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 research at the Unit of Epidemiology within the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) is focused on advancing knowledge about disease etiology and prognosis, and methodological development and stringency. The research is based on large register-based cohorts, as well as cohorts and case-control studies with extensive information from questionnaires and biological samples. The supervision team will consist of the principal supervisor, Anthony Matthews (IMM), and three co-supervisors: Miguel Hernán (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health/IMM), Anita Berglund (IMM), and Bertil Lindahl (Uppsala University). The student will also be part of a wider group of researchers working primarily within casual inference using Swedish register data.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The doctoral student project will be in the areas of epidemiology and causal inference. The general aim will be to understand how we effectively benchmark observational studies against randomized trials that ask the similar questions, with the wider goal of using these observational data to complement inferences made in trials. The project will consist of two broad parts: a methodological part, that aims to understand why differences in results may occur between observational studies and trials; and an applied part, which will use the target trial framework to design an observational study on the comparative effect of two treatments used in patients with acute coronary syndrome, that will then be benchmarked against the results of a trial that asks a similar question. The student will be expected to contribute towards study design, carry out analyses, and interpret results, as well as engaging in group meetings, departmental seminars, and relevant national and international meetings.

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

What you need to have: 

  • A masters degree in epidemiology, statistics, or a related quantitative field.   
  • Excellent writing skills and excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Experience in handling large databases, excellent data management skills, and a solid knowledge of R

Following is desirable:

  • Innovative and eager to solve complex problems
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with colleagues within and beyond the group

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 salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-991/2022
  • Anthony Matthews ,
Union representative
  • Anne Boström, SEKO, 08-524 875 79,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR , 08-524 874 19,
  • Anda Gliga Saco-S,
Published 03.Mar.2022
Last application date 14.Apr.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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