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Novo Nordisk Foundation increases its focus on young talented researchers

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has significantly increased the number of grants awarded to young researchers. This increased focus on young talented researchers provides good development opportunities for young Danish researchers and assists Denmark’s universities in recruiting young talented researchers from other countries.

In 2019, the Novo Nordisk Foundation funded research-related work for almost 4,100 people. Of these, more than 2,300 were young researchers – an increase of 1,000 from 2018.

Thus, in 2019 young researchers – which include PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors – accounted for 58% of the persons whose research has been funded via Foundation grants, compared to 47% in 2018.

The figures derive from a recent analysis of the impact of projects supported by the Foundation.

In recent years, the Foundation has established several programmes that target young researchers within various research fields. Grants under several of the programmes have not yet been awarded, and this means that the Foundation will focus even more intensely on the younger generations of researchers in the coming years.

“Supporting researchers who are starting their careers is an important priority for the Novo Nordisk Foundation because this group adds considerable creativity and energy that can provide new perspectives on research. We have launched several initiatives that target younger researchers in recent years, and I am pleased that this focus has begun to be reflected in our research grants,” says Thomas Alslev Christensen, Senior Vice President, Impact, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Nurturing local talent and recruiting internationally
The Foundation supports researchers from Denmark and abroad who want to start a research group or begin their PhD studies in Denmark. This provides the opportunity to nurture local talent and to recruit young talented researchers from other countries at an early stage in their careers.

“A good mix of nurturing local talent and new inspiration from abroad helps to further develop Denmark’s strong public research sector. Research is largely based on international collaboration, and by enabling young researchers to increase their mobility, we can help to create better conditions for new breakthroughs in fields that are crucial to health, combating disease, sustainability and other goals,” says Thomas Alslev Christensen.

The Foundation’s research programmes targeting young researchers

Research Leader Programme – Emerging Investigator. The programme is aimed at young promising research leaders who want to establish or are in the process of establishing their own research group and research profile. Applications may be submitted for grants of up to DKK 10 million per project within the following research areas:

New Exploratory Research and Discovery – NERD. The programme is open to researchers within the natural and technical sciences at any career stage after obtaining a PhD degree. Applications may be submitted for grants of up to DKK 10 million per project for a duration of up to 7 years.

Investigator Grant in Art History Research. The programme is open to researchers at the postdoctoral, senior researcher, assistant professor, associate professor or professor levels. Applications may be submitted for grants of up to DKK 4 million per project.

NNF Young Investigator Award. The programme is open to young international researchers within biomedicine or biotechnology who want to carry out research in Denmark. Applications may be submitted for grants of up to DKK 25 million per project.

PhD scholarships

Postdoctoral fellowships

Further information

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