Research activities are a fundamental part of the work of the New Carlsberg Foundation, and ‘the study of art and art history’ is expressly mentioned in the trust deed of the New Carlsberg Foundation as formulated by master brewer Carl Jacobsen and his wife, Otilia Jacobsen, when they instituted the foundation in 1902.

Support for art research has thus been part of the foundation’s work throughout its more than century-long history. However, the main target for the foundation’s support has been research dissemination through funding for publications rather than the research itself.

In 2010, the New Carlsberg Foundation therefore decided to engage directly in art research education. The goal was to generate new research-based knowledge about art while building a connection between university and museum research.

Since 2010, the New Carlsberg Foundation’s Research Initiative has awarded 74 fellowships, totalling more than 100 million kroner, divided among the three categories (PhD fellowships, postdoc fellowships and individual projects).