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 20 academic doctoral student positions. The call is open for WASPs five partner universities Chalmers, KTH, Linköping University, Lund University and Umeå University as well as the research groups at Örebro University and Uppsala University that are members of WASP AI.

Proposals in all areas of WASP are welcome. The proposals are for single PhD student projects or a collaboration project based on twinning of two students. Each researcher may participate in at most two proposals, which will be evaluated individually.

The proposed projects can be based on either:

  1. A single academic PhD student: A project that is focused on a research topic best conducted by a single PhD student under the supervision of an advisor with a strong track record.
  2. Twinning of two academic PhD students in a collaboration project: A project that benefits from the twinning of students with complimentary but tightly linked projects. The academic PhD students should represent two different universities from the list given above.

The projects finance PhD positions and supervision time (up to 15% per PhD student). For twinning projects, there is an additional research and project coordination time of up to 10% per PI.

In the current call WASP will grant at least 4 projects of each kind.

Evaluation Process

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 WASP
  • Connections to WARA
  • Connections to earlier or ongoing WASP projects

For twinning projects, the following criteria will also be applied:

  • Complementarity and synergy of the expertise and research environments
  • Novelty of the constellation of researchers. Priority is given to teams that have not previously collaborated.

The evaluation panel will strive for a reasonable total balance of projects across the WASP research domains, AI/Machine Learning, AI/Mathematical Foundation, Autonomous Systems, and Software.

The proposal should be structured as follows:

  • Project Description (max 4 pages, 11 font Times New Roman)
    • Motivation, Significance and Scientific Challenges
      • State which of the WASP research domains (i.e., AS, SW, MLX, MATH) that dominates the project.
      • 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 two additional pages containing as separate parts:
    • Relevance to WASP
    • Connections to WARA
  • For twinning projects one page describing:
    • Forms of collaboration
    • Complementarity and synergy of the environments
  • CV of the PI(s), max 2 pages/PI including:
    • 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 2005)
      • 5 recent for the project relevant publications (since 2015)
  • Link to Google Scholar profile

The proposal should be submitted as a single PDF file to: Easy Chair Application Portal


2021-02-22 Call opens
2021-04-23 Call closes
2021-05-20 Decision about accepted projects
2021-11-12 Deadline for finding PhD student candidates
2021-11-25 Final decision about accepted PhD students
Individual decisions can be made earlier.


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