Applications can be submitted by invitation only from the foundation via the head of department. The application deadline is 14 December 2023 at 13:00.

VELUX FONDEN aims to promote basic research in the humanities. We have allocated DKK 40 million annually under the core group programme. 

What is a core group?

A core group is a closely collaborating research team typically consisting of one or two tenured researchers as project managers, e.g. a number of other researchers (tenured) and 2-3 postdoctoral scholars and/or PhD students.

A core group may consist of researchers from the same department or researchers across departments and universities.

VELUX FONDEN’s core group programme supports research in the humanities and closest related fields of social sciences. With the programme, we want to promote collective projects at the highest academic level at universities in Denmark. 

The programme and the processes towards the grants are developed in an ongoing collaboration and close dialogue with the relevant research environments at Danish universities.

Unsolicited applications cannot be submitted under the programme, but by invitation only from VELUX FONDEN via the head of department. 

Who can apply? 

Around 30 of the country’s humanities and social science departments are part of the foundation’s collaboration network. For the sake of the success rate, the departments have been divided into two groups, each of which is invited to submit applications every other year.

The departments themselves are responsible for selecting, for example in the research committee, the number of invited applications that are submitted to the foundation. It is a requirement that the principal investigator (PI) is permanently employed at the department. 

Importance is placed on the ‘stepping stone potential’ in relation to the further career opportunities and research development of project manager(s) and other participants as well as in relation to the potential of the project to subsequently attract large-scale grants and/or establish a strong research environment.

Importance is also placed on the project reflecting the department’s research strategy and academic priorities and can thus it’s ability to contribute to the department with positive effects on research and education.

VELUX FONDEN encourages all core groups:

  • To strive for diversity in their project team and project management
  • To fill junior positions via open advertisements. Please note that it is a requirement that postdoc positions must be advertised.

Applicants may apply for up to DKK 5.7 million to establish a core group. This typically covers a project period of four-five years.


The purpose of the core group programme is to:

  • Support free, original basic research at an excellent level in the humanities and most closely related fields of social sciences (anthropology, political science, sociology and psychology). 
  • Strengthen the growth layers of research (emerging research groups with budding ideas) in order to boost the future of the humanities.
  • Offer a medium-sized grant form (between individual project and research centre) that can form ‘stepping stones’ both in relation to the participants’ further career opportunities and the possibility of landing larger and/or international grants. 
  • Deliver synergies to the departments’ realisation of their research plans and objectives – and thus also with a positive effect on education.  
  • Involve the research environments’ own ‘silent’ knowledge of research trends, needs and promising new ideas/initiatives/researchers through a close dialogue with the heads of department.
  1. At the invitation of the foundation, the departments select a number of applications to be submitted to the foundation. The foundation then conducts a dialogue with each head of department about the departmental context of the projects. 
  2. Each application is subject to an international review by three individually selected external experts in the research area covered by the application. Based on the external assessment, the secretariat submits the final recommendation to the board of the foundation, which makes a final decision on rejection or grant. Typically seven core group projects – approx. 25% of all the submitted applications – receive grants.


Calendar 2023/2024:

June 2023: Invitations are sent to heads of department.  

14 December 2023 at 13:00: Deadline for applications. The applicants selected by the department submit their applications via the foundation’s application portal.

January – May 2024: Applications are passed on for external assessment.

June 2024: Applicants receive a reply to their application. Written feedback to each of the invited unsuccessful applicants, including an outline of the main points in the external experts’ assessment. The aim of this procedure is that the applicants gain some academic benefit from the process despite their applications being rejected.

Documents for download:
Core group projects 2023

From sentient bio-machines to ecological ethics – seven humanities projects awarded grants

Contact us:
Gry Louise Minor
Senior Adviser, VELUX FONDEN
+45 40 41 24 72
Henrik Tronier
Senior Adviser, Head of Programme and Responsible for The Research Policy, VELUX FONDEN
+ 45 29 41 79 07
Hanne Pohl
Administrative Coordinator, VELUX FONDEN
+45 40 13 06 69