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Call for SDCO PhD Fund 1st round 2024

Proposals for 1-year PhD stipends are invited. Two calls a year are expected, see below.


Round Launch of call Application deadline Assessment meeting
1 23 January 2024 6 March 2024 (11.59 p.m.) 1 May 2024
2 30 May 2024 20 August 2024(11.59 p.m.) 3 October 2024 


“Patient first” is the underlying principle of OUH's approach and ambition in creating value for our patients. In line with this, diabetes research at Steno Diabetes Center Odense (SDCO) must be patient-oriented and create value for all people with diabetes or people at risk of developing diabetes throughout the Region. To strengthen clinical and translational research in diabetes related topics in the broadest sense, SDCO has set aside funding for SDCO PhD scholarships.

A maximum of 6 PhD stipends (1-year) may be granted from SDCO every year.

Requirements for applicants

All disciplines of research may apply, including clinical patient related research, research of epidemiology, experimental laboratory research and Health Services research. 

The application must be submitted by the PhD student applying for a SDCO PhD stipend.

The SDCO PhD Grants can be applied a maximum of three times.

Only students who have already obtained approval of a PhD protocol at the University of Southern Denmark before the application deadline, are eligible.   

The PhD-project must be a collaboration with researchers employed at SDCO. An academic collaboration is mandatory and must be established and confirmed by the SDCO researcher(s) and approved by the Head of research at SDCO before the application deadline. The SDCO researchers must be listed and the nature of the collaboration accounted for in the application.  See the SDCO webpage  for researchers at SDCO. Applications without approved collaboration with SDCO researchers will not be evaluated.

In addition, a significant part of the PhD study must take place at OUH, the University of Southern Denmark or a Steno Partner Hospital in the Region of Southern Denmark. 

The motivation for conducting a PhD study and which tasks the PhD student is responsible for must be clearly described in the application.

Financial support can be granted to PhD students, who have previously received a 1-year PhD-scholarship from either the OUH PhD Fund (including the RH/OUH  Research Fund) or the Region of Southern Denmark PhD Fund. 

SDCO wants to stress the importance of internationalisation, and applicants should complete a research stay abroad. If a research stay has no bearing on a particular project, it should be argued why in the application.

Eligible costs

  • Own salary (stipends) for one year including study fees. A maximum amount of DKK 628,000 for one year only is available from SDCO for each applicant given a grant. Please note that the amount may not cover all expenses depending on your level of salary and that a possible grant will be paid out in thousands for budgetary purposes.

Non eligible costs

  • Salary for other researchers (SCS in English and VIP in Danish)
  • Employment or co-financing of non-scientific staff (NSS in English, TAP in Danish) for research projects (e.g. biomedical laboratory technician, research nurses, etc.)
  • Purchase of apparatus or other material for research projects
  • Other research-promoting purposes
  • Overhead, since the SDCO PhD Grants is a local fund
  • Open Access publication.

For funding of operating costs, please refer to regional or external funds.

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 following criteria:

  • Collaboration with researchers employed at SDCO
  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Academic setting of supervision
  • Scientific quality of the project
  • Strategic considerations related to diabetes research at SDCO – please read chapter 3 in the “Drejebog for etablering af Steno Diabetes Center Odense
  • How internationalisation is part of the project, e.g. research stay abroad.

Clinical and translational research at SDCO and its Steno Partners are defined by a set of strategic research areas. SDCO has a special focus on type 2 diabetes:

  • Pathophysiological research, specifically in Type 2 diabetes
  • Research in cardiovascular complications
  • Research in clinical interventions
  • Research in diabetes care
  • Research in pregnancy and diabetes

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 upload the following appendices in PDF format: 

  • Approval of collaboration with SDCO from Head of Research at SDCO
  • Approval from both Head of Department and Head of Research at OUH, SDU or a Steno Partner Hospital in the Region of Southern Denmark stating that the project can be carried out at OUH, SDU or a Steno Partner Hospital in the Region of Southern Denmark
  • Approval of PhD protocol from the PhD School at the University of Southern Denmark
  • Short CV including publications (a maximum of 2 pages) for the applicant (PhD student) (including PubMed No for each publication or a reprint of the published work if not indexed in PubMed and papers submitted for publication)
  • Short CV including publications (a maximum of 2 pages) for main supervisor and co-supervisors including including
    • Number of former and current PhD students
    • o List of the supervisor’s 10 most relevant publications in the past five years
    • H-index
    • Teaching portfolio
  • Diploma from your Master’s degree programme. If you have not yet finished your Master’s degree programme, please upload your most recent transcript of records
  • Confirmation of the research stay abroad from the foreign research institution, if any
  • If many acronyms are applied in the application, please upload an overview of what they are an abbreviation of.

In the budget section in efond (step 3), please state which year a possible grant from the OUH PhD Fund is to be applied:

  • Year 1 = 2024
  • Year 2 = 2025
  • Year 3 = 2026
  • Year 4 = 2027
  • Year 5 = 2028

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

In addition, in the budget section in efond (step 3), please enter the full budget of the entire PhD project including already obtained or expected funding and any other budget headings.

The application must be written in English. Please note that the layman’s summary 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 SDCO PhD Stipend Committee at Odense University Hospital.

The SDCO PhD Stipend Committee will invite the applicants who have received the highest review score for an interview.

Please note that the invitation will be sent with short notice, approximately one week before the assessment meeting. See date for the meeting at the top of this document.

If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked to present your project to the committee (7 minutes) followed by questions from the committee (7 minutes). The presentation will be in English. Physical presence at the committee meeting is preferred. However, you may give an online presentation if you have urgent activities elsewhere (please contact

Please note that only applicants with the highest score will be invited for an interview, and that stipends will be awarded among applicants invited for an interview. Consequently, if you do not receive an invitation for interview approximately one week before the assessment meeting, you will most likely not receive a stipend at this particular application round. 

After the meeting and on the basis of The Committee’s final assessment, a recommendation will be made for the management team of SDCO.

We aim to give all applicants feedback approximately 3 weeks after the assessment meeting.


It is important that you apply for or have already received external funding in addition to applying for funding from SDCO. Please clarify this in the application.

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.

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.

Involving patients and relatives in the research process can help to ensure that the research focuses on those topics and issues that are most important 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.

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 the OUH Center for Forskning Sammen med Patienter og Pårørende (ForSa-P; in Danish),  VIBIS (in Danish) or NIHS in the UK. 

Questions and contact information

Please forward questions to