Data Science Investigator – Emerging 2020

Data Science Investigator – Emerging 2020

Biomedicine and health sciences
And 2 more
Place of research
Up to DKK 10 million per grant
Recurring call
December 2020
Call opens
2020, 2 pm (CET)
How to apply Apply
Call opens
22 Jan 2020
31 Mar 2020, 2 pm (CET)
How to apply
Up to DKK 10 million per grant
Announcement of results:
October 2020

Due to the exceptional COVID-19 situation, we have decided to postpone deadlines for the upcoming Data Science calls to March 31 (Investigators) and April 1 (Collaborative Research). Furthermore, it is no longer a requirement that letters of support be signed, as these can be forwarded if necessary.


The Data Science Investigator grants are part of the NNF’s new Data Science Initiative. The purpose of the grants is to support excellent academic group leaders with ambitious projects within data science. Hereby, the Foundation aims to strengthen the Danish academic research environment within data science and artificial intelligence, as well as support the education and training of the next generation of data scientists.  

The Emerging Investigator grant is intended for either senior postdocs who have matured to the point of starting their own research group or junior group leaders in the early phase of establishing their own research group. More senior group leaders should apply to the Ascending and professors should apply to the Distinguished Investigator programmes. 


  • Applicants should, at the time of application, be at the level of senior postdoc, senior researcher, assistant or associate professor (time limited/not tenured). Ideally, after their PhD degree, applicants should have approximately 4-8 years of subsequent research experience (parental leave excluded). 
  • The applicant must be an active data science researcher who, during the project, will conduct and direct independent research within the field of data science. 
  • The project must be anchored at a university or other non-profit research institution in Denmark. Applicants must, during the project, be employed in Denmark and have their research group based in Denmark. Only minor and time-limited affiliations with institutions abroad are exceptionally allowed, as the grant is intended for ‘full-time’ researchers (teaching obligations included) based in Denmark.
  • Recipients of this grant must contribute to data-science related courses in the pre-graduate teaching environment at their host institution and/or at other institutions in Denmark. 

Scientific areas

The research must be within the scope of the NNF Data Science Initiative: 

  1. Development of new algorithms, methods and technologies within data science, artificial intelligence (incl. machine learning and deep learning), data engineering, data mining, statistics, applied math, computer science, big data analytics, etc.  
  2. Applications of data science (as defined above) within the Foundation’s core scientific areas: Biomedical and health science, life science and industrial applications promoting sustainability, as well as natural and technical science. 

Projects where the primary focus is on financial or insurance data, fraud detection, advertisement, social media, social science or humanities, security and mass surveillance, defence, gaming, etc. are consider outside of scope and will not be considered for funding. 


Each grant can be up to DKK 10 million, for a period of up to five years. Applications outside this range will not be considered for funding. The total grant capital in 2020 is DKK 70 million for Emerging, Ascending and Distinguished Data Science Investigators. 

Application to other NNF programmes

It is possible for researchers to apply for each of the different data science open-competition calls (as either a main or co-applicant) of the NNF Data Science Initiative, but: 

  • The applicant must indicate which other submitted proposals includes her/him as a main or co-applicant
  • The applications should not be contingent on each other 
  • Any overlap in project description should be indicated clearly  

In addition, dual submission for other “Investigator grants” in 2020 in other NNF committees is not allowed, and concurrent submission for the NERD, Start Package and RECRUIT programmes is not allowed either 

Application process 

The application must be completed and submitted using the foundation’s application system NORMA that can be accessed via the link “Apply now”.  

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