Denmark (Aarhus University) Health-professor receives DKK 104 million for fertility research

High-income countries are experiencing unprecedentedly low and ever more polarised rates of fertility. This means, amongst other things, that the differences between social groups are growing, with a particular increase in infertility among men and women with low levels of education.

In the BIOSFER project, which the ERC is now supporting with a Synergy Grant, Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen from the Department of Public Health and her international colleagues will investigate how social, biological and psychological factors influence the new fertility patterns in young adults. They will also examine the extent to which the declining fertility and polarisation can be attributed to social and biomedical factors.

Transforming research into fertility and human reproduction

Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen is awarded the ERC grant together with Doctor Siri E. Håberg, head of the Centre for Fertility and Health in Norway, and Professor Mikko Myrskylä, head of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany. According to the ERC, they have the potential to transform research into fertility and human reproduction, among other things because they integrate perspectives and methods from epidemiology, medicine, psychology and demographics, etc., in a joint attempt to understand contemporary fertility and infertility.

The three researchers base their cross-disciplinary studies on two large birth cohorts, “Danish National Birth Cohort” in Denmark and “MoBa” in Norway, which together contain data from more than 200,000 young adults whose health has been monitored from foetal life onwards.

Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen’s contribution to the joint research project includes extensive knowledge of reproductive-epidemiological methods, as well as expert knowledge of the causes and consequences of disturbed development in puberty, poor sperm quality, reduced fertility and infertility.

The ERC grant amounts to a total of approximately DKK 104 million, 44 million of which is earmarked for Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen’s research at Aarhus University.