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Carlsberg Foundation awards funding of DKK 400 million for ground-breaking research activities

Many of Denmark’s leading researchers have today been awarded research grants by the Carlsberg Foundation. In total, the Foundation has approved funding of DKK 400 million, including DKK 124 million for research projects in the humanities and social sciences, and DKK 108 million for ground-breaking research in the natural sciences. In addition, the Foundation has earmarked around DKK 170 million for a number of Semper Ardens: Advance grants to be announced separately at the beginning of 2023.

The grants are a result of the Carlsberg Foundation’s Autumn 2022 Call for Applications and will be awarded to researchers at all career stages working on scientific projects that will lead to important new insights in the coming years in areas as diverse as the role of children’s media since the 1980s, the use of medical knowledge in ancient Assyrian temples, how noise from ships affects baleen whales in European waters, the impact of environmental stressors on crop production and biodiversity, anticancer mechanisms in oncolytic viruses, and inequality among households previously overlooked in the production of economic models.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the researchers on their grants,” says Majken Schultz, Chair of the Carlsberg Foundation. “Supporting researchers at every stage of their careers is consistent with the Carlsberg Foundation’s strategic objective of both promoting a generation change in Danish research and helping our research institutions to realise their potential to deliver ground-breaking results in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. I look forward to following the many visionary projects that will now start up at universities both in Denmark and abroad.” 

See who has received a grant 

Postdoctoral grants of DKK 42 million 

High priority has once again this year been given to supporting aspiring young researchers at postdoctoral level. Funding of more than DKK 42 million has been approved across three types of grants: Reintegration Fellowships, Internationalisation Fellowships, and Visiting Fellowships at the University of Oxford – an elite programme launched by the Foundation in 2019 to provide increased opportunities for the most talented postdoc students to carry out research at one of the world’s top universities. 

See who has received a Reintegration Fellowship

See who has received an Internationalisation Fellowship

See who has received a Visiting Fellowship

Young associate professors to receive Semper Ardens: Accelerate grants of DKK 108 million 

Young associate professors have also been a priority in this year’s grant awards, with more than DKK 108 million going to 23 newly appointed associate professors through the Semper Ardens: Accelerate programme. The aim of these three-year grants is to help young tenured researchers at associate professor level stand on their own two feet by establishing an independent research group. 

See who has received a Semper Ardens: Accelerate 

In addition, 28 leading established researchers with projects in the humanities or social sciences leading to a monograph or advanced doctoral dissertation will together receive almost DKK 25 million. 

See who has received a Monograph Fellowship

Furthermore, 52 Research Infrastructure grants for equipment, register data and databases have been awarded of almost DKK 54 million.

See who has received a Research Infrastructure Grant

International peer review for the first time in the Foundation’s history

All grants resulting from the Autumn 2022 Call for Applications have been awarded in open competition on the basis of applications submitted by the researchers themselves. All applications have been assessed for academic merit by members of the Carlsberg Foundation’s board, which takes the final decision on grants awarded. 

For the first time in the Foundation’s history, applications for some of the programmes were also sent for an international external peer review ahead of the board’s own assessment and decision, namely applications for Semper Ardens: Accelerate and Research Infrastructure grants of more than DKK 3 million, and Semper Ardens: Advance grants to be awarded at the beginning of 2023. 

The introduction of external peer review for selected programmes is a further step in modernising the Carlsberg Foundation’s award processes so that they keep up with the Foundation’s increased funding capacity and the ever-increasing complexity of scientific research.

“I’m delighted that we have now, for the first time in the Carlsberg Foundation’s history, introduced international peer review of selected research applications,” Majken Schultz says. “As research becomes more and more specialised, the assessment of large and complex research applications increasingly requires external review by other researchers with a deep understanding of the research field. The Carlsberg Foundation has also markedly increased its funding capacity in recent years, which is another reason to introduce external peer review ahead of the board’s own assessment and decision on grant applications.”  

High number of applications

A total of 729 applications were submitted to the Foundation before the deadline on 1 October 2022. Of the applications for grants to be awarded in 2022, 422 were submitted by male applicants and 200 by female applicants. A total of 153 grants have been awarded, breaking down into 64 grants to female researchers and 89 grants to male researchers. The grand total of 729 applications includes Semper Ardens: Advance grants which will be announced separately at the beginning of 2023. 

Including the Semper Ardens: Advance programme, applications were submitted for more than DKK 3.2 billion. The Carlsberg Foundation has approved a total of DKK 600 million in research funding in 2022.

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