The DNRF’s Objective

The Foundation

The Danish National Research Foundation funds frontline, curiosity-driven research of the highest quality in Denmark.

Who are we?

The Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) is an independent organization established by the Danish Parliament in 1991, promoting and stimulating research at the frontiers of all scientific fields. Since its establishment, the foundation has been endowed with 3 billion DKK in 2008 and again in 2015, allowing it to operate until 2036. The endowment secures independence and a long-term commitment to the best Danish research.

What do we do?

The DNRF has two funding instruments:

  • Centers of Excellence –the foundation’s flagship and the primary funding mechanism. A center grant is large and flexible and has a lifetime of up to 10 years. The DNRF expects a center to deliver groundbreaking results.
  • Niels Bohr Professorships – this instrument has the distinct purpose of enriching Danish research communities with top-class researchers from abroad.

How do we decide whom to fund?

Funding decisions are based on three core values:

  • Excellence – we strive for excellence in every aspect of the research endeavor.
  • Transparency – we strive for transparency in the assessment and selection processes.
  • Risk-taking – we acknowledge that groundbreaking research requires risk-taking.

How do we support our grantees?

Grant support is based on three core values:

  • Freedom – we strive to provide grantees with freedom and flexibility.
  • Trust – we strive to support our grantees and trust in them.
  • Engagement – we engage with and learn from each grantee.


The National Danish Research Foundation was established in 1991 with 2 billion DKK in capital. In 2008 and in 2015 an additional 3 billion DKK were supplied, thus ensuring the foundation’s continuation until the end of 2036.

Since the first distribution of funds in 1993, the foundation has supported Danish research with 8 billion DKK. The annual funding amounts to about 400 million DKK on average, which corresponds to about 2% of the total public research funding.

The foundation’s Annual Reports contain financial and operating data and outline expected funding in the years ahead.

Find the Annual Reports here.


The Danish National Research Foundation is established and regulated by a specific Act of Parliament, a Royal Decree and two Executive Orders:




  • Executive Order on Delegation of the Power of the Minister for Higher Education and Science to the Agency for Institutions and Educational Grants (Section 12): Executive Order No.  1640 of December 16, 2018

Unofficial translations into English of the consolidated act and the royal decree

Royal Decree on the Charter of the Danish National Research Foundation, September 8, 2008

Consolidated Act on the Danish National Research Foundation, April 10, 2014

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