Do you want to contribute to the development of a novel biomaterial?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group

Our group has developed the first biomimetic method to spin artificial spider silk fibers and succeeded in establishing a production and purification method of recombinant silk proteins that results in unprecedented protein yields (Andersson et al. Nat Chem Biol. 2017; Schmuck et al. Mater Today. 2021; Arndt et al. Adv Funct Mater. 2022). Furthermore, we have sequenced a whole spider genome of outstanding quality and have analyzed the transcriptome of the silk glands. Our research group consists of two PhD students, two technicians, four post docs and a bioinformatician, and is funded by the European Research Council, Swedish Research Council, FORMAS and Center for Innovative Medicine. We work in close collaborations with our sister group led by prof Jan Johansson. The research group is located at Karolinska Institutet, campus Flemingsberg, and at SLU in Uppsala.

Please visit our group web pages for more information:

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

We employ an interdisciplinary approach to understand the processing and storage of silk proteins in the spiders’ glands. To do so we will and use state-of-the-art sequencing methods to build a spatially resolved map of gene expression in the silk glands. Proteins that have been identified in the silk fiber but that lack unknown function will be produced in E. coli, purified, and characterized. Hopefully, these insights will help the research group in the quest to design proteins and spinning devices that can produce supreme artificial silk fibers.

The successful candidate is expected to have a profound interest in biology/bioinformatics/protein biochemistry, enjoy practical lab work as well as bioinformatic analyses. You are expected to prepare samples and generate and analyze data, write papers and other scientific texts, and give seminars. You will pursue your projects independently with the support of the supervisors and fellow group members. The applicant will supervise master students in the lab. We work in collaboration with other groups and in an interdisciplinary way, which demands the applicant to be independent, creative, have a positive attitude and be collaborative. The applicant will work primarily at KI campus Flemingsberg but is also expected to travel to and work in the lab at SLU in Uppsala and research visits (for a few months) to other countries may be part of the job.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement

You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.


B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

- Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

(A) and (B) can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education.

Skills and personal qualities

The applicant should have practical experience of recombinant protein production and purification, as well as have theoretical knowledge of biology and bioinformatics (transcriptomics analysis by bioinformatics tools), and be able to write scripts in R. It is meritous if the applicant has previous experience of image analysis. The applicant must be fluent in both written and spoken English. A positive attitude and strong drive to pursue research is desirable. Emphasis will be put on personal qualities in the selection process.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Application process

Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

Your application must contain the following documents:

- A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
- Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
- Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:

- Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
- Analytical skill
- Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.

All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Huddinge
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-3382/2023
  • Anna Rising, Research group leader, +46-709-744888
  • Janne Johansson, Head of Department, +46-70-3457048
Union representative
  • Anders Lindholm, OFR, +46-8-52486112
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, +46-8-52484080
  • Taher Darreh-Shori, SACO, +46-8-52483529
Published 07.Sep.2023
Last application date 06.Oct.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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