Prof Thulstrup obtained his M.Sc. in 1967 and PhD in 1970, as well as a later Dr. of Science title from Aarhus University. He has been Associate Professor at Aarhus University (1972-81) and was Chairman of the Chemistry Department.
Later he was Professor at Danish Pedagogical University (1981-89) and Roskilde University (1993). Between 1989 and 1993 he was Senior S&T Specialist in the World Bank and headed the Bank’s S&T workgroup.
His research interests focus on polarisation spectroscopy of ordered samples; as well as science policy and economic development. He has developed a method for aligning molecular samples and performing optical spectroscopy with polarized light on them.
He has been Visiting Professor at numerous universities in Europe and the US. He has been a member of the EU Task Force on research evaluation and has headed many evaluations of research capacity building projects, primarily in developing countries, most recently in Tanzania. He has provided science policy advice to several developing countries. In the 1990s he was President of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO.
He is a member of TWAS, Norwegian Academy of Sciences, Mongolian Academy of Sciences and of The African Academy of Sciences. He has about 250 publications, including some widely used monographs on spectroscopy.