Thirty young researchers to become the first Wallenberg Academy Fellows

Wallenberg Academy Fellows is the largest private initiative to support young researchers in Sweden. It is a new career programme aimed at promising researchers in all disciplines. The programme provides long-term funding and enables the best researchers to focus on their research and it contributes to the internationalization of the Swedish research environment.

– It is a true pleasure to announce the first Wallenberg Academy Fellows. The programme is the Wallenberg foundation’s largest initiative ever and a long-term effort to support young promising researchers from Sweden and abroad at our universities, says Peter Wallenberg Jr., Vice-chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Engineering sciences

Natasha Devroye, PhD, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Michael Malkoch, Associate Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Rafael Pass, Associate Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Charlotte Platzer Björkman, Associate Professor, Uppsala University.


Per Axelsson, PhD, Umeå University; Helen Frowe, PhD, Stockholm University 


Marie Carlén, PhD, Karolinska Institutet; Felipe Cava, PhD, Umeå University; David Engblom, Associate Professor, Linköping University; Johan Malmström, PhD, Lund University; Björn Nilsson, PhD, Lund University; Mia Phillipson, Associate Professor, Uppsala University; Gilad Silberberg, Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet; Camilla Svensson, PhD, Karolinska Institutet.

Natural sciences

Robert Berman, PhD, Chalmers University of Technology; Jan Conrad, Professor, Stockholm University; Kimberly Dick Thelander, Associate Professor, Lund University; Ellen Dorrepaal, PhD, Umeå University; Damian Dowling, PhD, Uppsala University; David Drew, PhD, Stockholm University; Johan Elf, Associate Professor, Uppsala University; Martin Högbom, Associate Professor, Stockholm University; Anders Johansen, PhD, Lund University; Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen, PhD, Chalmers University of Technology; Johanna Rosén, Associate Professor, Linköping University; Tobias Uller, PhD, Lund University. 

Social science

Gustaf Gredebäck, Professor, Uppsala University; Johan Lundström, PhD, Karolinska Institutet; Mikko Myrskylä, PhD, Stockholm University; Johan Walden, Associate Professor, Stockholm School of Economics.

The Wallenberg Academy Fellows presented today have been recruited jointly by universities, royal Swedish academies and the financier in a unique collaboration process that stimulates competition and mobility among researchers. The fellowship programme also includes customized mentoring.

– I cannot see a better way to promote the growth of a new generation of research leaders. The scope and design of this career programme is something new. The academies are very proud and happy to have been able to participate in the formation of Wallenberg Academy Fellows, says Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Five of the royal Swedish academies are responsible for establishing assessment teams to evaluate candidates. In addition, they are in charge of a five-year long mentorship programme that will reinforce the fellows’ scientific leadership skills and give them knowledge and experience of implementing scientific results outside of academia.

– We are immensely happy about the Wallenberg foundation’s long-term initiative to strengthen research in Sweden. Within the framework of the mentorship programme, which in itself is unique, we aim to promote the transfer of knowledge from the members of the academies to a younger generation of researchers, says Professor Björn O. Nilsson, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

The fellows presented today represent a wide range of scientific fields that spans from research about indigenous peoples to studies of the development of the brain and the origin of the planets.

The universities initially nominated 126 researchers of whom 41 were active at institutions abroad. Ten of the thirty researchers who have been offered to become the first Wallenberg Academy Fellows come from universities outside Sweden.

– Just like the external reviewers I am very impressed by the high quality of research exhibited in the applications. This bodes well for the future of Swedish research, says Göran Sandberg, Executive Member of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The Wallenberg Academy Fellows are awarded a five-year grant amounting to between SEK 5 million and 7.5 million per researcher. After this first term, fellows can apply for an additional five years of funding.


The programme has been founded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation in close collaboration with five royal academies and sixteen Swedish universities. The universities nominate researchers; the academies evaluate the candidates and present a shortlist of the most promising researchers to the foundation, which then makes the final selection. The universities assume long-term responsibility for the selected researchers’ work.

Wallenberg Academy Fellows is the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s largest initiative ever. The aim of the programme is to support up to 125 young researchers between 2012 and 2016 with a potential total of SEK 1.2 billion.



Peter Wallenberg Jr.
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Tel: +46 854501780

Göran Sandberg
Executive member
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Tel: +46 85401780

Björn O. Nilsson
Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Tel: +46 8791297

Staffan Normark
Permanent Secretary
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Tel: +46 86739502,
+46 0727357947

Annika Moberg
Communications officer
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Tel: +46 86739522, 
+46 0706739690

Joakim Rådström
Manager of media relations
Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Tel: +46 87912939, 
+46 0736567617