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New opportunities for recruiting top international researchers

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is expanding its successful RECRUIT programme. In the future, the Foundation will allocate DKK 200 million annually to RECRUIT, which is being expanded to encompass the natural and technical sciences, biotechnology and sustainability.

Since 2021, the Novo Nordisk Foundation has helped Danish universities to recruit top international researchers through the RECRUIT programme, for which a new round of applications has just opened. From 2024 to 2028, the Foundation is allocating up to DKK 200 million annually to RECRUIT – twice the previous funding.

RECRUIT had previously been reserved for researchers in the natural and technical sciences but will now also cover biotechnology and sustainability. A key argument for continuing the RECRUIT programme is that the scientific disciplines represented in the chosen fields border each other, and the applicants will mostly come from the same university faculties, departments and institutes.

To further increase the international mobility of researchers, the RECRUIT programme will now also cover sabbatical grants. These grants can be used to enable international researchers to come to Denmark for up to one year and to enable researchers from Danish research institutions to go abroad.

“The RECRUIT programme has been highly valued in recruiting talented researchers from abroad across all career levels. We have therefore chosen to continue and also expand RECRUIT so that it will now include biotechnological research. Further, we are providing Danish researchers the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and international networks through sabbaticals abroad. We certainly expect that the new opportunities and expanded academic focus for RECRUIT will provide excellent synergy effects in the research communities,” says Lene Oddershede, Senior Vice President, Natural & Technical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Effective instrument to increase diversity

An evaluation of RECRUIT grants by the Foundation has shown that RECRUIT has funded 14 top international researchers with 13 nationalities since the programme was launched in 2021.

The evaluation also shows that recruitment has been distributed roughly equally across all career levels (assistant, associate and full professor) and in a gender-balanced manner. In addition, the grants are well distributed geographically across the universities in Denmark.

The 2024–2028 Novo Nordisk Foundation RECRUIT programme

Applications for funding can be submitted for recruiting researchers at three career levels:

  • Assistant professor (up to DKK 20 million per grant)
  • Associate professor (up to DKK 35 million per grant)
  • Full professor (up to DKK 50 million per grant).

In addition, the Foundation will offer a RECRUIT extension grant of up to DKK 10 million over five years. This grant aims to ensure that researchers who have previously received a RECRUIT grant can be retained for up to 12 years in total.

The Foundation will also offer RECRUIT grants of up to DKK 1 million for sabbatical leave. These grants can have a total duration of up to one year.

The RECRUIT application process differs from that of most other grants from the Foundation. Each university nominates several candidates within a defined quota, and then the Foundation evaluates the proposed candidates.

Read more about RECRUIT and the application process here.

Further information

For press-related enquiries:

Sabina Askholm Larsen
Senior Communications Partner
+45 2367 3226 [email protected]

For questions related to grants:

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