New research leader programme to strengthen research within biotechnology-based synthesis and production

07 Dec

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has allocated DKK 600 million (€80.5 million) over 5 years for establishing a research leader programme within biotechnology-based synthesis and production. The programme will support outstanding independent investigators in the Nordic countries with individual grants of up to DKK 10 million over 5 years. The grants will fund excellent and ambitious biotechnology research projects aimed at generating products in improved and more sustainable ways.

The programme has three types of grants targeting research leaders at different stages of their careers.

  • Emerging Investigator – to support the development of new biotechnology research leaders. These grants are for beginning independent researchers to establish their own research groups or strengthen their recently started groups. Read more here.
  • Ascending Investigator – to support the continued development and consolidation of biotechnology research leaders. These grants are for associate professor-level investigators capable of leading larger and more challenging studies. Read more here.
  • Distinguished Investigator – to support established scientific leaders conducting groundbreaking biotechnology research. These grants are for professor-level investigators with demonstrated ability to address major research questions. Read more here.

Niels Henrik von Holstein-Rathlou, Head of Research and Innovation Grants, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “In establishing this new research leader programme, we aim to strengthen research within biotechnology-based synthesis and production in Denmark and the other Nordic countries. The programme will support leading researchers at all stages of their careers as independent scientists.”

These grants support basic and applied research projects aimed at developing better methods to create and/or manufacture products. Projects must involve biotechnology, and may use any other scientific or engineering discipline to achieve the objectives. To be eligible for a grant, the project and grant recipient need to be based at a university or other non-profit research institution in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden.

The deadline for applications for all three types of grants is 11 January 2019. Up to four grants of each type will be awarded in April, and the funded projects can begin as early as 1 May 2019.

The programme on biotechnology-based synthesis and production research is one of four separate programmes included in the Foundation’s Research Leader Programme, targeting the best and most talented research leaders. The Programme was launched in 2017, and the Foundation announced in August 2018 that it is significantly expanding the Programme, adding three new research fields. The Foundation has allocated DKK 2.4 billion (€322 million) to the Programme. Read the announcement here.


John Wittschieben, Senior Scientific Officer, phone +45 3527 6613,

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805,

Applications may now be submitted for grants under the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s new research leader programme within biotechnology-based synthesis and production.

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