About TFSR

About TFSR

Brochure: The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute

Brochure: The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute 

In 2024, it will be ten years since Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser received the Nobel Prize. Perhaps we can contribute to solving medical puzzles behind for example dementia?


The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

The foundation's mission is to manage the funds and to pay annually "an amount equivalent of not less than 3 percent nor more than to 5 percent of the net fair market value of the foundations total capital as set forth in the foundation's official accounts for the previous year" (Article 7 of Articles of Incorporation).

As of today, TFSR has awarded the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience NOK 60 million.

The foundation's endowment has risen steadily since its establishment in 2008, and is per 28 February 2023 NOK 214,4 million. About half of the  endowment are contributions from The Kavli Foundation in the United States. Together with the Kavli Institute, we aim at increasing the total endowment to a minimum of NOK 250 million by the end of 2025.

The foundation has received contributions from individuals, companies and organizations, as well as testamentary gifts. In the autumn of 2015, TFSR received a great gift from Pauline Braathen and Egil Braathen's nieces and nephew. In 2020, the foundation received a large gift from Ensliges Landsforbund due to the association’s decision to be wound up. We have also received large gifts from other individuals and families.

The foundation's investment strategy involves moderate risk exposure. The strategy was updated by the Board no later than autumn 2019. The portfolio consists of international equities and bonds, and is invested in index-linked funds. The manager reports monthly to the Board on the development of the portfolio. In at least two annual meetings, the Board reviews the management and makes any eventual adjustments. The annualized return on the endowment over the last ten years is 7.8 per cent.

Articles of Incorporation for (The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience) The Trondheim Foundation for Scientific Research

(Approved 4 July 2008. Revision of Article 7 approved by the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority 6 June 2017)

Article 1: Name

The Trondheim Foundation for Scientific Research (hereinafter named the TFSR or the foundation).The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience is the name that the foundation uses in daily dialogue.

Article 2: Purpose

The specific and primary purpose of the TFSR is to support, benefit and carry out the charitable, scientific and educational purposes of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (hereinafter named NTNU) by providing financial support for the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU. TFSR is an autonomous non-profit foundation.

Article 3: Foundation Capital

The initial capital stock of the TFSR is NOK 100.000.

The Board of the TFSR is empowered to increase the foundations's initial capital stock.

Article 4: Board of Directors

The TFSR is to have a Board of Directors with five members. Two members are to be proposed by the Kavli Foundation and three members are to be proposed by NTNU.

Members of the Board are appointed for a period of four years where one of the members is selected initially for a two-year term.

The Board of Directors is formally appointed by the Rector of NTNU. The Board elects one of its members as a Chairman of the Board.

The following persons, in any combination, may not comprise a majority of the Board: (1) an individual that is a substantial contributor to the foundation; (2) if a substantial contributor is an entity, an individual that owns more than 20% of the substantial contributor, (3) the family (spouses, ancestors, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and spouses of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) of any individuals described in (1) og (2); and (4) an individual who is employed by any person or entity described in (1), (2), or (3).

None of the persons listed in (1)-(3), and no entity in which such persons may own more than 35%, whether alone or in combination, shall have the power to veto any action to be taken by this foundation.

The firm of auditors to audit the TFSR accounts is to be selected by the Rector of NTNU:

Article 5: Powers of the Board

The Board of Directors is the TFSR's controlling body.

The Board of Directors has the power to make distributions from the foundation within the stipulated framework of how much of the foundation's divided income and/or equity capital can be used for distribution. Each such distribution is to be in accordance with the Purpose of the foundation and its Articles of Incorporation.

The Board has the responsibility for the administration of the foundation.

The Board is to ensure that the accounts and management of the capital in the foundation are subject to adequate control routines.

Article 6: Gift Acceptance Policy

This foundation shall not have the power to accept any gift or contribution from any person who directly or indirectly controls the governing body of NTNU, any family (including siblings and their spouses) of such person, and any business entity or trust in which such persons own more than 35%.

Article 7: Distributions

For any given year, the foundation shall distribute to NTNU, for the benefit of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU, an amount equivalent of not less than 3 percent nor more than to 5 percent of the net fair market value of the foundations total capital as set forth in the foundation's official accounts for the previous year.

Article 8: Political Activity

The foundation shall not participate in, or intervene in, any campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. No substantial part of the activities of the foundation shall consist of attempting to influence legislation.

Article 9: Dissolution

Dissolution of this foundation requires a 4/5 majority of the Board. Should this take place, any remaining funds shall beawarded to another non-profit or governmental institute for neuroscience or other scientific research with the name "The Kavli Institute", designated by the Board. In no event may the foundation's capital be returned to the founder.

Article 10: Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation

These articles are available in both Norwegian and English. In the case of any discrepancies, the Norwegian text shall apply: ntnu.no/tfsr/om-stiftelsen

Any amendments or changes in the Articles of Incorporation of the foundation are to be subject to the agreement of the Rector of NTNU.

The Research Fund of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Fred Kavli established the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in 2007. From left: Edvard Moser, Fred Kavli, May-Britt Moser og Menno Witter. Foto: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Fred Kavli and The Kavli Foundation

Fred Kavli from Eresfjord in Romsdal was a civil engineer, entrepreneur, and a man with big dreams and a big heart. His contribution to research through The Kavli Foundation is extensive and very important. Not only as financial support, but also through his vision of supporting long-term research. He chose three scientific focus areas; the largest (astrophysics), the smallest (nanoscience) and the most complicated (brain research).

Fred Kavli was born in 1927, but moved to Trondheim to study at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH). Immediately after his civil engineering degree in 1956, he traveled to Canada and then to the United States in 1958 to establish Kavlico Corporation, one of the world's largest suppliers of sensor technology for the automotive and aerospace industry. Kavli was also a member of the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. When Fred Kavli sold Kavlico Corporation in 2000, he chose to invest in what he believed in. He was keen to contribute to the long-term development of basic knowledge, to make the world a better place to live. In 2000, The Kavli Foundation was founded with the purpose of supporting highly advanced research in astrophysics, theoretical physics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The Kavli Foundation has an extensive business and the most important is the support of the 20 Kavli Institutes established in three continents at some of the world's best universities. There are a total of seven Kavli institutes in neuroscience, the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU in Trondheim, and six other at universities in the United States. In Europe there are four Kavli institutes in total.

More information about Fred Kavli and The Kavli Foundation.

The board of Directors

The board of Directors

Chairman of the Board Jan Morten Dyrstad. Photo.

Jan Morten Dyrstad, Chairman of the Board

Jan Morten has a PhD in Economics from the University of Bergen. He has a long career at NTNU, as Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management (1999-2013) and at the Department of Economics until autumn 2023. His experience is from various management tasks, boards, councils and committees at NTNU and elsewhere in the university sector.

Rune Hagland. Photo.

Rune Haglund

Rune is a lawyer and partner in the law firm Arntzen de Besche AS, where he is associated with the business area Banking, Finance and Insolvency. He holds several board positions in various companies and foundations, including positions as board member of Stiftelsesforeningen.



Gunnar Nilsen. Photo.

Gunnar K. Nilsen

Gunnar is a board member of the Kavli Foundation and an advisor for start-up companies with special fields in sensor technology. He has experience both from Norway and USA in investment activities, technology development and entrepreneurship. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from NTNU and an MBA from Pepperdine University.


Anne Lise Ryel

Anne Lise has been general secretary of the Norwegian Cancer Society for 18 years. She has in-depth knowledge of the research’s crucial importance for progress in health, fundraising, user participation and implementation of research results. Anne Lise is a lawyer, and was the Equality and anti-discrimination Ombud in Norway 1994-2000 and State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice in the first Stoltenberg government. She has almost 40 years of experience from board positions nationally and globally.


Birgit Skarstein.Photo.

Birgit Skarstein

Birgit is known for several impressive international championship titles as a Paralympic athlete in rowing and cross-country skiing. She has broad community experience, including member of several boards, councils, and committees, i.a., Oslo City Council, The Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board and the Board of Sparebankstiftelsen DNB. Birgit is educated in political science at the University of Oslo.



Photos: Thor Nielsen and Elin Iversen

The Board

The Research Fund visiting the lab at the Kavli Institute.
The Research Fund visiting the lab at the Kavli Institute.



Donate by Vipps

Hjerneforskningsfondet Vipps: 696680 (UNIFOR)

QR code to the Kavli Institutes Vipps

Donate by bank

The foundation’s bank account:
4202 17 13168

More information:

Support the brain research



Secretariat and audit

Secretariat and audit

UNIFOR is a non-profit foundation which also performs administrative functions for foundations supporting research and higher education.

Since the summer 2016, UNIFOR has been a secretariat for TFSR, which among other tasks includes accounting, archive function, contact with public authorities and the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority.

Through UNIFOR, TFSR is a member of "Stiftelsesforeningen" and the Norwegian Forum for Responsible and Sustainable Investment.

The audit company BDO examine TFSR's accounts.