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NNF establishes fellowships with international universities

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is expanding and extending its Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, thereby enabling ambitious researchers in the natural and technical sciences and life sciences to boost their careers with a research stay at one of several top international universities.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation wants to give researchers in Denmark the opportunity to seek inspiration and acquire new knowledge and skills by supporting their research stays at top international research institutions. To facilitate this, the Foundation has just entered into strategic partnerships with several internationally leading research actors. This especially benefits the Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme.

DKK 96 million

A new programme budget of DKK 96 million over a 3-year period will boost the Programme while offering attractive fellowships with improved benefits and research opportunities at one of these top international universities.

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The Foundation launched the Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme in 2015 through collaboration with Stanford Bio-X (USA). The experience has led to the expansion of the Programme, and the decision of the Foundation to establishing collaboration agreements with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA), the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), in addition to Stanford Bio-X.

The purpose of the Programme is to boost the professional and personal development of talented researchers through 3 years of international experience and networking in a world-leading research community.

The purpose of the Programme is to boost the professional and personal development of talented researchers through 3 years of international experience and networking in a world-leading research community. In addition to the career-promoting aspect for the individual researcher, the Programme has the additional benefit that it facilitates the researcher’s reintegration into the Danish research environment by supporting the fourth and final year of the project period at their affiliated university in Denmark and thus brings back innovation, networks and experience.

Building human bridges and valuable relationships between Danish and international universities

In addition, the Programme promotes building human bridges and valuable relationships between Danish and international universities.

“We seek to remedy this by covering health insurance costs, both for the fellows and their family and for example, by subsidising childcare costs in the programme at MIT. Thus, pursuing the dream of obtaining international research experience at a leading university will become more attractive and realistic, also for young researchers with families.”

“Internationalisation leads to increased creativity and creates innovation and value in research communities in Denmark. However, young researchers can face practical challenges when travelling abroad; finances can especially be a barrier for researchers with families and children. We seek to remedy this by covering health insurance costs, both for the fellows and their family and for example, by subsidising childcare costs in the programme at MIT. Thus, pursuing the dream of obtaining international research experience at a leading university will become more attractive and realistic, also for young researchers with families,” says Lene Oddershede, Senior Vice President, Natural & Technical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

An important aspect of the new version of the Programme is that, after the grant ends, the recipients can apply for a proof-of-concept grant that will enable them to exploit translation of their discovery or invention to eventual commercialisation in Denmark, states NNF.

Photo: BII at NNF

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