Please note that deadline for application was 5 September 2018 at 13.00

VILLUM FONDEN is pleased to announce an international competition for the appointment of outstanding scientists as VILLUM Investigators. An amount of DKK 400 million is allocated to this call. 

The aim of the VILLUM Investigator Programme is to allow researchers to pursue original new ideas in technical and natural sciences.

Applicants are expected to be active researchers who have a track record of excellent research the last 10 years.

A VILLUM Investigator is appointed for a six-year period at a Danish university or another Danish research institution. Applicants may apply for up to DKK 40 million. VILLUM Investigators can re-apply at the end of their funding period in open competition with other applicants.

Assessment and selection

The assessment and selection process is divided into two steps.

Step 1: The foundation's research committee on technical and natural sciences evaluates the applications based on the Terms of Reference (download below) and recommends to the board of VILLUM FONDEN which applications should be subjected to an external peer review. The selected applicants will also be invited to an interview.

Step 2: Based on the application, three independent peer reviews, the applicant's written reply to the peer reviews, and an interview with the applicant, the committee recommends to the board of VILLUM FONDEN which applicants should receive a VILLUM Investigator grant.

Important dates:

  • 5 September 2018: Deadline for applications
  • 22 December 2018: Rejection or invitation to interview
  • 9 January 2019: Peer reviews are forwarded to the selected applicants
  • 17 January 2019: Deadline for applicants' comments on peer reviews
  • 5-7 February 2019: Interviews for the selected applicants
  • 15 March 2019: Rejection or approval of grant
The research committee on technical and natural sciences
  • Professor Anja Boisen, Department of Micro and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark. VILLUM FONDEN board member.
  • Professor Christian S. Jensen, Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University. VILLUM FONDEN board member.
  • Professor Jane Clarke, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. External committee member.
  • Professor Poul Henrik Damgaard, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University. External committee member.
  • Professor Guy Marin, Laboratory for Chemical Technology, Ghent University. External committee member.
  • Professor Björn Ottersten, Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust, University of Luxembourg. External committee member.

VILLUM Investigators are required to devote at least 75% of their total effort to the direct conduct of technical and/or natural sciences and education. Successful applicants with administrative responsibilities or other professional duties inconsistent with this time commitment are expected to work with their host institution to reduce these duties in order to meet this criterion.

If, at the time of the submission deadline, applicants hold a tenured position at the institution where her or his VILLUM Investigator appointment would be made, the salary of the VILLUM Investigator will continue to be paid by the host institution throughout the six-year period as a VILLUM Investigator.

VILLUM FONDEN may in special cases accept that an already granted VILLUM Investigator is transferred to another host institution within Denmark.

VILLUM FONDEN has focus on equal opportunities throughout the assessment process and funding period.


The application must contain the following documents:

  • Application (download guidelines below).
  • Research publications. List of up to five research publications or other documented outputs that best describe your most important scientific achievements/discoveries during the last five years. Please provide link to online publications preferably in the public domain.
  • CV, publication list from the last 10 years, and a list of current research support.
  • Budget form (download guidelines below). The VILLUM Investigator grant is large and flexible. Applicants may apply for up to DKK 40 million for a period of six years, including a 15% overhead to the host institution. The size of the budget is expected to reflect expenses typical for the proposed research field. The grant can be used to fund postdoctoral researchers, PhD students, equipment, technician and administrative assistance, and other customary project expenses.
  • Letter of support. A letter from the institution expected to host the VILLUM Investigator demonstrating its support for and recognition of the application.
  • Optional request for certain peer reviewers not to be included in the process. Please note that the foundation is not bound to exclude specific reviewers.

The documents above must all be submitted as six separate pdf files.

You will be asked to select your field(s) of research from a pick list in the application system. The field categories and a description of each category can be found here. You can select up to three fields of research or optionally type in a new category.

It is mandatory that you provide us with your ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) which assures that you have a unique ID in our application system and helps us to distinguish you from every other researcher in relation to look-ups in databases such as Web of Science. You can obtain your ORCID here. Your ORCID must be typed in along with your contact information in the application system.


The application system allows me to add co-applicants. Is this required?
No, the VILLUM Investigator Programme is not designed for including co-applicants. The application system covers all our programmes and that’s the reason why the co-applicant option is available.

Are references included in the page limit in item C in the application guidelines?
No, references must be listed in item K. Please note that item K is a literature list and not a list of personal references.

Is the PI required to spend 75% of the working hours on the VILLUM Investigator grant?
No, not necessarily. The PI is required to spend a suitable amount of time on the VILLUM Investigator grant and devote at least 75% of her/his total effort to the direct conduct of technical and/or natural sciences and education in general.

Ready to apply?

Application deadline is 5 September 2018 at 13.00

VILLUM Investigators 2017

In 2017 VILLUM FONDEN granted DKK 400 million for 11 experienced and highly acknowledged researchers within the technical and natural sciences.

Please contact us if you need further information

Lars Arnskov Olsen
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+ 45 26 17 08 39