Do you want to be a STAR?
Novo Nordisk is a focused healthcare company and the world leader in diabetes care. We are in the top league of pharmaceutical companies in terms of percentage of our annual turnover invested in R&D.
This is one of the reasons why our diabetes and endocrinology product pipeline is second to none. Additionally, we continue to invest in developing innovative treatments for obesity, haemophilia and growth disorders.
With over 90 years of experience and a global R&D organisation of more than 3,800 people, we have a large global team of well-respected researchers who have been responsible for some of the major therapeutic breakthroughs in protein-based therapies for people with diabetes, critical bleeding and growth disorders. Our scientists regularly publish their findings in well-respected journals, thereby gaining academic recognition for their work.
We know that we cannot create all the answers in-house, so we welcome talented scientists in our fellowship and scholarship programmes - our future depends on our ability to attract the best scientists with the competencies we need. To support this we have created the Novo Nordisk R&D Science, Talent, Attraction and Recruitment (STAR) programme.
Get a life-changing career
For PhD students and PostDocs joining the STAR programme, it is a gateway to a life-changing career: Scientists at Novo Nordisk have a clear purpose and shared objectives to influence the medical treatment of tomorrow. With access to state of the art technology we are able to fast track from basic/applied research to new innovative medicines. So by either joining or collaborating with our R&D organisation as a STAR fellow you will be helping to change the lives of patients.
Currently, 50% of scientists who enrol in the STAR programme remain with Novo Nordisk after their programme is complete.
The STAR programme combines the best of both worlds: academia and industry. Be part of this.
The STAR programme
Advance your scientific career and employment prospects by enrolling in our Novo Nordisk R&D Science, Talent, Attraction and Recruitment (STAR) programme.
Novo Nordisk has a good track record of in-house innovation leading to our visionary R&D pipeline. We value fresh input from exceptional scientists to discover new possibilities for future therapies. The STAR programme offers scientists the opportunity to conduct research using the latest technology in an area of joint interest, with the knowledge that this work could change someone’s life.
The STAR programme grants PhD or PostDoc fellowships to bright students in biotechnology, engineering, medical and life sciences, who want to pursue a career in R&D. If you are a master’s student studying in Denmark or Lund University in Sweden, the STAR programme offers scholarships allowing you to dedicate your time to finishing your thesis.
Through the STAR programme we also aim to build relations to academic research Centres of Excellence around the world.
Currently, the STAR programme supports:
- PostDoc Fellowships for scientists who want to conduct basic research at a global academic Centres of Excellence or a research project at one of our global R&D sites
- Co-financed PhD Fellowships for scientists who wants to start their research career doing research in Denmark or internationally
- Scholarships to students who are finalising their master’s thesis at Danish universities or Lund University in Sweden.
The STAR programme continues to support many scientists and currently more than 80 PhD and PostDoc fellows are enrolled.
For master’s students studying in Denmark or Lund University in Sweden, we grant around 40 scholarships annually, to support bright students finishing their studies in life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical sciences, including molecular biology, microbiology, pharmacy, medico-techniques and biomedical engineering.
Two types of PostDoc Fellowships are funded by the STAR programme:
- STAR Novo Nordisk PostDocs (in-coming) – senior scientists with an excellent and documented scientific track record
- STAR International PostDocs (out-going) - especially talented scientists who have obtained their PhD degree within recent years
PostDoc Fellowships are intended to strengthen the recruitment base for Novo Nordisk R&D, to help to establish or expand relations to Centres of Excellence, and to generate new knowledge and skills to strengthen competences and innovation.
Please consult the open position section for vacant Postdoctoral positions. These are advertised throughout the year. You can sign up for our Job agent in order to be alerted whenever there are open positions. E-mails with unsolicited applications will not be considered.
Project applications can only be submitted by a Novo Nordisk scientist
This means that you cannot apply for a fellowship directly unless it is advertised on the open position section.
Currently, Novo Nordisk co-finances around 80 PhD fellows in the R&D organisation. Some are Industrial PhD fellows who spend about 50% of their time at Novo Nordisk. Others are associated with PhD schools at Danish universities. Novo Nordisk and the university jointly define the project. Projects must be related to Novo Nordisk's R&D areas.
- To be considered, you must hold a master’s degree with a grade point average belonging to the top 20% of the grading scale at the university where your Master's degree was awarded. A certificate from the university of this is required, if you graduated from a non-Danish university. Danish graduates must satisfy the marks criteria for the Danish Industrial PhD programme, see below
- Fellows under the Danish Industrial PhD programme can be of any nationality. The university must be officially authorised in the country in question to conduct PhD programmes. If the host university is outside Denmark, a Danish university must be attached to the Industrial PhD project as a third party
- Other PhD fellowships must be linked to a PhD school at a Danish university
Applications can only be submitted by a Novo Nordisk scientist. You cannot apply for a fellowship directly. Your professor or others at your faculty may be of help to contact a relevant Novo Nordisk R&D scientist. Novo Nordisk does not have a repository of PhD projects.
For Industrial PhD fellowships the requirements for marks are:
- Weighted grade point average of 8.2 on the Danish grade scale for bachelor and master’s degrees
- Grade point of 10 on the Danish grade scale for the master thesis.
There are 3 deadlines for applications per year for Novo Nordisk scientists to submit applications.
More information on the Industrial PhD fellowships can be found here.
For more information regarding fellowships at a Danish PhD school, please contact the PhD school directly.
Novo Nordisk, together with Novozymes, provides scholarships to around 40 master’s students annually. Grants for up to one year are awarded to support exceptional students in the final year of their master’s programme for the thesis project. The scholarship may also cover a research year for medical students.
To be eligible you must be enrolled at a Danish university or Lund University in Sweden and work in a field relevant to Novo Nordisk R&D strategy.
The master’s students are located at the university and work on a master thesis project defined by the university supervisor and the student. Scholarship recipients must not receive other grants during the scholarship period and are expected to not undertake any paid job during the scholarship period.
Applications can be submitted once per year following a call distributed to all relevant faculties at universities in Denmark and Sweden (Lund University only). Call for applications will be issued in September with deadline for submission in October. The grant starts in February the following year.
Read more about our R&D strategy and research pipeline and our latest research publications at our dedicated R&D website