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Closed call 2024-05-10: : Topic proposal for the Digital Futures Focus Period 2025

Digital Futures invites proposals from potential organizers for the Digital Futures Focus Period 2025, to take place in May/June 2025.

The Digital Futures Focus Period program is an ambitious 5-week guest researcher event designed to be an annual occurrence with a fresh topic each year. It aims to attract top-level researchers and their junior colleagues to Stockholm by covering their accommodation expenses and fostering an environment favouring idea exchange, networking, collaboration initiation, and addressing relevant research challenges.

During this event, each visiting scholar spends 3-5 weeks hosted by a Digital Futures faculty. In the middle of the period, a common 3-day workshop is held, featuring additional invited speakers and attendees from Digital Futures, the Swedish industry, and society. Throughout the rest of the period, visitors engage with their hosts and each other.

Given Digital Futures’ cross-disciplinary nature, we seek topic proposals reflecting this diversity. For example, proposals might focus on intersections outlined in the Digital Futures Strategic Research Programme matrix: Trust / Cooperate / Learn for Smart Society / Digitalized Industry / Rich and Healthy Lives / Educational Transformation.

The 2023 Focus Period explored “Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence in Agricultural Management,” while 2024 will feature two periods: “Scientific Machine Learning for Simulation and Inverse Modelling” and “Learning in Networks: Structure, Dynamics, and Control.” Inspiration can also be drawn from focus periods organized by the ELLIIT centre in Linköping/Lund.


A proposal should include:

(a) A description of the proposed research topic,
(b) Name of the responsible organizer (a permanent employee) and co-organizers,
(c) Suggested names of the international scientific program committee (a wish list),
(d) Motivation behind the topic (scientific relevance and timeliness) and its potential long-term impact on Digital Futures’ research activities.

The application should be concise, approximately 2-3 pages, saved as a single PDF file, and submitted to Emil Björnson via email at with the subject line “Application: Digital Futures Focus Period 2025.”

Important dates

  • Deadline for proposals: May 10, 2024
  • Interviews: May 20, 2024, 14:15-16:00. Relevant proposals will be presented at the Strategic Research Committee meeting
  • Focus period: 3-5 weeks, tentatively in May/June 2025

Budget and Resources

Each Focus Period receives funding up to 1 000 kSEK to cover travel, accommodation, catering, etc. The funding is transferred to the organizers, who make the bookings using their local administrative support.

The Digital Futures hub can be used for the three-day workshop. The organizers are responsible for arranging office space for the visitors; however, the shared co-working spaces at Digital Futures can be used when available.

The Site & Event Officer and Associate Director for Seminars & Workshops provide advice about bookings and event planning.

Evaluation and Organization

The Associate Director for Seminars & Workshops prescreens all applications and then shares all the relevant ones with the Digital Futures working group (WG). Each WG evaluates the applications prior to the interview, which is held at a Strategic Research Committee (SRC) meeting that the WG chairs attend. After the interview, each WG submits its rank of the proposals based on scientific relevance, timeliness, and potential for long-term impact on the Digital Futures activities. The Executive Committee makes the decision of which proposal to fund based on the WG rankings.

Once a proposal has been accepted, the organizers can start the organizational process, which typically consists of the following steps:

  1. The International Scientific Program Committee is invited
  2. Preliminary budget and date selection
  3. Invitations to workshop speakers
  4. Public announcement
  5. Invitations to visiting scholars
  6. Call for workshop attendees
  7. The Focus period takes place

You can find more details on the webpage “How to Organize a Digital Futures Focus Period”.

Contact & Questions

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