Last changed: 14 June 2021
KAW logo

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation – The largest private funder of research in Sweden

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation (KAW) supports basic research in Sweden with around 2 billion SEK annually, primarily focusing on medicine, natural sciences and technology, but to some degree also research in humanities and social sciences. Besides an annual call for research projects of high scientific quality, KAW supports individual researchers through the Wallenberg Academy Fellows, Wallenberg Scholars and Wallenberg Clinical Scholars programs.

There is also several other foundations funded by the Wallenberg family.


1. Research projects with high scientific quality
Once a year, KAW invites all Swedish universities to nominate a number of proposals for research projects of high scientific potential in science, technology or medicine. A KAW project should be proposed by a research team consisting of 2-5 independent researchers with complementary expertise, who join forces to focus on a coherent research question of basic scientific nature. In general, a KAW project has a budget of SEK 15-40 million and runs for three to five years. In order to apply for a KAW project, you must submit a letter of support signed by the Vice Chancellor, to your application.

2. Wallenberg Academy Fellows
Wallenberg Academy Fellows (WAF) is a career programme designed to provide promising young researchers, up to 9 years after PhD, working conditions that enable them to focus on research and tackle difficult, long-term research questions. WAF is open to all research areas and is announced every second year (2019, 2021…). Similar to KAW projects, those applying for WAF must first be nominated by their university and also submit a letter of support signed by the Vice Chancellor to their application. Researchers who are admitted to the WAF program will initially receive five years of generous funding that depends on the research area, but around 40% of the fellows also get prolongation for another five years.

3. Wallenberg Scholars
Wallenberg Scholars is a highly prestigious program for established researchers who are considered international leaders in their fields. A new call for Wallenberg Scholars is announced every fourth year and awards the grantees with 20 million SEK to be used freely during a five year period. Applicants must be nominated by their host university.

4. Other types of funding

  • Wallenberg Clinical Scholars – supports world-class researchers who are clinically active
  • Program in Mathematics – funding of guest professors and postdoctoral scholarships in mathematics
  • Postdoctoral scholarships at Stanford University (USA), Massachusetts Technological Institute (USA) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).


KAW normally requires some level of co-funding by the involved universities, the level depends on the type of funding. In general, KAW does not provide full coverage of indirect costs and facilities, and in some cases there is also a demand for co-funding of the salaries of the applicants.

KAW projects are centrally co-funded at SLU according to the current guidelines. Specific for WAF is that SLU also guarantees to cover the full salary of all WAF fellows. Pre-announcement of possible need for central co-funding is included in the SLU internal nomination processes for KAW-projects and WAF, see under HOW TO APPLY below.


Many of the calls announced by KAW requires nomination by the host university, meaning that each proposal needs to go through a prioritization process within SLU. This applies to KAW projects, WAF, Wallenberg Scholars, Wallenberg Clinical Scholars and certain parts of the Program for Mathematics. If you are interested in applying to KAW, please contact externalfunding@slu.se or talk to the research officer at your faculty, or read more here:

KAW projects with high scientific potential


Wallenberg Academy Fellows

Applications where SLU is co-applicant
No nomination process is needed for KAW applications where researchers from SLU are co-applicants, and in these cases KAW does not require a letter of support from the Vice Chancellor. However, since there is a need for co-financing also in cases where SLU is co-applicant, it is still important that you inform your head of department and the research officer at the faculty in good time before the deadline of the call.


If you have been nominated by SLU to write an application for a KAW project, WAF or Wallenberg Scholars, you can apply for specific support with your application. If you have more general questions about applying to KAW, you are welcome to contact externalfunding@slu.se.


It is in general important to involve a project economist at your department from an early stage, when developing the budget for a KAW proposal.

1. Excel templates
Start making your budget using the SLU project calculator, which gives a picture of the co-funding need.

When the project calculator is complete (all partners) the budget for Projects and Scholars must be registered in the KAW project budget (in Swedish), which is the budget to be submitted to KAW. In WAF applications the KAW-template should not be submitted, KAW instructions for budget is in that case "Attach instead a specification of what the funding is intended for".

2. Project start and project end
Dates for project start and project end are registered in the folder 1.Sammanställning. These dates set the headings of the year columns in the other folders. Normally, KAW projects have a start date either 1st of January or 1st of July.

3. Social costs - LKP
LKP percentage is registered in the folder 2.Löner cell C10. Current LKP for SLU (in Swedish). If the application contains salaries at another university, a weighted average is to be used for the LKP. Wallenberg allows a maximum of 50% for LKP, all actual LKP above that has to be co-funded. The LKP-gap is automatically regulated in the Wallenberg project budget template.

4. Indirect costs and facility costs
Wallenberg does not apply any standard rates for funding of indirect costs and facility costs, instead a decision is made in each case individually. Based on experience from previous projects, the foundation accepts 15-25% charge on total direct costs (except facilities) for funding of indirect costs and facility costs. SLU´s recommendation is therefore to use an amount corresponding to 25 % charge according to above as Varav sökt hos stiftelsen in the KAW project budget.

5. Co-funding of direct costs
Wallenberg does not demand co-funding of direct costs (except facility costs and LKP above 50%) in projects.

6. Co-applicants from other organizations
From possible co-applicant from other Swedish research organizations percentages for indirect cost and facility charges are needed. Additionaly the base on which the percentages are to be added on (salary or salary+operating) is needed.

If participation of an enterprise or an international research organization is needed in the project, the Wallenberg principle says that such costs should be budgeted as purchased services (driftskostnader). In case substantial participation of this kind is needed, the issue of public procurement should be kept in mind.

7. Revision of project budget, if the application is accepted
Wallenberg always demands a new project budget if the application is accepted. Except knowledge about granted amount (including how much of the total amount that is allowed to be used for indirect costs and facility costs), other calculation conditions might have changed by that time.

8. Budget questions and budget review
KAW wants to receive all budget questions via the university budget contact person frank.sterner@slu.se. According to the SLU internal nomination processes for project applications, Scholars and WAF (see HOW TO APPLY above), a budget must be sent to the contact person, latest two weeks before the deadline of the call.  For KAW-projects and Scholars the budget should be set up in SLU´s project calculator AND in KAW´s project budget. For WAF a budget in SLU:s project calculator is sufficient.


Financial reporting of KAW grants is generally done in conjunction with the requisitioning of funds. Furthermore, in connection with the final requisitioning, a financial summary of the entire grant must be appended. The Foundation reserves the right to review projects with the purpose of controlling that the funds have been used to the approved purpose.

In accordance with the conditions stated in the award letter a scientific report must be submitted to the Foundation along with, where appropriate, a list of scientific publications that mention the support provided by the Foundation.

A scientific and financial final report must be submitted to KAW no later than six months after the completion of the project. The Foundation’s templates for scientific reporting and financial reporting must be used. All reports are to be submitted via e-mail to kaw@kaw.se.

Page editor: externfinansiering@slu.se