They are 2017’s Wallenberg Academy Fellows

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s investments in young researchers continue. This year, 24 outstanding researchers have been selected as Wallenberg Academy Fellows. Thanks to this funding, many of them can continue to conduct their research in Sweden, while others have been recruited to Sweden to build up their research here.

Joanna Rorbach, Johan Östling, Steffi Burchardt, Jiayin Yuan and Elin Naurin. Photo: Markus Marcetic.

“It is particularly pleasing that there are as many women as men among this year’s Academy Fellows. Those who are appointed to be Wallenberg Academy Fellows go through a thorough evaluation process. First, the university nominates candidates; they are then reviewed by evaluation panels in each subject, which are led by the five royal academies,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The subjects in which the 24 Wallenberg Academy Fellows work cover a broad spectrum, from algebraic geometry, climate, the political consequences of pregnancy and what makes viruses infectious, to the development of new antibiotics.

“This program is among the most important measures now being taken to strengthen Sweden’s position in research and development. More than 50 percent of this year’s Wallenberg Academy Fellows are women and many of the researchers have been recruited from higher education institutions in other countries, which is very positive. The Royal Academy of Sciences is proud to be able to contribute to such an impressive investment in the future of science,” says Göran K. Hansson, Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Since the program started in 2012, 174 young researchers have become Wallenberg Academy Fellows.

The purpose of these investments is to boost Sweden as a research nation by retaining the greatest talents in the country and by recruiting young international researchers to Swedish universities. Via an integral mentor program, they also have an opportunity to strengthen their scientific leadership and better utilize their research results.

Wallenberg Academy Fellows provides the best young researchers with long-term resources so that they can concentrate on their research. The program, which focuses on researchers in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering and technology, medicine and the humanities, also contributes to increased internationalization of the Swedish research environment.

The program has been established in partnership with the royal academies and 16 Swedish universities.

2017’s Wallenberg Academy Fellows:

(Where the nominating university is not the researcher’s current university, the nominating university’s name is in parentheses).

Natural Sciences

Dr. Maria Hermanns, University of Cologne, Germany (Stockholm University)

Associate Professor Dan Petersen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Stockholm University)

Professor Karim Adiprasito, Leipzig University, Germany (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

Dr. Rike Stelkens, Stockholm University

Dr. Claudia Mohr, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany (Stockholm University)

Associate Professor Johannes Rousk, Lund University

Dr. Karl Börjesson, University of Gothenburg

Associate Professor Steffi Burchardt, Uppsala University

Dr. Stefano Bonetti, Stockholm University

Social Sciences

Associate Professor Pontus Strimling, Institute for Futures Studies (Södertörn University)

Associate Professor Johanna Rickne, Stockholm University

Associate Professor Elin Naurin, University of Gothenburg

Associate Professor Hanne Fjelde, Uppsala University

Engineering and Technology

Associate Professor Jiayin Yuan, Clarkson University, New York State, USA (Stockholm University)

Associate Professor Ergang Wang, Chalmers University of Technology

Dr. Erik J. Berg, Paul Scherrer Institute, Zurich, Switzerland (Uppsala University)

Associate Professor Hanna Isaksson, Lund University

Associate Professor Feng Gao, Linköping University


Dr. Emanuela Santini, Columbia University, New York, USA (Karolinska Institutet)

Dr. Joanna Rorbach, Karolinska Institutet

Professor Stefano Romeo, University of Gothenburg

Dr. Carmen Gerlach, Harvard Medical School, USA (Karolinska Institutet)

Dr. Katarzyna Koltowska, University of Queensland, Australia (Uppsala University)


Associate Professor Johan Östling, Lund University

Brief presentations of the research of each individual scientist can be found at the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation website

Five years of financing can become ten years

Funding is SEK 5 to 14 million per researcher over a five-year period, depending on the field. At the end of the first period, researchers will have the opportunity to apply for another five years of funding. Since 2012, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has distributed a total of SEK 1.4 billion via the program.


The program, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, has been established 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, the Swedish Academy and Swedish universities.

The universities nominate researchers to the program, the academies evaluate the candidates and present the most promising researchers for the Foundation, which then makes the final selection. The universities subsequently take the long-term responsibility for the selected researchers’ activities.