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

Call opens
18 June 2021
Call closes
26 August 2021 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
December 2021
Recurring calls
Expected June 2022
Application guidelines


The Novo Nordisk Foundation wishes to make significant contributions to the sustainability of society and the environment, including research in sustainable food and biomass. Grants within Plant Science, Agriculture and Food Biotechnology support excellent fundamental research with a strategic perspective addressing the major questions and challenges within these fields. The proposed research must involve a clear element of biotechnology*, have an outlook to scaling potential(s) while contributing to productivity and sustainability.

The research projects should preferably include one or more of the following topics:

  • Plants with increased productivity, resiliency, nutritional content and/or resource-use efficiency
  • Development of plants for food, fibre, fuels, materials, chemicals and carbon storage
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
  • Increased productivity and resiliency of agricultural systems
  • Fundamental research within sustainable foods and food processing
  • Functionality and the associated structures of food components
  • Data science to advance research within plant science, agriculture, and food biotechnology

The program does not support:

  • Research focusing on livestock, livestock commodities and feed.
  • Research with a main component within nutritional uptake and metabolic effects of specific foods.

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

* For the biotechnology requirement, the OECD short definition of biotechnology will be used as a reference for assessments. The OECD single definition of biotechnology is: the application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services.

About the grant


Up to DKK 2.5 million per grant


Denmark, Nordic Countries (excl. Denmark)

Career stage

PhD students, Postdoctoral fellowships


Komite for Plantevidenskab, Landbrug og Fødevarebioteknologi


For grant inquiries
Sisse Marquina-Jongberg
Senior Scientific Lead, PhD
+45 7242 2557 [email protected]
Anastassia Khrouchtchova
Scientific Manager, PhD
+45 41727929 [email protected]
Camilla Stensgaard Andersson
Grant Manager
[email protected]

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 thesis before April 1, 2022.

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.


The postdoctoral fellowship period can be from 1 to 3 years, of which at least 1 year must be used at the Nordic host institution. The duration of the fellowship should reflect the time frame of the research activities.

Funding up to DKK 800.000 per year is available for expenses including the fellowship recipient’s own salary and direct project costs, as well as up to 5 % administrative costs. An additional amount of up to DKK 100.000 can be included to cover costs related to research stays abroad exceeding 6 months.

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, found at the link above. Additional essential information regarding eligibility, funding and submission requirements is found in this pdf.

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