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Thematic programme in education and outreach: project grants for mathematics in natural science and technology

Call opens
21 June 2019
Call closes
10 September 2019 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
November 2019
Application guidelines


The Novo Nordisk Foundation wants to support general science education and cultivate interest, knowledge and competencies in natural science and technology among children, young people and the general population in Denmark.

Through the thematic programme on mathematics in natural science and technology, the Foundation wants to strengthen the mathematics and natural science competencies of children and young people across the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and along the education chain.

About the grants


Up to DKK 6 million per grant




For grant inquiries
Clarissa Løkkegaard Engelholm
Project Manager
+45 3527 6526 [email protected]
Julie Krener
Grant Manager
+45 2222 6426 [email protected]


The applicant must be active in natural science education and/or outreach within the Danish Realm.

During the grant period, the applicant must be a leader at or responsible for a project at a public institution and/or nonprofit organization (the administering institution), including educational institutions, research institutions, associations or municipalities in Denmark.

The application must identify any co-applicants and collaboration partners.

The Foundation has three calls for applications in the autumn 2019 application round within natural science education and outreach. A person may only be the main applicant for one application in this application round. Co-applicants are not subject to similar rules. Projects which fall within the call for Project grants for natural science education and outreach or the thematic call 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.

To be eligible for a grant for a research project or research fellowship, the applicant must have a PhD degree or similar qualifications and have a commitment for hosting from an administering institution. Applicants for a research fellowship may not simultaneously be responsible for a major research project.

Project field

Applicants may apply for projects that:

  • illustrate that mathematics is used to describe phenomena in nature;
  • develop the mathematics and natural science competencies of children and young people; and
  • integrate mathematics with natural science and/or technology.

Within these categories, applicants may apply for project grants within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research on science education, and mathematics in leisure time.

Projects may, for example, cover education in mathematical modelling in science experiments, mathematical patterns in nature, mathematics-based data processing and simulation, model-based enquiry or the understanding of numbers among young children. Projects may also, in a broader sense, support the competencies of children and young people in data management, mathematics and logic and include such topics as big data, computational thinking and coding.

Projects on mathematics in STEM teaching may target childcare centres, primary and lower-secondary schools or upper-secondary schools in Denmark. Applicants may apply for grants for developing and implementing methods, materials and resources for teaching or for development projects to improve the competencies of teachers and early-childhood educators. Note that applicants may only apply for grants to participate in continuing education programmes that have been developed in the development project for which a grant has been applied.

Research on science education carried out through projects or fellowships must be based at a university or university college in Denmark.

This call for applications also covers projects that give children and young people learning and experiences related to mathematics in their leisure time.


A total of up to DKK 45 million is available in autumn 2019, for grants between DKK 100,000 and DKK 6 million for projects lasting up to 6 years.

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 a grant for the following expenses in the project:

  • salaries for employees or affiliated personnel at all staffing levels, including project management;
  • salaries for substitutes or paying the salaries of replacements for early-childhood educators and teachers so that they can develop and/or participate in projects;
  • researchers in permanent positions at universities and university colleges may apply for funds for salaries for research employees to be hired in connection with the project but may not apply for funds for their own salaries; nevertheless, researchers in permanent positions 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 communicating natural science research or developing educational material for target groups outside the university or university college);
  • researchers not in permanent positions may apply for a research fellowship to cover their own salary for up to 2 years;
  • operating expenses: direct expenses for developing, implementing and operating projects, including materials and equipment;
  • scientific outreach and knowledge-sharing in the form of conferences, books, articles and other outreach directly related to the project;
  • 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; and
  • evaluation and follow-up research in connection with projects.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation will not award grants for:

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

Applicants who have applied for or been awarded co-funding must state this in the application.

Application process

The application must be completed and submitted using the Foundation’s application system (NORMA). The application system is in English, but applications may be submitted in either Danish or English. The language chosen will not influence the assessment of the application.

To be eligible for a grant for a research project or research fellowship, the applicant must upload a commitment for hosting from an administering institution, which must confirm that the applicant will be employed during the grant period.

It is important that applicants read all information and guidelines for applicants since they contain detailed information on the application process. The box on how to apply at the top of this page has a link to the information and guidelines for applicants.

Assessment criteria

The Foundation’s Committee on the Thematic Programme in Education and Outreach: Mathematics in Natural Science and Technology will assess the applications based on the following criteria:

  • the extent to which the project is in accordance with the purpose of the call for applications;
  • the capacity and qualifications of the applicant and their institution;
  • the quality of the project;
  • the relevance and importance of the proposed project;
  • the project plan, method and feasibility of the project to be implemented, including a plan for evaluation and knowledge dissemination;
  • the expected benefit for the target group and in the form of knowledge-building;
  • the capacity and qualifications of any co-applicants and collaboration partners;
  • if relevant to the application, the embeddedness, originality, scalability and opportunities for disseminating the project throughout Denmark;
  • if relevant to the application, the potential impact of the research and the research community.

Information and Guidelines

Read more about the application process in the “Information and Guidelines for applicant“.

Find the presentation from the information meetings in Copenhagen and Vejle here.


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