Aarhus Universitets segl

Instrument Center for Danish Astrophysics


Learn about our purpose, activities, and organisational structure


For the past 15 years, the Instrument Center for Danish Astrophysics (IDA) has been the framework for activities related to the Danish participation in international research infrastructures. IDA used to be situated at the University of Copenhagen where it was managed by Jens Hjorth and Kristian Pedersen.

The focus of IDA has been the support of projects, where young talented researchers have been granted the opportunity to use telescopes both on earth and in space as well as supporting the design and construction of instruments. The centre remains since 2014 at Aarhus University with Hans Kjeldsen as Head.


  • To gather all the relevant parties in Denmark and exploit the possibilities that lie ahead in developing a coordinated Danish research effort.
  • To support and secure the Danish Astrophysical research in relation to the use of the Danish membership of ESO, ESA and NOT.
  • To actively govern the interests of all relevant astrophysics groups and users in Denmark as well as secure these in the way IDA prioritizes with a focus on the national interests.
  • To create the opportunities for Danish participation in international projects with a substantial research importance.
  • To coordinate activities relating teaching, recruitment and advice in Danish astrophysics.
  • To advise in relation to the Danish memberships of international organisations in astrophysics at the request of the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, including giving advice regarding proposals for Danish representation in central units.


  • To support the development and design of new and up-to-date instruments.
  • Support, including travel support, for carrying out observations.
  • Total or partly coverage of access to specific facilities.
  • To support projects where students and young researchers can be trained in the use of different telescopes and instruments as well as learn how to plan and analyze observations, hence securing the necessary competences when it comes to using the different facilities.
  • Support for the Annual Danish Astronomy Meeting, specifically in relation to securing the participation of students.


  • IDA is situated at Aarhus University where the daily management and the coordination of the various activities take place. The centre is led by Head of IDA Hans Kjeldsen, and IDA Manager Mai Korsbæk takes care of the centre administration. The Head of IDA is responsible for the daily administration of the funding, whereas the rector at Aarhus University is responsible for the funding.
  • It is essential that all priorities for IDA focus on national interests within astrophysics. Therefore, an IDA Advisory Board (IDA Board) has been set up. The members of the IDA Board are nominated by the Head of IDA in consultancy with all the institutions in Denmark engaged in astrophysical research.

The IDA Board is the top governing body of IDA

IDA is to advise the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation in matters relating to the Danish memberships of various international astrophysics organisations. An IDA Board has been set to ensure the complete representation of Danish interests.

The IDA Board has the following tasks:

  • to establish an Executive Committee for IDA consisting of eight members from the Board.
  • to ensure that IDA is managed in accordance with the objective and the conditions of the grant.
  • to promote Danish astronomers’ access to international research facilities.
  • to discuss and approve the budget.
  • to advise the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education and to be in an ongoing dialogue about the Danish memberships of e.g. ESO and NOT.


  • The Funding of IDA defrays the different expenses in relation to the activities mentioned above.
    The annual budget has been 1,750,000 DKK in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, whereas the 2017 budget is 1.300.000 DKK.
  • IDA is responsible for setting up a detailed budget for each year consistent with The Terms of Reference for IDA: The Instrument Center for Danish Astrophysics