The procedures for grants 

The grant decision is based on: The submitted application, if relevant an external review, posssible consultation comments and Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) assessment of the application pursuant to the requirements in the call for porposals and DFF's evaluation criteria.

In the call text the offered instruments are listed as well as the scheduled processing periods for each instrument. You will also be able to find the earlist and latest starting dates for Projects.

When and how are you notified of the Council’s decision?

Independent Research Fund Denmark publishes a list of those applicants who have been awarded a grant, approximately 3-4 weeks after the research councils have reached a decision.  

DFF through the e-grant system 3 months following a decision by the relevant research council, informing if it has been a successful application or not. Rejection notices will contain a brief elaboration of the reasons for the decision.

External review

Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) uses external reviews as an extension of its basis for assessment, and their function is solely recommendatory. The final decisions are always made based on the fund's own assessment of the individual applications and of the overall field of applicants.

Principles for the use of international external review

DFF strives to find external reviewers who are accomplished researchers with a wide range of scientific competencies and who have previous experience as external reviewers. The research councils’ choice of reviewers is based on an overall assessment of the suitable candidates, their availability within the time limits that apply, and whether the review is going to be carried out individually or in a review panel. The research councils may choose not to submit such applications for external review, if it proves impossible to find qualified reviewers within the given time frames.

When DFF approaches a researcher to enquire if he/she would serve as an external reviewer, the fund’s rules of impartiality will be pinpointed to the potential reviewer. Reviewers are also informed that the application material is confidential, and that the reviewer’s assessment and identity will be disclosed to the applicant, who will be given the opportunity to comment on any factual errors and misunderstandings in the review. This is done to ensure that the external review process is carried out in accordance with the rules for administration which apply to DFF’s work.

In the e-grant form you may state if there is one or more researchers you would rather is/are not involved in the external review of your application. In such cases, you must provide exact contact information for the researcher in question and briefly explain why they should not review your application.  

Independent Research Fund Denmark follows these principles in the operationalization of the external review to ensure the quality of this. External assessment is of great importance for all parties involved in the processing of applications. Independent Research Fund Denmark evaluates therefore continuously its practices, which includes many considerations and potential dilemmas and includes possible comments and critic forwarded by applicants. You are welcome to contact the Office of the fund, email: if you have any questions regarding the external review.

Processing of cross-council applications

DFF finds it important that interdisciplinary applications have the same opportunities for funding as single-disciplinary projects. The council supports interdisciplinary as well as single-disciplinary projects of high quality.

Each of the five research councils assesses interdisciplinary proposals involving disciplines within the specific council’s area of research. Interdisciplinary applications are processed in collaboration between the research councils, and are coordinated by a cross council-committee composed of the chair persons from each of the five research councils. The committee’s work is assisted by selected council members with relevant scientific expertise.

DFF has allocated a special pool for applications deemed to be truly suitable for cross-council processing.

If you have requested that your application is assessed by more than one council, it will be presented to the cross-council committee, which will decide on the processing of the application.

In the same way, applications submitted to only one council will be presented to the cross-council committee, if the first mentioned council estimates the research project to fully or partially fall within the scientific field of another research council.

The cross-council committee is not obliged to follow your requests concerning, which council(s) will assess your application. However, your application will never be referred to another council than the one(s) decided by you, if you chose “No” in the section “Submission to other councils” in the e-grant template (under the headline “Referral to other councils). If you have chosen that your application cannot be referred to another council, the cross-council committee may still decide to ask for a scientific opinion from one or more of the other councils not chosen by you.