New Exploratory Research and Discovery – NERD

New Exploratory Research and Discovery – NERD

Open for applications on
2020, 2pm (CET)
Award amount:
Up to DKK 14 million over 7 years available for granting
Announcement of results:
June 2020


The purpose of the NERD programme is to support creative, daring and ambitious researchers within the natural and technical sciences, at any career stage after obtaining the PhD degree. The grant is aimed at supporting a single principle investigator (PI) with ample funding and a long time-horizon, providing the required long-term stability and continuity to explore truly exceptional ideas with potential application within the life sciences or biotechnology.
The NERD programme uses a two-stage evaluation procedure; In the first stage, applicant will remain anonymous to the evaluation committee, ensuring that emphasis is put on the suggested scientific ideas. The top evaluated applications will proceed to the second stage, where the CVs and publication lists of the applicants will be included to assess the feasibility of the proposed project.
To ensure that the PI will dedicate time and effort to the proposed research, during the first funding year of a NERD grant, the applicant should not have a grant portfolio as PI exceeding an annual total of DKK 4.0 million. Grants where the applicant is co-PI is not included in this total.


Principal investigators at any career stage after obtaining the PhD degree are eligible to apply, i.e., independent researchers who have already established their own line of research or researchers that are in the process of establishing themselves as independent researchers. Applications from PhD students will not be taken into consideration.


The overall goal of the NERD programme is to support fundamental research within the natural and technical sciences, including – but not limited to – physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and technical sciences. The application must describe how the outcome of the project has potential interdisciplinary applications in the life and health sciences or in biotechnology.


The timeframe of a NERD project is up to 7 years, with a total grant size of up to DKK 10.5 million (pro rata for shorter projects). If the activities are primarily of an experimental nature, an additional DKK 3.5 million can be requested, for a total of up to DKK 14 million (pro rata for shorter projects).


The application must be completed and submitted using the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s electronic application and grant management system, NORMA, which can be accessed using the link “Apply” on top of this page.

It is important that the applicant carefully reads the “Guidelines for applicants – NERD programme” before initiating the application process, as this document contains the complete call text as well as instructions regarding the completion of the application.

Natural and Technical Sciences
Kasper Nørgaard
Senior Scientific Manager, PhD
+45 3527 6538