Enabling ground-breaking research

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Leader Programme is an ambitious grant programme aimed at talented research leaders at different stages of their careers. The Foundation has allocated DKK 2.4 billion (€322 million) for the Programme over 5 years, with up to 48 grants of up to DKK 10 million being awarded each year.

The purpose of the Programme is to ensure that the best research leaders have continuity and stability in their research, giving them the opportunity to pursue ambitious and innovative projects and ideas and to dare to take a different approach and think in new ways. This takes time, but significant new discoveries are often made in these areas.

In addition, the Programme aims to support the continuing development of top researchers.

The Programme comprises three types of grants targeting research leaders at different stages of their careers:

  • Emerging Investigator. Young promising research leaders who want to establish or are in the process of establishing their own research group and research profile.
  • Ascending Investigator. Talented research leaders at the associate professor level in the process of consolidating their research group and profile.
  • Distinguished Investigator. Professors of high international standing and calibre.

Grants under the Programme are awarded within four scientific fields:

  • endocrinology and metabolic research;
  • biotechnology-based synthesis and production research;
  • clinical and translational research; and
  • bioscience and basic biomedical research.

Research leaders based in any Nordic country may apply for grants for research projects within the first two of the fields mentioned above. Research projects within the last two fields must be based at a Danish research institution, with one field targeting active clinicians and the other full-time researchers.

The ambition of the Foundation is that the grants will create new knowledge on topics such as health, disease and sustainable production methods for the benefit of society.


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