2023: Nomination for the Wallenberg Academy Fellows program

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has set up a long-term program for young researchers: Wallenberg Academy Fellows.

The Foundation has decided to announce the program in 2023, and thereafter most likely every second year. 

230 Wallenberg Academy Fellows have been appointed during the program's first eight years.

In close cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and the Swedish Academy, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has created a program that will provide resources for Sweden’s most promising researchers to develop their work. The program addresses young researchers in medicine, natural sciences, engineering and technology, humanities and social sciences.

The purpose of the Wallenberg Academy Fellows program is to give young researchers working conditions that enables them to focus on research and tackle difficult, long-term research questions.

The Swedish Academies will evaluate and select the most promising researchers and the universities will then take long-term responsibility for these individuals.

Swedish universities are invited to nominate candidates for the program.

Application dates

The application period starts on the 7th of January 2023.
A complete nomination/application must be registered at the Foundation at the latest by the 15th of February 2023. Decision will be announced in December 2023.

Nominations for the program

From 2017, nomination quotas were reinstated, whereby each institution is allowed to nominate a maximum number of applicants as listed below:

University Number of nominations
Lund University 16
Karolinska Institutet  16
Uppsala University 16
Stockholm University 12
University of Gothenburg  12
Chalmers University of Technology 12
KTH Royal Institute of Technology 12
Linköping University 12
Umeå University 12
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 12
Luleå University of Technology 6
Others 4

The university should strive for 40 % of the nominations to be from the underrepresented sex. Only one internal candidate can be nominated for each international nomination (within the above maximum number of nominations per university).

Who can be nominated?

The program is open to researchers in all academic disciplines: medicine, engineering and technology, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities/religion, and also in the interfaces between them.

Candidates nominated in 2023 must have obtained their PhDs after 1 January 2014. An exception may be made for nominees whose PhD date back to before 2014 and who on request can document a leave of absence due to parental leave, military service or extended sick leave that has taken place since the PhD exam.  

Researchers who received a recruitment package as part of the Foundation’s molecular medicine initiative (WCMM centra) or the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems Program (WASP), Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems Program - Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), Data Driven Life Science (DDLS) or Wallenberg Initiative for Materials Science and Sustainibility (WISE)  cannot be nominated for a Wallenberg Academy Fellows grant.

Nomination procedure

A candidate cannot be nominated by more than one university. A candidate must, when nominated by a specific university, approve the nomination.
Documents attached to the nomination, all in English except for the Brief popular scientific summary in Swedish, must include the following (1A4 page = 3500 characters including blanks):

  • The person’s research qualifications, i.e. CV (max two A4 pages) covering positions held, awards won and postdoctoral research stays, if any.
  • A list of all publications in peer-reviewed journals, with the ten most important publications marked. If relevant, an H-index (Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar) together with number of publications and number of quotes the H-index is based on, is attached. Google Scholars preferably use Harzing’s Publish or Perish. For nominations in the field of humanities, a complete list of published articles should be enclosed, attach with CV.
  • A short (max two A4 pages) account of the person’s career, i.e. primarily his or her academic achievements together with information of present support from Universities or other financial support, attach with CV.
  • A project proposal (max six A4 pages).
  • Each nomination must contain a brief presentation of the reasons why the nominee´s activities are considered a key component of the research profile of the university and a description of the nomination process, i.e. the arguments, evaluations and processes on which the nomination was based (max two A4 pages), attach with Vice Chancellor’s certification. 
  • A brief popular scientific summary in Swedish (max one A4 page).
  • External candidates attach a motivation stating the reasons why he/she wants to establish his/her research at the nominating university (max 1 A4 page), attach as Other appendices.
  • Instead of a budget form, a specification of amount applied for is attached, please see below “The financing of the Foundation will include”.

The nominations and applications must be registered electronically on the Foundation’s website. 

The financing of the Foundation will include:

  • Grants of SEK 1,000,000/year for five years for researchers within theoretical disciplines.
  • Grants of SEK 1,500,000/year for five years for researchers within theoretical disciplines, who at the time of nomination are working abroad*.
  • Grants of SEK 1,500,000/year for five years for researchers within experimental disciplines.
  • Grants of SEK 2,000,000/year for five years for researchers within experimental disciplines who at the time of the nomination are working abroad*.
  • Researchers, who at the time of nomination are working abroad, can apply for additional grants (startup grants) of SEK 1,500,000, 3,000,000 or 4,500,000. The level is decided by the nominating university and a co-financing with the same amount is required.
  • Researchers, who at the time of the nomination are working abroad can also apply for moving expenses of SEK 100,000.

* Nominated within the category “Researcher working abroad at the time of the nomination”, have not been employed and not received salary or other financing in Sweden during the last four years.

The appointed researcher will be employed by the nominating university and a relevant position must be guaranteed.

The universities co-fund the initiative by guaranteeing that 50% of the researcher’s salary is covered by the university. A university may choose to fund the researcher’s entire salary, thereby helping to give him or her a larger unencumbered research grant. The university will also co-fund the initiative by contributing to indirect costs, and rent over and above the potential contribution from the foundation for indirect cost and rent.

After five years, the universities will be invited to nominate their appointed researchers to compete for another five years funding. Normally up to 40 % of the originally appointed fellows can receive extension. If the support is prolonged, SEK 1,750,000 will be granted per year for five years.

Evaluation process

All assessment of nominations is handled under strict confidentiality. That is, information about the evaluation process in addition to the information below must not be disclosed to any third party.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and the Swedish Academy, will be responsible for the evaluation process.

The selection process will be implemented in five different evaluation panels: medicine, engineering and technology, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities/religion.

The panel members are appointed by the Academies and have broad academic expertise.

One of the five subject areas above must be specified in the nomination. Only one area can be specified for each nomination.
The five panels will evaluate and rank incoming nominations. The five ranking lists will then be submitted to the Foundation, which will decide on the number of grants in each area.

According to the Foundation’s funding guide for both individual- and research project grants, only basic research is supported, and scientific excellence is the only review criteria. Furthermore, all the Foundation’s programs, including WAF, apply the rule that if a female and a male researcher end up with the same scientific grade, the underrepresented gender is prioritized. The researchers total funding can, in specific cases, be applied as a boundary criterion, which mean that if two researchers end up with the same scientific grade, the research group’s total financing in relation to the research plan can be decisive.

Closing date for nominations and applications

Complete nominations and applications must be received by the Foundation at the latest by the 15th of February 2023.

Full documentation for each nominee must be submitted electronically, by the universities, to the Foundation in accordance with the routines for grant applications. The complete budget form is not required with the nomination, only submit a brief description of the amount applied for.

Decision

The Wallenberg Academy Fellows will be appointed by the Board of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation in November 2023 and the decision will be announced in December 2023.

Additional information

Assessment criteria

E-application

Contact persons at the universities