Open Call

Postdoc Fellowship 2023 

DDSA Postdoc Fellowship Call 2023

Open call for the first award of 6 two-year DDSA Postdoc Fellowships of DKK 1.2 million! We award the most visionary and ambitious young data scientists pursuing their own research ideas in collaboration with a strong hosting environment at a Danish research institution.  


Call for Applications

Danish Data Science Academy (DDSA) invites applications for six two-year postdoctoral fellowships of DKK 1,200,000 (+ 5% administrative costs) to individual research projects. Our purpose is to support visionary and ambitious young data scientists pursuing their own research ideas in collaboration with a strong hosting environment at a Danish research institution.

It is a requirement that the applicant has a well-defined research proposal as well as an agreement with a host institution.  

The proposed research project must be aligned with the research scope of the DDSA postdoc funder, Novo Nordisk Foundation Data Science Initiative.

Deadline for applications is Sunday March 19, 2023, at 23.59 (UTC + 01:00). 

Please note that DDSA does not fund industrial postdocs or offer co-funding.  

Please make sure to read the full application guidelines before you start your application process.  

Applications not fulfilling the requirements will be rejected without further consideration. In this case, you will receive an administrative rejection. 


The DDSA Postdoc Fellowship is a fixed individual research grant supporting excellent data scientists in the beginning of their research career to develop and consolidate their individual research identity and scientific network. By focusing on academic freedom and the researcher-driven idea, we aim to engage and empower the new generation of talented data science researchers.  

DDSA encourages cross-disciplinary and collaborative projects. The interdisciplinary aspect is not limited to spanning theory and application but can also span different applications or different theoretical approaches.

Who can Apply?

We welcome applications that combine excellent data science qualifications, creativity, passion for research, and the desire to engage with the data science community. 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, nationality, or religion are encouraged to apply.   

Eligibility criteria 

The applicant

By time of application, you must have a PhD degree, or your PhD thesis must be accepted for defense at the time of receiving the grant letter (June 2023). 

You must have received your PhD degree within six years of the application deadline (leave of absence excluded). 

You must also have an agreement with a Danish host institution. DDSA strongly encourages you to carry out your postdoc project in a different institution than the institution where you obtained your PhD degree to increase mobility. 

You must have high-level proficiency in oral and written English. 


The host institution 

The host institution must be a Danish research institution (meaning a hospital or a university) within the field of your postdoc project.  

The host institution must provide a statement in support of the candidate agreeing to host the postdoc applicant for the full two years of employment as well as commit to offer appropriate work conditions. 


The research project 

Your project must be within a field of data science, and may concern basic theoretical research, development of new data science methods and technologies, and/or innovative applications of data science to generate new important insights. 

Projects mainly concerned with methods development must argue convincingly for the potential application and impact.   

Projects that have their primary focus on applications of state-of-the-art data science methods must argue convincingly for the novelty and impact of their data science approach and for the importance of the new knowledge generated.  

The project must be aligned with the research scope of the DDSA postdoc funder, the Novo Nordisk Foundation Data Science Initiative. 

How to Apply

You apply by submitting your application to the DDSA online application system. Please make sure to carefully read the application guidelines below before you start your application process.  

The DDSA online application system will open for uploads in February 2023. 

Deadline for submitting your final application is March 19, 2023, at 23:59 (UTC + 01:00). 

We will update this site with information once the system is live.

Application Guidelines

Applications not fulfilling the requirements will be rejected without further consideration. In this case, you will receive an administrative rejection.

Applications must be written in English and submitted as pdf-files. Please use the font Times New Roman, font size 12, at least 2 cm margin on the left, right, top and bottom, and single spacing.

Your application must include the following:

1. Abstract

Max. half a page (equaling to 24 lines of text) 

  • Abstract in English briefly describing purpose, methods and significance of the project.

2. Project description and high-level research plan 

Max two pages including figures and tables but excluding list of literature cited and data availability statement (if needed). 

The project description should include: 

  • Background and state of the art 
  • Research questions and methods 
  • Outcome and potential impact 
  • Literature cited 

Data availability statement: 

It is a prerequisite, that the proposed research is conducted in agreement with The Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Furthermore, if the specific project contains elements of potential ethical concern, please enclose a statement describing these as well as a presentation of measures to ensure responsible research conduct. If the research requires approval from ethical committees, this should be stipulated along the expected approval processing time. 

3. Motivation letter 

Max one page 

The motivation letter should address the following: 

  • What is your motivation for doing a postdoc? 
  • What is your motivation for addressing the research questions? 
  • Why are you the right candidate to carry out this project? 
  • How will your research and results impact science and society more broadly? 

4. Your CV  

Max. two pages 

Your CV should include: 

  • Your educational background 
  • Previous employments  
  • Additional qualifications, for instance: data science and programming experience, honors, participation in research conferences/meetings/presentations, teaching experiences, assessment, and review activities, change of environments national and internationally, etc. 

A maximum of two recommendation letters/other documentation can be added to your CV. 

5. Publication/presentation list  

E.g. peer-reviewed publications and conference papers (incl. the status of the paper: published/accepted/under review/preprint), posters, oral presentations, keynotes and invited talks. 

6. Diploma 

Please submit a copy of your PhD diploma.  

If you do not yet have a PhD degree by the time of application, please provide a statement from your principal PhD supervisor stating when the thesis will be handed in, as well as when the defense is expected to take place. Your PhD thesis must be accepted for defense at the time of receiving the grant letter (June 2023), and a copy of the PhD degree certificate must be forwarded to DDSA no later than six months after receiving the grant letter.  

If you have not forwarded a copy of your degree within six months after receiving the grant letter, or if you are not awarded the PhD degree, the fellowship will be withdrawn. 

7. Statement of support from the host institution  

You must enclose a statement of support from the Danish research institution (university or hospital) where you will be employed. 

Please provide: 

  • A signed confirmation from the head of department agreeing to host the postdoc candidate for two years of employment as well as committing to offer appropriate work conditions to carry out the research project.  
  • A description of the research environment where the postdoctoral project will be carried out, including a description of the synergy between research environment and the candidate’s qualifications. 
  • If the collaboration is cross-disciplinary.
Evaluation and Selection Process

The evaluation and selection process is conducted by the DDSA Fellowship Evaluation Committee (FEC), consisting of six international members and six Danish members. The evaluation process is divided into two steps: 

1. Scientific evaluation: Each application is individually evaluated by up to four assessors, followed by an FEC ranking meeting discussing applications and selecting 12 top-ranked candidates for interview. 

2. Candidate interview: The 12 top-ranked candidates are invited for virtual interviews. Based on this, the FEC recommends 6 grant recipients for the DDSA Board of Directors’ approval. 

Please note that interviews will be conducted during week 21 in May, 2023.

Evaluation Criteria

The proposed research project must be aligned with the research scope of the DDSA postdoc funder, the Novo Nordisk Foundation. 

Applications will be evaluated based on the following seven criteria. Each criterion is given equal weight: 

1. Applicant Quality   

  • Prior academic achievements and performance 
  • Data science and programming experience 
  • Motivation and creativity 
  • Research experience 
  • References  
  • Publications  

2. Change of environment (mobility) 

  • Has the candidate studied or worked at different institutions across Denmark? 
  • Has the candidate participated in international collaborations, e.g., done research abroad or worked in another sector during his/her PhD study or previous postdoctoral employments? 
  • Is the hosting institution proposed different from where the candidate obtained his/her PhD? 
  • Is the hosting institution proposed different from where the candidate obtained his/her master’s degree? 

3. Research quality (novelty, originality, motivation) 

  • Is the proposed research idea novel?  
  • Are stated research hypotheses consistent and appropriate? 
  • Is the state-of-the-art of the relevant research field adequately described? 
  • Is the proposed research likely to produce exciting new knowledge? 
  • Is the proposed project sufficiently focused? 

4. Research impact (on e.g., academic, cultural, societal, economic, health or environmental issues)  

  • Is the proposed new knowledge generated useful across scientific domains? 
  • Will the proposed research have a high impact? E.g., generate new scientific paradigms or facilitate new analyses that are likely to lead to novel important insights? 
  • Will the proposed research impact (multiple) research fields within the scope of the DDSA postdoc funder, Novo Nordisk Foundation Data Science Initiative?

5. Feasibility (the likelihood for the project to obtain the goals envisioned) 

  • Is the proposed project technically feasible? 
  • Is the relevant data available and accessible to conduct the proposed research 
  • Is the research described realistic given the resources available (applicant + hosting institution) 
  • Is there access to necessary computing resources, equipment, etc.? 
  • Are potential ethical aspects satisfactorily addressed where relevant? 

6. Collaboration (the combined quality of the research team (applicant and supervisor) and the broader research environment at the hosting institution)  

  • Is there a high synergy between applicant experience and hosting scientific environment? 
  • Is collaboration cross-disciplinary? 
  • Is there adequate scientific quality available in the hosting scientific environment to realize the proposed research project? 
  • What is the level of scientific excellence of the hosting environment? 
  • Is the synergy of applicant and hosting environment well argued in the application? 

7. Alignment with the scope of DDSA  

Award Notification and Rejection of Applications

Applicants not invited for interview will be informed by ultimo May, 2023. Applicants will receive numerical feedback only. 

Candidates invited for interview but not selected for a fellowship will receive individual feedback on the proposed research project as well as the interview performance. 

Candidates awarded a postdoc fellowship will primo June, 2023, receive a phone call, and within 2 weeks a grant letter specifying the grant conditions.


Terms and Practicalities

The DDSA Postdoc Fellowship 

The fellowship (DKK 1,200,000 + 5% administrative cost, amounting to a total of DKK 1,260,000) is expected to cover two years of salary, as well as relevant travel – and operational costs.  

The grant may only be used for the specific project applied for.  

If the total cost of the postdoc project should exceed the fixed amount granted, the hosting institution is expected to cover such additional expenses. 

Please note that DDSA does not fund industrial postdocs or offer co-funding.  

If the applicant receives another grant covering the same project as described in the application to DDSA, DDSA reserves the right to withdraw the postdoc fellowship. 

The postdoc project 

The research project must be conducted in agreement with “The Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity”. 


Employment is for two years at the host institution where the research project is to be carried out. The host institution must be a Danish research institution (e.g., university or hospital).  

Employment must be within six months after receiving the grant letter (June 2023). If this is not achieved, the fellowship will be retracted, unless otherwise agreed with DDSA.  

Postdocs will receive a monthly salary during the employment period. Terms of employment and salary are according to the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Danish Ministry of Finance.  

Further inquiries about employment must be directed towards the hosting institution.  

For International Applicants

Inquiries about residence permit must be directed towards the hosting institution. 

Most Danish universities have information sites for international staff about living and working as a researcher in Denmark. 

See for example: 

Aalborg University 

University of Aarhus 

Copenhagen Business School 

University of Copenhagen 

IT University of Denmark 

Roskilde University 

University of Southern Denmark 

Technical University of Denmark