VELUX FONDEN awards free research funds primarily in order to promote group projects focusing on basic research at the highest academic level at Danish universities and cultural institutions.

We make grants to projects in all humanities subjects, as well as closely related social-science fields, including anthropology, psychology, sociology, political science and some aspects of public health. We also make grants to multi-disciplinary projects involving the humanities and other sciences.

In order to ensure that the grants have the largest and longest-term impact, we stress that strategy development and the procedure leading up a grant being awarded take place in close dialogue with the relevant research institutes at Danish universities and cultural institutions.

The value of the humanities

Humanities research takes up key questions about humanity, culture, history, cognition, language, communication and society. This learning is disseminated and spread widely throughout Danish society. In addition to being of interest to individuals, it contributes both the learning and critical thinking necessary for an informed democracy, culture, education, commerce, the press, public discourse, consultancy and policymaking.

Moreover, there is an increasing recognition that the major issues of the day, including the environment, resource consumption, health, social welfare, work and competitiveness, cannot be addressed solely in terms of technical or economic approaches. Doing so also requires an understanding of the decisive role played by ‘human factors’ in problems as well as solutions. Here too the humanities can contribute important insights together with other fields of science and social science.

Realising these social benefits requires, however, that the humanities are supported and strengthened in a broad and sustainable manner. This includes free research seeking to address long-term, fundamental issues. This type of research makes it possible to ask fundamental questions and come up with new ideas. The humanities themselves also move into new directions in society and in relation to other sciences.

The foundation’s grants are therefore made based on individual projects’ intrinsic value, their value for their humanities research institute and their value in a more fundamental way for the long-term development and strengthening of the role of humanities and their importance in society.


The foundation’s humanities focus has resulted in various programmes, initiatives and instruments. All of these revolve around the goal of promoting free research at the highest level, and to do it in close dialogue with research institutes at Danish universities and culture institutions.

The foundation does not support cultural projects outside of the grant areas mentioned below.


The core-group programme funds research in the humanities and allied social science disciplines. With this programme, we aim to advance collective projects of the highest academic standard at Danish universities.

VELUX FONDEN does not accept unsolicited applications for this programme; applications may be submitted at the invitation of VELUX FONDEN via the institution's head of department.

Deadline for letter of interest was 3 December 2018.

More information about the core-group programme

Museums programme

VELUX FONDEN's Museums Programme supports projects at Danish museums that reinforce collaboration between the museums' researchers and mediators and the universities' humanities researchers, and help to improve the outreach of research-based discoveries to the general public through engaging and compelling state-of-the-art mediation methods geared to today's museum visitors.

A call for letters of interest is made annually. Deadline for letters of interests was 9 October 2018 at 13:00.

Please find latest call and more information here

Humanities and praxis

The HUMpraxis Programme aims to promote cooperation between research in the humanities and practice within its social projects, gerontology or environment programmes. 

There are no current calls. 

More information about the HUMpraxis Programme

MetaHum initiative

The foundation has taken the initiative to establish multi-disciplinary research projects necessary to carry out a thorough mapping and analysis of the current state of the humanities and the developments at the interfaces with other sciences and areas of society.

The goal is:

  • to use research to further our understanding of the humanities and its academic, theoretical and methodological development and multi-disciplinary opportunities
  • to make the role and importance of the humanities in society more visible to a wider public, and
  • to provide a knowledge base for the foundation’s strategic work with this initiative.

Projects are developed by the foundation in collaboration with relevant researchers towards invited applications that are evaluated by external foreign experts.

Other projects

In addition to the programmes and initiatives mentioned above, the foundation may also support group projects, both on the basis of solicited and unsolicited applications, based on the foundation’s dialogue with the researchers.

The foundation has reserved a small amount of funding for innovative multi-disciplinary projects involving the humanities and other sciences. These funds can be awarded to unsolicited project applications and to projects developed in dialogue with the foundation or invited to apply by the research institutes.

In principle, it is possible to submit other unsolicited group humanities project applications (unsolicited letters of interest are not accepted). Such applications are unlikely to be selected for grants, since they will be competing for the foundation’s unassigned funding, which are not specifically reserved for the humanities programme.

Examples of granted projects

The Robot revolution

Article about the new field of research: 'Robophilosophy' supported by VELUX FONDEN

Word clues to prehistoric Europe

VELUX FONDEN has made a DKK 6,115,032 grant to this research project.


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