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

The successful applicant will belong to the research group of Craig Wheelock in the Unit of Integrative Metabolomics in the Institute for Environmental Medicine. Research in the group focuses on the fundamental question of “What is Health?”. Towards that end, we develop quantitative molecular profiles of human health – so-called molecular phenotyping. To explore this physiological space, we use mass spectrometry to investigate the intersection between endogenous metabolism (metabolome), environmental exposures (exposome) and gut bacteria (microbiome). We focus on identifying chemical patterns that enable precision medicine-based approaches to treating respiratory diseases. In particular, we study the production of lipid mediators from dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and explore their relationship with the pathobiology of inflammation.

We in the Wheelock lab value an open and welcoming environment, and consist of a multi-disciplinary group of analytical chemists, immunologists, organic chemists and lab technicians, as well as PhD students and post-doctoral researchers with various research backgrounds.

Our research group is located in the new Biomedicum building at the Karolinska Institute, a modern facility for experimental medical research that offers an attractive research environment with the latest mass spectrometer systems, high tech equipment and a core facilities. The lab is moving in March 2023 to a new purpose-built space in Biomedicum containing 5 dedicated mass spectrometers and dedicated laboratory space

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This project is a focused effort to understand the biosynthesis of lipid mediators in relation to the pathobiology of inflammation. The project will provide the doctoral student with the opportunity to investigate research questions centered on the role of dietary omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the context of allergy and asthma. The student will be trained in a range of bioanalytical techniques that will collectively provide education in analytical chemistry, liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, cell biology and clinical study design. The primary focus will be on the use of mass spectrometry to quantify lipid mediators produced from different immune cell populations and in clinical cohorts. This multi-disciplinary PhD project will involve collaborating with several international research groups, with opportunities for travel and extended research visits.

Doctoral studies correspond to 4 years of full-time studies. This includes courses, seminars, presentations of scientific results at meeting and conferences, laboratory and statistical work.

Other areas of responsibilities include procure and obtain knowledge of the recent literature, statistics and bioinformatic analyses as well as writing scientific manuscripts for publication. The doctoral student is further expected to attend, discuss and present at lab meetings and journal clubs, perform complex statistical analysis, design and conduct experimental studies of the project and collaborate on related projects both within and outside of the lab.

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 successful candidate must:

Have previous experience in analytical chemistry, OR cell biology, OR asthma/allergy.

Have completed a higher degree of education (BSc, MSc) within medicine, chemistry, or related field.

Have a great interest and motivation to develop further your knowledge in mass spectrometry and particularly the study of omega-3 and omega-6 derived lipid mediators.

Have proficient writing and speaking skills in English.


The following qualities are considered a merit:

Have previous experience in mass spectrometry and chromatography.

Have a biomedical education, preferably with clinical experience.

Have previous experience of lipid mediators, asthma, or allergy research is of great merit.

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 2-5116/2022
  • Craig Wheelock,
Union representative
  • Anne Boström, SEKO , 08-52487579,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, 08-52487419,
  • Anda Gliga Saco-S,
Published 16.Dec.2022
Last application date 14.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CET

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