The eight ‘Villum International Postdoc’ grant recipients. Photo: Villum Fonden/Thomas Frandsen

DTU Nanolab researcher gets career boost

Tuesday 16 Jun 20
Ada-Ioana Bunea—a postdoc at DTU Nanolab—is among the eight female researchers second from the right whom Villum Fonden has chosen to give a career boost with an international postdoc grant.

The programme is earmarked for female researchers in the field of technical and natural sciences who are at the point in their research career where they have been awarded their PhD degree, and many of them leave their academic positions at the universities. 

As part of the requirements for the grant, the researchers must go on a research stay abroad, as this is essential for them to acquire an international outlook and network at an early stage.

“The common denominators for the new Villum International Postdocs are exceptional talent, research ambitions, international experience, and excellent university recommendations,” says Jens Kann-Rasmussen, Chair of the Board of Directors in Villum Fonden, and continues:

“Our programme offers the grant recipients a good basis for an extended research stay abroad, so that they can develop their own research and act as role models for Denmark’s next generations of technical and natural science researchers.”


One of the eight grant recipients is Ada-Ioana Bunea. She is a postdoc at DTU Nanolab and has received DKK 2.4 million for her research project—‘MicroPHELPS’—in which she conducts research into the propulsion of micro-robots by means of photons. 

For her, the grant is completely fundamental to her career.

“The Villum International Postoc grant is an incredible opportunity, as it allows me to travel to a world-renowned international lab to learn from the best in the field, and then enables me to return to Denmark to apply the newly-acquired knowledge to develop new types of microrobots that can benefit society through e.g. biomedical or environmental applications.” says Ada-Ioana Bunea. 

For DTU Nanolab, the grant is very positive.

“We’re pleased that there is a DTU Nanolab researcher among the eight female researchers, but, above all, we’re happy for Ada-Ioana, because the grant opens up new opportunities for her continued research,” says Director of DTU Nanolab, Jörg Hübner.


The eight grant recipients

  1. Maria Barrett, Computer Science Department, IT University of Copenhagen (DKK 2.5 million): ‘Modelling relations in text using human data’  
  2. Amanda Bundgaard, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University (DKK 2.4 million): ‘Reprogramming metabolism in hypoxia tolerance’  
  3. Ada-Ioana Bunea, DTU Nanolab, DTU (DKK 2.4 million): ‘Soft robotic MICROswimmers with PHotonics-EnabLed PropulSion (MicroPHELPS)’  
  4. Meike Anna Christine Latz, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen (DKK 2.5 million): 'PHYT-OMICS' 
  5. Sinja Rist, DTU Aqua, DTU (DKK 2.5 million): ‘PELAGIC – Meroplankton Ecology in a Changing Ocean'  
  6. Henriette Lyng Røder, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen (DKK 2.5 million): ‘Predicting the shaping factors of life: Experimental evolution in complex bacterial communities (PREDICT)’   
  7. Rita da Silva, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark (DKK 2.5 million): ‘Submerging into demography: a new perspective to inform the conservation of aquatic species’  
  8. Julie Thøgersen, Department of Mathematics, Aarhus University (DKK 2.1 million): ‘Incorporating information from data into the decision-making processes in non-life insurance’   

Source: The Velux Foundations


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