Do you want to contribute to improving human health?

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 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics conducts research in epidemiology and biostatistics across a broad range of areas within biomedical science. The department is among the largest of its type in Europe and has especially strong research profiles in psychiatric, cancer, reproductive, pediatric, pharmaco, genetic, and geriatric epidemiology, eating disorders, precision medicine, and biostatistics.

Part of the success of our department is due to our collaborative spirit where one factor is that researchers at the Department share and co-finance common resources (e.g., IT and an applied biostatistics group). The department is situated at campus Solna. Further information can be found at

The research group

This doctoral project brings together an international team of researchers from Karolinska Institutet and universities in Hong Kong. Our team uses large-scale population cohort to study the etiology of neurological disorders (JAMA, 2016; Alzheimer's & Dementia, 2021; JAMA Psychiatry, 2023), and is interested in precision genome editing technologies (Nat. Biotech., 2015; Nature, 2016; PNAS, 2019; Nat. Comm. 2022), novel gene delivery and molecular tools (Nat. Biotech., 2019; PNAS, 2019; PNAS, 2021; Sci. Adv., 2023) and precision medicine (Nat. Med., 2014; JTO, 2022). Together, we take multidisciplinary approaches combining medical epidemiology and biotechnologies, and aim to identify and treat genetic alterations in selected neurological disorders.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Nearly 50 million people have Alzheimer's disease (AD) or related dementia worldwide. The primary biological hallmarks of AD are extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau plaques. AD is a complex disease that involves multiple environmental and genetic risk factors. Single-gene variants can cause familial cases of the disease, such as mutations in the amyloid precursor protein, presenilin, and apolipoprotein E. To date, there are no effective disease-modifying treatments for AD. CRISPR-mediated gene therapy is being actively explored for the treatment of diseases rooted in altered DNA bases. While there are studies provide proof-of-concept demonstration on the therapeutic potential of gene correction to treat these diseases, efficient and specific delivery of gene editing drugs to target cells and tissues remains a challenge that hinders clinical translation. The tasks of the PhD student will involve literature review, study design, data analysis and scientific writing. Business travels will occur with lab work in Hong Kong, as we have a close collaboration with the City University of Hong Kong.

What do we offer?

Choose to work at KI-Ten reasons why
Career support for doctoral students
International staff

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 ideal candidate should have background in biology, immunology, biotechnology, or medicine. Demonstrate knowledge of medical genetics and skills in general molecular cloning techniques including virus packaging are essential. Previous experience in CRISPR gene editing and in vivo delivery of gene editing reagents is highly valued. The candidate needs good skills in English, both written and spoken.

We attach great importance to personal qualities in this recruitment. We hope to find a doctoral student who will be self-motivated and able to interact and contribute within a team. In addition, we expect the student to take an active role in the project and be willing and able to work independently.

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 Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-4461/2023
  • Zheng Chang,
  • Zongli Zheng,
  • Adina Nisell, HR-partner,
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Ann Almqvist, SACO,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR,
Published 17.Nov.2023
Last application date 08.Dec.2023 11:59 PM CET

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