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 supervised by Dr. Charlotte Hedin (clinical gastroenterology specialist at the Karolinska and PhD) and co-supervised by Dr. Eduardo Villablanca, (a leader in the field of mucosal immunology, with an emphasis in intestinal homeostasis and IBD). Dr. Hedin is currently working at the Karolinska Hospital and has assisted to the creation of the “Chronic inflammation European Gastrointestinal tract: From molecules to treatment” project. Dr. Hedin is leading the clinical projects and have obtained international funding for it.

The doctoral student will be located within the Villablanca group, which is part of the Immunology and Allergy Division at the Department of Medicine, Solna and is located at the Center of molecular Medicine (CMM). The Villablanca lab has available all the equipment necessary for molecular and cellular biology is available. The student will have access to FACS analyzer and sorters, confocal microscopy and all the basic equipment to perform the proposed research. The student will also have access to core facilities and services at the department and SciLifeLab, which include sequencing, imaging, informatics services and animal housing and maintenance. In addition, Dr. Villablanca is the co-director of the single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) core at CMM, taking responsibility in the operation of the Chromium 10X drop-based system. Our group works in an inspiring and interactive research environment at the Karolinska University, Solna and has ongoing collaborative projects with national and international colleagues.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

In this study plan, the student will gain insights into the mechanisms that underlie IBD resolution to identify potential therapeutic strategies that promote intestinal regeneration. This project provides an excellent opportunity to combine clinical and experimental studies to investigate IBD and generate relevant translational knowledge. Methodological techniques are well stablished in collaboration with Dr. Villablanca, and patient recruitment has already started under the supervision of Dr. Hedin.

The student will master experimental models of intestinal inflammation and will acquire a deep understanding of mucosal immunology and bioinformatics. In addition, the student will obtain comprehensive knowledge in molecular biology and microscopy techniques, including analyses of human samples. The student will also acquire a deep knowledge of IBD as well as demonstrate understanding of ethics, project and experimental design, basic bioinformatics analysis and laboratory work. The project includes integration of clinical data of IBD patients’ dietary intake, medications, other environmental exposures and body composition with molecular data, giving the student possibility to develop his/her skills in statistical and bioinformatics analyses. Finally, the student will learn in vitro and ex vivo work by using human and mouse organoid culture as well as human specimens. The student is expected to attend international conferences and spend a period abroad (Broad Institute, Boston).

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 efficient, thorough, a good communicator in English, have experience from laboratory work, communicating science in the format of conferences and publications, be flexible and have collaborating skills and enjoy working in an international and dynamic team. The applicant should have a strong motivation to the study the field mucosal immunology and understanding of IBD. Earlier involvement in mucosal immunology or human and mouse IBD related research is a merit. The project requires high organization skills and management of patient datasets as well as good communication with clinicians and nurses.

The applicant must have good analytic skills and basic knowledge of some statistical software for data analysis, preferably R. The applicant should fulfil basic conditions to be able to work with bioinformatics analyses that includes documented good and broad knowledge and understanding in mathematics.

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

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 Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-5068/2021
  • Eduardo Villablanca, + 46 73-628 22 89
Union representative
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
  • Bruna Gigante, SACO,
Published 22.Nov.2021
Last application date 04.Jan.2022 11:59 PM CET

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