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Early Interventions to Prevent Childhood Overweight

Call opens
12 January 2021
Call closes
25 March 2021 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
June 2021
Application guidelines


This strategic stand-alone call is part of the Foundation’s “Healthy Weight Initiative”, which has the ambitious goal to prevent overweight and obesity among children in Denmark. The aim is to ensure all children and adolescents a healthy weight throughout life for better physical, mental and social well-being. The purpose of the call is to gain novel evidence on the causal nature of early risk factors for childhood overweight and obesity, with a focus on the importance of having pre-pregnancy overweight, obesity and gestational weight gain for the risk of overweight in the child, and to provide novel mechanistic insight that points at solutions to prevent overweight. The generated results are expected to provide an important contribution to the research-based implementation strategy of a future Healthy Weight Center in Denmark.

About the grant


DKK 60 million in total
DKK 4-20 million per grant




For grant inquiries
Pernille Bendtsen
Senior Project Manager
+45 5134 6239 [email protected]
Arne Astrup
Senior Vice President, Obesity and Nutritional Sciences, professor, MD, DMSc
+45 2143 3302 [email protected]


We call for expressions of interest for projects that investigate the causal nature of:

1. Mothers with overweight or obesity before conception and the effect on the children’s body weight status and risk of developing subsequent overweight.
2. Mothers with excessive gestational weight gain (including the role of the pregnant women’s diet, physical activity, mental health, stress etc.) on the child’s body weight status, and risk of subsequent overweight.

The aim is to gain knowledge of the causal nature of these risks by taking advantage of randomized controlled trials to understand the effect of inducing weight loss in women having overweight and obesity before conception, and after conception to ensure a healthy gestational weight gain, with the aim to assess the effect on the child’s body fat status and risk of developing obesity.

The projects must be conducted with great respect for the target group and their families and without stigma, and work on a basic understanding that overweight and obesity and its solutions are complex. The aim is to identify possible causes in order to be able to prevent them.


The project must be anchored at a university, hospital, health centre or in medical practice or clinic in Denmark.

The main applicant must have his/her primary employment at a university, hospital or other research institution in Denmark. Applicants, who are employed at an institution in a foreign country, can be part of projects as co-applicants.

Applications where researchers from different disciplines and institutions establish a cross-disciplinary collaboration are encouraged.

Projects based on data from existing cohorts and randomized trials will also be accepted.

Applications from PhD students and postdocs that carry out research under supervision, and applications where PhD students or postdocs are named as co-applicants will not be considered.

An applicant can submit only one expression of interest in this call.


There may be up to four co-applicants from different professional fields who will scientifically contribute to the project and who will have a financial share in the grant. Co-applicants must have formal research competence (PhD or the equivalent) and must have documented research activity within the scientific field.


The grant budget for this call is DKK 60 million, and awards grants from DKK 4 M and up to DKK 20 M. The applied project must be of 1-5 years duration.

Application Process

The application process will consist of two stages.

The project description for the Stage 1 consists of a brief expression of interest of the proposed research project. The best applicants in stage 1 will be invited for an interview with the internal committee in NNF to further qualify and develop full applications in a collaborative dialogue with the committee. The internal committee will examine the expressions of interest to identify obvious opportunities to combine projects and develop new partnerships that can create merged projects that are even more aligned with the NNF’s ambition to reduce overweight and obesity among children. In such cases, the committee will encourage applicants to collaborate/merge their expressions of interest for a stage 2 application submission. In Stage 2, applicants will be asked to submit a comprehensive application with a detailed project proposal of up to 30,000 characters.

Please Note

The expressions of interest and full applications must be completed and submitted using the Foundation’s application system. Before initiating this process, it is important to carefully read the “Information and guidelines for applicants”, accessed via ‘How to apply’ above. Additional essential information on the call and application process is found in these guidelines.

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