The Sapere Aude Initiative

The Independent Research Fund Denmark aim is to promote and strengthen Danish research, understood in a broad sense. Therefore, there are no requirements as to applicants’ citizenship, the location of research institutions or the specific venue for carrying out the research activities applied for.

The Secretariat of the Danish Council for Independent Research
Phone: (+45) 7231 8200

In all cases, a general assessment criterion will be the extent to which the project will benefit Danish research.


Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant

Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grants are targeted at excellent, younger researchers who intend to gather a group of researchers in order to carry out a research project at a high international level. 

The objective of Sapere Aude: DFF–Starting Grant is to give younger, very talented researchers 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.

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.

The Independent Research Fund Denmark 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.

Sapere (stress on the first syllable) means to think, understand, reflect. Independent use of reason is emphasised. A direct translation might be ‘dare to think for yourself’ or ‘dare the free thought’. This is what Kant wants to say in the text passage which made the words famous as a slogan for the Age of Enlightenment: /Sapere aude!/ Habe Mut dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!/ ist also der Wahlspruch der Aufklärung. (1783).


last modified Jul 12, 2017