The Danish National Research Foundation


The Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) is an independent organization established by the Danish Parliament in 1991 with the objective to promote and stimulate basic research at the highest international level at the frontiers of all scientific fields.

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) program is the primary funding mechanism and the foundation’s flagship. A center grant is large and flexible, and a center may have a lifetime of up to 10 years. Only top researchers with the most ambitious ideas will be awarded a CoE through fierce competition involving a two-stage application process.

The Centres may differ in size and mode of organization, depending on their subject and scope. Centres of Excellence consist of units based at research institutions (the vast majority at universities) sharing a common idea or vision and an overall and clearly defined set of research objectives.

Centres can be established within and across all scientific fields. The foundation welcomes outstanding research of a high international calibre that may be described as ambitious, highly creative, original, scientifically daring, and potentially groundbreaking.

The application process is two-staged. In the first stage, prospective center leaders are invited to submit letters of interest with short outline proposals. These proposals are processed by the board alone. In the second stage, applicants submit full applications that are thoroughly scrutinized by a set of international experts in the field. Prior to the final selection, the board meets with each applicant.

Read more about the foundation on its website here.

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