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 25 academic doctoral student positions. The call is open for WASP’s 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 PhD students. Each researcher may participate in at most one proposal as main supervisor and one proposal as co-supervisor. The proposals are evaluated individually.

WASP has an ambition to have a wide coverage of PhD student projects, ranging from established to 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.

The WASP Graduate School

The WASP Graduate School provides the skills needed to analyze, develop, and contribute to the interdisciplinary area of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and software. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD-students, researchers, and industry. The graduate school adds value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with industrial relevance. Further information about WASP Graduate School is found here.

Commitment from PhD student

  • The PhD student is committed to take part in the WASP courses (a mix of mandatory and elective courses corresponding to at least 27 hp) and activities.
  • To be part of WASP includes traveling to on-site courses at other universities as well as to different events and study trips organized by WASP.
  • A commitment to participate and contribute to the WASP research arenas is seen as very positive.

Evaluation Process

In the evaluation process project proposals are evaluated, and a decision in 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. 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 WASP

Structure of the call

The call is divided into three separate tracks:

  1. AI (MLX and Mathematical Foundation for AI)
  2. AS (autonomous systems)
  3. SW (software)

Cyber Security is a cross-track topic of particular focus in WASP. Thus, it should be clear from the proposal if it includes a substantial component related to Cyber Security.

It is important that you choose the relevant track for your application in the EasyChair application system. If it is appropriate, WASP can move an application to a different track than indicated.

The proposal should be structured as follows:

  • Project Description (max 4 pages excluding references, 11 font Times New Roman).
    • State the main track and if the proposal has a substantial component related to Cyber Security.
    • 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.
  • Maximum one additional page containing:
    • Relevance to WASP
  • CV of the PI, max 2 pages:
    • Name, title and affiliation
    • PhD year (if applicable, include periods of absence)
    • 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


The proposal should be submitted as a single PDF file to EasyChair Submission Portal no later than January 26th, 23:59.


2023-11-01 Call opens
2024-01-26 Call closes
2024-04-05 Decision accepted projects communicated
2024-11-15 Deadline for finding PhD student candidates
2024-11-27 Final decision about accepted PhD students*
*Individual decision can be made earlier.



View all calls
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