About grants

About grants


What is the money used for?


The Foundation’s Grants

The Novo Nordisk Foundation awards grants across a wide range of areas within science, education & outreach, sustainability, biotechnology, innovation, art history, nursing as well as social & humanitarian initiatives.

Recipients of research grants can publish as they wish and can decide how to set priorities for the research in their projects. The research institutions to which the researchers are affiliated own the research results.

Grants are primarily awarded in three ways, as open competition grants, stand-alone grants or prizes:

Grants awarded in open competition

The Foundation awards grants annually across many different areas, which are announced on the Foundation’s website. The grant recipients are decided in open competition, and the Foundation’s expert committees review all applications. Read more here.

Stand-alone grants

In addition to the grants awarded in open competition, the Foundation supports several ambitious strategic initiatives that can benefit people or society. These grants often result from long-term collaboration and dialogue with the Foundation and are sometimes developed jointly between the Foundation and the grant recipient. The Foundation consults independent experts from Denmark or elsewhere to assess and improve the quality of the proposed projects before the Foundation’s Board of Directors make a final decision on awarding a grant.

Read more about stand-alone grants under Research centres and Projects and initiatives.


The Foundation awards numerous honorary prizes each year to recognize and honour people who have made extraordinary efforts. Read more about our prizes.