Apply for grants

RECRUIT – Grants for international recruitment 2022

Call opens
25 April 2022
Call closes
22 September 2022 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
April 2023
Application guidelines


The purpose of the RECRUIT grants is to strengthen Danish universities in the international competition of recruiting the most talented or leading researchers within the natural and technical sciences from abroad. Researchers who come from other institutions or traditions contribute new ideas, specialized knowledge and access to international networks. As a result, they can be crucial in developing or boosting a research field.

The grants are aimed at supporting the recruitment of researchers at the assistant-, associate-, or full-professor level. A RECRUIT grant is intended to provide ample funding over a long timeframe to make it more attractive for international top-researchers to relocate from abroad to establish their research group at a Danish university.

The candidate must be considered ambitious and excellent at his/her career level. The candidate’s research should bring substantial value and/or novelty to a research field that has a strategic relevance to the recruiting university. The candidate’s research focus must lie within the strategic areas of the Natural and Technical Sciences at the Novo Nordisk Foundation(see Areas of Support).

A certain nomination quota for RECRUIT is allocated to each Danish university with faculty in the natural and technical sciences.

About the grants


Up to DKK 35 million per grant


International recruitment to Denmark

Career stage

Research Leaders (Established/Prof.), Research Leaders (junior/non-tenured), Research Leaders (Mid-career/Associate Prof.)


For grant inquiries
Thomas Bentin
Senior Scientific Lead, PhD
+45 2277 8557 [email protected]

Areas of support

The grant will support the recruitment of researchers that align with the following headline and strategic key themes:

Natural and technical science research and interdisciplinarity

Research within natural and technical sciences, particularly in fields with potential interdisciplinary application to the life and health sciences and industrial biotechnology.

Key themes:

  • Interdisciplinary research rooted in the natural and technical sciences
  • Quantum-based technologies to solve complex and important problems in biology, chemistry, or medicine
  • Data science research with focus on fundamental algorithms and interdisciplinary applications
  • Technology for tomorrow’s medical science and applications

In alignment with the overall vision and strategy of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, applications for the RECRUIT programme must explicitly describe how the outcome of the project may have potential future applications in the life sciences, health sciences, or in biotechnology. Such potential applications may be within the project period but could also be on timescales longer than the project period.

Ineligible fields of research

Research within the natural and technical sciences is eligible for support, including, e.g., physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and technical sciences, under the key themes mentioned above.

Research focused on fields covered by Novo Nordisk Foundation grant-giving areas other than Natural and Technical Sciences, or which fall outside the current scope of the Foundation, is not eligible for the RECRUIT programme. Examples of research areas not eligible for the RECRUIT programme are:

  • Bioscience and biomedicine
  • Endocrinology and metabolism
  • Biotechnology, including, e.g., industrial and environmental biotechnology
  • Plant science, agriculture, and food research
  • Clinical and translational medicine
  • Cosmology
  • Zoology
  • Projects that are primarily retrospective or primarily of historical value

The list is not exhaustive. Applicants are welcome to contact the Foundation with questions regarding eligible areas of support for the RECRUIT programme.


The total annual grant awarding budget is up to DKK 100 million.

For each grant, up to DKK 15 million can be awarded over a 7-year grant period for assistant professors, up to DKK 25 million over a 7-year grant period for associate professors, and up to DKK 35 million over a 7-year grant period for full professors.

Application process

The application process consists of two phases, where the first phase is undertaken prior to submission deadline by the universities and the second phase by the NNF after submission deadline.

The university can nominate candidates according to a quota system, pre-set by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and detailed in the application guidelines. Prior to the application deadline, the recruiting university must have undertaken an internal evaluation and identified their top candidates to be nominated. By submission deadline a nomination list must be submitted to NNF by the university. Only candidates nominated by the recruiting university will be considered for funding and the university cannot prioritise among the nominated candidates.

The application must be completed and submitted using the Foundation’s application system NORMA that can be accessed via the link “Apply now”.  

For more detailed information, please read “Information and Guidelines for Applicants” carefully. Additional essential information on the call and application process is found in these guidelines.



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.