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Closed call 2023-06-19: Research Pairs Projects

This is the fourth call for Research Pairs collaboration projects between two junior researchers within Digital Futures in the area of technologies for digital transformation. We will support projects showing high scientific quality, originality, and an interdisciplinary approach. Only junior faculty and researchers from KTH, Stockholm University (SU), and RISE Digital Systems are eligible to apply.

Important dates

Call opens: 22 February 2023
Project registration: 12 June 2023
Call closes: 19 June 2023

The funding decision is expected by October 2023. The starting date of the projects is 1 January, 2024.

The figure below shows the Digital Futures process for evaluation and decision:


Digital Futures is a cross-disciplinary research centre that explores and develops digital technologies. We bring solutions to great societal challenges, in Sweden and globally. We generate knowledge, innovations, and future leaders of high industrial relevance and strategic importance. Digital Futures is jointly established by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. Digital Futures awards funding to strategic research projects to support a specific action or project that furthers the vision of Digital Futures. Find out more about Digital Futures’ background here.

Purpose and Eligibility

This is a funding instrument intended to foster collaboration between two young researchers and to identify new research collaborations that can develop into a leading scientific activity over the next 3- 5 years. It is, therefore, a vehicle for supporting and promoting young scholars with the potential to become future digital leaders that substantially participate and contribute to various activities in Digital Futures.

The researchers in the pair should belong to either i) two different KTH schools, ii) a KTH school and SU/RISE [1], or iii) SU and RISE [1]. To be eligible for this call, each applicant needs to have obtained a doctoral degree not more than 10 years ago at the time of opening of this call [2], have 80% employment or more at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, or RISE Research Institutes of Sweden [1], with one of the following positions:

  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Full Professor
  • Permanent full-time Researcher (”tillsvidareanställning”)

Researchers who have previously been PI or co-PI in a Research Pairs project are not eligible to apply for this call. Also, one can only be PI or co-PI for at most one project proposal in this call.

The PIs do not need to be Digital Futures faculty when applying but will become Digital Futures faculty if the project is granted.

[1] Researchers employed by RISE Digital Systems Division in the Stockholm area are eligible to apply.
[2] The eligibility period set out above can be extended beyond 10 years for certain circumstances such as parental leave, clinical training, long-term illness, or national service. Please indicate those in your CV.

Project duration and maximum funding

In this call, up to five projects are intended to be selected. The duration of the projects is two years, and the projects will be funded with a maximum of 2 MSEK in total and will be split equally between the two PIs (500 KSEK per calendar year per PI). Please note that funding cannot be transferred between partners during the project (KTH/SU/RISE). The amount applied for must not exceed the maximum funding for a project in this call.

Please note the Digital Futures funding policy

Researchers can be involved in several projects under different instruments, but within Digital Futures, the funding per PI is limited to 1 MSEK/year. Hence, funding that you may have received under the current Digital Futures instruments Collaborative Research Projects, Research Pairs, Demonstrator Projects, Collaborative projects targeting Diversity and Inclusion, and Seed Projects will be taken into consideration. Funding from Digital Futures to Societal Innovation Projects, Partner Innovation Projects, Industrial Innovation Projects, and ISPP Demo Projects is included, but not the part from partners. Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellows projects or Digital Transformation Institute projects are not taken into account.

Research focus

The projects should address cutting-edge research within Technologies for a digital transformation and should involve researchers that complement each other and conduct interdisciplinary research. The proposals shall address subject areas at an intersection of the Digital Futures Research matrix illustrated below. More information about the research matrix can be found here.

The three research themes Trust, Cooperate and Learn cut across the four contexts Smart society, Digitalized industry, Rich and healthy life, and Educational Transformation.

Digital Futures Strategic Research Programme. The three research themes Trust, Cooperate and Learn cut across the three societal contexts Smart society, Digitized industry and Rich and healthy life.

How to apply

  1. Fill in the application according to the project description template: Template Research Pairs project 2023
  2. Create an account on the application submission system and register the application stating the title, PIs and a short abstract by the registration date (see at top) at this link:
  3. Complete the application, including uploading the project description to the submission system before the call deadline (see at top) using the same link as in step 2.


The project proposals will be evaluated by an external international expert panel. The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific quality and originality of the proposed research
  2. Merits of the applicants
  3. Degree of interdisciplinarity and composition of the research pair
  4. Feasibility of the project
  5. Conformity to the scope of Digital Futures and eligibility as outlined above

Q&A and Matchmaking event

Digital Futures will host an event for Q&A about the call and for participants that want to find researchers to team up with for the call. This is open to all potential project applicants to help with the creation of proposals.

Date and time: 18 April 2023, 10:00-11:00 CEST
Where: Digital Futures hub, Osquars Backe 5, floor 2 at KTH main campus

No registration required. Please prepare a 5 minute presentation on your research topic if you are looking for a co-applicant for the call.


Contact for further questions. Please include “Research Pairs 2023” in the subject of your email.