Do you want to contribute to improving human health?

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

In our research group you will work with scientists conducting world-leading research on the occurrence and progression of inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). We work with integrating large-scale clinical information with molecular genetics, environmental/lifestyle data and registry data. This work relies on intensive local, national and international collaborations. We offer a creative and inspiring environment with wide-ranging expertise in genetics and epidemiology and close connection to clinics. Centrum for Molecular Medicine is a research environment with groups studying different common diseases using a wide array of methods and there is ample opportunity to interact with researchers in other groups through common seminar series and collaboration. 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 better health for all.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

MS is a lifelong neurological disease that strikes individuals, predominantly women, in their most productive years with varying progressive disability that affects all areas of life and includes physical disability, cognitive impairment and fatigue.  The overall aim of this PhD project is to identify genetic polymorphisms associated with severity and progression of MS as well as stratified patient populations where particular pathways are active and therefore potentially suited for more targeted treatment. The project also aims to identify biomarkers for these patient populations and MS severity. The long-term goal is to identify biological processes that control severity in MS, which will allow identification of target molecules for novel treatments of the progressive MS. Biomarkers that can identify who are at risk of developing severe disease will improve the use of current treatments.

To carry out this project you will have access to genetic and clinical data from large patient cohorts. The majority of time will be spent doing computational work and duties will include applying methods of computational genetics, clustering individuals based on genetic and clinical information, and calculation of genetic risks. Project work will include implementing computational pipelines for handling, quality control, and analysis of large volumes of data. This will require the development of skills in R programming language and Linux-based software solutions and parallel computing using remote facilities (i.e. UPPMAX). You will be supervised by a group of supervisors with varying expertise from genetics, data handling, biomarker analysis and neurology. The research will be carried out within longstanding international collaborations.

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

We are searching for an intelligent, creative, hardworking, and enthusiastic team player for this project. The PhD candidate is expected to take part in experimental design, statistical analyses, presentations, and preparation of publications.

Applicants should have a deep interest in computational medical research. Previous experience of genetic, epidemiological research, programming and application of advanced statistical methods is a merit. The applicant should to be familiar with the basic concepts of statistical analysis. The applicant should be willing to develop intermediate programming skills and to work with open-source software using a command-line interface.

The applicant should be able to demonstrate good social and communication skills. A high-level proficiency in written and spoken English is essential to integrate with the members in the research group and our international collaborators.

The applicant should be able to collaborate and interact with professionals at different levels of expertise in a professional and constructive manner. Collaboration requires responsibility, flexibility and compromise at times. Previous experience working within international consortia is a merit.

The applicant should be committed to maintaining a friendly and productive work environment.

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 research group here
Read more about the department here


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
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1810/2022
  • Vendela Breeze, HR administrator, +468-52483282,
  • Ingrid Kockum, Professor,
Union representative
  • Venus Azhary, OFR, +46707-124127
  • Arsalan Amir, SACO, +468-51773337
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
Published 26.Apr.2022
Last application date 24.May.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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