Sapere Aude: DFF–Starting Grant in Denmark (Social Sciences)

In order to promote the education of researchers and strengthen internationalisation, the Danish Council for Independent Research offers the instrument Sapere Aude (meaning "dare to know"). The objective of the initiative is to develop the qualifications a nd competencies of the best research talents, both nationally and internationally. Sapere Aude is aimed at Danish as well as non-Danish researchers.

If you are awarded a Sapere Aude grant, you have a heightened obligation to disseminate your project results.

Sapere Aude: DFF–Starting Grant


The objective of the Sapere Aude: DFF–Starting Grant is to give excellent researchers, i.e. researchers who have achieved outstanding research results in their field, an opportunity to develop and strengthen their research ideas. The instrument also aims at promoting the mobility internationally as well as nationally between research environments, and thereby to strengthen the researchers’ networks and careers. Starting Grants are targeted at top researchers who intend to gather a group of researchers and/or research students, in order to carry out a research project at a high international level. The Sapere Aude DFF–Starting Grant also strengthens the possibility for excellent younger researchers to return to a Danish research institution after a research stay abroad.

Applicant requirements

Sapere Aude: DFF–Starting Grant is aimed at younger, very talented researchers who at the time of the application deadline and within the last eight years have obtained their PhD or achieved equivalent qualifications (e.g. a positive assistant professorship evaluation ("adjunktbedømmelse"), and who have demonstrated an ability to carry out original research at a high international level. It is the date on which you were awarded the degree of PhD, as stated on the PhD diploma that will be used to calculate the age of your degree. Alternatively, if this date is not stated, the date of issue of the diploma will be used.

Any leaves of absence, such as maternity/parental leave, illness or family care leave, leave for military service, humanitarian aid work, etc. will be taken into account. For applicants who have been on maternity or paternity leave after obtaining their PhD, the Council will allow for an extended period of time since the degree was obtained. The extended period is calculated by multiplying the actual number of leave months by factor 2. The exact period of the maternity/paternity leave, with start date and end date, must be stated in the applicant’s CV. In addition to this, special scientific/academic circumstances may be taken into account. Examples include clinical stays or similar activities which can be considered a necessary step in a career path, but where the time for research has been very limited.

DFF expects that a Sapere Aude: DFF–Starting Grant will help to enable the applicant to apply for an ERC Starting Grant/Consolidator Grant/Advanced Grant, or corresponding international programmes.

The application

You can apply for a DFF–Starting Grant for a duration of up to 4 years and a maximum amount of DKK 4,100,000, excl. overhead. In connection with your application, the Council considers it important that you have made plans for participating in international research activities, wherever this is deemed relevant. Please describe the international activities planned in your application. It can be in the form of research stays abroad, collaboration with foreign research groups, hosting or participating in international conferences, invitation of foreign visiting researchers, etc. To facilitate external review of applications, the project description, CV and list of publications must be written in English.

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.

When applying for PhD scholarships, the ratio between the respective work efforts of senior researcher(s) and student(s) in the project must be adequately balanced, so that all participants listed have a concrete role in the project work. You must account for the intended recruitment process, if you apply for support for unnamed postdocs. Funding towards the education of PhD candidates is granted under the provision that the PhD candidates in question are enrolled in a PhD programme.

Your project must start between 1 January, 2018 and 1 December, 2018.

Application date
30 Mar 2017
Up to 4 years
Europe Denmark
Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 8 years
Grants available
Award granted
DKK 4.100.000