Jobbet "Aarhus University is seeking a head of department for the Department of Food Science at Faculty of Technical Sciences" er udløbet.
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Aarhus University (AU) is a research-intensive nationwide university with high national and international impact on the research area, study programmes, and consultancy of high academic quality. Aarhus University has a sharp focus on close collaboration with the business and research community, the public sector, and internally between researchers across geographical locations.

Technical Sciences
Through education, research and collaboration with the surrounding community, the Faculty of Technical Sciences aspires to work for the green transition and contribute to solving major societal challenges through technological developments and innovation. We focus on close collaboration with the business community and the public sector, and we take co-responsibility for developing society. Our primary activities are research, teaching, and public sector consultancy in the fields of engineering, agroecology, food, animal science, biology, nature and the environment. The faculty has approx. 1,400 employees, 4,100 students and total annual revenues of DKK 1.5 billion.

Department of Food Science
Research, teaching and consultancy activities at the Department of Food Science comprise the entire value chain, from food production to final product, including packaging, sensory and consumer science, as well as the health-related aspects of foods and food components. With a focus on ensuring that teaching and research activities benefit both industry and society, most of the research at the department is multidisciplinary and conducted in collaboration with industrial and/or research partners.

With excellent abilities and resources, as well as active national and international networks, the Department of Food Science is a significant contributor to solutions for global food-related challenges. The department focuses on a food systems approach to provide society with tasty, sustainable, healthy and functional foods. This includes, but is not limited to, research on food ingredients and quality, food and packaging waste, primary plant food production under changing climate conditions, and also seeking solutions to the increasing frequency of lifestyle diseases.

The Department of Food Science is organised into science teams:

  • Plant, Food & Sustainability
  • Differentiated & Biofunctional Foods
  • Food Quality Perception & Society
  • Plant, Food & Climate
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Technology

In addition to research and teaching activities, the Department of Food Science provides research-based public sector consultancy on food quality, consumer acceptance, meals, and food production in collaboration with the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA).

The Department of Food Science is involved in two Bachelor’s degree programmes and three Master’s degree programmes, as well as a PhD programme, an important part of the department's research initiatives. Moreover, the Department of Food Science is involved in Sino-Danish Center (SDC) education programmes.

The Department of Food Science has on average 30-35 PhD students, 35 technical/administrative staff and 40-45 academic staff. The department is based at two locations; Aarhus and as of 2022 Gl. Estrup. Your primary workplace will be in Aarhus.

Read more about the department at

An exciting area of responsibility
You will be the external face of the department, and under the authority of the rector and the dean, you will be in charge of academic, financial and personnel-related matters, including planning and allocation of job responsibilities.

You will work on ensuring that employees can deliver high-quality and cohesive research, teaching and public sector consultancy.
You will be responsible for preparing and communicating strategy plans and action plans for research at the department, with a particular focus on the department contributing actively to interdisciplinary research. This will be both within the department, across departments in and outside the faculty, and to national and international universities through the interdisciplinary centres and networks established by Aarhus University, and beyond.

As head of department, you will ensure that the department provides competencies in service and consultancy for public authorities and industry, and takes responsibility for public sector consultancy complying with the AU quality management system.

Your visions will support the university of the future through the further development of the department's profile as an attractive, inspirational and sustainable research, work and study environment. In doing so, you will help attract the best employees, students and partners from Denmark and abroad.

You are able to maintain focus on strategic management, financial responsibility and good HR management, and to a large extent, you will be released from administrative tasks as these are dealt with by a professional and specialised administrative support function. This includes the department's secretariat, which supports both the science teams and the management team.

You will refer to the dean and you will be part of the faculty management team, who together have overall responsibility for the Department of Food Science.

Apart from you, the department management team currently consists of six science team leaders and the department's head of secretariat. The department management team works closely together on the day-to-day, financial and strategic management of the department.

Your leadership style and personality

  • You are a motivational and unifying leader who understands how to manage a complex organisation with many stakeholders to make an impact on society in the food area.

  • You have managerial authority to help secure organisational cohesion between academic environments.
  • You are able to create a collaborative environment amongst researchers.
  • You are able to run a fiscally responsible enterprise in consultation with the leadership team and the researchers.
  • You are visionary and strategic, with an eye for the future needs of society for research, consultancy, and education.
  • You generate synergy and you are a strong bridge-builder across disciplines and in close collaboration with the outside world, including the political system.
  • You have personal authority and integrity.
  • You are skilled at creating a good collaborative environment and strengthening collaboration across the organisation.
  • You communicate clearly and credibly with respect for others and with propriety.
  • You are a loyal management colleague and team player, and you are aware of your personal responsibilities and authority.

Your experience and academic competences

  • You have solid experience in research and public sector consultancy –  within significant parts of the department's academic areas, and preferably within the university sector and academic environments.

  • You have several years of management experience.
  • You have demonstrated abilities to communicate internally and externally with stakeholders.
  • You have a strong national and international network within the department’s area of research, including the food industry.
  • You have the ability to work on strategic management via fundraising, recruitment and profiling the department.
  • You speak and write Danish and English well, as the working language at the department is primarily English.
  • You are an active listener and very open to cultural differences, as the department is very diverse.
  • You have insight into national and international trends in the subject areas at the department.
  • AU has an active focus on gender equality and diversity, and it also expects you to work with this part of the culture and to actively work to attract and develop talents from underrepresented groups.


Place of work and area of employment
The place of work is the Department of Food Science, Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with affiliated institutions.

Appointment procedure
If you have any questions regarding the position, you are welcome to contact: Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen on tel. + 45 21 22 95 11 or by email to

You are welcome to send your thoughts and ideas regarding the department's development over the next few years in your application, along with your CV and a list of your publications.

Interviews are planned for week 10 (1st interview) and possibly in week 13 (2nd interview). Applicants invited for a second interview will be expected to participate in a leadership profile test after the first interview.

According to the University Act and the university's by-laws, the employment procedure must ensure that the head of department has academic and managerial legitimacy. Therefore, an advisory committee has been appointed to advise the dean on this basis about which candidates should be invited to attend an interview. The advisory committee consists of academic staff, technical/administrative staff and students.

Application deadline: 3 February 2022
Expected start date: 1 June 2022

Formalities and salary range
Employment is on terms under collective agreements and subject to the collective bargaining agreement for academics employed by the state concluded between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC), including the circular on heads of department and deans at the universities.

The employment is a fixed-term appointment in accordance with the principles in the circular on limited tenure in the Danish state. The tenure is for three to six years, most likely six years, and with the option of extension for up to a further three years.
An agreement on a scientific fallback employment option is possible.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and all interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Aarhus University is a signatory of the Danish government’s charter regarding the appointment of more women in management. Both women and men are encouraged to apply. No one will have 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

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