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 Willinger group ( studies immune responses in the lung with a focus on innate immune cells, such as macrophages. We investigate fundamental questions related to immune cell ontogeny, migration, and function as shown in our recent high-impact publications (Immunity 2018, Immunity 2021, J Exp Med 2022 in press). To make our studies relevant to humans, we have developed innovative models that allow us to study the cells and function of the human immune system in vivo (Nature Biotechnology 32:364, 2014).

We are a dynamic, collaborative, and supportive team within the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM) where the research project will be carried out. CIM is a research unit within the Department of Medicine Huddinge and one of the leading translational research centers in immunity and infectious diseases in Europe.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The KID-funded project will continue our recent successful line of research, dissecting the origin and development of human lung macrophages (Immunity 54:259, 2021; The project will use in-vivo models (mice with a human immune system), advanced flow cytometry, and single-cell RNA-sequencing to investigate the role of human monocytes and macrophages in healthy lung function and in inflammatory lung disease.

To achieve the research aims, the student will perform the following tasks: Purification of human hematopoietic stem cells, generation of mice with human immune system, isolation of immune cells from the lung and blood, flow cytometry and cell sorting of immune cells, as well as analysis of flow cytometry data. In addition, the successful candidate will perform mouse procedures, such as injections and blood sampling. Moreover, the project provides the opportunity to gain experience with single-cell RNA-sequencing technology including bioinformatics 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.

  1. A) General eligibility requirement
    You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or 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 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.

  1. 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.

Skills and personal qualities

To qualify, the applicant must have a Master degree in immunology, biomedicine, or equivalent. Merit is given to applicants who have previous lab experience and experience with immunological techniques. Practical experience with multicolor flow cytometry and with performing animal experiments is highly desirable.

The candidate should be highly motivated, have good communication skills, and the ability to interact effectively and work productively in a team of international researchers. Fluency in English is a requirement. Another important personal quality is being able to work in a structured, yet flexible, way. Emphasis will be placed on technical competence, past experience with immunological methods and mouse models, as well as personal suitability.

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.

Your application should contain the following documents:

- A personal letter and a curriculum vitae (Swedish or English)
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any (Swedish or English)
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (Swedish or English)
- 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.

Location: Flemingsberg

Read more about the Willinger research group
Read more about the project you will be working on

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all!

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
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-5689/2021
  • Tim Willinger,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO ,
  • Elisabeth Henriksson, OFR,
  • Mari Gilljam, OFR,
Published 17.Dec.2021
Last application date 08.Feb.2022 11:59 PM CET

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