DKK 153 million for 18 young research talents

22 January 2018

18 young and promising researchers from four Danish universities receive a total of DKK 153 million from VILLUM FONDEN´s Young Investigator Programme. The grants will help young researchers create their own independent research profiles.

Every year, VILLUM FONDEN funds particularly talented young researchers in the technical and natural sciences. This year, 18 young researchers from four Danish universities receive a total of more than DKK 153 million from VILLUM FONDEN. The recipients are both Danish and foreign researchers - all under the age of 40.

The 18 researchers are from the University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark, University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University. Each researcher receives between DKK 5 and 10 million to immerse themselves in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry, or in other words, projects on black holes, cone snails, malaria, water, electrocatalysis, neutrinos, metabolites and much more.

Who are the 18 VILLUM Young Investigators?
POSTDOCS
  • Olena Riabinina, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Biology, 'Cracking the mosquito olfactory code to beat malaria', DKK 9.3m
  • Pengyu Guan, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Photonics Engineering, 'Optical Time-Lens for Ultrahigh Capacity Passive Optical Network (Lens-PON)', DKK 10m
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS
  • Eva Arnspang Christensen, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Chemistry, Bioscience and Environmental Technology, 'Novel Imaging Method', DKK 8.1m
  • Giorgos Leloudas, University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Institute, 'STING: Studying Transients In the Nuclei of Galaxies', DKK 9.9m
  • Helena Safavi-Hemami, University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology Granted, 'Evolution-Guided Discovery of Novel Receptor Ligands from Animal Venoms', DKK 9.5m
  • Ida Moltke, University of Copenhagen, Department of Biology,'Detecting and investigating natural selection driven by epidemics', DKK 5m
  • Jiwoong Lee, University of Copenhagen, Department of Chemistry,'Water: Divide and Conquer (Split and Purify)', DKK 7m
  • Kristoffer Szilas, University of Copenhagen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, 'A partial cumulate origin of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle', DKK 7.4m
  • Lars E. Kristensen, University of Copenhagen Niels Bohr Institute, 'Unravelling the complex and prebiotic chemistry of star-forming regions', DKK 9.4m
  • Maria Escudero-Escribano, University of Copenhagen Department of Chemistry, 'Atomic ensembles for clean energy and synthesis (AtomSyn)', DKK 10m
  • Markus Ahlers, University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Institute, 'Deciphering Cosmic Neutrinos with Multi-Messenger Astronomy', DKK 7.4m
  • Martin Nielsen, Technical University of Denmark Department of Chemistry, 'Acceptorless alcohol dehydrogenation in ionic liquid by homogeneous catalysis', DKK 10m
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS
  • Cristiano Spotti, Aarhus University Department of Mathematics, 'Complex shapes', DKK 7m
  • Efren Fernandez-Grande, Technical University of Denmark Department of Electrical Engineering, 'Large-scale acoustic holography', DKK 7.2m
  • Jonas Peters, University of Copenhagen Department of Mathematics, 'Causal Learning in Real World Applications', DKK 8.2m
  • Luca Camilli, Technical University of Denmark Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, 'Two-dimensional silicon for electronics', DKK 9.6m
  • Nanna Bjarnholt, University of Copenhagen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences,  'Glutathione transferases in plant specialised metabolism', DKK 10m
  • Vito Foderà, University of Copenhagen Department of Pharmacy and Analytical Chemistry, 'Protein Superstructures as Smart Biomaterials (ProSmart)', DKK 8.6m
A short presentation of the 18 research projects

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VILLUM Young Investigator funds are targeted researchers at the beginning of their careers to ensure that they can pursue the line of research they are most passionate about, at a Danish University. The funds will, among other things, be used to build research groups and employ more young researchers (postdocs and PhDs) to complete the specific projects that typically run over 3-5 years.

"We look forward to following how the 18 new VILLUM Young Investigators will establish themselves in the coming years. We hope that the grants will enable them to build and create their own research area. This could ultimately lead to new and exciting knowledge that can benefit society", says Lars Hansen, Executive Director of VILLUM FONDEN.

The research stars of tomorrow

VILLUM FONDEN granted funding to the first VILLUM Young Investigator in 2012. Since then 129 young researchers including the 18 recipients in 2018 have received funding.

"Our strategy is based on a fundamental belief that outstanding scientists perform outstanding research. We believe that by showing the young researchers confidence and flexibility, we can create a solid platform for their research thus helping innovative research," says Lars Hansen, Executive Director of VILLUM FONDEN.

The young, the experienced and the wild idea

Read more about VILLUM FONDEN's grants for research in the technical and natural sciences

Please contact us, if you have any questions:

Michel M.H. Kristensen
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VILLUM FONDEN
Phone: 
+ 45 29 41 78 89
Signe Krabek
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
Phone: 
+45 20 49 68 69