Apply for grants

Applying for a grant

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has several funding areas, and within each area it is possible to apply for support via the Foundation’s open competition calls.

We announce all calls and deadlines for applications on our website on the page ‘Apply for Grants’.

Application process

As applicant, you must prepare and submit your application to the Foundation via the online application system ‘NORMA’ before the deadline for the call.

Each call has a set of guidelines with information on how to apply for that specific grant. The guidelines can be found on the call page on our website or in NORMA. Before you begin your application, it is important to read the guidelines carefully to familiarize yourself with the application process and requirements for the application.

On the call page and in the guidelines, you will also find one or more contact persons who you can phone or e-mail if you have questions that are not answered in the guidelines. You can also see our FAQ below.

Application tips:

  • Give yourself enough time to write and submit your application prior to the deadline.
  • Read the call instructions provided in the guidelines carefully.
  • Avoid submitting your application just before the deadline.
  • Log into and familiarize yourself with the application system NORMA well in advance of the application deadline.
  • Make sure that you are eligible to apply for the call. Areas of support and eligibility are outlined in the guidelines.
  • Make sure to coordinate your grant application with your host institution. You may for instance need to obtain a hosting letter.
  • Complete every field in the application form as described in the guidelines and using the tool tips in NORMA.
  • Check for correct language, formatting and structure of your application, both in the NORMA fields and the PDF version.
  • Consider asking a colleague, supervisor or mentor to read your application before submission.


Evaluation process

Once the call deadline has expired, the Foundation’s secretariat sends your application to an independent expert committee for evaluation. The evaluation process typically follows the path illustrated below.

The Foundation generally uses committees consisting of internationally recognized, independent experts to evaluate the applications that are submitted in open competition.

These committees have been established by the Foundation’s Board of Directors to assist the Board in implementing their granting decisions.

Every committee has 5-12 members and covers a defined funding area. To see the Foundation’s current committees and their members, see our committee overview.

Generally, the committee evaluates the proposed project based on quality, novelty and potential impact, the budget, as well as the qualifications of the applicant. In addition to this, each individual call has assessment criteria that you can find in the call guidelines.

The committee evaluates each application very carefully. First, the members of the committee evaluate the applications individually and give them a score. After this, the committee meets to discuss the highest-ranking applications to reach consensus on granting recommendations. The evaluation process of some calls may include an additional elaborated application, a personal interview with the applicant, or the use of further expert peer review. You can read about the specific evaluation process for the call that you are applying for in the call guidelines.

Dependent on the number and scope of the received applications, the committee typically spends 1-6 months evaluating applications.

Once a granting decision has been made, you will receive an answer to your application by e-mail.

On average, the Foundation offers funding to approx. 20% of all applications that we receive across all funding areas. There may, however, be variance depending on funding area, grant type and number and quality of applications received.

The entire evaluation process is closely monitored by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. In addition, the secretariat oversees that it is carried out in accordance with the Foundation’s rules and policies, including the rules of eligibility to ensure full impartiality of committee members.