Do you want to contribute to better health for all?

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 Institute of Environmental Medicine

The Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) is a department at Karolinska Institutet and an interdisciplinary research institute, IMM conducts advanced research and education in environmental and occupational medicine, toxicology, physiology, epidemiology and biostatistics with a focus on clarifying how environmental and lifestyle factors affect human health. IMM is also a national expert body in environmental medicine and IMM's researchers are scientific advisors to authorities and other decision-makers and participate in national and international expert groups.

The doctoral position will be hosted at the Unit of Biochemical Toxicology at IMM. The research at the unit aims at understanding the connection between exposure to chemicals and complex negative health effects, such as cancer and effects caused by endocrine disruption. Research activities focus mainly on elucidating mechanisms of toxicity and developing risk assessment methodology.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

During the last decades an increasing growth of the production of plastics has occurred worldwide and there are today many unresolved questions related to possible health effects of plastic particles. This doctoral project will be focused on the investigation of toxic effects of nano- and microplastic particles using a combination of cell assays. Advanced 3D cell cultures will be applied, and possible endocrine disrupting effects of leached chemical additives will be explored. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with interest in environmental medicine and experimental toxicology. The main task of the PhD student will be to culture different types of cells, expose them to various nano- and microplastics and perform toxicity testing using a range of methods including viability assays, comet assay, qPCR, ELISA, multiplexing and RNA sequencing. The PhD student will also perform statistics, write manuscripts, interact with scientists in other fields and take part in meetings and discussions with collaborators. Part of the lab work may be performed in the lab of collaborators. The PhD student is also expected to participate in joint activities at the Department, to contribute to teaching and to participate in doctoral courses and other learning activities at Karolinska Institutet.

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 doctoral candidate should have completed at least one year of studies at the master’s level in toxicology or similar discipline relevant for the doctoral project. Knowledge within cell biology, chemistry and toxicology is required as well as training involving practical laboratory work with cell culturing and toxicity assessment. Previous work with (nano)particles or microplastics and toxicity testing can be meritorious.

Doctoral studies entail working with independence toward long-term goals. The candidate therefore needs to be highly motivated, organized and thorough and able to take own initiatives. The candidate should be able to work well within a team with scientists from different disciplines, have good cooperation and communication skills and should communicate well in English, both orally and in writing.

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
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly payment
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2722/2021
  • Hanna Karlsson, forskare,
Union representative
  • Anne Boström, SEKO, +46 8-524 875 79,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, +46 8-524 874 19,
  • Anda Gliga Saco-S,
Published 03.Jun.2021
Last application date 21.Jun.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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