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 doctoral student will be part of a research group led by Anna Norrby-Teglund and Mattias Svensson. The research focuses on acute bacterial infections with high mortality and is based on a close collaboration between preclinical and clinical top researchers in the infection medicine field.

The research group is active at the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM), which is a dynamic research unit within the Department of Medicine Huddinge with a focus on the human immune system and infectious diseases. CIM is located within Karolinska Institutet's research building, ANA Futura, which offers excellent infrastructure at the forefront of research. CIM consists of 16 independent research groups whose doctoral students and postdocs work in a joint integrated research environment.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Severe acute bacterial infections, such as sepsis, are one of the main causes of morbidity and death, despite access to antibiotics and modern intensive care. A key determinant of disease severity and outcome is the host’s response to the infection where a dysregulated inflammatory response underlies the pathophysiology. The challenge arises from the highly variable immune response in this heterogeneous patient group. The goal of the research project is to identify biomarkers that can improve the diagnosis of sepsis patients and enable individualized treatment strategies. The studies will include analyses of patient material with the aim of generating new knowledge about both host- and pathogen-specific mechanisms that contribute to the course of the disease in sepsis. The PhD candidate will use advanced omics and immunological analyses to explore immune responses and pathogen characteristics in patients with bacterial sepsis. Additionally, the PhD candidate will carry out in vitro infection studies in experimental systems, including human organotypic tissue models.

The doctoral student is expected to actively contribute to project planning including phrasing scientific hypothesis, experimental design, and conducting laboratory experiments, data analyses, presentation of results and manuscript writing. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a strong interest in infectious diseases, bacteriology and immunology. Interest in bioinformatics and data-driven modeling is an advantage.

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

  • Applications are welcome from students with degrees in relevant fields such as medicine, microbiology, or biomedicine.
  • Interest in statistics and bioinformatics is an advantage.
  • Documented practical experience from relevant research projects/activities is meritorious.
  • An understanding and interest in the infection medicine field is required.
  • We are looking for a motivated and driven person with excellent skills to communicate and work in a team.
  • Good ability to express oneself verbally and in writing in English is a requirement.

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.

Read more about the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH)
Read more about Norrby-Teglund’s research group
Read more about Svensson’s research group


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 Flemingsberg
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-3332/2023
  • Anna Norrby-Teglund,
  • Mattias Svensson,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Sidinh Luc, SACO,
  • Mari Gilljam, OFR,
Published 05.Sep.2023
Last application date 26.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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