Please note that application deadline has passed. Deadline was 8 June 2023, 12:00 noon.
VILLUM FONDEN is pleased to announce a competition for the appointment of outstanding early career scientists as Villum Young Investigators. A total of DKK 130 million is expected to be allocated to this call in 2023.
The Villum Young Investigator Programme is an early-career programme which aims to fund talented researchers in the technical and natural sciences.
The Villum Young Investigator Programme has been supplemented with YIP extension grants aka. YIP+ to secure a stable research career for the most talented. A YIP+ grant is up to DKK 4 million and the grant period is up to three years. In the fourth year of their five-year grant period, Villum Young Investigators will receive an invitation to apply for a YIP+ project. It is expected that 10-15 YIPs can apply each year, of which up to about five may obtain a YIP+ grant. Last possibility to apply for this programme will be in 2023.
At the time of the application deadline, candidates must have between two and eight years of research experience since completion of their PhDs.
Applicants are typically experienced postdoctoral researchers, assistant professors or associate professors. Associate professors must not have more than two years' standing at the time of the application deadline. Any leaves of absence, such as working in the private sector, military service or sick/parental/care leave, will be taken into account when determining how long an applicant has been employed as an associate professor.
Applicants are selected based on their research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become research leaders.
Applicants must have a clearly defined research goal for the full five-year grant period, and the research must be of such scale that it requires the formation of a research group made up of at least two researchers in addition to the grant holder/PI (for example one PhD student and one postdoc). It is not possible to apply for a grant period of less or more than five years.
Applicants currently employed at a Danish research institution can apply for a maximum of DKK 7 million, including 15% for indirect costs.
Applicants currently employed by a university outside Denmark and have been so for at least two of the past three years at the time of application can apply for a maximum of DKK 9 million, including 15% for indirect costs.
Applicants may apply a total of two times (e.g in 2022 and 2023).
- 29 March: Announcement of the call
- 8 June, 12:00 noon: Application deadline
- July – September: Applications are reviewed by the scientific committee
- Primo November: Selected applicants are invited for interviews/unsuccessful applicants notified
- 8-10 November: Interviews conducted by the scientific committee
- Ultimo December: Final grant approval/rejection notifications issued
Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to call Head of Programme, Michel M.H. Kristensen, on +45 2941 7889, Mondays and Fridays after 1 December, to discuss their applications, and hear the rationale for not being invited for an interview.
The assessment and selection procedure is divided into two steps.
Step 1: The Villum Young Investigator Committee evaluates the applications based on the Terms of Reference and recommends to the board of VILLUM FONDEN which applicants should be invited for an interview.
Step 2: Based on the application and the interview with the applicant, the Committee recommends to the board of VILLUM FONDEN which applicants should receive a Villum Young Investigator grant.
- Chair Helmut Bölcskei, Professor, Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and Department of Mathematics, ETH
- Hans Ågren, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, X-ray Photon Science, Uppsala University
- Philip John Withers, Professor of Materials Science, The University of Manchester
- Søren Fournais, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University
- Stine Helene Falsig Pedersen, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen
- Catherine Heppell, Professor of Physical Geography, Queen Mary University of London
- Owen Lewis, Professor of Ecology, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
- Mikael Käll, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology
- Klaus Mølmer, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University
A Villum Young Investigator grant is expected to be a “defining grant” that enables the grantee to establish the first research group he/she will lead and allows the grantee to demonstrate independent leadership in science.
Applicants are not eligible if they have received an ERC Starting Grant, Sapere Aude Research Leader Grant, Novo Nordisk Hallas-Møller Investigator Grant, Carlsberg Foundation Distinguished Fellowships or similar grant intended to help promising young research leaders fund their own research group and establish their profile.
Applicants must have between two and eight years of research experience since completion of their PhDs.
Associate professors may not have more than two years'’ standing at the time of the application deadline.
If, at the time of the application deadline, applicants are employed by the university in a tenure-track programme, or have a tenured position, the applicant’s salary, if he/she is later chosen as a Villum Young Investigator, will continue to be paid by the host institution throughout the five-year grant period.
Any leaves of absence, such as working in the private sector, military service or sick leave, will be taken into account when determining how long an applicant has been employed as an associate professor. The extended period is calculated as the actual number of months of leave.
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 2.
The period of leave including start date and end date, must be stated in the CV .
An applicant who would like a leave period to be taken into account should indicate the length of the leave, the year the leave was taken and nature of the leave on page 1 of his/her CV.
VILLUM FONDEN may, in special cases, permit a Villum Young Investigator to transfer to another host institution in Denmark.
VILLUM FONDEN is committed to provide equal opportunities throughout the assessment process and funding period.
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.
Please include the following when applying:
- Application (download application guidelines)
- CV (download CV template)
- Budget (download budget template)
- Letter of Support (from your host institution only)
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.
All applicants are required to submit their ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID), which assures that applicants have a unique ID in the application system and helps to distinguish them from other researchers when making queries in Web of Science or similar databases. Applicants can obtain their ORCID here. ORCIDs should be entered in the contact-information section in the application system.
The application must be submitted via our application portal.
I have applied unsuccessfully for a Villum Young Investigator grant two times. Can I apply in 2023?
No, you can only apply in 2023 if you have not applied previously or applied only once, e.g. in 2022.
Can I apply for only three or four years of research?
No, the duration of the project must be five years.
What is meant by “research group”?
A research group is made up of at least two researchers in addition to the grant holder/PI (for example one PhD student and one postdoc).
What is meant by “tenure track”?
Tenure track is a classification that relates primarily to a position at the assistant-professor level (assistant professorship/postdoc/researcher) in the running for a permanent position as associate professor/senior researcher. Please refer to the following links for further information:
If you are not in a tenure-track programme at the time of your application, your department will be asked to state that you have the scientific qualifications required to be considered for a tenure-track programme at a Danish university.
What is meant by “two years’ standing”?
If you have been employed as an associate professor for more than two years prior to the application deadline, as indicated by your employment contract, you are not eligible for the Villum Young Investigator Programme. Any leaves of absence, such as working in the private sector, military service or sick/parental/care leave, will be taken into account when determining how long you have been employed as an associate professor.
The application system allows me to add co-applicants. Is this required?
No, the Villum Young Investigator Programme is not meant to include co-applicants. Our application system is used for all our programmes, some of which do allow co-applicants.
Is the PI required to spend 80% of his/her working hours on the Villum Young Investigator grant?
No, not necessarily. The PI is required to spend a substantial amount of time on his/her Villum Young Investigator grant project and at least 75% of her/his total time on work related to technical and/or natural sciences and education in general.