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Call for OUH Frontline Centre Fund 2022

Call for expression of interest Phase 1.

Proposals for OUH Frontline Centres are invited. A maximum of four new frontline centres may be funded with this call.

Application deadline Assessment meeting
26 January 2022 at 23.59 p.m. 24 February 2022

Proposals for OUH Frontline Centres are invited. A maximum of four new frontline centres may be funded with this call. 

Next call will most likely be announced in 2025.


Odense University Hospital (OUH) and the Department of Clinical Research (KI) at the University of Southern Denmark want to maintain and expand the specialised services and ensure that they are underpinned by research activity including support for research in the transverse services. 


Highly specialised services (HSF) is a decisive competitive parameter for a university hospital and is often characterised by high-tech procedures or the need for distinctive competences concerning rare or complex diseases.

HSF puts extraordinary demands on professional knowledge and becomes crucial for research, professional development and recruitment of the best specialists.

OUH constantly works on expanding the opportunity to be awarded more and new highly specialised services, the so-called frontline services underpinned by research.

In order to secure resources for attracting frontline services to OUH, the Region of Southern Denmark established a Frontline Fund of 5 m DKK annually from 2014-2017. From 2018, OUH took over the financing. The fund co-finances the establish-ment of frontline centres and for the time being nine frontline centres have been funded.

Characteristics of a frontline centre

A frontline centre is characterised by:

  • It underpins research in one or more HSF/development services.
  • At least three OUH departments participates.
  • It is anchored in one host department as for economy and management.
  • It is organised in a programme management affiliated to the OUH board of directors with par-ticipation of relevant department and research management.
  • The head of department and head of research of the host department applying for funding will enter into the programme management.

Focus with the program is:

  • Establishment of frontline centres within:
    • New HSF requiring underpinning by research.
    • Support for current specialised services that are threatened.
    • Development services; services with potential of becoming HSF at OUH.

It is essential that that the new frontline centres support implementation of the new research strategy 2021-2025 of OUH and KI. A strategy covering the themes: 

  • Research for and with patients and relatives*
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Excellent research collaboration
  • Strong research culture
  • Attractive career paths

Requirements for applicants 

A consortium consisting of the department and research management from the par-ticipating departments may apply for funding of a frontline centre. The head of the centre must submit the application.


The Frontline Centre Fund: 

  • Is co-financing, as it is expected that the centres themselves will raise additional external funding
     A grant of up to DKK 1.25 million annually for three years (2022-2024) to each appointed program.

Eligible costs

Co-financing of the following items:

  • Employment of researchers (salary for researchers; “VIP-løn” in Danish).
  • Employment or co-financing of non-academic staff (TAP-løn in Danish) for research pro-jects (e.g. biomedical laboratory technician and research nurses).
  • Start-up expenses.
  • Purchase of apparatus or other material for research projects.
  • Establishment and operation of biobanks and databases.

 Non-eligible costs

  • Participation in conferences and congress travel.
  • Overhead as the OUH Free Research Fund is an in-house fund.
  • Open Access – please refer to SDU.

ForskerService must approve the budget before you submit the application. ForskerService offers instructions on how to draw up a budget. You can contact ForskerService at: 

Assessment criteria

Applications are being assessed according to the following criteria: 

  • which extent the proposed centre fulfils the characteristics listed in the section “Objectives” of this call including strategic considerations related to the new Research Strategy 2021-2025
  • The scientific quality of the research of the research projects:
    • The scientific quality and innovative value of the research plan
    • The feasibility of the research plan
    • The competences of the centre participants within the field(s) in question
    • Support for the centre, scientifically as well as access to relevant material (data, appa-ratus, etc.)

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 en-close the following appendices in PDF format: 

  • CV’s and publication lists from the past 5 years of applicant and co-applicants and other par-ticipants for whom salary is being applied (max. 2 pages for each person)
  • Confirmation of participation from the researchers who are described in the application
  • Relevant approvals from e.g. The Scientific Ethical Committee, The Danish Data Protection Agency, etc.
  • A five-year strategy and research plan including expected goals and results for the centre.


Your application must be written in English. However, please note that “Lay-man’s description” and the section regarding patient involvement must be written in Danish.
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).

Assessment procedure

The received applications will be reviewed and prioritised by the OUH Research Council on 24 February 2022. Following the meeting, the council will forward a rec-ommendation for decision for the OUH executive board who will make the final deci-sion on funding.
Please note:

Strategic considerations may play a role in selecting the applications that will receive a grant from the fund.
All applicants will receive notice of the outcome of the application approximately three months after the application deadline. 


The application must meet the formal and technical requirements in the call and com-ply with current ethical requirements.
Required information is listed in efond. However, please note that following must be addressed in the application:

  • Description of the frontline program
  • Strategic assessment of the concrete specialised services.
  • Monitoring
    • patient volume
    • clinical, organisational and patient experienced quality
    • research production
  • Description of competences, education and technology.
  • A five-year strategy and research plan containing among others expectations for publications, internationalisation, number of PhD students, dissemination for each Work Package, WP-lead-ers etc. (must be uploaded)
  • Expectations of attracting external funding in the five-year period (in the budget section).

Layman’s description

Patients are members of the assessment committee and will be reviewing the appli-cations 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 and technical terms and abbreviations should be avoided.

*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 per-spective. Involvement by patients and relatives should be enhanced where it contrib-utes the most value for the individual project and thus the value of the project to pa-tients and society as a whole.

It is important to describe considerations about patient and relative involvement in the application. The involvement may 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.


For each of the established frontline centre, a centre management must be set up.

The frontline centres are evaluated annually based on individual objectives. These are drawn up in a performance contract between the Executive Board and the appli-cant. 

Questions and contact information

Please forward questions to