May 31, 2022

44 research leaders share DKK 428 million for projects within health, disease and sustainability

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded DKK 428 million to researchers at different career stages whose research will contribute to new discoveries and solutions within health, disease and sustainability.

What happens when parents pass on their DNA to their children? This is among the fundamental questions on human genetics that one of the Foundation’s new grant recipients will address in a research project on human genetic variation.

Another researcher will investigate the mechanisms underlying nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These mechanisms remain unclear although the disease affects up to 1 in 4 people globally and predisposes to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and liver disease.

A third researcher will investigate the importance of the complex interactions of plant roots and microorganisms in the storage and stability of soil carbon, thereby ensuring that this does not contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions.

Like the other researchers at different career stages, the three researchers have received a 5-year grant from the Foundation under its Research Leader Programme.

In all, 44 researchers from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland have received a total of DKK 428.4 million for research that will contribute to new discoveries and solutions within health, disease and sustainability.

“We want to provide researchers at different career stages the time and resources to pursue ambitious and innovative problem-solving projects. The many exciting projects will undoubtedly give us new insight – and maybe even breakthroughs – in research fields of major importance for both human health and the sustainability of the planet,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The Foundation has awarded grants under the 2022 Research Leader Programme within the following six fields:

  • Endocrinology and metabolism research: DKK 109.3 million for 11 grants.
  • Clinical and translational research: DKK 98.2 million for 10 grants.
  • Bioscience and basic biomedical research: DKK 109.4 million for 11 grants.
  • Plant science, agriculture and food biotechnology: DKK 59.7 million for six grants.
  • Industrial biotechnology and environmental biotechnology: DKK 51.8 million for six grants.
  • Data science research: grants to be awarded later in 2022.

Read more about all the grant recipients and their projects here.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation Research Leader Programme

The Programme was established and awarded its first grants in 2018. Grants of up to DKK 10 million are awarded over 5 years.

The purpose of the Programme is to enable outstanding research and to support the continuous development of research leaders. The Programme includes three types of grants targeting research leaders at specific or typical stages of their careers.

Emerging Investigator: Upcoming and promising researchers 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.

The Foundation has awarded grants totalling DKK 1.7 billion to 187 researchers through the Programme.


Further information

Sabina Askholm Larsen, Communications Partner, +45 2367 3226,