VILLUM FONDEN is pleased to announce the call for applications for the Villum Synergy Programme. An amount of DKK 50 million is allocated to this call.

Compelling evidence shows that interdisciplinary research is more likely to lead to ground-breaking results than mono-disciplinary research. Recent technological developments provide access to large amounts of new types of data and call for new collaborations that combine methodological expertise within data science with domain expertise in other research areas.

VILLUM FONDEN wishes to strengthen such collaborations in Denmark with this initiative focusing on interdisciplinary data-driven science.

Here are some project examples from Villum Synergy 2023 that can hopefully inspire you.

An amount of DKK 50 million is currently allocated to this call the following way: 

  • Initiation project grants of up to DKK 4 million for up to three years that primarily target projects involving new, untested collaborations.
  • Full project grants in the range DKK 8-12 million for three to five years, for projects involving sufficiently mature collaborations.

All grant amounts include up to 15% for indirect costs.

  • 21 February 2024, 2 PM: Deadline for applications

  • Late May 2024: Information about the further process

  • 19 June 2024: Interview with full project applicants (PI 1 and PI 2)

  • Medio-late September 2024: Rejection or approval of grants


Projects must involve two PIs who are both employed at a Danish research institution. It is required that one is a methodological expert from computer science, statistics or applied mathematics and the other a domain expert from a field of application that may be broadly chosen (not medicine and clinical research*). Co-PIs providing additional required expertise may also be included in the project.

The research must be conducted at the Danish research institution where the applicants are employed.

Only scientific staff at the postdoctoral level can be employed on the Initiation projects.

PIs must hold tenure and cannot apply for their own salary. The grant cannot be used to cover the base salary of PI 1 (methodological expert) or PI 2 (domain expert). 

An applicant can only be PI on one application.

Current Synergy grant holders have the option to apply for a new project based on the success of their current project when there is approx. 1 year remaining of their current grant period. Such applications will be processed in open competition with the other applicants to the call in question.

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

International collaborations may be included in the project. Project funds should mainly cover activities at Danish universities

Projects with a purely commercial focus are not supported.

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.

Assesment and selection

Proposals are evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence by the selection committee (se below).

The assessment and selection process are divided into two steps.

Step 1: The foundation's working group for technical and natural sciences supplemented with additional members from computer science, math and statistics and humanities/social sciences evaluates the applications based on the Terms of reference (download Terms of reference). The committee recommends to the board which applications should continue to step 2 and which applications should be rejected.

Step 2: Proposals for full projects are also subjected to external peer review and the applicants are invited for an interview with the selection comitee. After the interview the committee will recommend a number of full projects and initiation projects to be granted by the board of VILLUM FONDEN.


Members of the working group for technical and natural sciences: 
See the members of the working group for technical and natural sciences here.

External committee members:

  • Professor Michael Böhlen, Department of Informatics Database Technology, University of Zurich, CH
  • Professor Mathias Drton, Department of Mathematical Statistics, Technical University of Munich, D
  • Associate Professor Stine Lomborg, Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen, DK

Members of the scientific committee evaluating synergy applications :


Please include the following when applying:

Application including illustrations, tables etc. but ex. references must not exceed up to 12 pages for Full projects. For Initiation projects you need to divide the number of characters/pages etc. by two. Applications which exceed the number of required pages will be rejected. Please follow the application guidelines: Download application guidelines.
Please note that on the application portal, PI 1 must be listed as main applicant and PI 2 as co-applicant for practical reasons only. PI 1 will act as corresponding PI.

CVs for PI 1 and PI: Use this CV template.

BudgetDownload budget template.

Letter of support from the host institution. Do not upload any other letters of support.
PI 1 and PI 2 must decide which institute/department shall host the project administratively and submit a letter clearly demonstrating its support and recognition of the application.  

Submit the above-mentioned documents as pdf files.

Applicants are required to indicate their field(s) of research in the application system. The field categories that can be chosen and a description of each category, can be found here. Applicants can select up to three fields of research. Research fields that are not included on the list can be typed in.

The application must be submitted via our application portal.


Q: Can a project involve two PI’s from the same institution?
A: Yes, if one PI is a methodological expert from computer science, statistics or applied mathematics and the other a domain expert from a field of application that may be broadly chosen.

Q: Are PI’s with seniority preferred?
A: No, excellence is the sole criteria

Q: Is it possible to submit applications from the same department for an Initiation Grant as well as a Full Project Grant?
A: Yes, however applicants can only be PI on one application

Q: Is it possible to apply for a Villum Synergy Grant if you are already holding a grant from VILLUM FONDEN?
A: Yes, you may apply and will be evaluated on equal terms as other applicants. It is important that the Synergy project adds new knowledge and is not just an extension of the current Villum project.

Q: Does VILLUM FONDEN favour projects where the idea originates from the side of the Domain Expert or preferring projects from the side of the Methodologic Expert?
A: No, only excellence is preferred

Q: Are Synergy Projects from Engineering Departments eligible?
A: Yes, very much so. It is important that you clearly explain that your project has distinct elements of ‘beyond state-of-the art’ within your field of research.

Q: Should PI1 always be the Methodological expert and PI2 the Domain expert
A: Yes, for practical reasons only

Q: Does the choice of PI and P2 have any influence on which of the collaborators should administer any part of the grant?
A: No

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