Please note that deadline was 15 November 2022, 1 PM. 

VELUX FONDEN wishes to advance basic research in the humanities. We have earmarked around DKK 40 million per year.

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, e.g. a number of senior researchers 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 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. Deadline for expression of interest is November 15th 2022 at 1pm. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Each year, we invite humanities and social science departments within VELUX FONDEN's permanent partner network to submit expressions of interest with project proposals. Out of regard for the success rate, the 35 or so university departments are grouped into two sets, each set being invited in alternate years.

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

For the purpose of establishing a core group one may apply for up to DKK 6 million, which typically covers a four-year project period.


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 and psychology). 
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 2022/2023:

June 2022: Invitation to submit expressions of interest sent out to heads of department.  

November 15th 2022 at 1 pm: 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 2023: Applicants are notified of whether they are invited to submit a full application.  

March 27th 2023: Deadline for full applications.

June 2023: Applicants receive notification of the board's decision. Feedback is given to each of the unsuccessful applicants with reasons for the rejection, including the main points of the peer reviews. This ensures that the applicants receive some degree of academic benefit from the process despite the rejection.


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

An expression of interest must comprise:

A front page with information about the title of the project, title and name of PI, title of CO-PI, university, department, the purpose of the project ( 5 lines in Danish), number of characters (max. 7200 characters incl. spaces). Find the front page template here.

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 to be uploaded as one document. 

  • For the project manager(s): a brief CV (max. 2 pages per project manager) and publicationlist (max. 1 page per project manager). Use this CV template.

  • Main data of other participants and/or possible candidates for the junior positions. Can include hyperlinks to a website with fully-expanded information (max. 1 page in total)

Budget estimate in VELUX FONDEN's budget template.  

One may apply for up to DKK 6 million to cover:

  • PhD or postdoctoral fellowships.
  • Releasing/salary for project management and/or other tenured staff to a maximum of 10% of the proposed total funding for a single project manager and a maximum 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.



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 must reflect the department’s research strategy and priorities and thereby contribute to both research and teaching.

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

  • Originality of ideas and expected derived novel epistemological outputs.
  • Academic and/or societal relevance.
  • Stepping-stone potential in relation to project management's and other participants' onward career prospects and research advances.
  • The project's potential to subsequently attract large grants and/or subsequently establish a strong research centre.
  • Strong CVs in the project group with new, international publications of relevance for the area in question.

VELUX FONDEN encourages all core groups to

  • Strive for diversity in the project groups as well as in the project management
  • Fill out junior positions by open call whenever possible.
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 expressions of interest.

Core group projects 2022

Sevent human science projects will develop new insights, theories and approaches and make us wiser about our history, daily lives and common future.

Core group programme funding
2008 - 2022 (in Danish)

Contact us:
Henrik Tronier
Senior Adviser, Head of Programme and Responsible for The Research Policy, VELUX FONDEN
+ 45 29 41 79 07