About ARC

ARC - research at the top of the world

Borderless research

Climate change imposes critical challenges to vulnerable ecosystems, communities and indigenous populations in the Arctic.

To study the full impact of the changes in the Arctic and the mechanisms behind these, Aarhus University has established Arctic Research Centre (ARC) recognizing the need to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to adequately address contemporary and critical Arctic issues.

The collaborative formation promotes synergy and continuous consolidation of specialist knowledge, and it ensures an integration of state of the art results from both fundamental and applied research, as well as data from monitoring programs.


ARC's vision is to be an internationally leading center for Arctic research, education, knowledge exchange and consultancy, on an interdisciplinary basis.


ARC pursues the following objectives:

1. Research

  • To disseminate and produce new knowledge about the Arctic in the areas of nature, environment, culture, society and health, as well as the interactions between them
  • Advance interdisciplinary collaboration between human, social, natural and health sciences

2. Education and talent development

  • Ensure future generations’ knowledge of and expertise in Arctic matters
  • Ensure interdisciplinary, locally rooted Arctic education at all educational levels

3. Knowledge exchange

  • Disseminate research findings and provide consultancy services for the benefit of the scientific community, students, authorities, businesses and the general public
  • Increase knowledge about the interaction between Arctic nature, environment, culture, history, governance, economy, health and life quality, in close partnership with local communities

Focus areas

Based on a highly interdisciplinary collaboration between human, social, natural and health sciences, ARC stimulates increased knowledge about Arctic matters in the areas of nature, environment, society, culture, history, governance, economy, health and life quality, as well as the interaction between them.

ARC investigates:

  • Impacts of climate change on the Arctic population’s lifestyle and disease patterns
  • Impacts of sustainable development on social, political and natural environments
  • Governance processes and information flow in Arctic societies
  • Past and present human Arctic adaptations
  • Feedbacks between the Arctic and Earth climate systems and proxies for predicting future changes in ocean currents, weather systems and ecosystems
  • Pollutant transport to the Arctic and exposure consequences on ecosystems and humans
  • Ongoing changes in ice-ocean interactions, snow and ice extent, permafrost thaw and their combined consequences for Arctic ecosystems and societies

Education, talent development and communication

Education and communication comprise two focal activities of the Arctic Research Centre. ARC wants to ensure future generations’ knowledge and expertise in Arctic matters, working closely with local communities to ensure locally rooted Arctic education at all educational levels.

Knowledge exchange is ensured by disseminating new research findings to the general public and by providing consultancy services for the benefit of the scientific community, students, authorities and businesses.

The continuous dissemination of activities end new findings to the general public, with the aim of promoting local ownership and community-level action in the context of irrevocable climate change is a key issue.

International collaboration

ARC takes an active share in a large, international research program as a partner in Arctic Science Partnership (ASP) where a large-scale international collaboration ensures a coherent effort in the Arctic region.

ASP fosters critical exchange of knowledge and provides scientists with a joint logistical platform, drawing on the numerous facilities administered by each institution, including research vessels, field stations and laboratory facilities.

Download ARC's full vision and strategy 2015

Arctic Research Centre (ARC) is funded by Aarhus University and the four faculties - Science & Technology, Health, Business and Social Sciences as well as Arts - for the five-year period 2012-2016. This funding period may be extended for another five years, and in the long run, the Centre may turn into a department.

The Centre is administratively anchored at the Department of Bioscience.