Villum Foundation

Villum Foundation - research support programmes

VILLUM FONDEN funds curiosity-driven research in science and technology, powered by the ideas that engage pioneering investigators.

The goal is to foster world-class research at Danish universities and research institutions. We want to support the most talented researchers. In so doing, we hope to achieve innovative research at the highest international level.

The Foundation wishes to give individual researchers the best possible conditions for pursuing pioneering research, regardless of the current stage of their research career. They want to welcome researchers with trust, freedom and flexibility to enable them to establish creative research environments that allow new ideas to be conceived and nurtured. 

The research strategy is pursued in three main programmes:

VILLUM Investigator: For experienced and internationally recognised researchers seeking to immerse themselves in their research topic. The grant amount is up to DKK 40 million per Villum Investigator, it can be re-awarded, and the timeframe is six years.

VILLUM Young Investigator: For junior researchers setting up their own research team for the first time. The grant amount is DKK 7-10 million, it can be awarded once only, and the timeframe is five years.

VILLUM Experiment: For bold research ideas that have difficulty fitting into the conventional peer-review funding system. Is open to active researchers of any age, the grant amount is DKK 1-3 million, and the timeframe is 1-3 years.


Recipients of research support from the Villum Foundation from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics:


2016 - Jens Stougaard - Award

The statement accompanying the award describes the foundation’s motivation for giving the award to Stougaard in the following terms: “We have selected you to receive this award in recognition of, and as a source of inspiration for, your excellent research on plant biology, including the root nodules that are the result of symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria.” The foundation also highlights the extremely high degree of originality that characterises Stougaard’s research.

Since 2007, he has headed the CARB basic research centre, which has currently 40 affiliated researchers, over half of whom are international. The research group’s work is currently based on its previous discovery of how legumes establish symbiosis with bacteria in the surrounding soil. These bacteria are able to turn atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogen compounds that plants can use. This means that legumes are able to create their own fertiliser through their symbiosis with these bacteria.

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2016 - Magnus Kjærgaard - Young Investigator

Magnus Kjærgaard was awarded a grant of DKK 5 million by VILLUM FONDEN's Young Investigator Programme 2016, supporting young, talented researchers. The grant will allow Magnus to investigate how the physical association of biomolecules affects signalling pathways.

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