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The Carlsberg Foundation grants nearly DKK 300 million to Danish basic research

The Carlsberg Foundation grants nearly DKK 300 million to several of Denmark’s outstanding researchers. The Foundation thus continues its strategic objective to support and future-proof conditions for excellent research within natural science, the humanities, and social science.

Since brewer J. C. Jacobsen founded the Carlsberg Foundation in 1876, it has been the ambition to brew knowledge for an enlightened future. In line with its strategy, the foundation now increases the focus on strengthening talent development, international collaboration and promoting gender diversity in research.

The Carlsberg Foundation supports projects of a total of DKK 286 million, covering highly diverse subjects such as the experimental welfare state, conversion of CO2 into sustainable basic chemicals, ethical principles for the use of evidence in democratic decision-making, and experimental equipment for the study of quantum components for quantum computing.

All grants have been awarded based on a thorough assessment of approx. 600 applications received, all building on the researchers' own visionary ideas and project proposals.

“I am pleased that by awarding this year’s grants, we can once again initiate important research activities led by several of the country's most visionary young and established researchers. We want to support generational change at Danish universities by channelling a large part of our funds into the growth layer in research through our postdoctoral fellowships and grants for newly hired associate professors. At the same time, we meet a great need for research infrastructure that can support and future-proof conditions for excellent basic research”, states Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, Flemming Besenbacher.

View grant recipients of the Call for Applications 2020

Continued focus on talent development and generational change

In line with the Carlsberg Foundation strategy, funding for the postdoc level has been highly prioritised when awarding this year’s grants. Thus, nearly DKK 57 million has been awarded to postdoctoral fellowships such as Reintegration Fellowships or Internationalisation Fellowships.

View recipients of Reintegration Fellowships
View recipients of Internationalisation Fellowships

Continuation of elite programme at the University of Oxford

One of the results of the foundation’s ambition of a strengthened international collaboration is several new postdoctoral fellowships to “Visiting Fellowships” at the University of Oxford of DKK 9 million. The Carlsberg Foundation thus continues the elite programme launched in 2019.

The purpose of this programme is to offer young research talents the opportunity to gain research experience in an international environment. 12 young researchers receive a “Visiting Fellowship” and can thus look forward to pursuing their research for a two-year period at one of the world’s most acclaimed universities.

“I am very much looking forward to following our new Visiting Fellows in Oxford, which in addition to being part of an elite research environment will also be affiliated with one of Oxford's distinguished colleges, Linacre College, where they will be part of a strong academic and social community. I hope and believe that these special opportunities will create the base for a fruitful stay which will benefit our postdocs in their later careers. At the same time, they will bring home experience to Danish research on how to create an international elite environment”, states Flemming Besenbacher.

View recipients of ”Visiting Fellowships”

Funding for the associate professor level and the established researchers

The Carlsberg Foundation is also channelling just over DKK 120 million into the budding associate professor level. Thus, 27 young newly hired associate professors receive a "Young Researcher" fellowship. The purpose of this instrument is to give younger talents the opportunity to gain independence by establishing their own independent research group.

At the same time, the foundation has granted DKK 17 million to 21 one-year Monograph fellowships to leading established researchers in the humanities or social sciences, who aim to publish a ground-breaking monograph or doctoral dissertation.

Furthermore, the foundation awards DKK 67 million under the Research Infrastructure instrument, which aims to strengthen existing research and enable new ideas. The board of the Carlsberg Foundation has also prioritised shared infrastructure, which will benefit several research groups.

View recipients of “Young Researcher Fellowships”
View recipients of  ”Monograph Fellowships”
View recipients of “Research Infrastructure”

Three postdoctoral fellowships to Danish-Icelandic Research Centre on Ocean, Climate and Society

In connection with the Call for Applications 2020, several grants will also be awarded to postdoctoral fellows at “HM Queen Margrethe II’s and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir’s Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ocean, Climate and Society”, which was established on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Queen Margrethe on and the 90th birthday of former Icelandic President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir earlier this year.

Read the press release about the research centre

The funds for the research centre are given as postdoctoral fellowships within natural science to, among others, research in climate and ecosystems in the ocean and on land, as well as identifying climate-induced changes in ocean processes.

The Icelandic Centre for Research has also awarded three postdoctoral fellowships within the humanities and social sciences for research focusing specifically on the ocean and the implications of climate change for Icelandic culture and social life.

View recipients of postdoctoral fellowships at the centre

The three postdoctoral fellowships from the Icelandic Centre for Research

Key figures for grants awarded in 2020

The Carlsberg Foundation received a total of 589 applications before the application deadline on 1 October for a total amount applied for of nearly DKK 1 billion.

A total of DKK 150 million has been awarded to natural science, DKK 101 million to the humanities and social science and DKK 35 million to interdisciplinary projects.

The Carlsberg Foundation announced in its Call for Applications 2020 that the foundation is focused on promoting gender diversity in Danish research and therefore invites all qualified researchers to apply, encouraging qualified female researchers to do so. This year, the Carlsberg Foundation has received 213 applications from female researchers compared to 164 last year. This corresponds to 36 percent of this year’s applications being submitted by female researchers.

“The Carlsberg Foundation grants are always awarded on the basis of research quality. Because of our strategic principle of promoting gender diversity, in connection with the Call for Applications 2020, we encouraged excellent female researchers to apply to the foundation. I note with satisfaction that we are seeing a 30 percent increase in the number of applications submitted by female researchers, just as the success rate for granted applications submitted by female researchers has increased from 21 to 36 percent since last year”, states Flemming Besenbacher.

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