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Call for The Odense University Hospital Fund for Free Research 2022

The aim of the OUH research strategy is to strengthen the research of the hospital and consequently OUH offers funding of free research. The purpose is to engage researchers and complete research projects within all disciplines of research.

Proposals for the Odense University Hospital (OUH) Free Research Fund are invited. One call a year is expected. 

Application deadline Assessment meeting
7 October 2021 at 23.59 p.m. 18 November 2021


“Patient first” is the underlying principle of OUH’s ambition in creating value for our patients. To offer the best treatment, retain and attract the best qualified staff to the benefit of patients, it is OUH’s ambition to strengthen research at the hospital. As one of several initiatives of the OUH research strategy to reach this objective, OUH has set aside funding for Free Research Funds.

A total of DKK 5.000.000 is available for funding in 2022.

Requirements for applicants

All research disciplines are eligible to apply, including clinical near-patient research, epidemiology research, experimental laboratory research and health-service research.

  • Applicants must be affiliated to OUH. In addition to clinicians employed at OUH, researchers in a combined position between OUH and The University of Southern Denmark (SDU), the affiliation may also be defined as researchers referring to a head of research at a clinical department at OUH.
  • A significant part of the research must take place at OUH. However, projects where part of the research is conducted outside of OUH are also eligible, e.g. Global Health projects. The OUH research Council will assess its relevance to OUH in each case.
  • OUH approval: All applications must be approved by both the head of the department and the head of research where the research is being conducted. Approval must be given prior to submitting the application.

Eligible costs

  • Employment of researchers (salary for researchers; “VIP-løn” in Danish). Please note that when applying for funding of employment of researchers, the researcher in question must be employed in a combined position between OUH and SDU, and a significant part of the research must take place at OUH.
    • Contribution to employment or  release of employees to temporary postdoc positions
    • Contribution to employment or release of employees to research associate professorships with 25 – 40 percent research time
    • Short term buy out of OUH-employed researchers to process existing material for publication
  • Co-financing of research projects
    • Employment or co-financing of non-academic staff (TAP-løn in Danish) for research projects (e.g. biomedical laboratory technician and research nurses)
    • Operating costs, including costs for pre-graduate research and PhD projects (not salary)
    • Purchase of apparatus or other material for research projects
    • Other research promoting purposes

Note: A maximum of DKK 500.000 may be awarded an application. A possible grant may be distributed to more than one year.

Non eligible costs

  • Salary and study fees for PhD and pre-graduate students as OUH has separate funds for this purpose, please refer to the OUH PhD Fund and the OUH Fund for pre-graduate stipends
  • Participation in conferences and congress travel
  • Overhead as the OUH Free Research Fund is an in-house fund
  • Open Access – please refer to SDU.

The OUH Research Support offers instructions on how to draw up a budget. If you request assistance, please contact

Assessment criteria

Applications are being assessed according to the following criteria:

  • The scientific quality of the research of the research project (primary assessment criterion)
    • The scientific quality and innovative value of the research plan
    • The feasibility of the research plan
    • The competences of the project participants within the field in question
    • Support for the project in the research unit, scientifically as well as access to relevant material (data, apparatus, etc.)
    • The significance and added value of involvement of any consortium for realisation of the objectives of the project
    • Considerations about involving patients and/or relatives in the research*
  • The strategic value of the research project related to the research strategy 2021 – 2025 of Odense University Hospital and the Department of Clinical Research of SDU, in particular: Research at a high international level with the potential of altering treatment of patients
    • Research and implementation of individualised treatment including personalised medicine
    • Focus on the course of the patient across professions, departments, hospitals and sectors
    • How patients and relatives are or may be involved in drawing up the research project.

The full version of assessment criteria is available at the website for The OUH Free Research Fund.

How to submit an application

You must submit your application via the electronic application system, efond.
Please read and comply with the instructions given in efond and enclose the following appendices in PDF format: 

  • Approval of the projects from both the Head of Department and Head of Research at OUH (see step five – signature page)
  • CV’s and publication lists of co-applicants and other participants salary is being applied for
     Relevant approvals from e.g. The Scientific Ethical Committee, The Danish Data Protection Agency, etc.
  • A short progression report if you are applying for funding of an on-going project – especially relevant if you have previously received funding from the Free Research Fund.

Please link to your updated CV in English at the SDU website (researchers not employed at SDU and pre-graduate students may upload their CV’s). If relevant please upload other participating researchers CV’s.

In the budget section (step 3), please state which year a possible grant is applied for:

  • Year 1 = 2022
  • Year 2 = 2023
  • Year 3 = 2024
  • Year 4 = 2025
  • Year 5 = 2026

If a possible grant is to be divided between two years, please indicate number of months for each year.

You will receive a confirmation by email from “efond” if your application is submitted correctly (please check your spam filter if you do not receive an email).

If the application does not comply with the formalities described in the call, the application may be rejected without being assessed by the committee.


Your application must be written in English. However, please note that “Layman’s description” and “Patient involvement” must be written in Danish in a format suitable for publication on the OUH website.

Assessment procedure

The submitted applications will be reviewed and prioritised by the OUH Research Council according the above criteria.

All applicants will receive notice of the outcome of the application shortly after the assessment meeting.

Departments and research units which receive funding for research positions must establish agreements with OUH and the SDU Faculty of Health Science regarding:

  • Advertisement
  • Assessment of candidates
  • Terms of employment


The application must meet the formal and technical requirements in the call and comply with current ethical requirements.

It is important to explain which system is used to store research data and to describe whether and how you have already received or are applying for external funding for the project.

Patients are members of the assessment committee and will be reviewing the applications with other members of the committee. The primary focus of the patients is on the layman’s description and description of patient involvement, why these parts must be understandable to a non-specialist.
Consequently, the layman’s summary in Danish should:

  • be drawn up without applying technical terms and abbreviations and be a simple and accessible description of the project fit for publishing at the OUH website
  • in the first paragraph address the research question, its applicability  including number of patients, and the need for solving the problem
  • contain purpose and hypothesis
  • address non-specialists
  • contain information about expected outcome (quantify the impact if possible)
  • be read by a non-health professional prior to submitting the application.

Involvement of patients and their relatives

Please note that involvement of patients in the project does not equal treatment of patients.

Involving patients and relatives in the research process can help to ensure that the research focuses on the most important topics and issues from a patient perspective. Involvement by patients and relatives should be enhanced where it contributes the most value for the individual project and thus the value of the project to patients and society as a whole.

It is important to describe considerations about patient and relative involvement in the application. The involvement can take place throughout the entire research process – from the planning of the project to dissemination of the results that are generated. The main purpose of health research is obtaining results that will be beneficial for patients.

Examples of how and when patients and relatives can be involved:

  • Clarification of research questions, outcome goals
  • Reading the application – especially Danish sections (layman’s description, descriptions to Ethical Committee of Science)
  • Dissemination of research results

Please find more inspiration at VIBIS (in Danish) or at INVOLVE, a British organization which for many years have had focus on public involvement in research.

Questions and contact information

Please forward questions to