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New Research Leader Programme will strengthen clinical research in Denmark

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has allocated DKK 600 million (€80.5 million) to clinically active research leaders at different stages of their careers as part of the Foundation’s Research Leader Programme. The aim is to strengthen patient-oriented clinical research in Denmark and to strengthen the development of the next generation of clinical research leaders.

The Foundation has allocated DKK 600 million (€80.5 million) over 5 years for establishing a clinical research leader programme aimed at supporting the best clinical researchers in Denmark, who combine, or wish to combine, clinically relevant research with their clinical work and responsibilities.

This clinical programme is part of 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 was significantly expanding it and had allocated a total of DKK 2.4 billion (€322 million) to the Programme. Read the announcement here.

There are three types of grants targeting clinically active research leaders at different stages of their careers:

  • Clinical Emerging Investigator;
  • Borregaard Clinical Ascending Investigator; and
  • Clinical Distinguished Investigator.

Read more about each of the three types of grants below.

Up to four grants for each career stage will be awarded annually. Each grant is for up to DKK 10 million over 5 years.

The research projects must be relevant to clinical practice and may have a basic biomedical, translational, epidemiological or clinical focus. Grant recipients must spend a certain percentage of their time in clinical practice to ensure the link between treating patients and research.

Improving patient treatment

Niels Henrik von Holstein-Rathlou, Head of Research and Innovation Grants, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “Our aim in establishing the new clinical programme under the Research Leader Programme is to strengthen patient-oriented clinical research in Denmark and to strengthen the development of the next generation of clinical research leaders. The Foundation especially wants to strengthen researchers at the middle stages of their careers. As part of their training to become a specialist physician, clinical researchers in Denmark have no or very few opportunities to continue their research and their research is often put on hold for several years. This new clinical programme attempts to address this imbalance by providing researchers opportunities to apply for more long-term research funding. In addition, researchers active in clinical practice will not be competing with full-time researchers for funding.”

Applications for the programme may be submitted from 21 November 2018.

Clinical Emerging Investigator

The grants target young promising research leaders with previous research experience. Applicants in this category have the ambition of combining their specialist physician training with a research career and want to establish their own research group and/or an individual research profile. Applicants not being trained as a specialist physician must be either fully qualified to begin such training or have completed this training within the past 2 years.

Read more here.

Borregaard Clinical Ascending Investigator

The grants target talented middle-aged clinicians with active research interests and an individual research profile who demonstrate great potential for achieving the highest international level of research within their field. Applicants must be fully qualified specialist physicians and must have a PhD or degree or an equivalent qualification. Applicants must be employed in full-time clinical positions. Applicants receiving a grant must use part of the funds for replacement salary during the project period, thereby enabling them to spend 50% of their time on clinical practice and 50% on research.

Read more here.

Clinical Distinguished Investigator

The grants target excellent clinical professors who have led research at the highest international level while also maintaining their clinical duties and responsibilities. Applicants must be employed as a clinical professor and thus already divide their time between their clinical and research leader responsibilities. Applicants may not use this type of grant for replacement salary for either their clinical or teaching obligations. Nevertheless, a grant can provide applicants long-term funding stability and the opportunity to employ qualified research personnel to carry out important and relevant projects. Applicants are expected to spend 20–50% of their time in clinical practice and 50–80% on research.

Read more here.

Further information

Tina Thorslund, Scientific Officer, Research and Innovation Grants,
phone +45 3527 6677, [email protected]

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer,
phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]