VILLUM Young Investigators 2017 – DKK 150m for 16 young researchers

Research in ice sheets, nanomaterials, bird populations, unknown microbes underground habitats, quantum field theory, pest control, micro-plastic, photoemission and lanthanide ions...

16 young men and women from 5 Danish universities share a grant total of almost DKK 150 million from the VILLUM Young Investigator Pro­gramme. The grants are aimed at giving their research a significant boost and create even more excellent research positions.

From the ceremony 23 January 2017. Photo: Simon Knudsen

Each year VILLUM FONDEN grants a number of large amounts for young researchers at Danish universities to ensure that they can pursue the ideas they are most passionate about, and to accelerate their research careers. The VILLUM Young Investigator Programme was established in 2011 to fund younger - Danish as well as foreign - research talents who often stand in the shadow of the more well-known and well-established professors.

In January 2017 the 16 researchers under 40 years will receive between DKK 7 and 10 million each for their research in science and technology. Research in math, photographic techniques, chemistry, plant science, biology, physics and astronomy. The list of granted projects this year is striking for the diversity of the research topics represented. The research will be conducted at the University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark, Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark and Aalborg University.

The programme has been doubled

The universities have in support letters backed the candidates and expressed their expectations of being able to ensure solid positions in the areas that the candidates represent. The supported projects also involve the recruitment of young researchers (postdocs and PhD's) to implement the projects, which typically run for 3-5 years.

”VILLUM FONDEN has doubled the programme since the first grant of DKK 75 million for young researchers in 2012. The result is that many of the younger researchers have set up independent research groups, and several have been able to attract additional attractive research funding, for example from the EU. Furthermore we are pleased to know that many of the researchers due to their high professionalism subsequently have achieved a tenured position at a Danish university”, says Director of Science Thomas Sinkjær, VILLUM FONDEN.

”This confirms our aim to fund the younger researchers. They get the good creative ideas and conduct research of a high professional quality. The program is advertised once a year”, says Thomas Sinkjær.

Ceremony Monday, 23 January 2017

The 16 young researchers receive the formal honor at the ceremony for the Villum Kann Rasmussen Annual Award in Science and Technology and the Villum Young Investigators 2017 on Monday, 23 January 2017, 16:00 -18.30.

The grantees are:

Associate professors

Hao Hu, Department of Photonics, Technical University of Denmark, ' Energy-efficient optical communications at 2 micron beyond capacity crunch'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Stefan Kragh Nielsen, Department of Physics, Technical University of Denmark, 'Will the three-wave interaction prevent the fusion dream?'
GRANTED DKK 7.8M

Thomas Just Sørensen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, 'Exploring the unique chemistry of lanthanide ions'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Assistant professors

Fernando Geu-Flores, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 'Towards sustainable protein sources for Europe:
Biosynthesis and transport of the lupin alkaloids'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Kirsten Marie Ørnsbjerg Jensen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, to  'Structural characterization of inorganic nanoclusters: Materials chemistry between molecules and solids'
GRANTED DKK 10M 

Knud Andreas Jønsson, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen to 'Dispersal, differentiation and speciation in island bird communities'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Mads Albertsen, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University to 'Deciphering the role of microbial dark matter by novel DNA sequencing approaches'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Postdocs

Ana Sofia Reboleira, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen  HiddenRisk – understanding the impact of human activities on subterranean biodiversity
GRANTED DKK 7M

Jacob Lewis Bourjaily, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen to 'Breaking barriers in scattering amplitudes: Understanding via computation (and vice versa)'
GRANTED DKK 7.4 M

Kasper Steen Pedersen, Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark  to 'Advancing 2D materials by chemical engineering'
GRANTED DKK 8.6M

Kenneth Agerlin Halberg, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen to  'Novel molecular targets for beetle pest control - from genome to phenome'
GRANTED DKK 8.5M

Nicole Posth, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark  to 'Cycling in the ”plastisphere”: The biogeochemical fate of marine (micro) plastic'
GRANTED DKK 9.7M

Sophie Beeren, Department of Chemistry Technical, University of Denmark to 'Non-natural selection of carbohydrate-based receptors'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Søren Hauberg, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark to 'Measuring with no tape'
GRANTED DKK 9.7M

Søren Ulstrup, Science and Technology, Aarhus University to 'Electronic structure up-close with photoemission at the nanoscale'
GRANTED DKK 10M

Vivi Kathrine Pedersen, Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University to 'The influence of Earth surface processes on Scandinavian ice sheet evolution and collapse'
GRANTED DKK 7.5M

Read more about their projects

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