Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest ever individual research program, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education, and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information, and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. The vision of WASP is Excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and software for the benefit of Swedish industry.

One part of the initiative in Artificial Intelligence has a strong focus on machine learning and more specifically deep learning but includes also other areas of AI. The second part deals with increasing our understanding of the mathematical principles behind AI.

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.

Open positions within WASP Graduate School (Artificial Intelligence)

The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program hereby announces a call for up to 15 affiliated WASP AI PhD student positions within AI at the 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. The purpose of the call is to provide the opportunity for PhD students not funded by WASP to be part of the WASP Graduate School.

Selection criteria

For a PhD student to be accepted to the affiliation program she or he must satisfy the following:

  • The student must belong to one of the five partner universities Chalmers, KTH, Linköping University, Lund University and Umeå University or one of the research groups at Örebro University and Uppsala University that are members of WASP AI
  • The student is currently an academic or industrial PhD student, or starts no later than January 1, 2021, with an activity level of at least 80%.
  • The student has completed at most 1 active year of PhD studies on 2021 01 01. Active studies do not include formal study breaks or a delayed start (due to COVID-19 or other).
  • The main research topic must be in the WASP AI area.(MLX, MATH)
  • The student has a strong academic track record.
  • Relevant industrial experience is favorable.

Commitment from the PhD student

  • The student is committed to take part in the mandatory WASP courses and activities.
  • A commitment to participate and contribute to the WASP research arenas (WARA) is seen as very positive.

Commitment from the university or company of the PhD student

The university or company has full responsibility for the financing of the student including salary, office space, indirect costs, regular travel costs, and travel costs to all WASP Graduate School course meetings, and activities.

Commitment from the WASP Graduate School

If admitted, the affiliated PhD student will gain full access to the WASP Graduate School on the same terms as WASP AI PhD students except that they will have to cover their own costs. If the affiliated PhD student satisfies the requirements, he or she will get a WASP PhD Certificate/Diploma. WASP will offer possibilities for participating in courses, arenas, conferences, international trips, summer schools and other activities.

Application and evaluation

The application including requested documents (see below) should be submitted by the PhD student’s main academic supervisor to the WASP application portal no later than 2020-10-31

Documents to be uploaded in the application portal:

  • The CV, including transcript with grades, and the individual study plan of the student.
  • A description of the student’s research project, how it relates to the WASP AI area and foreseen/existing collaboration with WASP. (Max 1 page)
  • A letter of recommendation from the supervisor describing the student’s commitment and motivating why the student should be accepted to the program (Max 1 page)
  • A letter of recommendation from at least one WASP collaborator if the supervisor is not part of WASP, for example already supervising WASP PhD students or being part of some management group

The applications are reviewed by the Graduate School Management AI group, based on the selection criteria and a recommendation is made to the WASP board, who makes the final decision. Decisions are announced in late November/early December 2020. Accepted students are expected to start on January 1st, 2021. 

Information and guidance

For information about the WASP community at your local university: University contacts

For information about WASP AI research: Danica Kragic

For information about WASP Graduate School: Fredrik Heintz, WASP Graduate School Director, Petronella Norberg, WASP Graduate School Coordinator


2020-09-24 Call opens
2020-10-31 Application deadline
2020-11-26 Decision
2021-01-01 Start date





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