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Fewer researchers to be awarded funding: Danish Council for Independent Research withdraws Call for Proposals

The Council faces a DKK 280 million cut in its budget and therefore withdraws its Call for Proposals for postdoc grants for younger researchers as well as for mobility grants. Also, the Council has decided not to process already submitted applications for Sapere Aude: DFF-Advanced Grants.

Dec 17, 2015

 

- Due to the cutbacks in the national budget for 2016 we are forced to make adjustments and ensure that the researchers' prospects of being awarded grants are not unbearably slim, says Peter Munk Christiansen, Chair of the Board of Directors at Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF).

Consequently, the Council has decided to withdraw its Call for Proposals for mobility grants and individual postdoc grants - both of which had their application deadline in Spring 2016. At the same time, the Council will not go ahead with the distribution of Sapere Aude: DFF-Advanced Grants in 2016. The grants had been announced in the summer of 2015, subject to the allocation of sufficient funds under the 2016 Danish Finance Act. DFF regrets that 83 candidates have applied for Sapere Aude: DFF-Advanced Grants in vain. All the applicants will be notified personally.

The Council has not wished to implement its cuts indiscriminately across the entire range of financial instruments. In this way DFF is able to ensure that 10 out 100 researchers will still be awarded funding for their research in 2016. At the same time, the Council finds it regrettable that the withdrawal of individual postdoc grants and mobility grants for Spring 2016 will especially impact the younger researchers.

- One of the main considerations behind our decision is that it will affect applications that have not yet been written, Peter Munk Christiansen stresses.

The individual postdoc grants for which applications have already been submitted this autumn will still be distributed as planned in Spring 2016.

In 2016, DFF will remain faithful to its core tasks and continue to invest in original research ideas as well as the internationalisation and growth layer of Danish research, through the other financial instruments that have not been affected by the cuts. Postdoctoral research will still be financed as part of DFF's grants.

But it is clearly not without consequences that the Council's budget for 2016 has been reduced by DKK 280 million. The cutback affects the whole research community as well as researchers' development potential and opportunity to pursue original ideas. Chair of DFF Peter Munk Christiansen notes:

- The possibilities for pursuing original ideas that may develop our society and business sector will be considerably curtailed, and as a result we will miss out on a whole range of societal gains. As a research council it is our ambition to generate as much positive effect as possible. Danish Council for Independent Research makes strategic venture investments in the most innovative ideas, something we know has a considerable societal impact. At the same time, we support the widest possible breadth as well as the growth layer of scientific research, because this enables young researchers to test original ideas with financing from DFF. But for 2016, we have had to make adjustments and ensure a realistic rate of success for at least some of our financial instruments, rather than implementing the cuts indiscriminately, which would result in unbearably low success rates for all our instruments.

The current savings exercise stresses the importance of securing DFF a greater degree of budgetary assurance in the future, similar to the multi-year budgetary assurance that the Danish universities and the Authorised Technological Service (GTS) Institutes have been provided with. 


Further information

Professor Peter Munk Christiansen, Chair of the Board of Directors, Danish Council for Independent Research, Tel.: +45 87 16 56 85/ +45 30 11 53 40, E-mail: pmc@ps.au.dk

Grete M. Kladakis, Head of Division, Secretariat of the Danish Council for Independent Research, Tel.: +45 72 31 83 00, E-mail: gk@fi.dk

last modified Apr 13, 2016