DDLS call for grant support for PhD student projects has been decided

The recent call for DDLS PhD project proposals resulted in a very large number of exceptionally high-quality applications, and hence, posed a difficult challenge for the international review committee to select the best ones. As a result of the large number of top-class applications, we now have a very promising outcome with 27 exciting approved projects that will recruit and train a PhD student over the new 4 years, across the country and across the four DDLS research areas.

We received 227 applications in the academic call and 17 in the industrial one. To ensure an objective review, an international review committee, consisting of 11 members from various countries and representing various research areas, was assigned to assess the applications. The review committee was particularly paying attention to the data-driven nature of the projects and hence many excellent research projects may not have received funding as they were not considered sufficiently data-driven. Following the international evaluation, the final funding decision was taken by the SciLifeLab board. Applications were received from all DDLS partner universities in the call for academic PhD projects as well as from Örebro University. In the industrial call, seven partner universities were represented. The gender distribution (M/F) of the applications was 143/84 in the academic call and 11/6 in the industrial one.

Precision Medicine and Diagnostics was the research area that received most applications in the academic call, followed by Cell and Molecular Biology. Furthermore, most of the industrial applications came from the Precision Medicine and Diagnostics research area.

The approval rate of the applications in the academic call was 8% overall, reflecting the large number of applications. The number of awards for the four research areas was slightly adjusted based on the application pressure. No adjustments were made based on the university of origin, but we are happy to see virtually all universities represented among the awarded projects.

In the industrial call the statistics are not as relevant due to the low number of applications, but we note that scientists from 7 universities were awarded.

The representation of applications from many universities in both calls points to the strength of the data-driven research community across the country.

“This call for the DDLS PhD student projects was perhaps the highest quality and most competitive call that I remember from my past 9 years as SciLifeLab director. This bodes well for the future of the DDLS program and its ambitious goals. We have now filtered the projects to encompass excellent supervisors and high-quality projects as well as good training environments, will in the next few months recruit outstanding PhD students,” says Olli Kallioniemi, Director of the DDLS program.

The newly nominated research school directors were impressed with the outcome of the calls and the possibilities this means for the research school. Having this great support and interest from the research community is very promising in regards to the future of data-driven life science.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the academic and industrial PhD students to the DDLS research school. The DDLS PhDs, and later also postdocs, will be crucial for expanding and consolidating the computational life science research in Sweden. We expect top candidates that will emerge to be natural leaders in industry, academia, and government,” says Peetra Magnusson (UU) and Olof Emanuelsson (KTH). Co-directors of the DDLS Research School.

It is important to point out that this call for PhD student positions is scheduled to continue until 2029 and represents a key function of the DDLS program to ensure competence and new talent on computational life science. In total, 140 PhD students (~25 per year) from academia and 45 PhD students (~7 per year) from academia will be recruited.

All approved projects can be found here.


Last updated: 2024-04-04

Content Responsible: Johan Inganni(