We aim to fund the experienced and internationally recognised researcher with 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 (recently in 2018) in open competition. The call will be announced in the spring with application deadline in September and grant approvals in March of the following year.

Grant amount?
You can apply for up to DKK 40 million, incl. 15% for indirect costs. Part of the funding can be used to hire e.g. a secretary or an assistant who can relieve the researcher of administrative tasks. A total of DKK 400 million has been allocated for the programme in 2018/2019.

Time frame
The time frame is six years. After a period, it is possible to apply again in competition with other applicants.

Approval of grant
The duration will be approx. seven months from application to grant.

Application process - Villum Investigator:

Talented researchers in an international research community. In the photo: professor and Villum Investigator Dorthe Dahl-Jensen's laboratory in Greenland, where she conducts research in ice and climate for the next six years.

The application process

The research must be conducted at a Danish research institution. If the researcher is already employed by a Danish university, this can be appointed as the base for the research. However, it is possible to move to a different institution if this is relevant for the research. 

Remember to attach a letter of support from the institution to your application.

You can apply, even if you have previously received a rejection.

Villum Investigators 2019

Villum Investigators 2017

DKK 400 million for 11 top researchers

In march 2017 VILLUM FONDEN granted DKK 400 million for 11 experienced and highly acknowledged researchers within the technical and natural sciences.

Latest call

Villim Investigators

Application deadline 2018 has expired.

For further information:
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