Apply for grants

Project grants for strengthening STEM subjects in vocational education and training – 2023

Call opens
7 June 2023
Call closes
31 August 2023 2:00pm (CEST)
Announcement of results
December 2023
Recurring calls
June 2024
Application guidelines


The Novo Nordisk Foundation aims to strengthen scientific and technical aspirations, knowledge and competencies among children, young people and the general population in Denmark.

Through the call for applications, the Foundation seeks to contribute to strengthening the interest in and the quality of teaching STEM subjects at vocational education and training (EUD and EUX). The aim of this is to strengthen students’ competencies within the STEM subjects, and to ensure a strong grounding in technology and natural science and in their vocational occupation within sustainability and health. In addition, the purpose is to strengthen recruitment of students in STEM-related vocational education.

About the grants


Up to DKK 6 million per grant




Contact regarding content: Maj Leth-Espensen. Contact regarding application/NORMA: Julie Krener.
Maj Leth-Espensen
Senior Project Manager
+45 3527 6612 [email protected]
Julie Krener
Grant Manager
+45 2222 6426 [email protected]

Project field

Applicants can apply for support for projects that strengthen the quality of teaching the basic subjects within STEM and the STEM related content of subjects in programme specialisations in vocational education and training (EUD and EUX). This also applies to support for projects that can strengthen the STEM subjects’ contribution to the green transition, including also within sustainable food production, climate, energy production, and health. Applicants may also apply for funding of projects that aim to motivate more young people to choose a STEM-related vocational education.

This could include:

  • The development and implementation of methods, materials, and resources for STEM teaching, including strengthening the cohesion between STEM related content in the basic subjects and in the subjects of the programme specialisations
  • Development projects to improve the competences of teachers and a holistic teaching approach as well as a green mindset within STEM basic subjects and subject programme specialisations with STEM content. Please note that applicants can only apply for support to participate in continuing education programmes that have been developed in the present project
  • Activities with the aim to enhance recruitment and retention within STEM-related vocational education and training, science competitions, and special offers and activities for talented students at vocational education and training within STEM programmes

The project’s activities must be aimed at target groups within the Danish Realm.

Collaborations with industries/companies are encouraged.


During the grant period, the applicant must be a leader at or responsible for a project at the project’s administering institution. The administering institution must be a public institution and/or non-profit organisation, including educational institutions, municipalities, research institutions, museums or associations within the Danish Realm.

Private companies may apply for grants for non-commercial projects with non-profit aims. In this case, the company itself acts as the administering institution.

The Foundation has three calls for applications in 2023 within natural science education and outreach: Project grants for vocational education and training, Project grants for science communication and debate using novel communication platforms and Project grants for natural science education and informal learning environments. A person may only be the main applicant for one application in these calls. Co-applicants are not subject to similar rules. Applications, which fall within the calls for Project grants for natural science education and informal learning environments or Project grants for science communication and debate using novel communication platforms will not be considered in this call.

The information and guidelines for applicants provide more information on the general rules for applications.


A total of up to DKK 20 million is available for grants between DKK 100,000 and DKK 6,000,000 for projects lasting up to 6 years.

It is possible to apply for funding for development projects and follow-up research for the development project applied for. This call does not include sheer research projects.

The project may be an independent, delimited project or a part of a larger project that is also supported by other partners.

Applicants may apply for funding for the following types of expenses in the project:

  • Salaries for employees or affiliated personnel at all staffing levels, including project management;
  • researchers in permanent positions at universities and university colleges may apply for funds to pay for substitutes for the time they use in a development project if the project extends beyond the description of their duties in their position (such as development of educational resources for target groups outside the university or university college);
  • salaries for substitutes or paying the salaries of replacements for teachers so that they can develop and/or participate in projects;
  • operating expenses: direct expenses for developing, implementing and operating projects, including materials and equipment;
  • travel expenses in relation to the project, e.g. conference and workshop participation and presentation of results derived from the project;
  • communication and outreach in the form of conferences, books, articles and other outreach directly related to the project;
  • evaluation and follow-up research in connection with development projects;
  • external auditing costs if the administering institution is not subject to public audit. Institutions that are not subject to audit by public authorities must carry out external audits, and the expenses for this must be included in the budget;
  • administrative support (up to 5% of the applicant’s overall budget and included in it) to cover administrative expenses directly related to the project being based at an administering institution.

NNF will not award funding for:

  • Commercial activities;
  • buildings; and
  • overhead (such as rent, electricity, water and maintenance).

Collaborating industries/companies cannot receive funding from the grant.


The application system is in English, but applications can be submitted in either Danish or English. The language chosen will not influence the assessment of the application.

Application process

The application must be completed and submitted using NNF’s online application and grant management system, NORMA.

Before applying, it is important that applicants read the information and guidelines for applicants as they contain detailed information on the application process.

Assessment criteria

NNF’s Committee on STEM vocational education and training will assess the applications based on the following criteria:

  • The project’s consistency with the purpose of the call for applications;
  • the capacity and qualifications of the applicant and the applicant institution;
  • the professional quality of the project;
  • the relevance and importance of the proposed project, and how it builds on possible existing knowledge and initiatives;
  • the project plan, method and feasibility to be implemented, including plan of evaluation and knowledge dissemination;
  • expected benefit for the target group and in relation to knowledge building;
  • if relevant, the capacity and qualifications of the co-applicants and collaboration partners;
  • if relevant, the embeddedness, originality, scalability and opportunities for dissemination of the project throughout Denmark
  • if relevant, the research environment and research excellence.

Information and Guidelines

The “Information and Guidelines for applicants” is available here

See previous grant recipients here.


Grant listings

All the projects we have funded are listed here. You can customise your search by grant year and category and use free text search.

Managing a grant

Read more about how to manage a grant and what general information you need as a grant holder.