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

In the research group of Christian Rück and John Wallert we work to improve the lives of individuals with psychiatric conditions. A core theme of our research is to develop more accurate prediction models for both the risk of, and also consequences of, psychiatric conditions. We work in an interdisciplinary and clinically integrated research environment with over 30 team members where you have the possibility to contribute to high-quality research at high international level.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The main scientific objective of your PhD project is to advance our knowledge in suicide prediction. Suicide is a catastrophic event for both the individual, close relatives, colleagues, and society. Your project is focused on statistical modelling in two different studies. In both studies you will collaborate with colleagues at Oxford University (UK), University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (US) and Sweden. Research project 1 is a registry study of risk factors for suicide among psychiatric patients that have experienced compulsive mental care. Temporal trends in the risk of suicide and also stratified risks by gender and age will be studied. Forty years of nationwide registry data with over 100,000 recorded compulsory care episodes defines the cohort to be studied. The work involves application of your expertise in quantitative modelling to estimate absolute and relative risk of suicide. Your role also involves the production of scientific articles. There is also ample possibility to construct instruments that predict risk based on the risk factors that we will discover, and possibilities to apply more advanced modelling appropriate for large-scale observational data. In Research project 2 you will be working with multimodal data (including genetic data) in a nationwide suicide cohort with the purpose of improving present prediction of suicide aiming to derive and validate better risk models for suicide in the total population. This project will also include exploring genetic and environmental risk factors.

Work in our research group also provides the opportunity for you to learn and apply both well-established statistical modelling and contemporary machine learning methodology. You will be part of a vibrant multi-disciplinary research environment embedded in a psychiatric clinic. The group is led by Professor Christian Rück and currently includes 9 PhD students and 7 post docs. John Wallert leads the computational team within the group and will supervise the PhD student together with co-supervisors Christian Rück and Ronny Pingel, statistician and Head of Department of Statistics at Uppsala University.

What you will do:

  • Complete doctoral training, including courses and other research-related activities
  • Handle multimodal data (clinical, registry-based, genetic)
  • Perform statistical analysis with a gradual complexity progression
  • Draft scientific manuscripts
  • Assist in the coordination of involved collaborators at different levels of the project

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

You are a very motivated individual possessing an excellent analytical ability and a particular interest in quantitative methodology and advanced modelling, including machine learning. You are also interested in understanding the causal structure of suicide including risk factors in different contexts. It is required that you have a Master in Statistics, Biostatistics, Data Science or equivalent. Excellent coding skills in R, Python or similar programming languages are expected. Previous experience with predictive modelling, large-scale observational research, deep learning, registry-based research, psychiatric genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, and data collection is advantageous. Since the research group is international and project communication mainly occurs in English, the candidate must be proficient in writing and speaking English. Knowing basic Swedish is beneficial but not required. You are expected to display a high degree of contentiousness, initiative-taking, stamina and autonomy.

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.

More information about the research group.
More information about a career at KI.

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 2-4116/2022
  • Vendela Breeze, HR-administratör, 08-52483282
  • John Wallert, Biträdande lektor,
Union representative
  • Venus Azhary, OFR, 0707-124127
  • Arsalan Amir, SACO, 08-51773337
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
Published 24.Oct.2022
Last application date 13.Nov.2022 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies