DFF–Research Project Grants 1

Independent Research Fund Denmark offers two types of research projects named IRFD-Research Project 1 and 2.

DFF-Research project 1

In order to strengthen the quality of Danish research, Independent Research Fund Denmark offers funding for research projects within a framework of up to DKK 2,000,000, excl. overhead for a duration of up to 3 years. What characterises a DFF–Research Project 1 is a clear and well defined problem statement, where the research activities must be at a high international level.

Applicant requirements

The applicant must be able to document independent research experience typically corresponding to 3 years of research or more after having obtained a PhD (or similar qualifications). The applicant’s previous results will be assessed in relation to his/her career, and in relation to the scientific challenges of the project applied for. If the applicant is not an associate professor or has been awarded a positive associate professor assessment (“lektorbedømmelse”) and the project involves the education of researchers, it must be stated in the application how the relevant supervision will be provided, and how the scientific connection of the research students to the project will be ensured.

Application requirements

IRFD emphasises that the project description should contain a description of any sub-projects, including PhD and post-doctoral projects. The applicant can apply for funding for PhD and post-doctoral scholarships, if they have a clear independent function within, and form an integral part of, the research project.

Post-doctoral candidates must have obtained their PhD or achieved equivalent qualifications e.g. a positive assistant professorship evaluation ("adjunktbedømmelse") within the last four years at the time of the application deadline (which for technical calculation is fixed at 1 October 2018). When applying for research funding for PhD scholarships, there must be a sufficiently balanced relationship between the contribution of senior researchers and PhD scholars to the project, so that all registered participants have a concrete role in the project work.

An account for the proposed recruitment process must be provided if the application includes requests for funding for unnamed PhD students and post-doctoral participants.

The project description must not exceed 5 A4 pages (including figures, tables, etc.), but excluding references/bibliography. Please be aware that the appendices overview states which appendices must be attached, and which appendices may be attached.

IRFD assessment and general assessment criteria

In every case, IRFD will assess an application based on whether the project in question benefits Danish research.

In the evaluation of the application, IRFD will take the criteria below into account, of which the project’s quality and the applicant’s qualifications are the two most significant assessment criteria.

IRFD emphasises as part of the evaluation, that the individual criteria should be met to the greatest extent possible. For the individual councils, there will always be a specific overall evaluation, where individual criteria can be met to a greater or lesser extent. Thus, not all criteria will be relevant to all applications. Because of competition between applications, it is not a given that meeting the criteria will result in a grant.

For instruments in this call, IRFD is using the following criteria:

Achieving the objective of the instrument:

Are the described objectives of the instrument sufficiently met?

Scientific quality:

  • Does the project description document that the project contains potentialfor scientific progress, innovation and originality (theoretical, methodicaland empirical)?
  • Does it display innovative research as opposed to expanding on alreadyongoing research?
  • Does the project description document that the project contributes tointernationalisation of Danish research?
  • Does the project description contain:
    • a clear and defined research question and objective?
    • a description of state of the art and/or the scientific challenges withinthe project’s research area, and the project’s potential related contribution?
    • consistent and suitable hypotheses?
    • an account of the theoretical and/or methodical foundation, includingan argumentation for the relevance of proposed activities in relation to this foundation?
  • If relevant to the project: Is there an argument for the correlationbetween the project’s hypothesis, theory and method?
  • If relevant to the project: Is there a sufficient description of the project’sempirical material or data foundation, including any pilot projects and/orany preliminary data?
  • If relevant: Is there sufficient synergy between the individual parts of theproject?
  • For applications to DFF | Technical and Production Sciences, a further criterion is particularly applicable: Is the project motivated by a desire to solve a specific problem or has the project a clear application perspective?

Applicant’s qualifications:

  • Has the applicant documented
    • Scientific qualifications to an extent that is necessary for the project’s completion?
    • Experience of scientific production within the project area to an extent that is necessary for the project’s completion?
    • Qualifications as a research leader to an extent that is necessary for the project’s completion?
  • Have the other central project participants documented scientific qualifications to an extent that is necessary for the project’s completion?
  • Are relevant local and international researchers contributing, and if relevant, is there sufficient contribution from public institutions or business partners?
  • Is there a strategy for the organisation and management of the project, including an account of the division of labour between the researchers involved?
  • Are potential PhD students or post-doctoral candidates an integral part of the project, and have a clear function in it?


  • Have sufficient resources been allocated to the project, including the research framework, personnel, and access to necessary facilities and equipment?
  • Has a realistic work- and time-frame been presented for the project, which also takes the recruitment of any unnamed participants into account, as well as disseminating project results?
  • Does the project description account for the project’s milestones and success criteria, and are these realistic?
  • Is there proportionality between the project’s costs and the expected scientific output?
  • Is there proportionality between the proposed activities and the proposed budget? Does this include a good correlation between what the requested funding will finance, how the funding will be used, as well as which tasks and people will be financed?
  • Are potential ethical aspects satisfactorily highlighted where relevant?
  • Publishing and dissemination of results:
  • Are the collective considerations for publishing/disseminating/patenting of the project’s results described in a satisfactory manner?
  • If relevant: Have the likelihood and plans for patents in the proposed project been accounted for?


  • Do the activities benefit Danish research?
  • Does the project/activity include education of researchers in a relevant manner?
  • Does the project/activity contribute to improving researcher mobility nationally/internationally and – if relevant – between research institutions/companies?
Application date
Up to 3 years
Social sciences