Overview of instruments

Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant

In order to promote the education of researchers and strengthen internationalisation, DFF offers the instrument Sapere Aude (i.e. ”dare to know”). The objective of the initiative is to develop the qualifications and competencies of the best research talents, both nationally and internationally. Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant is aimed at Danish as well as non-Danish researchers.

Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant is aimed at providing excellent younger researchers, i.e. researchers who have carried out top class research in their field, with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their research ideas. The instrument also aims at promoting careers, the mobility internationally as well as nationally among research environments, and thereby to strengthen networks. Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grants are targeted at top researchers who intend to gather a group of researchers and/or research students, to carry out a research project at a high, international level. Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant also strengthens the possibility for excellent younger researchers to return to a Danish research institution after a research stay abroad.

DFF - Danish ERC Programme 2021

This programme may only be applied for by applicants who recently received a rejection from European Research Council (ERC) on an application for a “Starting Grant” or a “Consolidator Grant” and where the most recent application reached Step 2. You can apply for funding to improve the previous application. You must fulfil ERC requirements to apply at the planned new application date.

DFF-Research Project 1 and 2 

Independent Research Fund Denmark offers two types of research projects named IRFD-Research Project1 and 2.

DFF-Research project1

To advance the quality of Danish research, DFF offers funding for research projects within an economic framework of up to DKK 2 million, excluding overhead. A DFF-Research Project1 is characterised by having a clear and well defined research question, where the research activities are expected to be of a high, international level of quality. The duration of a DFF-Research Project1 is typically 3 years, but it is possible to apply for a 4-year project if a PhD student is involved in the project.

The applicant must be able to document independent research experience typically corresponding to 3 years or more after having obtained a PhD degree (or similar qualifications). The applicant’s previous results will be assessed in relation to his/her career, and in relation to the scientific challenges of the project applied for. If the applicant is not an associate professor and has not been awarded a positive associate professor assessment (“lektorbedømmelse”) and the project involves the education of researchers, it must be stated in the application how the relevant supervision will be provided, and how the scientific connection of the research students to the project will be ensured.

DFF- Research project2

To advance the quality of, and develop collaboration within, Danish research, DFF offers funding for research projects carried out by multiple researchers (including postdoctoral candidates and PhD students) of up to 4.5 years in duration within a budget framework of DKK 2 million to DKK 4.3 million, excluding overhead. A DFF-Research Project2 is often characterised by a coordinated and mutually binding collaboration featuring a well-defined, joint research question. However, it may also be a project formulated by a single researcher, but which is to be carried out in a research team, when it can be argued that the project is particularly ambitious and resource demanding, and that the research objective cannot be obtained through a DFF-Research Project1. The research activities must have the potential to create synergy among any sub-projects, involve an international level of collaboration (if relevant) and be of a high, international standard.

The applicant must be able to document independent research experience at a high, international level typically corresponding to 5 years or more after having obtained a PhD degree (or similar qualifications).The applicant’s previous results will be assessed in relation to his/her career, and in relation to the scientific challenges of the project applied for. If the applicant is not an associate professor and has not been awarded a positive associate professor assessment (“lektorbedømmelse”) and the project involves education of researchers, it must be stated in the application how the relevant supervision will be provided, and how the scientific connection of the research students to the project will be ensured. 

DFF-International Postdoctoral Grant

DFF-International Postdoctoral Grant aims to strengthen the international mobility of younger talented researchers, as well as to develop the competencies of researchers in the beginning of their research career. The intention is to enable the grant recipient to consolidate their individual research profile by independently managing a concrete research project at a research institution outside of Denmark.

Non-university Research Education (PhD)

In order to strengthen the education of researchers at public, Danish, non-university research institutions, DFF receives funds under the Danish National Budget, which are earmarked for PhD grants at public non-university research institutions.

The instrument covers non-university research institutions, and includes sector research institutions, university colleges, business academies as well as state archives, libraries and museums. It does not cover state approved museums, Advanced Technology Group (GTS) institutes, hospitals, and others.

Please note that DFF does not generally offer support for individual PhD scholarships. Therefore, you cannot apply for an individual PhD grant to be carried out at a university.

Explorative network | Humanities

This instrument is offered only by DFF | Humanities. The objective of Explorative Network | Humanities is to strengthen a broadly based collaboration between different Danish and, ideally, international research environments.

The network is expected to facilitate the exploration of new opportunities across institutions, research traditions and scientific fields, though with the main emphasis on the fields that fall within the scope of DFF | Humanities. In the assessment of applications, emphasis is placed on the originality of the conceptual idea and the network’s potential for scientific innovation. Funding will not be provided for actual research projects.

As an applicant, you must as a minimum be a researcher at associate professor/senior researcher level. The management of the network may be divided between several parties. However, the members of the network must appoint one project manager in advance, who will act as the applicant and thus as the person responsible to the council for the grant. Funding will only be provided for the establishment of new networks.

Journals | Humanities

In order to support the dissemination of humanistic research through digital scientific journals, DFF | Humanities offers funding to established as well as new journals of a high scientific value that strive for an international level of circulation. However, the council does take into account that certain areas of humanistic research will primarily be targeted at a Danish readership. Grants for journals are awarded as a deficit guarantee. Funding for Journals | Humanities must be applied for without overhead/administrative expenses.

International Research Stays | Social Sciences

In order to promote the internationalisation of social sciences research, DFF | Social Sciences provides funding for research stays at a foreign research institution for consecutive periods of at least three months. The research stay should be based on specific research activities within the field of social sciences and contribute to those activities through strengthened international collaboration or networks and collection of data. You cannot apply for funding for scientific/academic salaries.

Clinician scientist positions | Medical Sciences

This instrument ensures buyout from a clinician scientist position (including from the main studies) so that 20 – 50 % of the yearly duty hours are dedicated to research for a period of up to three years, while the remaining time is spent in a clinical position remunerated by the employing institution.

Pre-graduate scholarships | Medical Sciences

For the purpose of giving the most talented students the opportunity to undertake scientific work and strengthening their interest in a further scientific career DFF | Medical Sciences funds pre-graduate scholarships for a duration of 6-12 months.