VILLUM Young Investigator grants strengthen young talents

23 February 2018

Young talented researchers in the technical and natural sciences, who have received funding from the VILLUM Young Investigator Programme have experienced a career boost. This is the conclusion of an evaluation of the programme.

VILLUM FONDEN granted funding under the VILLUM Young Investigator programme for the first time in 2012. Since then 129 early career academics have received funding. The recipients are Danish and foreign researchers based at Danish universities or other Danish research institutions.

The funding will help researchers at the beginning of their career to create the best possible framework for pursuing the line of research they are most passionate about and to establish their own independent research profile.

An evaluation of the programme has assessed what it means for a young researcher to receive a grant from the VILLUM Young Investigator programme.

Damvad Analytics has completed the evaluation based on:

  • a questionnaire survey among more than 800 researchers - both recipients and non-recipients
  • interviews with recipients, research colleagues, the selection committee,  VILLUM FONDEN, host institutions, other foundations and similar programmes
  • a workshop
  • bibliometric analysis

Evaluation of VILLUM Young Investigator Programme.

Download the full evaluation report here.

A career boost

The evaluation shows that the programme makes a difference and contributes to boosting the young researchers' careers.

For instance, the evaluation survey shows that 73 pct. of the recipients currently lead a research group, while this is the case for only 39 pct. of the non-recipients.

Also, only 30 pct. of YIP grantees held a permanent position when they applied for the grant, and this number increased to 65% during their grant period.  

Furthermore, the publication data show that the recipients have a scientific impact close to the Danish average, while they, on average, are cited 12 pct. more often than the OECD average. This is even though they must use significant time and effort establishing an independent research profile. 

Meet two VILLLUM Young Investigators

Nina Lock, who received a grant in 2012, and Sune Lehmann, who received a grant in 2012, have used the funding from VILLUM FONDEN to build research groups and employ more young researchers (postdocs and PhDs).

Nina Lock, VILLUM Young Investigator 2014

Sune Lehmann, VILLUM Young Investigator 2012

DKK 153 million for 18 young research talents

In 2018, 18 young and promising researchers from four Danish universities received a total of DKK 153 million from VILLUM FONDEN's Young Investigator Programme. 


The young, the experienced and the wildest idea

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

For further information about the programme and the evaluation:

Michel M.H. Kristensen
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+ 45 29 41 78 89