Our aim is to support early career researchers with ambitions of creating their own, independent research identity, and with the potential to significantly contribute to research in technical and natural sciences at a Danish research institution.

A total of DKK 130 million is expected to be allocated to the Villum Young Investigator Programme in 2020.

With this programme, VILLUM FONDEN would like to attract talented researchers – Danish and non-Danish from outside Denmark.

Please note

Two important changes have been made to the Villum Young Investigator Programme in 2020:

The total number of application times is now limited to three times, and the size of grants to be applied for, have been adjusted.

Starting in 2021, applicants may only re-apply once.

You are not eligible to receive a Villum Young Investigator grant, if you have already received an ERC Starting Grant, Sapere Aude Research Leader Grant, Novo Nordisk Hallas-Møller Investigator Grant, Carlsberg Foundation Distinguished Fellowships or a similar grant intended to help promising young research leaders fund their own research group and establish their profile. 

Who can apply?
The ideal applicant is an exceptionally talented young researcher within technical and natural sciences. Applicants need to present a clearly defined goal covering their research in the full five-year grant period, and the project must be of a scale that requires formation of a research group. The research must be conducted at the Danish research institution employing the individual applicant.  

Applicants must have between two and eight years of research experience after completion of their PhD. Leaves of absence will be considered. Applicants are typically experienced postdocs, assistant professors or associate professors. Associate professors may not have more than two years of tenure as an associate professor at the time of the application deadline.

In accordance with current rules, applicants who have already applied for the Villum Young Investigator Programme unsuccessfully, may reapply a total of three times. A letter of support from the institution must be attached confirming the participation in the programme to be an obvious career opportunity for the applicant, and thus will be committed to the task.

In the event that two applicants are equally qualified, the applicant with a tenure-track faculty position or similar will be chosen. 

The programme is announced once a year in open competition, with an application deadline in June, and a final decision in December.

Grant amount
Researchers currently employed at a Danish research institution can apply for a maximum of DKK 6 million, including 15% for indirect costs.
Researchers currently employed outside Denmark and have been for at least two of the past four years at the time of application - can apply for a maximum of DKK 8 million, including 15% for indirect costs.

Time frame
The duration of the grant is five years. 

Application process:

Important dates in 2020

  • 14 April: Announcement of the call
  • 16 June, 12 noon: Application deadline
  • 30 October: Selected applicants invited to interview/unsuccessful applicants notified
  • 11-13 November: Interviews conducted
  • 23 December: Final grant approval/rejection notifications issued

Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to call Head of Programme Michel M.H. Kristensen on +45 2941 7889 after 2 November 2020 to discuss their applications and hear the rationale for  not being invited for an interview.

Join a community 
As a Villum Young Investigator you will join a community of like-minded researchers and attend one or two seminars each year on relevant topics such as recruitment or research management.

Latest Call: Villum Young Investigator

Application deadline was 18 June 2019 at 12 noon.

15 new Villum Young Investigators 2020

For further information, please contact:
Michel M.H. Kristensen
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VILLUM FONDEN
+ 45 29 41 78 89