strong leadership ambitions to bolster Denmark's future, giving the researchers a boost to the tune of DKK 208 million (EUR 28 mill.).

DKK 6.1 mill. of this is going to Associate Professor Selin Kara from the Department of Engineering, who will use the grant to hire researchers to start her new research project, PHOTOX-f.

Selin Kara aims to combine photo- and bio-catalysis with continuous flow technology, and via enzymatic reactions she hopes to forge a sustainable production of chemical substances.

The final goal is an extremely productive photobiocatalysis in continuous flow, which may have a major impact on the chemical industry; currently one of the world's most polluting.

The Sapere Aude grants are awarded by the DFF to talented early career researchers to give them the opportunity to develop and strengthen their own research ideas and establish themselves as research directors with the foundation's financial assistance.

This year, the Independent Research Fund Denmark has awarded Sapere Aude grants to 35 researchers on the basis of 346 applications. Of these, there are 11 recipients from Aarhus University and six from the Faculty of Science and Technology.

"Danish research has been strengthened very broadly, from the humanities to technical sciences. With the Sapere Aude grants, the Independent Research Fund Denmark has ensured that the very best talents have new opportunities with venture capital to help renew Danish research and create the foundation for future centres of excellence and strategic initiatives based on new research directors and ideas which add important knowledge to urgent societal problems," says the Chair of DFF, David Dreyer Lassen, in a press release.


Facts

  • Sapere Aude means dare to know. Sapere Aude: DFF – Research director grants give excellent, early career researchers, i.e. researchers who have performed research at the top of their field, an opportunity to develop and strengthen their research ideas. The grants are also to promote mobility internationally and nationally between research environments and strengthen careers, including enabling the best talents to set up a team of researchers and conduct research at a high international level.

  • The Independent Research Fund Denmark received 346 applications and awarded 35 grants, corresponding to a success rate of 10%.
  • The grants have existed since 2010, and funding has been awarded to a total of 258 young research directors to date.
  • A broad agreement between parties in the Danish Parliament has allocated approximately DKK 46 mill. (EUR 6 mill.) in the 2020 Finance Act for the Independent Research Fund Denmark's career programme for particularly talented early career researchers who are ready to develop their own research ideas and lead a research project with several participants at high international level. The Independent Research Fund Denmark has increased the total pool by approximately three times this amount.
  • The Independent Research Fund Denmark consists of 84 recognised researchers from five academic councils. In total, the councils assess approximately 3,000 applications and allocate approximately DKK 1.5 bn. to 400-500 research-driven projects every year. An interdisciplinary chairman group has made the final assessment of the 35 recipients.

Contact

Associate Professor Selin Kara
Email: selin.kara@eng.au.dk
Tel.: +45 22378964

Department of Engineering