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Project grants supporting societal learning for the green transition – 2024

Call opens
20 June 2024
Call closes
5 September 2024 2:00pm (CET)
Announcement of results
December 2024
Recurring calls
June 2025


The Novo Nordisk Foundation wishes to support societal learning to help accelerate the green transition of society. The purpose of this call is to support projects and initiatives that will innovate, implement and/or scale up more sustainable behaviour and practices among individuals, communities, and organisations in Denmark. 

Areas of support 

Applicants can apply for projects that will try out innovative ideas for how the green transition can be facilitated and accelerated in practice through social experimentation, knowledge generation and collective learning, ideally in ways that will inspire hope and enthusiasm for the green transition.  

Projects can focus on developing and consolidating new social norms and practices, enhancing institutional capacity for sustainable change, or strengthen individual and collective incentives for green behaviour, and consequently stimulate still more people to change their ways of life in a sustainable direction.  

Projects should ideally demonstrate in concrete ways how the urgent need for more sustainable lifestyles can be combined with perceptions of a good life and nurture public support for the necessary green transition.  

Examples of approaches that can be funded include, but is not limited to: 

  • Living labs  
  • Citizen science projects 
  • Innovative and participatory public engagement formats 
  • ‘Proof-of-concept’ studies and social-experimental projects to prepare larger interventions 
  • Municipal development projects, involving local communities 
  • Partnerships connecting agents of change from civil society, industry, government and research 

 The Novo Nordisk Foundation has a particular strategic focus on promoting sustainability related to agriculture, food production and food consumption, as well as climate mitigation technologies. Priority will be given to projects that have a focus in these areas. 

To be considered, projects involving research activities must have a significant practical component clearly aimed at producing behavioural change.  


During the grant period, the applicant must be a leader or project responsible at the institution administering the project. Eligible institutions include public authorities, civil society organisations (e.g. associations, community organisations, non-governmental organisations, charities, advocacy groups, think tanks and grassroots movements), research institutions and private companies. Private companies may apply only for grants for non-commercial projects with non-profit aims. 

Projects must be administered and have their primary focus within the Danish Realm (‘Rigsfællesskabet’). 

The Foundation encourages collaborations between partners with complementary competences on the development and execution of the projects to catalyse collaborations and collective learning processes between different types of actors in Danish society and increase the reach of the projects.  

Projects aimed primarily at educational activities are referred to the call ‘Project grants for natural science education and informal learning environments – 2024’. 
Projects aimed primarily at general enlightenment and public debate are referred to the call ‘Project grants for science communication and debate using novel communication platforms – 2024’. 
Projects aimed primarily at vocational education and training are referred to the call ‘Project grants for strengthening STEM subjects in vocational education and training – 2024’. 


A total of up to DKK 30 million is available for grants between DKK 200,000 and 6 million for projects of up to 3 years duration.  

The project may be an independent, delimited project or a part of a larger project that is also supported by other partners. If part of a larger initiative, the expected impact from the part funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation should be clearly delineated. The project can also be a pre-project of up to six months and up to DKK 500,000 to mature a larger project to follow. Please note that support of a pre-project does not guarantee support for the following project.   

Applicants may apply for funding for salary, operating costs, equipment costs, travel costs, publication costs, conference participation, collaborative activities, bench fee (where relevant), project supplement (Danish universities), and administrative costs (where relevant).  

The Novo Nordisk Foundation will not award grants for commercial activities, buildings and overhead (such as rent, electricity, water, and maintenance). 

 Assessment criteria

Project proposals will be evaluated by the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Committee on society in the green transition.  

The overall selection criteria for projects are their expected potential to propel the green transition forward. More specifically, the committee will evaluate applications based on the following criteria (non-prioritised): 

  • The novelty, originality and/or scalability of the project 
  • The urgency of the proposed activities and the potential to markedly impact Denmark’s green transition within a relatively short timeframe, for instance through clear CO2 reduction targets 
  • The project’s capacity to instill optimism and excitement about the green transition as well as a sense of efficacy for change in various segments of the population 
  • A convincing account of how and why the proposed activities will produce the desired outcomes in terms of sustainable behavioural change (e.g. a convincing theory-of-change) 
  • The project’s expected potential to create lasting change beyond the project period 
  • The qualifications of the participating applicants 
  • The overall feasibility of the project, including consistency between timeline, budget and expected outcomes 
  • The project’s plan for impact documentation and dissemination of experiences in ways that will inspire and produce change beyond the project 
  • If relevant, the research environment and research excellence involved in the project 

Additionally, the committee will consider the diversity of activities and target groups of the total portfolio of projects. 

Application process 

Applications must be submitted using the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s online application system, NORMA.  

The application and any additional uploads must be written in English.  

Applicants are requested to read the application guidelines, ‘Guidelines for Applicants’, thoroughly before initiating the application process. The guidelines will be available before 20 June 2024.  


A virtual information meeting will be held on 12 June 2024. Sign up here.   


The call text is subject to changes before 20 June 2024.  


About the grants


Up to 6 million for projects of up to 3 years duration




The Committee on Society in the Green Transition


Contact regarding content: Janus Porsild Hansen. Contact regarding application/NORMA: Sofie Hoxer
Sofie Hoxer
Grant Specialist
+45 2465 0140 [email protected]
Janus Hansen
Senior Scientific Lead
+45 3527 6519 [email protected]