SDU Esbjerg includes research units from the Faculty of Business and Social Science as well as the Faculty of Health Sciences. It is an international campus with a substantial fraction of international staff as well as students. Reflecting this situation, several of the educational programs are run in English and a significant part of the research funding is from international sources.
SDU Esbjerg wishes to keep and develop this international profile of our research staff having international experiences through continued efforts to attract skilled national and international researchers and international funding.
Several interdisciplinary research programs exist between groups from the two faculties and/or external collaborators. SDU Esbjerg collaborates closely with other research groups at the regional hospital in Esbjerg (SVS) and Aalborg University at their Esbjerg Campus, as well as with educational programs at the regional University College and Business Academy.
SDU Esbjerg wishes to hold a strong focus on societal outreach and implementation of knowledge in the society and works closely with municipalities and business groups within the region to accomplish this.
Characterizing the activities at SDU Esbjerg are the very close links to the surrounding society that are exemplified through shared positions between the University and local municipalities, student projects established at local municipalities and with the local business society, and very strong support from local funding sources for research and development.
SDU Esbjerg wishes to develop these close links with the aim of supporting the diffusion of national and international knowledge in our region.
Several of the research groups have strong visibility in Denmark due to a combination of high research quality and uniqueness in the research topics chosen, and most research is conducted within international projects and networks.
SDU Esbjerg will work to keep this national position, but also work on supporting existing as well as upcoming research groups with international visibility.
SDU Esbjerg offers 2 bachelor programs and 5 master of science programs within Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Humanities. We have two to three programs with a broader scope and many students and some other more specialized programs with sufficient numbers of students. There is a stable number of applicants that secures a reasonable basic funding for the campus. SDU Esbjerg wishes to continue the existing programs and will work to develop new programs within high performance sport, and energy management and to evaluate the potential for new programs in collaboration with e.g. the University College South Denmark and Business Academy Southwest.
The University College and Business Academy in Esbjerg is a significant recruitment base for students for several of our study programs. The planned new campus close to the University College South Denmark in Esbjerg will strengthen this collaboration through closer educational links, and a synergy on several core facilities for our students is also expected.
SDU Esbjerg will actively take part in achieving synergy for students as well as staff.
Under the umbrella of the two overarching strategic themes for SDU Esbjerg (Society and Health) six sub-themes exist. They all have national uniqueness and close links to educational activities as well as international relevance:
Research in maritime issues is centred on utilization of marine resources, maritime economics, maritime health and safety. The Centre of Maritime Health and Society (CMSS) is the only national maritime research centre specialized in research on maritime health, work environment, safety, environmental and business economics in relation to ‘Det blå Danmark’ (The Blue Denmark). The Fisheries & Aquaculture Management & Economics (FAME) network is a research school focusing on PhD level teaching and courses. The research is often multi-disciplinary, reaches across different faculties such as Health, Natural and Social Sciences, and focuses on different maritime contexts and settings such as transport, fishery, offshore and shipping industry. The projects are both national and international and target topics such as prevention of accidents, health and illness on board, safety culture, marine resource economics and management, and competitive conditions in the Danish maritime sector. The research area attracts external funding from national as well as international sources.
The staff participate in teaching at the Master's program in Public Health, the Master's Program in Environmental and Resource Management and Master's Degree Program in Risk and Safety Management. All three courses are offered in Esbjerg, the two final programs are offered in collaboration with Aalborg University, Esbjerg.
SDU Esbjerg houses a unique Maritime Archaeology programme as well. Its research is targeted to the assessment of human values offshore and the development of tools for the management of the underwater cultural heritage. The programme is associated to UNESCO through the UNESCO-UNITWIN programme, and the UNESCO-UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology of which SDU is one of the founding members. The programme provides an education at Master level, which, in accordance to the profile of the campus, is targeted towards the demand for archaeologists in the offshore industry, the energy sector and sustainable development of maritime space. The programme includes a dive school under the certification of the Danish Maritime Authority, that trains for the commercial diving certificate. The programme attracts students from all over the world. It will be discontinued in 2020.
Energy, Resource and Climate issues
The research in these subjects takes place at the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics and focuses on the use of tools from economics, marketing and organization in the energy sector, issues related to climate change and the utilization of natural ecosystems and, more generally, for analysis of natural resource industries.
The research focuses on the transition from a fossil fuel based energy system towards a system of renewable sources and includes among other things the ascertaining of consumer’s willingness to pay for green energy, business developments in the off-shore energy sector and how sustainable and stable climate agreements should look. The newly established Energy Management Centre is the only centre in Denmark focused on social science aspects of energy management. By emphasizing the role of human behaviour in energy decisions, the centre aims to fill an important void in policy advice for regional, national, and international energy markets. A long tradition at the Department is research in natural ecosystems including economic analysis of resource use and governance as well how uses of natural resources impact human welfare. Focus areas are e.g. Danish and EU energy and natural resource industries.
The research has an international profile and receives significant external funding. The staff participates in teaching at MSc in Environmental and Resource Management program at SDU Esbjerg, the BSc and MSc in Business Administration and Economics program at SDU Esbjerg, BSc in Business and Economics program at SDU Odense, MSc in Public Health program at SDU Esbjerg and MSc in Risk and Safety Management at SDU Esbjerg.
The Experience Economy and High Performance Sport
SDU Esbjerg offers a Master in Competitive and Elite Sport. The background for this education is an increasing demand for well-trained graduates who can help enhance the development of sports talents and qualify the national and international sports elite, including the development of the talent both inside and outside sports. The main goal of the education is to qualify the student to take part in a systematic and solid cooperation with several parties in order to establish the wide range of circumstances that must be in place for both the young talent and the established elite practitioner to perform both in sports and in other parts of life. The education is multidisciplinary and research-based and has close collaborations with the local community through projects and internships. Furthermore, it has a close collaboration with the other municipalities in Denmark, as well as the big Danish sports organizations. The education thus aims at a broad collaboration in order to establish a sustainable development in the area of elite sports.
Another research focus of the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics addresses the manifold aspects of the experiences economy where concepts from marketing, management, and economics are applied to specific and peculiar issues in the sports, event, media, and tourism industry. The experience economy and especially the mentioned sectors are still becoming more and more important in modern Western European societies. Thereby, research on aspects of profit-oriented companies and organizations but also of not-for-profit organizations are both included. The sport and event management group is – with respect to topic specific teaching and research competences – unique in Denmark. Moreover, it reflects the campus’s overall goal of internationalization, since more than 50 percent of the faculty and of the MSc students have international experiences.
The staff is responsible for the BSc and MSc programs in Business Administration and Economics – Sport and Event Management at SDU Esbjerg. The staff also participates in BSc and MSc Business Administration and Economics at SDU Esbjerg and in MSc in Public Health at SDU Esbjerg.
SDU Esbjerg has strong competences and active, multi-disciplinary research in health promotion. This ranges from multi-level research on public health as social and political disciplines targeting global context, whole society and settings such as regions, municipalities, communities, work sites (e.g. maritime, hospital, schools), families and individuals, in the development of health, managing disease and optimizing health care. Research topics cover: Evidence-informed policy interventions and development in physical activity, social inequality and health, lifestyle interventions, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, rehabilitation, risk perception and communication, health impact assessment and health policies and health systems. Research groups are centred around the Unit for Health Promotion Research and CMSS Health. All units attract external funding from international (incl. EC) and national sources.
The staff is responsible for and participates in the Bachelor's degree in Public Health at SDU Odense, MSc in Public Health at SDU Esbjerg, and participates in the MSc in Risk and Safety Management at Aalborg University.
Clinical research and education at the hospitals
The Department of Regional Health Research, Faculty of Health, is the university frame of education and research at the somatic and psychiatric hospitals in Esbjerg. A wide range of departments, with clinical associate professors at the forefront, are involved in and responsible for the pre-graduate clinical and practical education of students of medicine, chiropractic and pharmacy.
The hospitals are doing research with main focus on obesity-, acute-, thrombosis- and psychiatric research involving many of the departments and competences across disciplines of the hospitals. The research areas reflect societal serious health problems due to many and serious complications, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and psychosocial problems. A number of Clinical Professors, Associate Professors, Post Docs and PhD Students with educational backgrounds of different disciplines of Medicine, Physiotherapy, Economics and Nursing are leading and performing the research in collaboration with national and international partners.
Civil Society and Rural Life Conditions
This research is located at the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics (SEBE). Based on sociology education and the applied and interdisciplinary research approach, it is the goal to further develop sociological research with a focus on social participation, professional practice in the public sector, e.g. in relation to primary and lower secondary school and social work, as well as rural development with an overall focus on business development and living conditions. There is a strong tradition of research collaboration with other research groups and stakeholders, such as UC SYD. Research activities relevant to rural development are linked to the interdisciplinary research center, Center for Rural Research (CLF). Researchers associated with the center come from both the sociology group and the subject areas Business Economics and Environmental and Resource Economics at SEBE. CLF has significant cooperation with different players in the region and generally in rural areas.
The staff is responsible for the Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Culture Analysis and the Master's degree in Cultural Sociology. The courses are unique because they combine classical and contemporary sociology with a more anthropological angle.