VILLUM FONDEN has the ambition to fund excellent research in the technical and natural sciences. Research powered by the ideas that engage the researchers the most.

Talented investigators conduct research at the highest international level. VILLUM FONDEN is one of Denmark's largest research funding foundations with annual grants of approx. DKK 500 million. The aim is to foster research at the highest international level platformed at Danish universities and research institutions.

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We fund groundbreaking research in several areas:

The young
DKK 7-10 million for younger researchers setting up their first own research team. The grants can be applied for once a year. The programme is announced once a year in open competition with a deadline in June.

Villum Young Investigator

The experienced
Up to DKK 40 million for experienced and internationally recognised researchers who will continue to be at the forefront of world-class research. The programme is announced every two years in open competition with a deadline in September. The next application deadline is September 2020.

Villum Investigator

The unorthodox idea
DKK 1-2 million for the particularly unorthodox research idea in its early phase, which will be assessed in an anonymous process. The programme is announced once a year in open competition. We will announce the call at the beginning of 2020. Deadline will be in March and grant approvals in August/September.

Villum Experiment

The interdisciplinary collaboration
DKK 2-3 million for new collaborations or DKK 10-20 million for established collaborations. Projects should involve two PIs (Principal Investigators). One should be from computer science, statistics or applied mathematics. The other a from a field that may be broadly chosen.

Villum Synergy

The exceptional professor
Villum Kann Rasmussen Professor - for a Danish university that wish to recruit an exceptional international top researcher.


The excellent female scientist with a PhD
DKK 1-2.5 million for female scientists within the technical and natural sciences wishing to pursue a university career. A stay abroad is required. The programme is announced once a year from 2019-2023 with a deadline in October. Applicants must be recommended by their university.

Villum International Postdoc

The excellent, distinctive and long-lasting contribution
Villum Kann Rasmussen's annual award is presented to an excellent researcher in recognition of a particularly valuable contribution to fields of science and technology in Denmark. The annual award grant is DKK 5 million. Applications are not accepted.

The Annual Award

The research must be the driven by curiosity and VILLUM FONDEN prefers to fund ideas that engage the researchers the most.

Trust, freedom and flexibility

We aim to meet the researchers with trust, freedom and flexibility - in close cooperation with the universities. 
This is to give them confidence and the most optimal creative research environments that allow new ideas to be conceived and nurtured.


Our programmes are open to all researchers regardless of nationality, if the research is anchored at a Danish research institution.

Researchers become part of a community

If you receive a grant from VILLUM FONDEN, you will be invited to participate in targeted seminars, workshops, management courses and to join a social network. Read more under the different programmes.

Guidelines for applications and reporting

Indirect costs
Indirect costs may not exceed 15% of the project's direct costs.

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.

We do not support research which has its main root at university hospitals or at health science faculties and departments, e.g. DTU Health Tech or UCPH Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Register your research
We ask all applicants to create an ORCID. 

We expect that grant recipients regularly report on their research through Researchfish.

Working groups


VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN have set up a number of working groups mainly for the purpose of contributing to the allocation activities of the foundations taking place on a professional, sound and in other respects exemplary basis. The object of the working groups is to assist the board of trustees with strategic development as well as with the handling and recommendations to decide on applications and projects within selected areas, presently the individual allocation areas as well as the asset management.

Working group for Technical and natural sciences
  • Anja Boisen, professor, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, board member, VILLUM FONDEN
  • Christian S. Jensen, Dr. Techn., PhD, professor, Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University, board member, VILLUM FONDEN
  • Björn Ottersten, professor, University of Luxembourg & KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Guy Marin, professor, Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering, Ghent University
  • Jane Clarke, professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
  • Poul Henrik Damgaard, professor, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Contact us


Thomas Bjørnholm
Executive Chief Scientific Officer, professor, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 28 75 18 35


Professor Thomas Bjørnholm is responsible for the foundation’s research programmes in technical and natural sciences.
Previously Thomas Bjørnholm was Prorector for Research and Innovation and Deputy Rector at the University of Copenhagen with overall responsibility for research and innovation across all disciplines at the university.

He is a professor of Materials Chemistry and the founding director of the Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen.

Thomas Bjørnholm is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and he has served on numerous boards and committees.

As a scientist, he has published more than 200 articles in scientific journals and books including contributions to the highly-recognized journals Nature and Science. He has given more than 150 invited talks at conferences and research institutes around the world and received research awards, including the Ole Rømer Foundation Award, the Ellen & Niels Bjerrum Award and gold medal, and the Director Ib Henriksen Award.

See more extensive CV

Michel M.H. Kristensen
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+ 45 29 41 78 89
Anders Smith
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 29 66 70 86