Please note: The application deadline is 16 June 2020, 12 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 2020.
The Villum Young Investigator Programme is an early-career programme which aims to fund talented researchers in the technical and natural sciences.
Two important changes have been made to the Villum Young Investigator Programme:
The size of grants to be applied for, have been adjusted.
In 2020, applicants may apply a total of three times (e.g in 2017, 2018 and 2020). Starting in 2021, applicants may only re-apply once (e.g. in 2020 and 2021).
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 may 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).
Applicants already employed at a Danish research institution can apply for a maximum of DKK 6 million, including 15% for indirect costs.
Applicants currently employed by a university outside Denmark and have been for at least two of the past four years at the time of application can apply for a maximum of DKK 8 million, including 15% for indirect costs.
- 14 April: Announcement of the call
- 16 June, 12 noon: Application deadline
- July – September: Applications are reviewed by the scientific committee
- Ultimo October: Selected applicants are invited for interviews/unsuccessful applicants notified
- 11-13 November: Interviews conducted by the scientific committee
- 23 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 after 2 November 2020 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
- Susanne Mandrup, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark
- Bo Elberling, Professor, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen
- Duncan Sutherland, Professor, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, Aarhus University
- Hans Ågren, Professor, Department of Theoretical Chemistry and Biology, Royal Institute of Technology
- Lars Samuelson, Professor, Solid State Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University
- Eva B. Vedel Jensen, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University
- Philip John Withers, Professor of Materials Science, The University of Manchester
- Yvonne Buckley, Professor of Zoology, Trinity College Dublin
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/parental/care 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. 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, and DTU Health Tech) are not eligible to apply and will receive an administrative rejection.
Please include the following when applying:
- Application (download application guidelines below)
- CV (no more than two pages) and your publication list from the past 10 years (in one document):
A: Your CV must not exceed 2 pages and should be organized as follows:
- Personal data
- Education (academic degrees with date and year of attainment)
- Current and previous academic employment. In the case of temporary employment, please specify the date of termination of your current contract.
- Any periods of leave (such as maternity, parental or nursing leave, military service, humanitarian relief work, etc.). For leave periods, please indicate the reason for leave and start and end dates.
- Academic awards and honors
- Management experience, including experience in project management
- Scientific focus areas
- International collaborations
- Supervision (Ph.D. students and postdocs)
B: Following your CV please list your publications.
- Budget form (download budget template below). The Villum Young Investigator grant is flexible. Applicants may apply for DKK 6 or 8 million for a period of five years, including 15% for indirect costs. The size of the budget should reflect expenses typical for the proposed research field. The grant can be used to hire postdoctoral researchers or PhD students, purchase equipment, pay for technical and administrative assistance or other standard project expenses. (Information about the salary of the applicant is found in the 'Conditions' section.)
- Letter of support. The institute/department that would host a successful applicant must submit a letter clearly demonstrating its support and recognition of the application.
The institute/department is asked to state that an applicant who is not in a tenure-track programme has the scientific qualifications required to be considered for a tenure-track programme at a Danish university.
The department is encouraged to state the degree to which being named a Villum Young Investigator will influence the applicant’s chances of being selected for a tenure-track programme at the host institution.
The letter of support is important to the foundation and may be used to decide between two equally qualified candidates from the same institution.
In the event that two applicants are equally qualified, the applicant with a tenure-track faculty position or similar will be chosen.
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 Villum Young Investigator grant two times. Can I apply in 2020?
In 2020, applicants may apply a total of three times (e.g in 2017, 2018 and 2020). Starting in 2021, applicants may only re-apply once (e.g. in 2020 and 2021). So if you have already applied twice and want to apply again, you can apply only this year - not the following years. If you have applied once, you can apply only once more - either this year or another year.
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.
Ready to send us your application?
Application deadline for the Villum Young Investigator call is 16 June 2020, 12 noon.