Wallenberg AI, 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 strengthens, expands, and renews the national competence through new strategic recruitments, a challenging research program, a national graduate school, and collaboration with industry. The program is conducted in close cooperation between leading Swedish universities with an aim to promote the competence of Sweden as a nation within the area of AI, autonomous systems and software.

WASP is now offering funding for up to 15 doctoral student positions, including both university and industrial doctoral student positions. The projects should have a strong connection to WASP Research Arenas (WARA). The call is open for both university and industrial doctoral student positions. The call is open for WASPs five partner universities Chalmers, KTH, Linköping University, Lund University and Umeå University as well as at the Affiliated Groups of Excellence at Örebro University, Uppsala University and Luleå University of Technology.

Proposals in all areas of WASP are welcome. The proposals are for single doctoral student projects. The ambition is to have a balance between university and industrial doctoral positions as well as a balance among the research arenas. Each researcher may participate in at most two proposals as main-PI, which will be evaluated individually.

WASP has an ambition to have a wide coverage of wide student projects established as well as emerging areas within the WASP domain, and with supervisors at different stages of academic seniority. Improving gender balance is also a pronounced goal for WASP. In view of this we encourage junior researchers and researchers of underrepresented gender to submit proposals in response to this call.

Connection to WASP Research Arenas

The projects should have a strong connection to at least one of the WASP Research Arenas (WARA). The main applicant should verify through a statement from the project leader for the WARA-X in question that the intended research plan is relevant for the arena.

Contact information to the WARA-X project leaders:

WARA Media and Languages Johanna Björklund, johanna@cs.umu.se
WARA Operational Streaming Data Johan Eker, johan.eker@ericsson.com
WARA Public Safety Jesper Tordenlid, Jesper.Tordenlid@combitech.se
WARA Robotics Jonas Larsson, jonas.larsson@se.abb.com

Evaluation Process

Evaluation will be conducted according to the WASP standard processes for university respective industrial doctoral student projects.

For the applications to industrial doctoral student positions, it is required to have an industrial doctoral student committed and the evaluation will be conducted in one step.

For applications to university doctoral student positions, a two-stage evaluation process will be used. In the first step the project proposals are evaluated, and a decision is made about which of the project proposals that may proceed and identify PhD student candidates. Identifying PhD candidates should be done before a specified deadline. The identified candidates are evaluated and those accepted will receive WASP funding. If good candidates are found before the deadline, then an early decision can be made to reduce the risk of losing good candidates. If a project has not found acceptable candidates by the deadline, then the project will be canceled.

The evaluation criteria that will be used for evaluating the project proposals are

  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Scientific merits of the applicants
  • Relevance to WARA

In addition, for industrial doctoral positions

  • The applicant’s ability and experience in academia/industry collaborations
  • The background and ability for the candidate to complete the doctoral studies

Application entries

The call is divided into two separate application entries:

  1. University doctoral student positions
  2. Industrial doctoral student positions

The proposal should be structured as follows:

  • Project Description (max 4 pages excluding references, 11 font Times New Roman)
    • Motivation, Significance and Scientific Challenges
      • Include a clear description of the visions and goals, the distinguishing features and foci.
    • State of the Art
    • Scientific Approach
      • Describe the research contribution.
    • Methodology
    • Preliminary and Previous Results
      • Include results from previous WASP projects if applicable.
  • Relevance to WARA
    • Maximum one additional page describing the relevance to WARA
    • Statement from the WARA-X project leader
  • CV of the PI, max 2 pages:
    • Name, title and affiliation
    • PhD year
    • List of ongoing projects
    • List of current PhD students and postdocs
    • List of 10 publications including:
      • 5 most important publications (since 2007)
      • 5 recent for the project relevant publications (since 2017)
    • Link to Google Scholar profile

In addition, for industrial doctoral positions:

  • Preliminary date for the project start
  • CV including course transcript for the industrial doctoral student should be attached
  • CV for industrial supervisor


The proposal should be submitted as a single PDF file to the WASP application portal no later than 2023-04-14, 23:59.


2023-02-13 Call opens
2023-04-14 Call closes
2023-06-16 Decision of accepted projects is communicated
2023-11-17 Deadline for finding PhD student candidates
2023-11-28 Final decision about accepted PhD students
Individual decision can be made earlier.


View all calls
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