The members of the 278 years old academy have elected a remarkable person in Danish science as their new Secretary General. Professor Thomas Sinkjær has occupied great posts in governing boards of foundations and is behind the publishing of more than 200 scientific articles.


In the years to come, Professor Thomas Sinkjær will be seated at the same table as great Danish scientists before him like Hans Christian Ørsted, Japetus Steenstrup and Martin Knudsen. Luckily, he is bringing a great deal of experience to that very same table.

Extensive experience

Throughout the last many years, Thomas Sinkjær has, besides being an active scientist, also occupied remarkable posts in both public and private research foundations. For instance, he has been the Director of the Danish National Research Foundation, the Research Director of the Villum Foundation and the Lundbeck Foundation, and until April 1st this year, he directed the Lundbeck Foundation’s Talent Programme. Furthermore, he is a member of the Danish Council for Research and Innovation Policy, meaning he has a lot of knowledge regarding the Danish research community, both politically, strategically and practically speaking. All this knowledge and experience is something he hopes to put to good use working on the continuous development of the Royal Academy:

- ”There is plenty of work to be done, for example in relation to building trust and confidence between scientists and the Danish Parliament, the managements at universities and licensees, so we can create good conditions for the scientists to work under. The Royal Academy has a special role to play here, as we are one of only a few organizations speaking on behalf of all areas of science. For instance, we need to make sure that there is a clear attitude towards the balance between basic research means and those research means exposed to competition, as well as the attitude towards terms and conditions of employment, legal capacity, securing professional evaluations and collaborations between universities and external partners”.

As a scientist, Thomas Sinkjær is a Professor of neuroscience and technology at the University of Aalborg and has for many years worked in the cross field of natural sciences and health sciences, especially with a focus on how the brain controls motions when walking.

Wishes to keep up the professionalization

During the last couple of years, the Royal Academy has gone through a process of professionalization that has, among other things, resulted in a more pronounced role in the public debate. That process is one that Thomas Sinkjær wishes to continue:

- “The Corona pandemic has once again clearly shown us that all areas of science are essential when it comes to creating a safe and positive future. That is why it is so important that science is moved to the top of the political agenda, as well as it is also important that the Royal Academy can contribute to securing favourable terms when creating valid scientific results in Denmark – and that such results are put to use by decision-makers, in industrial connections as well as among the population in general. And because of that, the Royal Academy must strengthen its research communication even more, and preferably in collaborations with foundations and others sharing the same agenda.”

As Secretary General of the Royal Academy Thomas Sinkjær will oversee the carrying through of decisions made by the Academy’s members, and he will also be the person responsible for the Academy’s secretariat and budget and accounts. Thomas Sinkjær will take up the post as Secretary General effective immediately.

For further press related information, please contact Head of Communications at the Royal Academy Kristoffer Frøkjær on +45 31146101 or e-mail kf@royalacademy.dk.

Information: Thomas Sinkjær

1958: Born in Holstebro, Denmark

1983: Master of Engineering, University of Aalborg

1988: PhD, University of Aalborg

1993-: Professor at the University of Aalborg

1993-2006: Leader of the basic research center SMI (“Sanse-Motorisk Interaktion”)

1998: DMSc, University of Copenhagen

2006-2015: Director of the Danish National Research Foundation

2015-2017: Research Director of the Villum Foundation

2018-2021: Research Director and later Programme Leader at the Lundbeck Foundation

Thomas Sinkjær has also received several big research prizes, for instance the Villum Kann Rasmussen Grant and the Steven Hoogendijk Prize.