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Instrument Center for Danish Astrophysics 


History, structure, and facts about the Instrument Center for Danish Astrophysics

The organization of the center

The Instrument Center for Danish Astrophysics is a national center funded by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

The center deals with the involvement of Danish institutions contributing to research and teaching in astrophysics. The structure of IDA is designed to ensure a strategic coordination of the academic activities in Danish astrophysics. IDA consists of a Board, an Executive Committee and 11 working groups that focus on strengthening the collaboration between the Danish academic environments working in astronomy and astrophysics.

It is important that all priorities for IDA’s work focus on national interests and support of Danish astronomers' use of the international research infrastructure, especially in relation to ESO, NOT and ESA. IDA also supports the use by young talented researchers (postdocs and PhD students) of the telescopes around the world and in space. 


National coordination

IDA is organized with Head of Center, Hans Kjeldsen, and Administrative Manager Mai Korsbæk, who runs the day-to-day management of the center.

The Head of IDA consults with the IDA Advisory Board  and an Executive Committee in relation to the operation and prioritization of IDA activities. The Head of IDA is the chair of the Board and of the Executive Committee. The tasks of the IDA management are multifaceted, from administration of financial matters and projects to communication and organization of workshops, etc. It is the responsibility of the Head of IDA to ensure that all priorities for the work under IDA focus on national interests and support of Danish astronomers' use of the international research infrastructures, especially in relation to ESO, NOT and ESA.

In situations where IDA funds are being allocated to projects for which no external peer review has been conducted, and where the funding is subject to competitive tendering, the Head of IDA ensures that an independent evaluation panel is established, which will form the basis for the prioritization of funds by observing the rules applying to public authorities, including the principle of equal treatment. 

The IDA Board consists of a maximum of 24 members who are appointed and elected in the following ways: The four participating universities will appoint seven representatives as members of the Board. The Head of IDA is also a member of the Board and chairs the Board. In addition, ten members are elected among the astronomers in Denmark to the Board. The election will ensure a diversity in the composition of the board. All students and researchers, who are affiliated with a Danish research institution, may stand for election.

Finally, up to seven members are appointed based on the so-called 'convention-borne' memberships by ESO and NOT. These members are the Danish delegates in the following bodies: ESO Council, Scientific Technical Committee (STC), Observing programmes Committee (OPC) and Users Committee (UC), NOT Council, STC and OPC. The detailed election procedure and the rules of procedure for both the Board and the Executive Committee are defined in the IDA Consortium Agreement.

IDA Working Groups

IDA has established 11 working groups with representatives from the IDA Board and supplemented with people from the relevant academic environments. The intention with the working groups is to ensure a high activity level, improve the coordination between the academic environments and ensure that strategies are followed up with plans for specific actions and activities. 

Three of the working groups appointed by IDA focus on strategic work. These groups will, among other things, prepare documents and reports as well as draft strategic plans for the purpose of supporting and qualifying IDA activities, including ensuring strategic and quick decisions in relation to ESO, NOT, ESA and NASA etc.

IDA endorses professional ethics, values and standards within the Danish Astronomical society and refers to a set of ethical guidelines provided by The European Astronomical Society (EAS). Read the Code of Conduct here.