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Jørgen Frøkiær continues as the head of the Department of Clinical Medicine

After five years as the head of the Department of Clinical Medicine, Jørgen Frøkiær has chosen to accept an extension of his employment at the helm of "Denmark's best clinical research environment", where he will focus on recruitment and career development for employees among other things, over the next three years.

Jørgen Frøkiær took over the leadership of IKM in 2018 from Kristjar Skajaa. Photo: AU Health

Jørgen Frøkiær has chosen to continue as the head of the Department of Clinical Medicine for the next three years and has extended his contract, which originally expired this summer.

According to Dean of Health Anne-Mette Hvas, Jørgen Frøkiær's experience, commitment, and leadership have been crucial to the position that the department holds today.

"I am very pleased that Jørgen Frøkiær has chosen to accept the offer to continue as the head of the Department of Clinical Medicine for another three years. There is no doubt that Jørgen has already made a great contribution to the department and the faculty as a whole, and I am confident that his leadership and expertise will continue to drive the Department of Clinical Medicine forward," she says about the extension.

It should be meaningful to work at IKM

Jørgen Frøkiær has a background as a chief physician and clinical professor and therefore had an in-depth knowledge of both the culture of the department and the close collaboration with Aarhus University Hospital when he took over the leadership from Kristjar Skajaa in 2018.

After a research career with many international relations, the past five years have involved more personnel management, budget control, education, and strategic development of the department for the 66-year-old professor.

"It has been exciting to lead Denmark's best clinical research environment, and my goal when I started was for IKM to be among Denmark's best places to work. That means that employees should perceive it as meaningful and interesting to be a part of the department," says Jørgen Frøkiær.

Focus on the work environment

In efforts to address any issues with well-being and job satisfaction, the department under the leadership of Jørgen Frøkiær has conducted several comprehensive surveys of the work environment.

This includes, among other things, the external survey conducted by the knowledge center KVINFO in 2021, which focused on experiences of discrimination and unwanted sexual attention.

The report has resulted in several initiatives that have been implemented to improve the work environment at the department and at Health. And it will also be a focus point for the next three years, says Jørgen Frøkiær.

"I will continue to work in collaboration with the rest of the leadership to create a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees."

Tight finances are one of the basic conditions that the department head has had to get used to over the past five years.

In addition, he has been occupied with the work of removing some of the bureaucratic obstacles that hinder clinical research in Denmark.

"The legal issues for clinical research - including the often misinterpreted GDPR rules - have been a constant point of attention, which has taken up much more time and effort than it should. I hope that our employees will soon experience that they need to spend less time and effort on these areas," says Jørgen Frøkiær.

Collaboration is key

At IKM, which has a complex structure and where many of the employees divide their time between research and clinical practice, a well-functioning collaboration both internally and across organizations plays an important role.

And to ensure a clear and effective management chain that can ensure the development and realization of the department's strategy, a new organizational structure was established in 2019 with the introduction of an expanded management team.

It consists - in addition to the department leadership - of the leading clinical professors, the leading professors, and the academic coordinators. The management team is responsible for ensuring a connection to and from the department leadership and the implementation of IKM's strategic initiatives locally.

"It is also crucial to have continued good collaboration between the hospital managements at Aarhus University Hospital and the other hospitals in the region, where we, among other things, must ensure the framework for recruitment and career development for the employees," says Jørgen Frøkiær.

More about Jørgen Frøkiær

  • Graduated as a medical doctor in 1986 from Aarhus University.
  • Started his research career alongside his studies. Researcher in kidney diseases and defended his thesis on the subject in 1998. Has published more than 300 research articles within his field.
  • From 1999, he was a chief physician in clinical physiology and nuclear medicine at Aarhus University Hospital, where he became a professor in 2004.
  • From 2012, he was a chair professor at Aarhus University and thus responsible for research and teaching in the medical specialty of clinical physiology and nuclear medicine.
  • Has been chairman of the Danish Independent Research Fund Health and Disease and a member of the Lundbeck Foundation's scientific committee. Currently, he is the chairman of the Novo Nordisk Foundation's prize committee and vice-chairman of the board of the Danish Independent Research Fund.
  • Over the years, he has received various awards, including the Family Hede Nielsen Research Prize and the Odd Fellow Order's Research Prize. In February 2018, he received the honorary award from the Danish Medical Association's Insurance Association for his extensive work in clinical and experimental organ function studies of the kidneys.


Head of department Jørgen Frøkiær
Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine
Phone: +45 20234527