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Closed call 2022-06-09: Topic proposal for the Digital Futures Focus Period 2023

Digital Futures is now enthusiastically inviting proposals by potential organizers of the Digital Futures Focus Period 2023, which is intended to take place in May/June 2023.

The Digital Futures Focus Period program is an ambitious 5-week guest research event that will be repeated annually but with a new topic every year. The objective is to attract top-level researchers (and their junior colleagues) by funding their accommodation in Stockholm and creating optimal conditions for exchanging ideas, expanding professional networks, initiating new collaborations, and tackling timely research challenges.

Each visiting scholar stays for 3-5 weeks and is hosted by a Digital Futures faculty. In the middle of the focus period, when all visitors are present, there will be a common 3-day workshop with additional invited speakers and attendees from Digital Futures and the Swedish industry and society.

Since Digital Futures is a cross-disciplinary research centre, we are looking for topic proposals of a similar nature. It could for instance be a timely concretization of one of the intersections of the Digital Futures Strategic Research Programme matrix; that is, Trust / Cooperation / Learning for Smart Society / Digitalized Industry / Rich and Healthy lives / Educational Transformation. Additional inspiration can be obtained from the focus periods that the ELLIIT centre in Linköping/Lund organizes in 2022: “Data-driven modelling and learning for cancer immunotherapy” and “Hybrid AI – Where data-driven and model-based methods meet”.


A proposal should include

  • A description of the suggested research topic,
  • Name of the responsible organizer and co-organizers,
  • Suggested names of the international scientific program committee,
  • The motivation of the topic (scientific relevance and timeliness) and the long-term impact that the focus period could have on Digital Futures’ research activities.

The application should be saved as a single PDF file and submitted to Emil Björnson by mail to:

Please include “Application Digital Futures Focus Period 2023” in the subject of your email.

Important dates

Deadline for proposals: June 9, 2022

Visiting scholar period: 3-5 weeks in May-June 2023


Each Digital Futures Focus Period has a fixed budget for the Focus Period of 500 kSEK, which will cover the costs for guests and workshop facilities.

Organizational steps

The organization of a Digital Futures Focus Period has the following steps.

  1. A decision by the Digital Futures Governing Board. The proposals are presented by the Associate Director for Seminars & Workshops to the Strategic Research Committee, which evaluates the proposals based on scientific relevance and timeliness, and potential for long-term impact on Digital Futures activities. A recommendation is given to the Governing Board, which decides. Once the proposal has been accepted and the dates have been settled, it is time to proceed with the next steps.
  2. The international scientific program committee is invited. The reason for having a scientific program committee is to secure the highest conceivable international excellence for the Digital Futures Focus Period. Without the committee, it would be difficult to attract world-leading researchers from a topic where we have limited local activities and even harder to persuade those researchers to spend an extended period in Stockholm. The optimal scientific program committee has a spread of competence and contacts, scientifically and geographically, and consists of people with a high degree of international visibility that gives credibility to speaker invitations. Committee members need to be active in the process of suggesting names of invitees. Ideally, at least one member of the scientific program committee should agree to come for an extended stay during the focus period and all should be interested in attending the 3-day workshop.
  3. Invitations to workshop speakers. A list of workshop speaker invitees is prepared by the organizer together with the scientific committee, based on scientific excellence, with an aim for balance in geography, age, and gender. All speakers are expected to stay for at least three workshop days. Speaker invitations include airfare (economy class with different limits for Europe and other parts of the world) and accommodation. Invitees who cannot personally extend their stay beyond the workshop are encouraged to nominate a young researcher who would compete for an invitation as visiting scholar during the focus period.
  4. Public announcement. Digital Futures announces the focus period on the web page, in its newsletter, and on social media. The organizer should look for ways to reach other relevant scientific communities by other means. The announcement invites young researchers to express their interest to attend the Digital Futures Focus Period as visiting scholars. The application procedure includes submission of a CV and an abstract of a one-hour seminar that the scholar would like to give during the visit.
  5. Invitations to visiting scholars. Based on nominations and applications, the organizer selects visiting scholars to be invited. Visiting scholars are offered free accommodation, office space, and free workshop registration, but no travel reimbursement. To maximize the time for interaction, all visiting scholars are asked to stay for at least half the focus period plus the workshop (usually 3 weeks).
  6. Open call for workshop attendees. The workshop will be free of charge but have a limited number of open spots for attendees. The invited speakers and visiting scholars, and their hosts, have priority in attending the workshop. Digital Futures faculty and other researchers at KTH, Stockholm University, and RISE are then encouraged to register in an open call. Relevant industry and societal partners are also encouraged to send representatives. If there are open spots after these calls have closed, we can also accept further external workshop attendees.
  7. The organizer makes a seminar schedule for the visiting scholars. All visiting scholars are asked to give Digital Futures seminars outside the workshop days, based on the abstracts submitted in the application process. The seminars by the visiting scholars start already the first or second day of 5 weeks and continue with daily seminars (until everyone has presented), to encourage continuous interaction. The organizer is responsible for assigning hosts to the visitors, making a schedule of meetings with local researchers, and organizing additional social events. The schedule is announced to the visitors and local researchers well before the start of the focus period.

Contact & Questions

For questions, please contact Emil Björnson, Associate Director for Seminars & Workshops by mail: