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 Furlan Lab aims to identify and understand the central and peripheral circuits regulating food preference, homeostasis and body weight regulation, with a focus on obesity. To do this, we employ an interdisciplinary approach, using state of the art techniques, such as transcriptomics, circuit-tracing methods and functional manipulations strategies in the mouse model. We believe that interrogation of these understudied circuits, will critically advance our understanding of how the brain and body achieve important physiological processes, and will contribute to enabling the development of novel approaches to treat obesity and metabolic syndrome. The lab is part of the Neuroscience department, in the Biomedicum centre at Karolinska Institute research campus, a vibrant, highly interactive, internationally-recognized center for medical research with outstanding research infrastructure.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The project is focused on identification and characterization of circuits directly or indirectly involved in the regulation of body weight in mice. Circuits will be identified using viral techniques, imaged, and manipulated during both homeostasis and metabolic challenges (i.e. obesity). Experimental read-outs will comprise behavioral and physiological parameters, as well as molecular analysis of gene expression.

The doctoral student is expected to spearhead the project under the supervision of the main supervisor and with support from other lab members and collaborators. Formal supervision will comprise of regular meetings to discuss project progress and strategies to address roadblocks with the supervisor (at least once weekly) and co-supervisor (at least once monthly). In addition, the student will take part in weekly round tables and lab meetings, to informally discuss science and problem solve. To develop their ability to communicate science, the doctoral student will be encouraged to present at internal seminars and international conferences, and will be engaged in writing and revising scientific articles. To acquire the necessary practical and theoretical knowledge, the student will participate in journal clubs, courses, and collaborate on related projects led by others. By the end of their training, the student is expected to have capitalized on the collaborative environment, availability of cutting-edge resources and interdisciplinary expertise to build a solid research profile and reach scientific independence.

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

Skills: A solid academic background in neuroscience or similar and familiarity with concepts and basic laboratory methods in the fields of molecular and cell biology are required. Prior experience in a research lab, as well as experience working with animal models, stereotaxic surgery, transcriptomics, immunohistochemistry, and confocal imaging would be a plus.

Personal qualities: Initiative, motivation, a keen interest in understanding and contributing to the fields of neuroscience and metabolism, and a desire to develop and learn are of highest importance. Given the combination of independent and teamwork required by the project, the candidate should also demonstrate ability to structure, plan, and carry out work independently, as well as ability to work in teams and coordinate with others.

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.

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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 Oktober 2022
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-3377/2022
  • Alessandro Furlan,
Published 31.Aug.2022
Last application date 14.Sep.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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