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Postdoctoral Fellowships for research within Plant Science, Agriculture and Food Biotechnology 2024

Call opens
21 June 2024
Call closes
21 August 2024 2:00pm (CEST)
Announcement of results
December 2024
Recurring calls
Expected June 2025


Applications are invited for individual fellowships to support outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting research within plant science, agriculture* and food biotechnology. The intention of the fellowship is to enable excellent young scientists, to develop their own independent research area. Fellowships must be based at a university or other non-profit research institution in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden.

The proposed research should address major challenges within plant, agricultural, and food science associated with developing sustainable agriculture and food production. The research should be fundamental in character with a clear and strategic outlook to improve sustainability and potential solutions. The proposed research should significantly extent existing knowledge beyond state-of-the-art and may have a high-risk profile. The research should be based on life science research disciplines.


Non-exclusive list of prioritised areas:

  • Development of plants with high productivity, resiliency, and resource-use-efficiency for food, fibre, materials, fuel and energy, chemicals, or climate change mitigation
  • Utilization of microorganisms to improve sustainability across the value chain from primary agricultural production to end-product
  • Development of agricultural-, food-, and forestry systems with higher productivity, circularity, and biodiversity, and with minimum impact on environment and climate
  • Development of sustainable plant-, microorganism-, and fungi-based ingredients and foods with high functionality, and organoleptic quality. The proposed research should primarily focus on the technological aspects of food science and biotechnology, while nutrition and health related aspects may be considered only to a limited extent
  • Utilization of ingredients derived from precision fermentation, fungi, algae, insects, and cellular agriculture for food production
  • Development of methods and technologies, including those driven by data science, that enable and support sustainable agriculture and food production. A significant proportion of the proposed research should explore the use of the new method or technology for its intended application

The program will not support:

  • Research primarily focusing on livestock, livestock commodities, and feed.
  • Research focusing on aquaculture or its derived commodities.
  • Research with their main research component on nutritional uptake and clinical studies

Projects with a focus on pharmaceuticals and therapeutics should submit their application to the Novo Nordisk Foundation Committee on Bioscience and Basic Biomedicine, while proposals focusing on industrial biotechnology and environmental biotechnology should be submitted to the Novo Nordisk Foundation Committee Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology.

*Agriculture is here defined as terrestrial farming and cultivation of plants, including forestry.


Nordic Region

An applicant must either:

  • have a PhD or equivalent degree obtained within 6 years of the application deadline date,
  • be a PhD student who will defend her/his/their thesis before April 1, 2025.

As part of the application, applicants need to submit a host letter from the Nordic host institution and letters of support from other institutions supporting the fellowship.

About the grants


Up to DKK 3,1 million per grant


Denmark, Nordic Countries (excl. Denmark)

Career stage

PhD students, Postdoctoral fellowships

Research area focus

Biotechnology-based Synthesis and Production, Food and agriculture


Komite for Plantevidenskab, Landbrug og Fødevarebioteknologi


For grant inquiries
Camilla Stensgaard Andersson
Grant Manager
[email protected]
Maria Santamaria Fernandez
Scientific Manager
+45 4172 7949 [email protected]
Signe Kynding Borgen
Senior Scientific Manager
[email protected]


The grant period is 1-3 years. The total grant amount is up to DKK 3 million for a 3-year grant. The grant amount should be distributed approximately equally each year, and for projects shorter than three years, the total grant amount is proportionally reduced. Please note, at least 1 year must take place at the Nordic host institution. The duration of the fellowship should reflect the time frame of the research activities.

For applicants currently based at a Nordic host institution who have not conducted research in another country, research activities in a laboratory in another country for at least 6 and maximum 24 months in total will be considered as a positive element for the postdoctoral training but is not a requirement.

Application Process

Applications must be completed and submitted using the NNF’s application system following the instructions in the “Information and guidelines for applicants”-pdf. Additional essential information regarding eligibility, funding and submission requirements is found in this pdf. These guidelines will be available on this website before 21 June 2024.

Click here to read more about the Evaluation Committee.

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