Announcing the CAS projects 2025/2026

We are thrilled to announce the research projects chosen for the 2025/2026 academic year.


Each year, CAS hosts three interdisciplinary research groups within humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The groups consist of leading academics from around the world, led by distinguished scholars from CAS' partner institutions in Norway. The project leaders, along with their selected team members, will spend an entire academic year dedicated to their research.

After a thorough evaluation process, including an international peer review, the Board of Directors has selected the following three projects to be hosted by the Centre during the 2025/2026 academic year.


Material Ecologies of Design

Led by professor Kjetil Fallan and associate professor Ingrid Halland from the University of Oslo, the Material Ecologies of Design project aims to develop new approaches to address the ecological implications of design and designing, placing material flows front and center. 

The project asks what role design plays in how raw matter is extracted, processed, and eventually disposed of or reused. These questions are essential in understanding the ecological performance of design practices past, present, and future. The much-heralded ‘green transition’ is entangled in our dependence on mass-extraction of non-renewable resources. But the transition to a more sustainable future cannot be achieved by scientific research and technofixes alone; it requires a new understanding of the role of materials in design culture. Fallan and Halland’s project will thus contribute to an improved ‘material literacy’ developed through cultural and historical approaches to matter and its designed circulations. 

When asked about the significance of the grant for their research they explained: “Gathering a team of experts from three different continents at CAS is a unique opportunity for the kind of in-depth, sustained collaboration which is necessary in order to develop new concepts, methods, and approaches for cutting-edge research”.

They further noted that “CAS provides the ideal environment for team members with distinct scholarly profiles, yet complementary research expertise, to engage in the ‘lateral thinking’ required to move the research front forward”.


Mathematical challenges in brain mechanics

Professor Kent-Andre Mardal from the University of Oslo and professor Jan Martin Nordbotten from the University of Bergen will lead the Mathematical challenges in brain mechanics project . The last decade has seen an upheaval in neuroscience, where diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are now being described in terms of fluid dynamics and solute transport. However, the fluid dynamics problem is different from classical engineering applications as it is fundamentally a multi-scale, multi-physics and mixed dimensional problem – altogether leading to mathematical challenges of novel character. 

In their project, Mardal and Nordbotten point to specific mathematical challenges and invite recognized mathematicians in the respective areas. They propose networking and seminar activities to ensure outreach and impact of the results, plan involvement of young, promising scientist and invite leading neuroscientists to ensure a broad and timely foundation of the knowledge building. 

The project aims to provide the rigorous mathematical foundation for interdisciplinary modeling challenges in neuroscience, through in particular the development of a unified theory for multi-physics, multi-scale and mixed-dimensional problems.

“A project at CAS means we can extend our networking activities towards international renowned experts in mathematics and neuroscience”, they explain. “We can also offer both short-term and long-term stays focused on central research questions and long-term thinking in a calm and friendly atmosphere.” 


Acting on AI: Digital constitutionalism in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Led by professor Kjetil Rommetveit from University of Bergen the Acting on AI project will create a framework for studying the co-production of artificial intelligence (AI) and politics. During their year at CAS the group will study some main ways in which fundamental rights and freedoms undergo change in their encounters with AI. The project will center on the EU's AI Act and its role within a wider agenda of digital innovation and regulation. 

The group will have a particular focus on the following: 1) the strong role of AI in imagining futures (also social and political ones); 2) a quite pervasive risk-based approach to the protection and upholding of rights and freedoms; 3) efforts to build ethical and political principles into technologies through standardisation and design. They will use approaches from science and technology studies, law, human-computer interactions and political science. 

Overall, the project’s assumption is that AI, as technology and as politics, change fundamental relations, such as those between humans and machines, states, citizens and corporations, and can be critically analysed as digital constitutionalism.


We extend our congratulations to the 2025/2026 project leaders and express our gratitude to all scholars who submitted proposals. We eagerly anticipate welcoming all new project members in the 2025/2026 academic year.

The call for applications for the 2026/2027 academic year will be announced soon. Learn more about the application process here >

Published 14 June 2024, 11:47 | Last edited 14 June 2024, 2:58