We wish to support the experienced and internationally recognised researcher who has the potential to make a significant contribution to research in the technical and natural sciences at a Danish research institution.

Who can apply?
The ideal applicant is an active researcher who has demonstrated international, groundbreaking research of the highest scientific quality for 10 years or longer.

We announce the programme every two years in open competition. We will  launch the next call ultimo February 2024 with an application deadline 21 August 2024. The final grant approval will take place in March 2025. 

Grant amount?
Researchers already established at a Danish research institution can apply for up to DKK 30 million, incl. 15% for indirect costs. 

VILLUM FONDEN wants to encourage the recruitment of leading international researchers to Denmark. If you have been employed outside Denmark for at least four of the last five years at the time of application, you can apply for up to DKK 40 million, incl. 15% for indirect costs.

Part of the grant can be used to hire, e.g., a secretary or an assistant who can relieve the researcher of administrative tasks. 

Time frame
The duration of a grant is six years. At the end of a grant period, it is possible to apply again in competition with other applicants.

Approval of grant
It will take approx. seven months from application deadline to grant.

Application process
If you applied for a Villum Investigator grant in 2022 and were not invited for an interview, you are ineligible to apply in 2024. Applicants in the 2024 call who are not invited for an interview will be ineligible to apply in the Villum Investigator call in 2026.

Latest call: Villum Investigators

Please note: Application deadline was 31 August 2022, 2 PM.

Anders Smith
Senior Adviser, Head of Programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 29 66 70 86
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