Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

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

The student will be part of the Villablanca group, within the Immunology and Allergy division of Karolinska Institutet located at the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) in Solna, Sweden. The group offers a wide range of equipment required for performing research at the highest level within the field of gut inflammation, gut immunity, and related topics. Access will be granted to the services offered by CMM, and core facilities as well as services provided by our collaborators. The student will be under the direct supervision of Associate Professor Eduardo Villablanca, a leader in the field of mucosal immunology, intestinal homeostasis and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Our group works in an inspiring and interactive research environment which is strongly driven by individual purpose. We value an open and inclusive workspace and promote collaborative projects both internally within the group as well as with national and international colleagues.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The aim of the PhD project is to characterize the cell circuit of the colonic tissue from healthy, IBD, and colorectal (CRC) patients, as well as in experimental models of colitis and CRC. This will be done using established methodologies, like multiplex staining platforms and novel, non-commercially available Spatial metaTranscriptomics (SmT) for the identification of the host and microbiome signal in situ (SmT; Saarenpää S., et al., BioRxiv, 2022). The study plan will be establishing a spatial transcriptomic reference atlases of healthy and diseases intestinal tissues and functional characterize host-microbiome interactions involved in health and diseases. The project will be in collaboration with the laboratories of, Camilla Engblom (KI), Julio Saez-Rodriguez (EMBL), Joakim Lundberg and Dr. Stefania Giacomello (KTH, and SciLifeLab). In brief the PhD student will be exposed to experimental models of intestinal disease, human material, spatial proteotranscriptomics, organoid culture, and bioinformatic analysis.  

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 must be a fast learner, efficient, thorough, a good communicator, have good collaborating skills, and enjoy working in an international team. Experience in dry and wet labs, especially with experimental models (e.g. mouse) of intestinal inflammation is desired. The project requires high organization skills and good time and resource management. The applicant should be strongly motivated to study mucosal immunology, IBD, and gut interactome. Good analytical skills and basic knowledge of using statistical software for data analysis are expected. Previous experience with bioimage informatics tools or general bioinformatic research and involvement in human and mouse IBD-related research is a plus.

Terms and conditions

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

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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.


The position is located within the Department of Medicine, Solna. The department consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. The position is located within the research group of Eduardo Villablanca, at the Immunology and Allergy division.


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 Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2512/2024
  • Eduardo Villablanca,
Union representative
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
Published 14.Jun.2024
Last application date 15.Jul.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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