Challenge Programme 2019

Application opens
2018, 2pm (CET)
Award amount:
Up to DKK 60 mio. per grant available for granting
Announcement of results:
Round 1: February 2019
Round 2: September 2019


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.

Research Themes 2019

For the application round of 2019, the Challenge Programme is seeking to support outstanding scientists working within one the following three themes:

  • Modern Plant Science – Towards a Sustainable World.
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases.
  • How Dietary Factors Affect the Human Microbiome.

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.

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.

Jens Peter Holst Lauritsen
Scientific Officer
+45 3527 6648

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