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Grant capital
Up to DKK 10 mio. per year for 6 years, for a total budget of up to DKK 60 mio. per grant

Application form opens
Will be open for Stage 1 applications from November 1, 2017

Application deadline
Stage 1: January 25, 2018, 2pm
Stage 2: June 7, 2018, 2pm

Applicant notification
Stage 1: March, 2018
Stage 2: December, 2018

Earliest start date
January 2, 2019

Latest start date
December 1, 2019


The three thematic review committees will be announced on the Foundation's website in the beginning of 2018.


With the Challenge Programme the Novo Nordisk Foundation wishes to contribute to the development and strengthening of the Danish research environment within biomedicine and biotechnology. The Challenge Programme focuses on in-depth research on specific challenges within annually selected research themes.



For the application round of 2018, the Challenge Programme is seeking to support outstanding scientists working within one the following three themes:


  • Protein Chemistry – Structure, Function and Application
  • Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
  • Understanding Obesity at the Cellular Level.


For all themes, the subject can be cross-disciplinary, and should not be considered limited to any particular research methodology or discipline.


The individual application should only focus on one of the three themes.



The Challenge Programme supports excellent scientists from 1-3 research groups, in addition to the main applicant. Based on a common mission and vision, the research project must explore an important research question within one of the three themes.

The research groups scientific discipline(s) and location(s) are not restricted, except that the main applicant and host institution must be anchored in Denmark.



Each Challenge Programme application can request funding for up to DKK 10 million per year for 6 years, for a total budget of up to DKK 60 million.



The application process will consist of two stages.


Stage 1: A short expression of interest will be evaluated by an international expert committee. The best applicants will be invited to submit a Stage 2 application.

Stage 2: An application with a detailed project proposal. The main applicant will be invited for interview with the international committee.


Please read ”Information and Guidelines for Applicants” carefully before initiating the application process. Additional and essential information is found in these guidelines.



Jens Peter Holst Lauritsen

Scientific Officer

Tlf.: +45 3527 6648