DFF–Research Project Grants 2 | Humanities

In order to strengthen the quality of Danish research and develop the level of collaboration, IRFD offers funding for research projects to be carried out by several researchers (including postdoc candidates and PhD students) within a framework of DKK 1, 800,000 – 4,100,000, excluding overhead.

A DFF–Research Project 2 is characterised by a coordinated and mutually binding collaboration that takes its point of departure in a well-defined, joint problem statement. However, it may also be a project formulated by a single researcher, but which is to be carried out in a research team, when it can be argued that the project is particularly ambitious and resource demanding, and that the research objective cannot be obtained through a DFF–Research Project 1. The research activities must have the potential to achieve a synergy among sub-projects, involve an international level of collaboration (if relevant) and be of a high, international standard.

Applicant requirements

The applicant must have completed a postdoc or assistant professorship programme (or similar), or for physicians, an equivalent postgraduate research programme. 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 and the project involves education of researchers, it must be stated in the application how the relevant supervision will be provided, and how the scientific connection with the project will be ensured.

The application

The fund awards DFF–Research Project 2 grants for a duration of up to 4 ½ years, and with a budget between DKK 1,800,000-4,100,000, excluding overhead.

As applications may be submitted for external review, the project description, CV and list of publications must be written in English.

Project description

The length of your project description must not exceed 7 A4 pages, and it must be  drawn up using the IRFD–Project Description template, in accordance with the guidelines.

IRFD emphasises that the project description accounts for the synergy among any sub-projects and the management and organisational structure of the project, as well as contains a plan for the publication of project findings. The contents of all sub-projects, including PhD and postdoctoral projects, must be described in the project description. Funding for PhD and postdoctoral scholarships may be included in the application, if they have a clear function within, and form an integral part of the research project.

Postdoctoral 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. Periods of leave of absence will be deducted from the PhD age.

Funding towards the education of PhD candidates is granted under the provision that the PhD candidates in question are enrolled in a PhD programme.

You must account for the intended recruitment process, if you apply for support for unnamed postdocs.


To read about the requirements for your budget, and for a description of what you may apply for, see Appendix C.

Application form and appendices

The application form contains a number of fields to be filled in before you submit your application. For example your application must contain a popularised science description (in Danish) of your project. Therefore you are advised to register your application in e-grant in due time before the application deadline and to make yourself familiar with the content of the application form.

You must submit your application via e-grant and enclose the following appendices in PDF format:

  • Project description, using the IRFD–Project Description template and references/bibliography. The project description must be maximum 7 A4 pages (including figures and tables) excluding references/bibliography.
  • Applicant’s CV
  • List of publications for applicant
  • If the entire project, or significant parts of it, has a host institution (actual place where the research activities will be carried out) which differs from the institution administering the grant, a written statement from the host institution must be included. The statement must confirm that the activities can take place at the host institution and include a brief description of the collaboration and the main activities planned
  • The employing institution’s confirmation of the budget and acknowledgement that it will host the project, using the template “IRFD–budget confirmation” (see Appendix C). The budget must be completed using the fund’s mandatory budget template in Excel format. The budget must be uploaded to e-grant as an independent file (not merged with the application form). Any confirmed economic contribution(s) from other sources, must be included in the budget.

If relevant, you may also enclose the following additional appendices:

  • CVs and lists of publications for other scientific participants central to the project
  • If PhD scholarships are applied for with named candidates in mind, the following appendices must be enclosed: academic transcript/diploma, CV and, if relevant, a list of publications for the candidates
  • If postdoctoral scholarships are applied for with named candidates in mind, the following appendices must be enclosed: CV, list of publications and PhD diploma. Alternatively, the following documentation must be provided:
    • a) acceptance of the thesis for defence,
    • b) a positive assistant professorship evaluation (“adjunktbedømmelse”),
    • c) qualifications equivalent to PhD level qualifications achieved in another way, or
    • d) a declaration from the supervisor stating the expected date of submission of the PhD thesis within 6 months after the application deadline (PhD students.

If you apply to IRFD | Humanities, you must also enclose a PhD evaluation for the intended candidate. If the candidate does not receive a PhD evaluation a brief summary of the thesis (1-2 A4 pages) must be enclosed.

If the project involves collaboration with foreign partners, private enterprises or other beneficiaries of the research results, statements from such parties confirming the collaboration may be enclosed (maximum one page each).

  • Documentation for the purchase of equipment in excess of DKK 500,000, excluding overhead, e.g. in the form of a quote
  • Documentation for applicant's and any named participants' salary levels
  • Documentation for expenses in connection with sub-contracts
  • De minimis declarations.

Other appendices than those listed above will not be considered.

Your project must start between 1 June, 2018 and 1 January, 2019.

The fund’s assessment and assessment criteria

In all cases, IRFD will consider the extent to which the project you apply for will benefit Danish research. When assessing applications IRFD includes the criteria mentioned below, with quality of the project and applicant's qualifications being the most central assessment criteria.

IRFD places emphasis on fulfilment of the specific criteria to the widest possible extent. However, as the individual research councils make a specific overall assessment of each application, different criteria can be met to a greater or lesser extent. Thus, not all criteria will be relevant to all applications. Due to the level of competition between the applications, fulfilling all criteria does not automatically mean that a grant will be awarded.

IRFD will apply the following assessment criteria in relation to the instruments in this call:

Fulfilment of the instrument’s objective:

  • Is the objective of the instrument sufficiently met?

Scientific quality:

  • Does the project description demonstrate the project’s potential for scientific progress, innovation and originality (theoreticallly, methodologically and empirically)?
  • Does the project represent innovative research rather than just being an expansion of current research?
  • Does the project description make it probable that the project contributes to the internationalisation of Danish research?
  • Does the project description contain:
    • a clear and well-defined problem statement and objective?
    • a description of the state of the art and/or the scientific challenges within the project’s research area, as well as of the project’s potential contributions in this regard?
    • consistent and appropriate hypotheses?
    • a description of the theoretical and/or methodological basis, including an argumentation that the proposed activities are relevant in relation to this theoretical/methodological basis?
  • If relevant to the project: Does the project description provide argumentation for the connection between the project’s hypothesis, theory and method?
  • If relevant to the project: Is there an adequate description of the project’s empirical material or data foundation, including any pilot projects and/or any preliminary data?
  • If relevant: Is there an adequate level of synergy between the individual elements of the project?
  • For applications to IRFD | Technology and Production Sciences, the following special criterion also applies: Does the project set out to solve a concrete problem, or does it have a clear application-oriented perspective?

Applicants’ qualifications:

  • As applicant, have you documented:
    • the scientific qualifications necessary for carrying out the project?
    • a level of scientific production within the field that is necessary for carrying out the project?
    • sufficient research management qualifications for carrying out the project?
  • Have the other key participants in the project documented the necessary scientific qualifications for carrying out the project?
  • Does the project involve the participation of relevant researchers from Denmark and abroad, and if relevant, is there an adequate level of collaboration with business partners?
  • Is there a strategy for the organisation and management of the project, including an account of the distribution of work between the involved researchers?
  • Are any PhD and postdoc scholarships well integrated, and do they fulfil a clear function in the project?


  • Have sufficient resources been allocated to the project, including scientific resources, staffing and access to the necessary facilities and equipment?
  • Is there a realistic work schedule and timetable, which considers e.g. the recruitment of any unnamed participants and the dissemination of the project’s findings?
  • Does the project description account for project milestones and success criteria, and are they realistic?
  • Are the project’s expenses proportionate to the anticipated scientific results?
  • Are the proposed activities proportionate to the proposed budget? In this connection, is there a proper coherence between what is to be financed by the grant, when the funds will be used and the tasks and persons to be financed by the grant?
  • If relevant, are any ethical aspects adequately examined?

Publication and dissemination of results:

Does the application provide an adequate account of the overall considerations with regard to the publication/dissemination/patenting of research results?

If relevant: Does the application account for the probability of and plans for obtaining patents in connection with the proposed project?


  • Will the activities benefit Danish research?
  • Does the project/activity include research education to a relevant extent?
  • Does the project/activity contribute to improving the mobility of researchers, nationally/internationally and – if relevant – between research institutions and the business community?

A few specific assessment criteria only apply to specific councils/instruments. Please consult the respective sections in the call.

Application date
3 Oct 2017
Up to 4,5 years
Europe Denmark
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History Linguistics Literature Media Studies Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
DKK 1.800.000-4.100.000