Issue 1, 2014

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Nordita was founded in 1957 as a Nordic institute in theoretical physics, located close to the Niels Bohr institute in Copenhagen. Until 2006, Nordita was organized directly under the Nordic Council of Ministers. In 2003 it was decided that all research institutes under the council, including Nordita, should be transferred to Nordic universities. In 2006 it was decided that Nordita should be moved to Stockholm under the auspices of Stockholm University (SU) and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Nordita will move to the AlbaNova University Center, situated in the immediate vicinity of both universities, on January 1, 2007. In this new surrounding Nordita?s independence has been guaranteed by the host universities. This is essential for the perception of Nordita as Nordic research centre.

Nordita?s budget has previously been based on a grant from the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR) of 20 million Danish crowns per year. This was reduced to 15 million in 2006 and will be further reduced to 10 million in 2007. The intention is that Nordita will keep receiving 10 million Danish crowns from NMR also in the future. KTH and Stockholm University will contribute 10 million Swedish crowns 2007-2009, but after that date it will be necessary to obtain additional funding from the Nordic research councils. Three years pass quickly, and contacts have been established with NOS-N (Nordisk samarbetsnämnd för naturvetenskap) to resolve the issue.

In previous years Nordita normally had a staff of about 5 professors and 4-6 assistant professors as well as 12 2-year fellowships (postdoc stipends). The number of assistant professors and fellows was reduced in 2006 due to uncertainties regarding Nordita?s future. With this uncertainty gone, 2 assistant professor positions and 5 fellowships have now been announced. The budget for 2007-2009 is somewhat reduced compared to the previous years, and as a result the present long term plan is to have 3 professors, 5 assistant professors and 10 fellows. This level should be reached in 2010. The volume of the guest researcher, workshop and conference programs will hopefully remain essentially unchanged.

Of the present Nordita professors, Axel Brandenburg already moved to Stockholm and several of the others have expressed their intention to work part-time in Stockholm. Assistant professor Anupam Mazumdar moves to Stockholm in September 2007 for his second three year term. Three fellows are moving or have already moved to Stockholm. Together with the announced positions this means that by fall 2007 Nordita will have a staff of 4 professors/assistant professors and eight fellows in Stockholm. The professors remaining in (and commuting from) Copenhagen will continue to support the Nordita research effort. This augurs a very promising new start for Nordita.

The structure of Nordita?s activities will remain essentially unchanged. One new activity, or perhaps rather a restart since similar schemes were used in the eighties, is scientific programs. In a scientific program a number of scientists work together on specific problems for an extended period of time. The international scientific community is invited to suggest programs by the end 2006. Four other pillars on which the activities in Stockholm will rest are research themes, Nordic networks, workshops and symposia, and the visiting scientist program.

Ulf Wahlgren
Nordita Director
AlbaNova University Center, Stockholm

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