Industrial Postdoc:
All areas (private sector)

An Industrial Postdoc project has the purposes to educate and develop researcher talents into industrial researchers, to contribute to business-oriented innovation and development in Denmark and to strengthen collaboration between Danish companies and research institutions in Denmark and abroad.


Collaboration between a private company, a research institution and an Industrial Postdoc candidate.


Co-financing the company’s expenses for the candidate’s salary and travel activities as well as the research institution’s expenses for the project.

How much?

Up to DKK 22,000 per month to the Industrial Postdoc candidate’s salary and up to DKK 2,500 for the company’s expenses for the candidate’s travel activities. Up to DKK 10,000 (incl. overhead) per month to cover the research institution’s project relevant expenses.

Industrial Postdoc program
Who can apply?
  • Companies that have a geographical department in Denmark and have the finances and facilities to run the project.
  • Universities that are officially approved to conduct PhD programs, as well as be able to attach a supervisor to the project.
  • Graduates who have obtained a PhD degree. The degree must be a maximum of 5 years old at the time of application and the candidate must not have more than 6 months of experience from the private business sector, speaking from the start of the PhD.
What can I apply for investment for?

A business post.doc project is a research project between a university, a company and a researcher doing a post.doc.


The fund invests in projects that fall into one of three themes:

  • Ambitious and lasting green research initiatives
  • Life science, health, welfare technology and clinical research
  • Technology and innovation that can develop production and secure jobs in Denmark

You can read much more about the three themes in the current guidelines.

How much money can I apply for?

The company receives up to DKK 22,000 per month in subsidy for salary and DKK 2,500 per. month in travel allowance.

The university receives up to DKK 10,000 per month.

What can the money finance?

University grant can be used at:

  • Research mentors' sparring with the business postdoc.
  • Research mentors' participation in conferences. This includes one round trip to the destination per stay, visa, travel insurance, accommodation and participation fee. Diet, daily / local transport, etc. are not covered.
  • Project-relevant equipment, materials, equipment (procurement and / or use) and external services
  • Other employees' work on the project (does not include HR and finance functions, rent, supply, etc.)
  • Publication and dissemination of research results.

The company grant can be used at:

  • salary for the business postdoc
  • travel activities

Salary Levels
An Industrial Postdoc must have at least the same total salary (salary + pension) as a university-employed postdoc. The AC agreement regulates the salary of postdoc employees who are classified in accordance with §4 and §8 of the agreement and receive a fixed supplement of DKK 4,532.46 per month. 

As of 1 April 2020, the salary steps incl. pension and supplement per month by seniority:

  • 1st year, salary step 4: DKK 36,015
  • 2nd year, salary step 4: DKK 36,015
  • 3rd year, salary step 5: DKK 38,403
  • 4th year, salary step 6: DKK 40,580
  • 5th year, salary step 8: DKK 42,726

The salary seniority is increased by the time that the postdoc employee has been employed in work conditioned by the education. As a postdoc employee typically already has at least 3 years of employment as a PhD student, they usually start at grade 5 or higher. 

The collective wage is a minimum wage. As an Industrial Postdoc, you naturally have the opportunity to negotiate a higher salary. All in all, you should consider your Industrial Postdoc employment as any employment in terms of negotiating terms of employment. This means that you can also negotiate matters such as vacation and maternity terms. The employment must, as a minimum, be on normal salaried terms. Also note that non-compete clauses or the like in the employment contract must not restrict the Industrial Postdoc's ability to obtain employment elsewhere. 

Innovation Fund Denmark recommends that you seek advice from a trade union or an HR office regarding. wage conditions and the above rates should be considered as indicative.

How long does the project have to take?

The project can take between 12 and 36 months.

I have a project idea. How do I find the right partners?

If you are a business or graduate, the path typically goes through universities. Here are the subject matter experts who have connections to relevant companies and can point to good graduates among the students and PhD students.

To find the right university researcher, we recommend that you go to the PhD school for the subject area. Each university has PhD schools in different subject areas. The PhD schools are the administrative focal point for the university's PhD programs and will be able to help point out a subject-relevant university researcher.

List of Danish universities (

You can also contact one of the Danish innovation networks, which may put you together with partners in the field. Find the networks here. For graduates, industry associations will also be able to refer you to relevant companies. Also keep an eye out for science dating events at universities where students and businesses can meet.

Candidates can also make direct contact with relevant companies. Our experience is that you get the most out of the contact with a company if you have a proposal for a specific project where the commercial value for the company is clear, and that you are at the same time open to the company wanting to participate in shape the project so that it becomes relevant to them.

How do I apply?

The Business Advisor must create the application.

Your application must be created and submitted via the electronic application system:

You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID before you can create an application.

You create a new application by finding the correct call under "Search Options" and pressing "Start your application".

Note that the list of search options is sorted alphabetically, and that the names of all calls from Innovation Fund Denmark start with "IF".

You must write your application in either Danish or English.

You can find a guide to e-grant on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research

What must the application contain?

In an application to Innovation Fund Denmark, you must describe the Industrial Postdoc. project and the people and organizations participating in the project. An account of how the project contributes to the chosen theme.

The application must contain a project description of high professional quality, which explains the research project and the project participants.

A company and a research institution can apply without a specific Industrial Postdoctoral candidate. If the application is approved, the parties must find a qualified candidate within six months.

CV for project participants - what should we pay attention to?
There are no templates for project participants' resumes. Please ensure that the CVs contain all the information necessary to assess the project participants' qualifications in relation to the criteria defined in the guidelines. Remember that you can apply without a candidate.

  • CVs for mentors may not exceed 2 pages each.
  • There is no page limit for the candidate's CV.
  • The CV of the candidate must state all employment (stated in months - it is not enough with only year of employment - as well as any part-time rate), and the candidate's research experience, including publications, must also be explained.
  • Cv for resp. Company mentor and co-mentor (s) must provide information about the training.
  • CV for research mentor and possibly co-mentor (s) must include a list of selected publications as well as ORCID.
When will we receive a response to our application?

We strive to maintain a processing time of two months from the application deadline until the applicant receives a decision on the application. In some cases, it may take longer.

Decisions are sent via e-grant.

What are typical errors and omissions when writing an application?

Unsatisfactory description of the project's business significance
This section can advantageously be substantiated with specific figures and / or specific application scenarios, which make it clear why the project has a clear business significance for the company. Read about the criterion "Business significance and effect" in the guidelines, and guiding examples in the template for the project description. Both documents are available at

Unnecessary competencies
When you develop a project that is professionally broad and / or interdisciplinary, you must also be aware that the project participants cover all necessary competencies. Remember that it is an opportunity to associate with third parties.

The project does not match the call
Before submitting an application, you should make sure that you apply during a round that suits your project. Ie. You must be aware of whether you are sending the application to one of our “regular” rounds targeted at private companies, or our annual round of targeted public organizations. Read about our definition of "private company" vs. "Public organization" in the guidelines, and contact us via næ, if you are in doubt about which call is right for you.

The project does not fit into one of the politically determined themes
In addition, you must be aware that your project idea must fit into one of the politically determined themes for the Industrial Researcher programs. Read more about the themes in the guidelines.

Not all project participants have been involved in preparing the application
We recommend that the entire team (company mentor / supervisor, university mentor / supervisor and, if applicable, graduate) participate in preparing the application. It is important from the very beginning to discuss and agree on what the project is specifically about.

It is important that the university supervisor / mentor is involved in the application, as it is a special discipline to write research applications - there are many special things to keep track of: State-of-the-art, literature references, method descriptions ( see links below).

It is equally important that the company helps to formulate the section on the project's business significance (see above).

We also strongly recommend that you enter into actual collaboration agreements on eg IPR and Publishing

We have been refused in the past. What are we going to do differently this time?

When re-applying, you must pay attention to addressing all rejection reasons (ie points of criticism) that appear in the rejection letter from your last application. In the e-grant application form, you must state that you have previously been rejected and what changes you have made. 

If necessary, you can apply for clarification of the reasons for the refusal.

The request is sent to æ The request must clearly state which condition (s) / refusal you wish to elaborate on, and please formulate up to a total of three specific questions to the committee.

Remember to provide the case number in the email.

Note that the Fund can only state how the justification is to be understood and not how it is to be answered. The Foundation also cannot advise on how to improve the application.


The processing time for a request for elaboration is approx. one month and in some cases longer.

Assessment of application
How does the assessment process take place?

All applications are evaluated by the Business Research Committee, which submits applications for decision to the Fund. It is the Fund that makes the final decision.

Who judges the application?

Industrial Research Committee assessing applications.

The committee consists of 24-28 members, representing both respected researchers and senior figures from the Danish private business community.

The committee makes recommendations on the applications, in the end it is Innovation Fund Denmark that makes the decision.

How is the application assessed?

The application is assessed on four criteria

  1. Relevance and contribution to the chosen theme. A project can only be approved if it falls within one of the three themes.
  2. Research quality. The project must generally be at PhD level and realistically be able to be completed within the project period.
  3. Research significance and effect. The project must have a clear business significance and effect for the Danish part of the company.
  4. Project implementation. The application must reflect that the project is well organized and that the parties are competent and relevant.

Read more about the rating criteria in the guidelines.

Start-up of project
What happens after my application is approved?

Once the project has been approved, you will be notified of this in the e-grant. After this, the company must submit signed commitments and the university must submit signed commitments and enrollment certificates.

When can the project start?

The project can start at the earliest from the day the commitment is given. If you receive a conditional commitment, it is only when the final commitment has been given that the project can start. The project must start no later than six months after the award of the commitment.


Our project received a conditional approval. What should we do?

In case of conditional approval, you have six months to fulfill the condition / conditions. Answers to the condition are submitted in e-grant. The answer must not exceed two A4 pages per condition, if this is exceeded, the Fund may reject the answer. It must be made clear what is being answered and the answer must be submitted in one single document. The treatment time is approx. two months and in some cases longer.

Regarding the fulfillment of the condition that an Industrial Postdoc candidate must be found for the project, the answer must include

  • PhD Certificate
  • CV including publication list. Employment must be stated in months and years.
During the project
We have received a grant. How do we ensure a good project process?

It is important during the course that you meet regularly and discuss the development of the project. We recommend that you hold physical meetings at least once every three months, and preferably more often, where everyone participates. At the start of the project, it is strongly recommended that you agree on who is responsible for convening meetings. Unless otherwise agreed, the business advisor / mentor is expected to take the initiative. 

You can establish a steering group with several professionals from the company and the university and hold a steering group meeting once every six months. It can also be recommended that the student writes a short newsletter approx. every other week, where the development of the project is explained. Above all, all project partners must mentally understand the situation of the others and be prepared to make changes in the project if it is in everyone's best interests.

We also strongly recommend that you enter into actual cooperation agreements on eg IPR and Publishing.

How is the project started and when will the grant be paid out?

Before grants can be paid out, the Fund must receive and approve signed commitments from the company and the university. The parties may choose to sign in one and the same document or submit two signed documents.

The start date is set to the date stated on the undertaking's signature page (Industrial Postdoc).

Both the university / research institution and the company receive 85% of the grant in advance. 

Read about payment of the remaining 15% under Accounting and payment of remaining grants - what should we be aware of?

Maternity leave and leave from the project - what should we be aware of?

Industrial PhD and Industrial Postdoc candidates can apply for leave in connection with, for example, maternity and illness. Subsidies are not granted during leave, nor during maternity and sick leave. The end date of the grant period is postponed by the leave period and the grant is granted during the extended period.

Note: The fund must approve a request for leave before the leave can start. The Fund does not approve requests for leave retroactively. The request is sent via e-grant (section "Change requests").

A leave request must include:

  • Justification for leave.
  • Start and end date for leave period.
  • New end date for the project (project end date is postponed during the leave period).
  • Signatures of the company (eg supervisor), research institution / university (eg supervisor) and candidate.

If you do not know the exact dates, please provide tentative dates. As soon as you know the exact dates, inform them to the Fund (via e-grant), after which the period is adjusted and the final end date for the project is determined.

Part-time work on the project - what should we be aware of?

Industrial Postdoc candidates can apply for part-time at eg illness, but you can not apply for part-time on the grounds that the candidate must do other work next to it. Industrial Postdoc jobs are basically full-time positions.

Note: The fund must approve the request part-time before the part-time can start.
The Fund does not approve part-time requests retroactively.
The request is sent via e-grant (section Requests for Change). 

A part-time request must include:

  • Justification for part-time work.
  • Start and end date for part-time period.
  • Part-time rate.
  • New project end date (project end date postponed part-time).
  • Signatures of the company (eg supervisor), research institution / university (eg supervisor) and candidate.

The part-time rate is what percentage of the part-time work is full-time. Eg. a part-time rate of 50% means that the candidate works half as much as a full-time employment during the period in question ..


The project and / or the PhD program will be delayed - what should we do?

The end date of the grant period is binding, and can only be adjusted due to approved leave or part-time (see "Maternity and leave from the project - what should we be aware of?" And "Part-time work on the project - what should we be aware of? ") but not due to other reasons / delays. Please note that the Fund's grants may not be used after the end date of the grant period. If the project is delayed, the parties may continue the project at their own expense.

Please note that the deadlines for submitting accounts and auditors' statements are not postponed. The same applies to the deadline for the final report for an Industrial Postdoc project, as the final report is only expected to cover the grant period.

The same rules apply to the payment of the remaining 15% of the grant as to projects without delay (see Accounting and payment of the remaining grant - what should we be aware of?).

Can my project be transferred to a new company

No. Business Post.doc projects cannot be transferred to other companies.

The project must be transferred to a new university / a new research institution - what should I do?

An e-grant change request must be submitted, which should include:

  • Justification for change of university (for Industrial PhD projects) or research institution (for Industrial Postdoc projects).
  • Name and address of the new university / research institution (as well as SWIFT and IBAN numbers at a foreign university).
  • Signature of candidate, company (eg supervisor) and new and old university / research institution (new and old supervisor if there is a change of supervisor; or supervisor, new and old finance manager if there is no change of supervisor).
  • Date of change of research institution.

In the case of a new supervisor, we must also have information as in the case of a change of supervisor alone, see Change of supervisor / mentor - what should we be aware of ?.

The new university / new research institution will receive a letter of commitment when the request for change has been approved by the Fund. Note, however, that the case processing time for the change can last several months, as the Fund must settle with the old grant recipient and receive a refund of the remaining funds, which are then transferred to the new grant recipient.

Change of supervisor / mentor - what should we be aware of?

In the event of a planned change of company supervisor, company supervisor or university supervisor (Industrial PhD) and company mentor or research mentor (Industrial Postdoc), a change request must be sent via e-grant, which must include:

  • Justification for change.
  • The new supervisor / mentor's CV and contact information (incl. E-mail and telephone), cf. CV for project participants - what should we be aware of?
  • Signature of candidate, new supervisor, company (eg current supervisor) and university / research institution (eg current supervisor).
Change of candidate - (when) is this possible?

Replacement of an Industrial Postdoc candidate is only allowed under the following conditions:

  • The former Industrial Postdoc is out of the project.
  • There are at least six months of grants left of the project.
  • Business and research institution have essentially complied with their bonds.

Change request sent via E-grant and must include:

  • Statement of change of candidate, as well as confirmation that the above three conditions are met.
  • End date for the old candidate and start date for the new candidate.
  • The new candidate's name, social security number, private e-mail, private telephone, gender and nationality.
  • The new candidate's CV, cf. CV for project participants - what should we be aware of?
  • PhD certificate for the new candidate.
  • Signature of company (eg supervisor), university (eg supervisor) and the new candidate.
Final report and mid-term evaluation - what should we be aware of?

For Industrial Postdoc projects, project partners must complete a final report focusing on effects, results, and process. You will be reminded of the task we e-grant. The assignment contains a link to a template for the report, which can also be found on the Fund's website under Project Administration / Industrial Researcher.

Accounting and payment of remaining grants - what should we be aware of?

Both the university / research institution and the company receive 85% of the grant in advance. The remaining 15% will be paid when the following conditions are met.

The remaining 15% to the company and the research institution will be paid out once the Fund has approved

  • Final accounts from both parties.
  • Auditor's statement for the company's final accounts.
  • Project final report (see Final report and mid-term evaluation - what should we be aware of?)

Forms for accounts, auditor's report and final report can be found on the Fund's website under 'project administration' - 'business researcher'. All documents are submitted via the respective tasks in the e-grant. 

The company (and possibly the research institution, see above) must submit one account for the entire project at the end of the project. Unused funds must be repaid to the Fund. The grant for travel and courses cannot be used to cover other expenses in the project. The accounting period corresponds to the project period. Thus, the accounts must not include expenses that are before the project start date and after the project end date. Expenses outside these dates will be rejected and will be reimbursed. The project period appears in the e-grant under case profile. 

Note that in part other rules apply to older grants. Check out your letter of commitment, which contains the relevant guidelines, if you want to know more

Industrial Researcher

Tel: 61 90 50 02

Phone time: Tuesday at 9.00-12.00

Mail: næ

<€ NOTE:

We are currently unable to maintain normal response and case processing times for Industrial Researcher.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our customers who experience a slightly longer response time and we strive to respond as quickly as possible and maintain the best possible service. p>

The reasons for the extended response times are due to several things: The COVID-19 crisis has led to extraordinary tasks for Innovation Fund Denmark in connection with. realization of funds from emergency pools and aid packages, and at the same time restructures the Fund and implements a new strategy that in the long run, among other things. to create a more effective customer dialogue.

In the meantime, we refer to Advice and guidance on our overview page where you will also find our webinars under "Upcoming Events".

For potential, current and former partners.

Join the Industrial Researchers LinkedIn group .