Apply for grants

Informing humanitarian response through research, learning and innovation

Call opens
30 June 2023
Call closes
31 August 2023 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
December 2023
Application guidelines


Humanitarian needs may arise from several, interrelated factors, including extreme poverty and the effects of climate change, conflict, disaster, and displacement. The purpose of the open call is to support humanitarian actors and the humanitarian system in identifying, adapting, or integrating research, learning, and innovative approaches to improve the quality of humanitarian response and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crisis. This open call will focus on food security and health sectors.

About the grants


Up to DKK 5 million per grant.
Total grant capital DKK 35 million.


For grant inquiries
Tine Blaakær Welzel
Senior Project Manager
+45 5194 5166 [email protected]
Jamie Batchelor
Grant specialist
+45 41727932 [email protected]
For press inquiries
Tine Blaakær Welzel
Senior Project Manager
+45 5194 5166 [email protected]
Jamie Batchelor
Grant specialist
+45 41727932 [email protected]


With this call, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is looking for applications focusing on research, learning, and innovative approaches in a humanitarian setting.
Applications should fall within one or more of the following sub-themes:

Food Security:

  • Innovative approaches to food security in crises
  • Strengthening climate resilient food security response


  • Innovative approaches to NCD prevention and management in emergencies and its comorbidities, such as infectious diseases
  • Strengthening climate resilient health systems

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications for projects with strategic relevance for the applicant and within their area of expertise. Applicants with a documented and existing capacity to reach people affected by crisis will be given preference.

The focus of the call is limited to the OECD DAC List of ODA Recipients in the following geographies: sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, and South Asia. For the categories Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories and Upper Middle Income Countries and Territories, the applicant must describe how the project will specifically focus on people in vulnerable situations or affected by crisis from one or more of these geographies. Please see the Guidelines for details on geographical scope:

The open call understands research, learning, and innovative approaches in the following way:


  • In this call, research is understood as the systematic effort to generate new knowledge, concepts, or intervention approaches to improve the outcomes for people affected by crisis.
  • The research may include any suitable design, including operational and implementation sciences, and any appropriate methods. Data can be generated from any relevant source including the use of secondary and existing data and literature.


  • In this call, learning is understood as documentation and evaluation of new or existing humanitarian approaches and responses.
  • Learning may include dissemination and sharing of learnings across partners and sectors.


  • In this call, innovation is understood as an iterative process that identifies, adjusts, and diffuses ideas for improving humanitarian action.
  • Innovation may include developing and piloting new concepts and approaches
  • Innovative financing will not be covered by this call

Preference will be given to applications containing one or more of the following approaches:

  • Nexus approach
  • Local anchoring, including participatory approaches and local stakeholder engagement
  • Gender sensitive or gender transformative approach


Proposed projects must directly relate to the provision of humanitarian assistance in emergencies, disaster prevention and preparedness, or recovery. It may also pertain to provision of assistance to people affected by protracted and complex crisis.

Both Danish and international humanitarian organisations may apply. We encourage that the main applicant engages research or knowledge institutions, local organisations, regional networks or similar as co-applicants.

A main applicant may submit a maximum of two applications. It further applications are submitted, they will be disregarded.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation will only accept applications from highly transparent organisations and institutions, whose annual reports and annual audited financial reports are publicly available.

The Foundation also expects main applicants to have implemented a code of conduct, or similar, by which they are guided and with which they comply in accordance with ethical humanitarian and development guidelines and standards, e.g., the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). CHS certification is not a requirement for submitting an application. And is not a requirement for co-applicants.


A total of up to DKK 35 million is available for grants between DKK 1 million and DKK 5 million for projects lasting up to 2 years.

The project can be an independent, delimited project or part of a larger project that receives support from other sources. If the applicant has applied for or been awarded co-funding from other sources for the project, the applicant must always state this in the budget.

Applicants may apply for funding for direct cost functions which are the costs of all necessary and reasonable inputs associated with functions which are directly necessary to deliver a programme or project. These functions include:

  • Project and grant management
  • Technical delivery
  • Quality control functions
  • Visibility and communications
  • Human resources and security
  • Compliance
  • Finance, procurement, payroll, information technology and administration
  • External audit and evaluation

Indirect costs may account for a maximum of 7% of the direct sub-total costs. The indirect costs may be used to cover the costs of all necessary and reasonable inputs associated with functions which are necessary to manage the applicant as a whole, provide oversight over all its activities and put into place the overarching policies, frameworks and systems that enable it to operate.

NNF will not award funding for commercial activities.


The application and any additional uploads must be written in English.


Applications must be submitted using the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s online application system, NORMA. Applications must include a brief summary of the project together with a detailed project description of up to 20,000 characters and a budget for the project.

Please limit the number of appendices to an absolute minimum.

Applicants are requested to read the application guidelines, ‘Information and Guidelines for Applicants’, thoroughly before initiating the application process.

Please note that only organizational applicants are eligible for this call, which is of particular importance when creating a profile in the online application system, NORMA.

If you experience technical issues, please contact the NORMA support team on [email protected].