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Grants will further boost data science research in Denmark

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded grants to researchers in Aarhus, Odense and Copenhagen under its Data Science Investigator Programme, which will provide researchers within data science the opportunity to carry out excellent research and boost data science capacity in Denmark. The grants are part of the Foundation’s ambitious Data Science Initiative.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded grants totalling DKK 62 million through its Data Science Investigator Programme.

The seven grant recipients will investigate challenges in which data science plays a decisive role. They will develop and improve the efficiency of data science methods that can be used to discover new solutions to complex challenges in society within biomedicine, health, sustainability, biotechnology and the natural and technical sciences.

One project will focus on developing analytical tools to advance knowledge on the effects of mutations in the genome (read more), and another project will focus on developing statistical methods for managing data streams from the latest generation of genome sequencers (read more).

A third project will focus on developing tools for calculating how numerous environmental factors such as climate change and pesticides will affect plants (read more).

Decisive field
“Data science is extremely important for improving the quality of virtually all research fields and creating value for society. Data science especially has the potential to drive the development of new solutions within areas such as sustainable agricultural production, new climate solutions and new cutting-edge health technologies,” explains Lene Oddershede, Senior Vice President, Natural & Technical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation, who adds:

“Our ambition with these grants is to support excellent, creative and original research within data science, including obtaining fundamental insight and developing methods and models that can really boost data science research in Denmark. In addition, we want the career grants to help to attract and retain data scientists who carry out data science research in academia and educate future generations. This group of specialists is much in demand. We are very much looking forward to following the seven excellent researchers and their exciting projects in the coming years.”

The Data Science Investigator Programme targets researchers at different career stages, and the 5-year grants are divided into the categories of Emerging Investigator, Ascending Investigator and Distinguished Investigator. The aim is to support the creation of attractive career paths for the most talented researchers within data science.

Data Science Investigator Programme grants in 2021

Emerging Investigator

  • Shilpa Garg, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen: Efficient, High-resolution Approaches for Integrative Sequencing Analysis of Complex Diseases – DKK 9,960,709
  • Signe Marie Jensen, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen: Enhancing Statistical Methodology for Toxicophenomics: High-throughput and High-dimensional Data for Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment – DKK 9,225,108
  • Jesper Madsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Southern Denmark, Odense: Islet Cartography – Multilayered Mapping of Islets of Langerhans in Health and Disease – DKK 8,790,602
  • Niklas Pfister, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen: CausalBiome: Developing a Unified Statistical Framework for Analysing Microbiome Data – DKK 9,812,255

Ascending Investigator

  • Søren Besenbacher, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University: Novel Methods to Model Mutational Processes in Germline and Cancer – DKK 6,705,000
  • Morten Arendt Rasmussen, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen: First Principal Models, Neural Networks and Functional Graphical Models for Defining Metabolic Capacity as a Tool for Personalized Nutrition (FOODTOP) – DKK 9,267,806

Distinguished Investigator

  • Rasmus Pagh, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen: Providentia: Privacy-driven Trust in Algorithms – DKK 8,410,068

Funding data science
This is the second time the Foundation has awarded grants through the Data Science Investigator Programme, which is part of the Foundation’s Data Science Initiative. The Initiative was launched in 2019 and aims to broadly boost capacity within data science, including supporting the implementation of ambitious research programmes, establishing new national infrastructure, offering attractive career paths and educating and training more data science specialists. The Foundation has distributed nearly DKK 600 million through the Initiative. Read more here.

Further information

Christian Mostrup, Senior Programme Lead, Novo Nordisk Foundation, +45 3067 4805, [email protected]