Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation grants SEK 2.1 billion to 118 of Sweden's top researchers

Press release
26 March 2024

"Our goal is to provide outstanding researchers in Sweden with unrestricted funds where they themselves choose what to research. We hope this enables daring and groundbreaking research," says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The Wallenberg Scholars program aims to provide leading researchers in Sweden with grants for free research. Following a comprehensive international peer review, the Foundation has chosen to fund 118 researchers for five years, providing up to SEK 18 million each for researchers in theoretical subjects and up to SEK 20 million each for researchers in experimental subjects.

"A significant portion of Swedish research funding is target oriented. With the research programs Wallenberg Academy Fellows and Wallenberg Scholars, we support free basic research," says Sara Mazur, Executive Director of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

In the evaluation of applications for Wallenberg Scholars, close to 500 international expert peer reviews have been gathered. Each application has been reviewed by four to five international experts.

"It is satisfying that 40 percent of the Wallenberg Scholars in this round are women. This is the result of a deliberate effort on the part of the Foundation to have universities nominate more women. But it is important to emphasize that they have been appointed on their merits. All applications are competitive, and the evaluation process only considers scientific merits," notes Peter Wallenberg Jr.

During the period 2009–2023, the Foundation granted SEK 1.8 billion to the Wallenberg Scholars program. Together with the new round, the initiative amounts to SEK 3.9 billion.

Basic research is typically defined as a systematic and methodical curiosity-driven search for new knowledge and ideas without immediate application in mind. Piece by piece, new knowledge is slowly but surely added. Although the primary purpose is not to find applications, basic research has often led to significant and important discoveries resulting in just that. But it also involves developing methods, conducting advanced calculations, and developing technology to interpret and process all collected data.

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation finances two programs for free research aimed at aimed at individual researchers; Wallenberg Academy Fellows, where the Foundation has funded 261 young researchers, and Wallenberg Scholars for senior researchers, where 118 researchers at Swedish universities are now appointed as Wallenberg Scholars.

118 Scholars

List of the 118 researchers that have been granted funding 

Background Wallenberg Scholars 

The Wallenberg Scholars program was initiated in 2009 with the goal of providing some of Sweden's best researchers with a larger grant that can be freely used for research for five years with no restrictions. The idea was to provide leading researchers with the freedom and resources to motivate them to stay in Sweden.


Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 
08-545 017 80 
[email protected]

Sara Mazur, Executive Director, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 
08-545 017 80 
[email protected]


Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is the largest private financier of research in Sweden nad one of the largest in Europe. The Foundation supports long-term, free basic research beneficial to Sweden, mainly in medicine, technology, and the natural sciences and have since its establishment in 1917 awarded over SEK 37 billion in grants. In 2023 the yearly grants to excellent basic research and education in Sweden was in total almost SEK 2.2 billion