Please note: Deadline for letters of interest was 3 December 2018.

VELUX FONDEN wishes to advance basic research in the humanities. We have earmarked up to DKK 30 million for grants in 2018.

VELUX FONDEN's 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.

Elaboration of the programme and procedures leading up to grant awards is carried out in ongoing cooperation and close consultation with the relevant research centres at Danish universities.

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

What is a core group?

A core group is a closely collaborating research team typically consisting of one or two tenured senior investigators as project managers 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.

Who is eligible to apply?

Each year, we invite humanities and social science departments within VELUX FONDEN's permanent partner network to submit letters of interest with project proposals.

It is the university departments themselves (via e.g. a research committee) that select the invited number of letters of interest for submission to VELUX FONDEN. 

Out of regard for the success rate, the 40 or so university departments that are members of the partner network are grouped into two sets, each set being invited in alternate years.

A grant from VELUX FONDEN for the purpose of establishing a core group is worth up to DKK 6 million, and typically covers a three-year project period.

THE PURPOSE OF THE CORE-GROUP PROGRAMME

The purpose of the core-group programme is to:

  • Fund independent, original basic research of an excellent standard within the humanities and allied social science disciplines (anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology and branches of the public health sciences). 
  • Boost emerging research (up-and-coming research teams with emerging ideas) with a view to strengthening the humanities within the national and international research-funded eco-system.
  • Advance team research and thereby the opportunities for, and future impact of, early career academics. Team research must not only consist of informal network collaboration, but of close research alliances in the realisation of a closely integrated project's overall goals.  
  • Offer a medium-sized grant scheme (between an individual project and research centre grant) to serve as a 'stepping stone' to eligibility for larger and/or international grants.
  • Synergise university departments' realisation of research plans and objectives, and therein outputs for teaching purposes.
  • Incorporate the research centres' own tacit insights into research trends, needs and promising new research ideas/initiatives/proponents through close dialogue with heads of department.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

The application process involves three phases with three cooperating entities party to the selection stage:

  1. The university departments select – at VELUX FONDEN's invitation – a number of expressions of interest for submission. This entails telephone discussion with each head of department concerning the departmental context of each expression of interest.
  2. VELUX FONDEN's working group for humanities research and culture selects, from among these project proposals, those that are to be invited to submit a full application (approx. half).  
  3. Each application is submitted for international review by two individually selected peer reviewers within the application's field of research. Based on the peer reviews, VELUX FONDEN's working group draws up the final shortlist for the VELUX FONDEN board, which makes the final decision on rejection or grant award (typically granting 5-7 core-group projects, which is approx. 1/3 of the invited applications).

Calendar:

June: Invitation to submit expressions of interest sent out to heads of department.  

3 December: Deadline for expressions of interest. Those applicants that have been selected by their university department submit an expression of interest via VELUX FONDEN's applications portal.

February: Applicants are notified of whether they are invited to submit a full application.  

May: Deadline for full applications.

September: Applicants receive the reply to their application. Notice of Award letters are sent out. Telephone conversation with each of the unsuccessful applicants to give reasons for the rejection of their application, including the main points of the peer reviews. The aim of this is for the applicants to derive some degree of academic benefit from the process despite the rejection.

GUIDE TO LETTER OF INTEREST

Applications may be submitted strictly at the invitation of VELUX FONDEN via a university head of department.

A letter of interest must comprise:

Project description of max. 3 pages (of 2400 characters incl. spaces), excluding references. The project description must be written in English and should include:

  • The overall project's hypothesis, aims, research questions, relationship to state-of-the-art research in the field, theory and methodology, and its alignment with the host institution's research strategy.
  • ​Brief presentation of each sub-project and how such are linked.
  • Project period and timetable, and publication and dissemination plans.

CV with list of publications for the project's participants in English.

  • For the project manager: a brief CV and key publications (max. 1 page per project manager)
  • Main data on other participants. Can include hyperlinks to a website with fully-expanded information (max. 1 page in total)
     

Budget estimate in VELUX FONDEN's budget template.  (In Danish) 

Funding applications may be made for:

  • PhD or postdoctoral fellowships.
  • Releasing/salary for project management to a limited extent (max. 10% of the proposed total funding for a single project manager and a total of 15% for two)
  • Project costs entailed by running the project, publications, meetings, conferences etc.
  • Dissemination of results and platforming of methodologies and activities.
  • 5% unitemised overheads.
EVALUATION CRITERIA

In line with the stated purpose of funding independent, original basic research, the criteria for merited core-group projects concern not project content (specific subject matter), but rather project form.

  • The project must be neither 'over-ripe' (merely an extension of a well-established project) or 'under-ripe' (solely at a conceptual stage, without a considered research design).
  • The project must have two coherent levels: a realistic, precise and well-defined project with respect to its subject matter, and equally, innovative basic research aspects and outputs in that it, for example, addresses fundamental humanities questions, theories and methodological advances, including interdisciplinarity or the like.
  • The project has closely integrated, well-defined sub-projects that are both adequate and necessary for realising the overall project (synergy, value added as a collective project).
  • The project is aligned with the university departments' organisational development towards research teams and is conducive to (inter)departmental synergies.
     

In evaluating expressions of interest, particular emphasis will also be placed on:

  • Originality of ideas and expected derived novel epistemological outputs.
  • Academic and/or societal relevance.
  • Stepping-stone potential in relation to: 1) Project management's and other participants' onward career prospects and research advances. 2) The project's potential to subsequently attract large grants and/or subsequently establish a strong research centre.
Background and grants

In 2007, VELUX FONDEN resolved, under its non-profit activities, to increase its funding for humanities research. From the outset, we have been keen to formulate the Humanities Initiative in close dialogue with the humanities research centres' wishes regarding VELUX FONDEN's funding policies. Accordingly, we conducted a number of meetings with a widely representative number of research centres. The outcome of this greatly influenced the format of the core-group programme. The network has since been extended through further meetings with representatives of the relevant disciplines, which VELUX FONDEN is still in dialogue with, both as a basis for the ongoing strategic planning, and when soliciting letters of interest.

Core Group projects 2018

VELUX FONDEN’s Core Group Programme for humanities research has granted 33 million DKK to six projects at three Danish universities.

 

 

Core-group programme projects 2017

Eight research projects from five Danish universities have collectively received 39 million DKK from VELUX FONDEN's core-group programme for research in the humanities.