Application deadline is 1 May 2024, 2 PM.

NB: Earmarked for women and only open to a limited number of endorsed applicants.

Meet Villum International Postdoc Mie Thorborg Pedersen   

Mie Thorborg Pedersen got the grant under Villum Fonden's Villum International Postdoc in 2023. Mie wants to create an impact on society by developing sustainable and tasty food solutions. She wants to combine soft matter physics approaches to culinary science in her project. 

Photo: Villum International Postdoc Mie Thorborg Pedersen
Photographer: Anders Boe, SDU

Villum International Postdoc Programme supports excellent female scientists in the technical and natural sciences wishing to pursue a university career. 

Female scientists in university career positions (assistant, associate and full professor) are underrepresented. To increase the number of female scientists in such positions, Villum Fonden has decided to earmark this programme for women in science.

The programme provides the opportunity to initiate an independent research profile and harvest a substantial international experience at the highest academic level. The programme is aimed at female scientists with a Danish PhD degree and a dream to pursue a university career.

It is a requirement that applicants plan a stay abroad and a return to a Danish research institution. Universities should actively support the candidate by endorsing their application and enabling them to return to Denmark and initiate an independent university career after their stay abroad.


Preconditions for a successful application 

Female scientist:

  • Recommendation and endorsement by the Danish home institution.
  • PhD from Denmark within the technical and natural sciences or equivalent degree.
  • Danish citizenship is not required.
  • Enrolment as a PhD student (thesis submitted) or a PhD degree acquired up to one year before the application deadline. 
  • Applicants who have been on maternity/paternity or parental leave after obtaining their PhD, the period after their PhD can be extended by calculating the actual number of weeks of leave and multiplying that by two.

Home institution:

  • Endorsement and recommendation of the candidate.
  • Facilitation of a mentor for the applicant (mentor, not supervisor).
  • Facilitation of a plan, in collaboration with the applicant for the entire grant period including a plan for a postdoc position (possibly paid by the grant), lab space etc. upon return to Denmark. The possibility of a post grant tenure track position may also be addressed.
  • Supporting the applicant by allowing them to focus fully on pursuing an independent career.

International stay:

  • The international stay should involve a new research field that can serve as an initial inspiration for an independent career. Hence, a stay with a recognized professor abroad, who does not work directly in the same field or have collaborated with the applicant’s PhD supervisor. The purpose of the stay is to pave the way for an independent career after returning to Denmark.
  • Co-funding from the host institution abroad is encouraged.

We do not support

Health or veterinary research, i.e. research focused on the health of humans and animals, including nutrition, medicine, biomedicine, pharmacology and research within diagnostics and methods for examination and treatment.

Furthermore, applicants affiliated with departments whose main scientific focus is within these areas (including university health departments, hospitals, the Danish Cancer Society, DTU Health Tech and SDU Health Informatics and Technology) are not eligible to apply and will receive an administrative rejection.

How to apply?

We invite the natural and technical science faculties at the Danish universities to recommend one or two eligible top talented female scientists to apply. We only accept applications recommended by the universities.

Technical University of Denmark, University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University are invited to recommend two applications each.

Aalborg University, University of Southern Denmark, IT University of Copenhagen and Roskilde University are invited to recommend one application each.

It is the responsibility of the female applicant to submit the application to the foundation accompanied by appropriate support letters from the department and faculty.

Grant amount and time frame

The grant amount which can be applied for is DKK 1-2.5 million.

The nominal time frame is three years, including an international stay of preferably two years, and a return to a Danish research institution of about one year.

An amount of DKK 15 million is allocated to the call in 2024.

VILLUM FONDEN additionally provides funds for family support based on an individual assessment by the host department and the international office at the host university.

Assessment and selection

Based on the applications Villum Fonden's Working group for technical and natural sciences will recommend to the board which applicants should receive a Villum International Postdoc grant.

Proposals should fulfill the above requirements and are evaluated based on  scientific excellence, home institution’s commitment to host and participate in career development of the applicant, and international institution’s assessment of how the applicant can fit in and contribute to their work. Hence letters of support are regarded as essential parts of the application.

Members of the Working group for technical and natural sciences
Important dates
  • 1 February 2024: Announcement of the call
  • 1 May 2024 at 2 PM: Deadline for applications
  • Early September 2024: Approval or rejection of grant
  • Application: Max seven pages/20,000 characters with spaces (see application guidelines): purpose, background, methods, research plan.
  • CV: Please use this CV template.
  • Budget: Please use the budget template. The Villum International Postdoc grant is flexible. Applicants may apply for DKK 1-2.5 million for a period of up to three years, including 15% indirect costs to the host institution for the part of the grant that takes place in Denmark. Additional financial support for travel costs, spouse support etc. may be granted on an individual basis at the discretion of the department and the International HR Office at the applicant's university.
  • Letter of support from home institution: A letter should be supplied by the head of department co-signed by the dean expected to host the Villum International Postdoc grantee clearly demonstrating the department’s support and recognition of the application (see conditions for home institution). 
  • Letter of support from international institution: A letter from head of department and head of research group clarifying the terms and conditions of the international stay. 
  • Copy of PhD certificate, documentation for submitted PhD dissertation or documentation of enrolment as PhD student.

The call will open for submission shortly!

Villum International Postdocs 2023

Villum International Postdocs 2022

Villum International Postdocs 2021

Villum International Postdocs 2020

Villum International Postdocs 2020
Karen Skytte Larsen
Senior Adviser, Head of Programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 21 55 09 08