Challenge Programme 2020 – Natural and Technical Sciences

Open for applications on
2019, 2pm (CET)
Award amount:
DKK 30-60 million per grant available for granting
Announcement of results:
Round 1: March 2020

Round 2: October 2020

Please note, that the document ”Information and Guidelines for applicants” has been updated on 10 October 2019.


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

Research Theme 2020 – Natural and Technical Sciences

For the 2020 application round, the Challenge Programme within the Natural and Technical Sciences is seeking to support outstanding scientists working within the following theme:

  • Quantum simulators for unravelling complex processes in nature

The research must be in-depth, but can be cross-disciplinary, and should not be considered limited to any specific research methodology or discipline.


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 the theme.

The scientific disciplines and locations of the research groups 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 DKK 30-60 million.

Application process

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.


Kasper Nørgaard
Senior Scientific Officer, PhD
+45 3527 6538

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