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Novo Nordisk Foundation awards grants totalling DKK 361 million to talented research leaders

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded 37 new grants through its major Research Leader Programme that supports leading researchers at different career stages. More than 200 researchers have now received grants through the Programme.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Leader Programme aims to enable outstanding research while supporting the development of research leaders.

The Foundation has just awarded DKK 361 million for 37 new projects in Denmark and other countries.

The projects focus on topics such as creating new knowledge on developing alternatives to antibiotics, how sleep affects blood glucose, new medications to treat problems with the lymphatic system, using bacteria to create useful biomaterials and the potential role of earthworms in optimising agriculture.

Each researcher has received up to DKK 10 million for their project.

“We are very excited to be able to support these projects, which can contribute to developing new knowledge and solutions related to important societal challenges in health, disease and sustainability. Although the Foundation has launched several major mission-driven initiatives in recent years, support for basic research remains a core area for us, and the Research Leader Programme is one of our most ambitious programmes in open competition,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The Programme supports talented researchers at different career stages, including new research leaders and research leaders at the associate professor and professor levels. The Foundation has awarded grants under the 2023 Research Leader Programme within the following six fields:

  • Endocrinology and metabolism research: DKK 90 million for nine grants.
  • Clinical and translational research: DKK 97.6 million for 10 grants.
  • Bioscience and basic biomedical research: DKK 99.9 million for 10 grants.
  • Plant science, agriculture and food biotechnology: DKK 39.5 million for four grants.
  • Industrial biotechnology and environmental biotechnology: DKK 34.3 million for four grants.
  • Data science research: grants to be awarded later in 2023.

Including these new grants, the Foundation has now awarded more than DKK 2 billion through the Programme to more than 200 researchers.

“We are supporting both new and established research leaders, because having talented research leaders is crucial for Denmark to meet the future challenge of increasing international competition. The fact that we have now supported more than 200 researchers through the Programme is a great milestone,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.

“Through these long-term grants, we want to provide researchers the opportunity to make significant new discoveries,” adds Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Leader Programme
The Programme comprises three types of grants targeting research leaders at specific or typical stages of their careers.

  • Emerging Investigator: Upcoming and promising researchers who want to establish or are in the process of establishing their own research group and research profile.
  • Ascending Investigator: Talented research leaders at the associate professor level in the process of consolidating their research group and profile.
  • Distinguished Investigator: Professors of high international standing and calibre.

Grants of up to DKK 10 million are awarded over 5 years.

The Programme was established and awarded its first grants in 2018.

Read more about the Programme and the grant recipients here.

Further information
Christian Mostrup, Head of Press, Novo Nordisk Foundation, [email protected], +45 3067 4805