WASP announces call for collaboration projects

Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest individual research program, and provides a platform for academic research and education, fostering interaction with Sweden’s leading companies. The program addresses research in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software as enabling technologies for development of systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems of systems. WASP will strengthen, expand, and renew the national competence through new strategic recruitments, a challenging research program, a national graduate school, and collaboration with industry. The program will be conducted in close cooperation with leading Swedish universities with an aim to promote the competence of Sweden as a nation within the area of AI, Autonomous Systems and Software.

Aims and scope

We are now announcing a call for collaboration projects opened to the partner universities Chalmers University of Technology, Linköping University, Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Umeå University, as well as Örebro University. Four to seven projects are expected to be funded, dependent on size and quality.

The collaboration projects should be in the area of artificial intelligence with a specific focus on machine learning, more specifically:

    1. Representation learning and grounding: deep learning, probabilistic models, statistical relational learning, auto-encoders
    2. Sequential decision making and reinforcement learning
    3. Learning from small data sets, GANs and incremental learning
    4. Multi-task and transfer learning

More details regarding each of the areas can be found here.


The projects are expected to address fundamental research problems in the above areas and expect to have a strong visionary and novelty nature. The projects finance primarily PhD positions, supervision time (up to 15% per PhD student) and additional research and project coordination time up to 20% per PI.


Call and application format  

The call is open to the researchers employed by the WASP partner universities and Örebro University. An application is submitted by the PIs. The format should follow the available template and should be submitted as a single PDF file and should not exceed the length defined in the application form. The application form is available here. The application should be written in English and uploaded in EasyChair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mlx2018

A typical project would involve two to three PIs (maximum) and two to four (maximum) PhD students. Naturally, projects should last up to 5 years, following the general timeline for PhD studies. The PhD students should be newly employed on the project and not already enrolled. To increase the collaboration between universities, there is a requirement that the PIs are employed at different partner universities. A PI should not be involved in more than 2 applications.


Evaluation process and criteria

The evaluation will be performed in two steps. In the first step, the projects will be evaluated based on the scientific novelty, the relation to four scientific areas outlined above, the scientific excellence of the PIs and the added value gained from the collaboration.

An evaluation committee will review the projects applications and a decision regarding selected projects will be taken on September 7th.  The decision will be communicated to all applicants at September 11th at the latest. The host universities of the selected projects can then advertise the positions for PhD students to be recruited to the project, deadline for applying is October 12th. The PhD student applications will be reviewed by an evaluation committee and a final decision regarding accepted PhD students will be taken on October 26th and communicated to all applicants at October 30th at the latest. Projects should start no later than January 1st 2019.

To ensure a successful recruitment of PhD students, each PI can make the decision to initiate the process of recruiting PhD students to the project during the summer 2018. This should be done in coordination with the host universities and their standard process for advertising vacancies. Note that WASP does not guarantee any funding for the PhD positions unless the project is selected for funding.

For general information on WASP: http://wasp-sweden.org

For further information on the projects, please contact Danica Kragic, wasp_projects@wasp-sweden.se, +46 8 790 6729.