DKK 28.5 million from the Carlsberg Foundation for Aarhus BSS

Researchers from Aarhus BSS receive a total of DKK 28.5 million from the Carlsberg Foundation to pursue their visionary research ideas.

The University Park at night
Photo: Jesper Rais

A total of nine researchers from Aarhus BSS have received grants from the Carlsberg Foundation’s autumn allocation of funding. The grants amount to DKK 28.5 million for scientific breakthroughs and the development of Danish research.

Among the grants are two Semper Ardens Accomplish grants totalling more than DKK 9 million – these grants are given to recently tenured internationally recognised professors to pursue innovative and ambitious research projects. The two researchers from Aarhus BSS who have received the Accomplish grants are Professor Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen from the Crown Prince Frederik Center for Public Leadership at the Department of Political Science and Professor Steffen Meyer from the Department of Economics and Business Economics.

"Getting the news about the Semper Arden grant while drinking my morning coffee today was amazing! Having the opportunity to help remedy a very current societal problem, namely the lack of healthcare professionals in Denmark, is a huge privilege," says Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen.

Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen will develop evidence-based and viable solutions for healthcare organisations that wish to recruit, select and hire care personnel from Europe in a sustainable manner. The project addresses an important societal issue that became apparent to Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen during his participation in the Resilience Commission: Denmark has such a severe shortage of healthcare professionals that national labour markets can no longer meet the increasing demand for care personnel. This shortage is a threat to public health, and one of the solutions proposed by the commission was to recruit personnel from abroad. With the Semper Arden grant, Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen will have the opportunity to investigate this more closely and hopefully contribute towards a more robust healthcare system and the increased recruitment of healthcare professionals.

"The grant will allow us to build a research environment for recruitment research at Aarhus University. I’ll be working with two talented assistant professors, Florian Keppeler and Diana Galos, and a postdoc on the project, and advancing these young, promising researchers is really important to me. We’ll also be collaborating with some of the world's leading researchers such as Elizabeth Linos from Harvard Kennedy School, which will help raise the profile of the project. Over the next five years, we’ll work together to produce new knowledge on recruiting, selecting and hiring international healthcare professionals. Although the international labour market in Europe has been growing in recent years, the research we’re conducting is still novel. We will be conducting field experiments in the healthcare system in collaboration with municipalities and regions. We will also be using AI in the recruitment process," says Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen.

Risks affect us when we have to make financial decisions

Steffen Meyer will be investigating how uncertainty affects our financial decisions, for example when choosing a mortgage loan or making trading decisions on the stock market. The more we can learn about the quality of decisions in these situations, the easier it will be to develop tools that can help households make better decisions.

Steffen Meyer's theory suggests that uncertainty in society (e.g. the financial crisis, the Covid-19 epidemic and the war in Ukraine) negatively affects our decision-making, for example by making us hesitant to refinance our mortgage despite favourable conditions. Hopefully, Steffen Meyer's new registry-based research can be used to improve our welfare.

"We’re constantly faced with both risk and uncertainty when making financial decisions. How risks impact decision making has been studied significantly in both empirical and theoretical research. But whereas theoretical and experimental research shows that ambiguity (uncertainty about risks) affects financial decisions, empirical results are scarcer," explains Steffen Meyer.

"After receiving the Carlsberg Semper Ardens Accomplish grant, I look forward to establishing a centre for research in decision making under risk and ambiguity (CentR-A) and collaborating with world-class researchers. The grant also gives us the opportunity to organise informative academic workshops that allow participants to interact with policy makers and representatives from the financial industry. The grant will also undoubtedly help us generate research results as it will enable us to purchase commercial databases, give us broad access to Danish registry data and allow us to employ interested young research talents. The centre will study the effects of ​ambiguity on household decisions when it comes to anything from stock market investments to taking out a home loan," says Steffen Meyer.

Wage inequality on the labour market

Associate Professor Elena Mattana from the Department of Economics and Business Economics has received a Semper Ardens Accelerate grant of DKK 4.8 million. This grant is awarded to 'newly appointed tenured associate professors to establish an independent research group or research environment'.

"I’m thrilled and honoured to receive this grant. I look forward to advancing our understanding of how the labour market works and to consolidating the international network of researchers who will collaborate with me on this project," says Elena Mattana.

Elena Mattana's project is about understanding wage inequality and will answer questions such as: How do companies interact with each other to attract the "best" workers and/or pay lower wages? How are models for determining wages affected by the inclusion of sources of market power and/or labour market frictions? How does the labour market connectivity affect wages?

"This research project will allow me to study the importance of market power in the labour market to understand wage inequality. The aim of this project is to contribute to the growing amount of literature that incorporates market power in economic models of the labour market by developing new empirical methodologies that allow researchers to measure labour market power and its impact on income inequality," says Elena Mattana.

List of grant recipients at Aarhus BSS

Semper Ardens Accomplish
Professor Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen from the Department of Political Science
Amount: DKK 9.1 million
Project title: Bridging Borders, Preserving Health:  How to sustainably recruit, select and retain skilled international nursing staff

Professor Steffen Meyer from the Department of Economics and Business Economics
Amount: DKK 9.8 million
Project title: The effect of unknown unknowns on households: Center for research in decision making under risk and ambiguity (CentR-A)

Semper Ardens Accelerate
Associate Professor Elena Mattana from the Department of Economics and Business Economics
Amount: DKK 4.8 million
Project title: Market Power and Inequality in the Labor Market

Monograph scholarships
Professor Rune Stubager from the Department of Political Science
Amount: DKK 970,000
Project title: Are Classes Dead? Perceptions of Social Class and their Political Implications

Professor Ole W. Pedersen from the Department of Law
Amount: DKK 1 million
Project title: The Culture of Environmental Law

Infrastructure grants
Professor Nina Smith from the Department of Economics and Business Economics
Amount: DKK 940,000
Project title: Server Infrastructure for Cutting-Edge Research in Economics Using Danish Register Data

Professor Polymeros Chrysochou from the Department of Management
Amount: DKK 600,000
Project title: Consumer Panel Data 2.0

Associate Professor Thomas Jønsson from the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences
Amount: DKK 300,000
Project title: Investigating attention allocation to different emotional cues in work-related burnout: An eye-tracking study

Internationalisation scholarship
Postdoc Marie Freia Wunderlich from the Department of Management
Amount: DKK 900,000
Project title: Understanding and Managing Daily Guilt at Work for Employee Well-being and Performance

Further information:

“The Carlsberg Foundation’s Semper-Ardens grants are awarded to ‘passionate, always burning’ researchers with particularly visionary research projects that have the potential to create scientific breakthroughs and develop Danish research. Semper Ardens grants are given to internationally recognised top researchers with an affiliation to the Danish research environments.”