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 Flodström-Tullberg group studies the aetiology and pathogenesis of the disease type 1 diabetes. Our goal is to develop measures for disease prevention. We perform research at the intersections between the insulin producing pancreatic beta cell, the immune system, and the environment, with special focus on viruses linked to type 1 diabetes and the microbiome. The group is internationally recognized through several high-impact publications (e.g. Sci Advances, 2020, Diabetes, 2021). We are a dynamic team with a number of national and international collaborations. The team is based in the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM), a research unit within the Department of Medicine Huddinge. It is a leading translational research center that focuses on the human immune system and infectious disease. CIM offers an engaging and international research environment where it is possible to contribute to high quality research at an internationally competitive level.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This KID-funded Ph.D. project focuses on developing non-invasive methods for identifying individuals at risk of type 1 diabetes and as such will contribute to the introduction of personalized medicines for use in preventing this common and life-threatening disease. More specifically, the candidate will contribute to the discovery of protein biomarkers that predict disease onset. The candidate will be part of a supportive team and in this environment, perform global proteomics analyses of the secretome and extracellular vesicles released from cultured cells. The candidate will also contribute to the identification of biomarkers in whole plasma samples and plasma-derived extracellular vesicles collected from an experimental model of type 1 diabetes. The tasks include learning and performing methods for extracting and characterizing extracellular vesicles including nanoparticle tracking analysis, electron microscopy (EM), methods for identifying secreted and extracellular vesicle associated proteins including advanced mass spectrometry (conducted by SciLifeLab), Western blot, etc. It may also include work with experimental disease models and viruses suspected to play a role in triggering type 1 diabetes. The work is performed in the Flodström-Tullberg group with extra support for the studies involving extracellular vesicles provided by the co-supervisor, Samir el Andaloussi and his team. The student will learn how to handle the necessary bioinformatics tools and software for data analysis (proteomics), with guidance from a member of the main supervisor’s laboratory and NBIS (

The successful candidate will take part in all research-related activities such as group meetings, department seminars, and national/international meetings. The candidate is also expected to contribute to common lab duties and, with time, supervise other students and researchers if necessary.

Location: Flemingsberg

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 candidate must hold a masters degree in the field of biomedicine, immunology, or equivalent. Merit is given to applicants who have previous laboratory experience including cell culture, extracellular vesicles and/or basic proteomics. Merit is also given to candidates that have some, even limited, experience in using the programming tools R or Python.

The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills and the ability to interact and work productively in a team of international researchers. Fluency in English is a requirement. Other important personal qualities are being well-organized and the ability to work in a structured, yet flexible, way. Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability, previous laboratory experience and competence.

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 the Flodström-Tullberg 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
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-764/2022
  • Malin Flodström Tullberg,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Mari Giljam, OFR,
  • Elisabeth Henriksson, OFR,
Published 16.Feb.2022
Last application date 09.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CET

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