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Call for OUH Elite Research Centre 2020, phase 1

Calls for OUH Elite Research Centres consist of a two step procedure. This is the call for phase 1.

1 Background and objectives

OUH (Odense University Hospital) and the Department of Clinical Research at The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) strives to take a leading position at a number of areas within clinical re-search by among other things stimulate research and increase the quality of research significantly.

An essential instrument to obtaining these goals has been the establishment of five Elite Research Centres which have asserted themselves at national and international level. OUH is now planning for an additional Elite Research Centre.

It is expected that the center will be established in the first quarter of 2020 for a period of five years with the opportunity for an additional five-year prolongation. At the termination of the funding, it is ex-pected that the centre has developed into an international leading research environment, and that the cooperation between the involved parties continues.

1.1 Requirements for an OUH Elite Research Centre

An Elite Research Centre at OUH must:

  • Perform clinical research at the highest international level; research which leads to a noticeable boost of the field of research.
  • Be a cross-disciplinary centre, meaning that the centre must involve researchers from
    • Clinical and paraclinical specialities,
    • Different professions
    • Basic research
  • Involve municipal, regional and international collaborators.
  • Involve collaborators from different departments and faculties at SDU.
  • Be established wit.hin an area where OUH/SDU already has a substantial strength.
  • Support research related to one or more areas important to OUH in relation to the overview of specialities.
  • Be able to attract the best foreign researchers and if possible entire research groups.
  • Be expected to have a distinct clinical perspective.
  • Ensure that the main part of the research funded directly by OUH is conducted at OUH.
  • Ensure that cross-disciplinary specialties play a significant role in the establishment of the centre, and possibly manage the centre.
  • Be a role model for other research environments at OUH and in the region 

1.2 Requirements for applicants

As a rule, only the head of research who in collaboration with the management of the hosting de-partment can apply. If a professor wants to apply, it must be agreed with the head of research and department management. If so, documentation must be enclosed.  
The Elite Centre must be anchored in a department at OUH. It is expected that the Head of Re-search in the applying hosting department will act as head of the Elite Centre. The organisation and collaboration between departments included in the centre must be defined accurately in the expression of interest.

2 Budget

The funding of the centre is for a five-year period of a total of DKK 14 m. with the possibility of funding for another five-year period with an additional DKK 14 m:

Year Funding DKK m
2020 1
2021 2
2022 3
2023 4
2024 4
2025 4
2026 4
2027 3
2028 2
2029 1

The OUH Research Council emphasises that the expected scientific output measures up to the applied amount.

Initially, funding for five years can be applied for. The funded amount is fixed (a total of DKK 14 m) and will be disbursed with a gradually increasing amount. If the centre is granted a prolongation, the funded amount will also be fixed, but with a gradually decreasing amount for a five-year period.

2.1 Eligible costs

  • Apparatus
  • Scientific/academic salaries (senior researchers)
  • Technical/administrative salaries
  • Running costs, establishment and running costs for bio banks and databases.

2.2 Non-eligible costs

Salaries for PhD students. Funding hereof must be applied for at regular terms at e.g. the OUH or Region of Southern Denmark PhD Funds or external funding.

3 The proposal

The application process consists of two phases:

  • Phase 1: Expression of interest
  • Phase 2: Detailed proposal

3.1 Phase 1: Expression of interest

The expression of interest must be drawn up in English and be a maximum of 7 pages excluding ap-pendices and budget. Please use no less than pitch 12, and the extent of the individual sections may not be exceeded.

Please draw up your expression of interest according to the below outline:

  • a. Name of the proposed Elite Research Centre (max. 20 words).
  • b. Name of hosting department (max. 10 words).
  • c. Names, academic titles and e-mail addresses of the applicants i.e. 1) the head of research, 2) heads of the department (max. 50 words).
  • d. Layman abstract (in Danish, max ½ page)
  • e. Aim and idea of the centre (max. 500 words, approx. 1. page). It must be clear what the proposed centre exactly adds to existing research – what will be new and innovative?
    • An assessment of the importance of the project, including the relevance to OUH/SDU/Region of Southern Denmark and the importance of the project on an international basis
    • The applicant’s knowledge of or contact with researchers working on the same or similar type of project in Denmark or abroad.
    • Information about preliminary studies that underlie the research plan
  • f. Research plan (max 500 words, approx. 1. page)
    Note: A Gantt chart may be added in the appendix (max 1 page).
    • A number of work-packages (typically 5-8) should shortly be outlined and include data on the responsible researcher, timeline, methods, number of PhD-students and anticipated publications
    • Description of which clinical perspectives that are related to the project and how project re-sults can be systematically implemented for the benefit of the patient
  • g. Scientific staff and collaborative partners:Both existing and proposed staff to be funded by the grant should be described including the pro-posed recruitment of high-level researchers.
    • For each senior member of the staff, academic title, number of published peer-review origi-nal papers within the last 5 years (2014-2018) and h-index (for the entire career) should be stated (max. 500 words, approx. 1. page).
    • Current and proposed collaborative partners within OUH, with SDU and researchers from other hospitals in DK and abroad not funded by the current grant should be described (max. 500 words, approx. 1. page).
    • Regarding international collaboration. Please be specific when you describe who you will collaborate with and your plans regarding collaboration / affiliation of adjunct professors to the elite centre.
  • h. A statement on whether the project is subject to ethical restraints. If this is the case, the neces-sary measures which have been made or will be made must be justified (e.g., recombinant exper-iments, animal experiments or clinical trials). (max. 200 words)
  • i. Strategy for /description of: how patients and relatives will be involved in the project – from preliminary preparation to implementation of the project (max 200 words).
    • Involvement of para-clinical specialties and multidisciplinary functions (max 150 words).
    • Considerations that have been made in relation to ensuring a good framework for transla-tional research (max 150 words).
    • What considerations have been made in relation to how the improvement model (forbed-ringsmodellen in Danish) can be included in the centre’s research (max 150 words).
  • j. Proposed members of the advisory board including at least two European members (not Danish nationals) (max 100 words).


  • A draft budget including expected external funding (see specific form).
  • A declaration of collaboration from any scientific/academic participants listed in the application form.
  • Relevant CVs.
  • Gantt chart.
  • Relevant permissions (if any) - Danish Data Protection Agency, ethics committee etc.
  • If funding for research stays abroad is part of the application, you must also enclose:
    • Statements from the host institution
    • Detailed budget for the research stay

The assessment of the submitted proposals is expected to be made by the OUH Research Council 26 August, 2019. The result from the OUH Research Council is expected mid-September, 2019.

Scientific quality, creativity, significance, perspectives and relevance to society are essential criteria in the assessment of the submitted applications.

Up to three proposals will proceed to Phase 2.

3.2 Phase 2: Detailed proposal (call to be announced at a later stage)

The applicants who will proceed to Phase 2 will be invited to submit an extended proposal with detailed account for work-packages, international contacts, plan for PhD stipends and expected publications. In addition, a detailed budget including expected sources for external funding must be asubmitted.
The proposal must be a maximum of 21 pages and be drawn up in English (template will follow).
The application deadline for Phase 2 proposals is expected to be 19 December, 2019 at 12 p.m.
Applicants will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to the OUH Research Council and international reviewers 28 January, 2020.
The OUH board of directors is expected to approve the funding in mid-February, 2020. 

4 Evaluation of performance

The Elite Centre will be evaluated annually as it is expected that there will be set up individual objec-tives for the centre as regards to quality and quantity in research, education of PhD students, external funding and international collaboration. It is a decisive success factor that the centre every year will obtain external funding equivalent to at least the double of the given OUH grant. Any grants from the Region of Southern Denmark will not be included in this connection.

An external evaluation will be made by the advisory board with international participation of the centre. 
An internal evaluation will be undertaken by an evaluation group at OUH, most likely as Gemba and a blackboard meeting at the hosting department. 

After 3-4 years, it will be estimated whether or not the centre is well-functioning according the above criteria. If so, the funding will be prolonged for another 5 years.

5 How to submit an application

Please forward your proposal to entitled ”Elite Centre” in the e-mail heading.

Questions may be directed to: