Please note that application deadline has passed. Deadline was 20 May 2020, 2 PM.

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 amount of female scientists in such positions, VILLUM FONDEN has decided to earmark a new programme for women in science for a period of five years.

We do not support...

VILLUM FONDEN does not support health or veterinary research, i.e. research focused on the health of humans or 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 and DTU Health Tech) are not eligible to apply and will receive an administrative rejection.

The programme provides the opportunity for an international experience at the highest academic level for 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 enabling them to return to Denmark and initiate an independent university career after their stay abroad.


The following requirements are a precondition for succesful application 

Female scientist:

  • Recommendation by their Danish home institution.
  • PhD from Denmark within the technical and natural sciences.
  • Danish citizenship not required.
  • PhD graduation within one year before application date. 

Home institution:

  • Should provide a mentor for the applicant (mentor, not supervisor).
  • Should make a plan together with the applicant for the entire grant period including a plan for a postdoc position (possibly payed by the grant), lab space etc. upon return to Denmark. The possibility of a post grant tenure track position may also be addressed.
  • Should support the applicant by allowing them to focus fully on building their own group, attract students and 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 an acknowledged professor abroad, who does not work directly in the same field or have collaborated with the applicants’ PhD supervisor. The purpose of the stay should pave the way for an independent career after returning to Denmark.
  • Co-funding from the host institution abroad is encouraged.
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 do not accept unsolicited applications for this programme.

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

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

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

Grant amount and time frame

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

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

An amount of DKK 15 million plus funds for possible family support is allocated to the call in 2020.

Assessment and selection

Based on the applications the foundation’s research committee on 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 on the sole criterion of scientific excellence.

Selection committee
  • 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.
Important dates
  • 18 February 2020: Announcement of the call
  • 20 May 2020 at 14 PM: Deadline for applications
  • 26 August 2020: Approval or rejection of grant
  • Application: Max seven pages/20,000 characters with spaces (see guidelines): purpose, background, methods, research plan.
  • CV: Max two pages and publication list.
  • Budget: Please use budget template. The Villum International Postdoc grant is flexible. Applicants may apply for DKK 1-2.5 million for a period of up to four 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 foreign 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 or documentation for submitted PhD dissertation

Please contact us if you need further information: