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EMERGING INVESTIGATOR - Research within biotechnology-based synthesis & production - Nordic region

Total available funding amount

DKK 40 million


Application system opens
26 November 2018

Deadline for applications
11 January 2019 at 14:00

Applicant notification
Mid-April 2019


This is an annually recurring call. The next application round is expected to open in November 2019.

Apply now

Committee on Biotechnology-based Synthesis and Production Research

Henrik Callesen, Vincent G. H. Eijsink, Merja Elisa Penttilä, Jan K. Schjørring, Steve Oliver, Sara Linse, David Spring

Link to committee


With this call for applications, the Novo Nordisk Foundation seeks to support the development of new and promising biotechnology research leaders as well as promote research at a high international level in the Nordic countries. These Emerging Investigator grants are for outstanding scientists to establish their own research groups or strengthen their recently started groups. The grants fund excellent and ambitious biotechnology research projects aimed at generating products in improved and more sustainable ways.



  • The applicant must, at the time of application, be employed as a:
    senior postdoctoral fellow, assistant professor or starting associate professor with time-limited employment (or an equivalent to one of these positions).
  • The applicant is expected to have a strong publication record for the career stage that includes major contributions to peer-reviewed research articles following the PhD training.
  • The applicant may not have had her or his own research group for more than 3 years at the time of application.
  • As a general rule, the applicant must have received her/his PhD or equivalent degree within 4 to 8 years of the application deadline (leave of absence excluded). For the eligibility of an applicant who received her/his PhD-level degree outside of this period to be considered, the applicant must explain in the application why s/he is an Emerging Investigator.
  • The project must be based at a university or other non-profit research institution in a Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden). During the grant period, the grant recipient’s employment and research group must be at the host institution.
  • The full list of eligibility requirements is found in the ‘Information and guidelines for applicants’.



These grants support fundamental and applied research projects. They must involve a clear element of biotechnology, and may in addition utilize any other scientific and engineering discipline relevant to achieve the objectives. Projects should include one or more of the following topics:


  • Use or engineering of biological tools and systems for synthesis and production of valuable products (for example, chemicals, fuels, bioactive compounds, proteins, materials as well as fibre, food and feed products).
  • Development of technologies and processes that can directly support biotechnology-based synthesis and production.
  • Improvement of the production potential of microorganisms, plants, animals, or enzymes.
  • Biotechnology to improve raw material utilization, reduce energy consumption and/or decrease waste generation.


Projects must contain a laboratory component and show a clear and plausible path from the proposed research to applications in the area of biotechnology-based synthesis and production.



The Novo Nordisk Foundation will award up to 4 of these grants in 2019.

The 5-year grants can be up to DKK 10 million each, with funding at approximately DKK 2 million per year.

The expenses that be funded by this Emerging Investigator grant are found in the ‘Information and guidelines for applicants’.



Applications must be completed and submitted using the NNF’s application system following the instructions in the ‘Information and guidelines for applicants’ pdf, found at the link below when the system opens. Additional essential information regarding eligibility and funding as well as the application instructions are found in this pdf. Selected candidates will be invited to an interview with the review committee on March 14, 2019.



John Peter Wittschieben

Senior Scientific Officer

Tlf.: +45 3527 6613