A long-term investment in research
In 2012, VILLUM FONDEN established a (permanent) professorship at the University of Copenhagen with the aim of advancing Danish research. This year, the foundation established a second professorship at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The aim of the professorships, styled on the British tradition of endowed chairs, is to attract leading scientists to Danish universities by offering them prestigious, permanent positions.
Read more about the Villum Kann Rasmussen Professorships
Bringing the world’s best scientists to Denmark
Thomas Bjørnholm, executive chief scientific officer:
“VILLUM FONDEN would like to make an on-going contribution to the advancement of Danish science and technology by helping the country’s research institutions to attract the world’s best scientists.
We are pleased to be working with the nation’s universities to make that ambition a reality, and we are receptive to proposals from any Danish university that is interested in hosting an individual of the calibre of Charles Marcus and Jens Nørskov.”
The young, the established, the bold
VILLUM FONDEN makes grants to scientific and technological research. In 2017, the DKK 600 million in grants given out were divided amongst early-career scientists looking to establish their first research group; established academics looking for funding to allow them to conduct research into a specific topic; and scientists in search of the funding they need to be able to experiment with bold ideas.
In addition, VILLUM FONDEN awards the Villum Kann Rasmussen Annual Award in Science and Technology. Denmark’s most prestigious individual research award, the Annual Award recognises exceptional contributions to science and technology.
Since its establishment in 1987, the Annual Award has been given to 37 individuals. The award includes a grant of DKK 5 million. Recipients are selected by VILLUM FONDEN.
VILLUM FONDEN's support for technical and natural sciences
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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.