Emerging Investigator – Research within biotechnology-based synthesis & production – Nordic region

Emerging Investigator – Research within biotechnology-based synthesis & production – Nordic region

Place of research
Nordic region
Up to DKK 10 mio. per grant
Recurring call
Expected November 2020
Call opens
2020, 2pm (CET)
How to apply Apply
Call opens
26 Nov 2019
21 Jan 2020, 2pm (CET)
How to apply
Up to DKK 10 mio. per grant
Announcement of results:
Ultimo April 2020


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.
  • Applicants who are already established as independent group leaders with 2-3 years of group leader experience should not apply for this grant, but instead the ‘Ascending Investigator’ grant.
  • 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’.

Research fields

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 2020.

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’.

Application process

Applications must be completed and submitted using the NNF’s application system following the instructions in the ‘Information and guidelines for applicants’ pdf. 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 26, 2020.