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WASP-HS and DDLS Joint Call for Seed-Money 2023

Call closes on 31 March, 2023, at 17:00.

Form of support: Seed-money
Focus: Research focused on a theme relevant to DDLS and WASP-HS
Applicants: 2 co-PIs, one from each of the fields of DDLS and WASP-HS
Contribution period: 12-15 months
Grant amount: Minimum SEK 200 000 maximum SEK 500 000
Budget framework for the call: 3 000 000 SEK
The grant period starts: September 2023
Application period: Feb-April 2023
The grant decision will be published: In May-June 2023


This call aims to provide seed money for research investigating the human and social challenges of data-driven strategies developed within the life sciences. The research should aim to increase the understanding of how using artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems, and data-driven methodologies in the life sciences, has effects and consequences in the life sciences, medicine, and/or society. The research should be of a visionary nature and have a clear potential for impact both within the life sciences and the humanities and/or social sciences. The call also aims to facilitate the establishment of collaborations between researchers from the data-driven- life sciences and the social sciences and humanities.

The call is open to researchers working in the life sciences, social sciences, and humanities, broadly construed. In the life sciences, the research must be related to data-driven approaches in molecular biology, evolution and biodiversity, prediction medicine and epidemiology or biology of infection (see DDLS research areas below). In the social sciences and humanities, research areas include, but are not limited to, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, law, history, linguistics, languages, the creative arts, theology, etc. Examples of research topics include the study of ethical, legal, organizational, epistemic, economical, and cultural challenges as well as other possible topics outside of those listed.

The call is part of a long-term commitment by the Wallenberg Foundations, which aims to stimulate collaborative research between the data-driven life sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Possible future calls will include larger grants. This seed call offers an opportunity to initiate new interdisciplinary collaborations.



The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg national program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) was launched in 2020 by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). DDLS is a 12-year funding initiative to support data-driven life science in Sweden with SciLifeLab as the host.

The program focus is on four strategic research areas of data-driven research:

  • Data-driven Cell and molecular biology
  • Data-driven Evolution and biodiversity
  • Data-driven Precision medicine and diagnostics
  • Data-driven Epidemiology and biology of infections

SciLifeLab and KAW share the ambition to foster the next generation of life scientists by creating a solid computational and data science base that helps scientists analyze and interpret data patterns swiftly, and to seamlessly integrate their data with the global life science data streams. Central components of such a venture include: education, training, reciting new talent, sparking collaborations, ensuring responsible research, and engagement in innovation activities.

The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) is a research program in which researchers tackle the challenges and impacts of upcoming technology shifts and contribute to the development of theories and practices of human and societal aspects of AI and autonomous systems. The particular focus is on the ethical, economic, labor market, social, cultural, and legal aspects of the impacts that AI and autonomous systems bring.

The vision of WASP-HS is to foster novel interdisciplinary knowledge in the humanities and social sciences about AI and autonomous systems and their impact on human and social development. WASP-HS enables cutting edge research, expertise and competence building in the humanities and social sciences. As such, WASP-HS contributes to the development of innovative humane technologies and their transformative interaction with society.

DDLS and WASP-HS are both committed to forming meaningful collaborations to bridge the gaps between the scientific disciplines of DDLS and WASP-HS. The Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation has earmarked funding for such joint efforts in their donation. This call for seed-money is a part of this collaboration and is intended to give researchers from DDLS and WASP-HS resources to develop such joint research projects.


Any researcher with a PhD affiliated at a Swedish University or The Swedish Museum of Natural History can apply. Applicants do not need to be currently part of, or funded by DDLS, SciLifelab, or WASP-HS to be eligible to apply. The seed collaborations must have two applicants who already have a PhD; one researcher from each of the fields related to DDLS and WASP-HS respectively.

Both applicants need to be actively participating in the project. An applicant can be involved in a maximum of two applications.

If relevant, the funded projects should make project outcomes open access (where legally and ethically possible) and be prepared to present their findings to the DDLS and WASP-HS communities. Any potential data, resources, and code should be made available in accordance with the FAIR principles. The projects will be expected to follow the national legal and ethical rules and regulations as well as those of their institutions and SciLifeLab, where applicable.

Project participants are expected to, where possible, be active contributors and participants in community events, such as seminars, and symposia. The applicants should not previously have received seed-money from the WASP-HS DDLS joint call for seed money call in 2022.

Budget and Project Duration

We expect to fund between 5-10 projects. Funded budgets are expected to lie typically between 200-500 KSEK for each project. Funding is divided 50/50 between PIs. Projects are expected to last between 12 and 15 months.

Financial Information

  • The grants will be funded by KAW through KTH. Any necessary co-funding will be covered by each university/department.
  • The KAW funding condition allows a maximum of 18% of the approved grant to be used for overhead and premises costs. Additionally, there is a maximum coverage of
  • 50% for LKP (payroll taxes and social security contributions including holiday allowance %) on gross salary and allowance costs.
  • All estimated project costs for the project period are to be specified in the budget template that will be provided.
  • The grant will be transferred retroactively for reported costs according to the approved funding,
  • Requisitions and cost reporting will be sent biannually to the SciLifeLab Operations
  • Office/KTH. KTH as SciLifeLab/DDLS program host university coordinates the cost reporting and reimbursement processes. All necessary templates will be provided for these purposes at a later stage.

Proposal Structure/Format

Submission – how to apply

One person applies as the main PI of the project with a commitment letter from the Co-PI (co-applicant)
Link to application system with detailed information

Application form and word template

  1. Name of project
  2. Name, affiliations of main and co-PI
  3. Project plan (max 2 pages)
  4. The impact for both DDLS and WASP-HS fields (max 0,5 page)
  5. Explanation of the collaborative benefits, the role of each of the PIs and parties and
    future plans beyond the seed funding (max 1 page)
  6. Short CV and selected most relevant publications (max 10 publications) only for main
    PI and co-PI (co-applicant) (max 2 pages each)
  7. Commitment letter for the main PI, should be signed by the Head of the department.
  8. Commitment letter for the co-PI (co-applicant) should be signed by the co-PI (coapplicant) and by the Head of the department
  9. Budget (template for overall budget)

Evaluation Criteria

Projects will be evaluated according to the assessment of the combination of the following criteria:

  • Scientific potential for novelty and originality from a data-driven life sciences, humanities, and social sciences perspectives
  • Multi-disciplinarity
  • Potential future impact
  • Merits of the applicants in relation to their career stage
  • Potential synergies in the planned collaboration,
  • Merit of ideas and alignment with the visions and goals of DDLS and WASP-HS

We will also consider:

  • Open science and data sharing aspects
  • Future impact on and relevance for WASP-HS/DDLS community
  • Industrial and societal relevance
  • Complementarity of the applications (for example, gender balance, career stage, geographical distribution and project topic)

For Question Regarding the Call

Contact contact@wasp-hs.org or ddls-calls@scilifelab.se