The Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) wishes to announce to the university community that the Danish National Research Foundation is inviting outline proposals for its Call for new Centres of Excellence which may start operating by early 2020. The grants aim to strengthen Danish research by supporting the creation of centres of excellence that will provide the best possible working conditions and organizational set-up for selected researchers. Centres are strongly encouraged to pursue collaboration with leading international researchers.

Research Areas
The foundation welcomes proposals from within or across research areas in the Humanities, Life Sciences, Natural sciences, Social Sciences and Technical Sciences

General Requirements

  • Applications may be for proposed centres whose proposed leaders are distinguished researchers who are able to show excellence in research, and must have proven themselves as visionary leaders, able to create a dynamic and thriving research environment.
  • The leader is expected to work full time for the centre.
  • Co-applicants, considered as senior/key personnel, must devote a specified percentage of their time throughout the funding period of the centre.
  • The foundation is interested in outstanding research of high international calibre that may be described as ambitious, highly creative, truly novel, scientifically daring, and potentially groundbreaking basic research.

Duration and Coverage
The grants are large and flexible with duration of up to 10 years. The first funding period is six years and if renewed, can be extended for a second funding period of an additional four years. The grant may cover expenses that are relevant to the activities of the centre such as salaries, PhD students, Postdoctoral staff, technical/administrative staff, travel costs and conferences, operational costs, equipment and overhead costs (44% for universities). Salaries for permanent staff are generally not funded.

Application Process
The application process is comprised of two stages as follows:

  • Stage 1: Proposed centre leaders submit short outline proposals which must be written in English using the attached application form. The outline proposals must include an estimated budget for a six-year period covering applied funding from the foundation. The application form must be submitted as a PDF file and sent as an attachment in an e-mail to DNRFRound10@dg.dk. The proposals will be solely reviewed by the board of foundation made up of nine members who possess insight into research at the highest international level.
  • Stage 2: A number of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals that will be reviewed by three international experts in the field. Prior to the final selection, the board will interview each applicant. Applicants are to include a total comprehensive budget estimate for the proposed centre at this stage.

Application Review Process
The foundation uses an open and transparent review process. Reviewers and applicants will know each other’s identities. Applicants will be able to comment on the review prior to the board’s final selection. The DNRF will send full proposals to three international high-level experts within the relevant research area for external review. Each applicant may submit the names of three experts, one of who will be chosen by the foundation to serve on the panel of reviewers who will assess the proposal. The foundation will choose the other two reviewers based on recommendations from external or internal sources.

Assessment Criteria
The foundation will emphasize the following dimensions in assessing proposals at both stages:

  • The research idea must be ambitious, original and should have the potential for real scientific breakthroughs in the relevant research field(s).
  • The proposed centre leader must have high standing in the international research community as well as managerial skills.
  • The centre must include high-quality personnel in order to establish a creative and dynamic international research environment that will provide an inspirational training ground for young researchers
  • The focus, structure and size of the proposed centre should be such that the centre sets the stage for scientific ventures that are not feasible within conventional funding from other sources.


  • The foundation must receive all proposals no later than Thursday November 1, 2018 by 12noon.
  • The board will assess the outline proposals at a meeting on January 30-31, 2019.
  • A number of applicants will be asked to submit full proposals by mid-February, 2019. The deadline for full proposal submission is on April 25, 2019.
  • Extensive peer review of each full proposal will be carried out during the spring/summer of 2019.
  • The board will enter into contract negotiations with host institutions during the fall/winter of 2019.
  • New centres may be operating by early 2020.

Additional Information on the Application Process

  • The Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) will provide the necessary support throughout the application process.
  • ORID will provide institutional letters to support applications that align with the University’s vision and strategic focus. Applicants requiring an institutional letter must provide a draft/ final outline proposal with budget to the email address orid-researchadmin@ug.edu.gh.
  • The application form for the outline proposal and guide for applicants are attached.
  • Interested applicants are to visit www.dg.dk for more information on the call.
  • Contact the Research Prospector for your College (who will liaise with the Central Office) for assistance with the application process.
College Research Prospector Email Address
College of Basic and Applied Sciences; Mr. Kojo Kissi Yeboah Kkissi-yeboah@ug.edu.gh
College of Humanities Mrs. Afia Serwaa Attrams asttrams@ug.edu.gh
College of Education Mr. Daniel K. Shadow dkshadow@ug.edu.gh
College of Health Sciences Mr. Kojo Kissi Yeboah Kkissi-yeboah@ug.edu.gh
Mrs. Afia Serwaa Attrams
Mr. Daniel K. Shadow


Click here to download the guide.
Click here to download application form.