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NNF Sustain Programme

Call opens
13 May 2024
Call closes
29 August 2024 2:00pm (CEST)
Announcement of results
Part 1: October 2024.
Part 2: June 2025.
Application guidelines Send ansøgning


The purpose of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Sustain Programme is to encourage the scientific use of existing data, specifically for cardiometabolic disease (CMD) research, through a funding mechanism that supports both the custodians of the databases and the researchers who use the data. The goal is to sustain high-quality health databases, encourage custodians to make data accessible, and ultimately advance understanding, prevention, and treatment of CMD. 


  • This part (Part 1) of the Sustain Programme will be managed outside of NNF’s grant management system, NORMA. Therefore, the database custodians should use this electronic form for their application;
  • Create the budget using the template provided;
  • A webinar to introduce the programme and address questions will be held on 28 May 2024 (not mandatory). To participate, please click on and open this link: NNF Sustain – Q&A webinar (calendar event).

NOTE: Databases do not need to have a specific focus in CMD but must contain data useful for CMD-related research. 

In this context, databases are defined as any datasets and the infrastructure around them. Funding can be used for hardware, skilled personnel for data-related services, and efforts that promote secure, ethical, and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data practices. It does not support the creation of new datasets. 


The general eligibility criteria for database selection are listed below. All databases that fulfill them will be shortlisted. For detailed eligibility information, please refer to the guidelines. Briefly:

  • The applicant (database custodian) must be employed at a university, hospital or other non-profit research institution in Denmark. The applicant’s hosting institution will receive and administer the grant. 
  • The data and infrastructure support applied for must be anchored at a university, hospital or other non-profit research institution in Denmark. 
  • A hosting letter signed by the head of the department must be included with the application. 
  • The database must contain data which may be used for research related to CMD but does not need to have a specific focus on CMD-specific indicators. 
  • The database must adhere to basic requirements for the application of the FAIR principles (detailed and highlighted in the application form). 
  • Documents related to the ethical approval, when applicable, for the database must be included with the application. 
  • It is a requirement that the database custodian has a planned budget (please use this template: budget template). 
  • The applicant must be guaranteed their own salary for the entire applied project period. 
  • Applicants may submit only one application as a database custodian. 

Application process 

The application process comprises Part 1 and Part 2, as described below. (Please find more details in the guidelines). 

  • Part 1 is dedicated to database custodians only. Database custodians must complete and submit the application form provided in the link “Send Application”. 
  • Part 2 is dedicated to researchers only. An open call for research applicants will open in Q4 2024 (estimate). 

Please read “Information and guidelines for database custodians’ applications” carefully before initiating the application process. The guidelines provide essential information on the call and the application content and process. 

Briefly, the application process will follow these steps: 

  • Part1 (for database custodians): application, webinar for Q&A session, evaluation, notification of shortlisted databases. 
  • Part2 (for researchers) (to be announced in Q4 2024): application, webinar for Q&A session, project assessment by matched database custodian, external evaluation, notification of granting to paired database and research proposal. 

NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to apply early and are welcome to consult us during the application process, so we can provide support in addressing specific concerns of their databases before the deadline.

About the grants


Total grant capital of up to DKK  50 million is available for grants awarded to data custodians (Part 1) and researchers (Part 2) who apply to the Sustain programme. For database custodians, grants will be commensurate with the number of research proposals submitted and selected for funding (up to DKK 12 million if the maximum of three research proposals are matched with one database).




For grant inquiries
Douglas Oliveira
Scientific Manager
+45 2339 3331 [email protected]
Kristina Rohde Larsen
Grant Manager
[email protected]