Doctoral position in the Research School of Health Sciences (FiV):

Implementation and evaluation of a school-based family support program A Healthy School Start Programme to promote children's health and prevent overweight and obesity in Stockholm

Do you want to contribute to better health for all?

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 Department of Global Public Health is an interdisciplinary institution that aims to advance knowledge on how to improve population health at local, national and global level. Research at the department aims to identify the determinants of health, develop and evaluate individual and structural interventions, and provide evidence for guidelines and policy documents. Many of the department's researchers are scientific advisors to authorities and other decision-makers at regional, national and international level. The department has 9 research groups, about 102 research students and about 140 employees.

The doctoral student will be placed in the research group Community Nutrition and Physical Activity. In the research group, research is conducted with the main aim of creating the conditions for good health within various social groups and reducing inequality in health with a particular focus on diet, physical activity and the prevention of overweight, obesity and other chronic diseases. Read more about the research group.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This doctoral project is part of the Research School of Health Sciences (FiH). The doctoral student will conduct their studies within the project IMPROVE (IMplementation of a parental support program A Healthy School Start to promote child health and PRevent OVerweight and obesity). The purpose of IMPROVE is to test how the Healthy School Start Programme (HSSP) can best be scaled up while maintaining a positive effect on children's weight development and parents' risk of developing diabetes. The HSSP consists of motivational interviews with parents at the child's health visit in preschool class/grade 1, health information for parents, a classroom component and a diabetes risk test for parents. The PhD project aims to evaluate the implementation strategies and assess the scalability (including a cost-effectiveness analysis) of HSSP at the municipal level. This doctoral thesis uses different designs and methods including implementation science and health economics. Some data is already collected, but there will also be primary data collection. The doctoral student's role is to participate actively in the entire project, analyze and lead/coordinate certain parts of the research and carry out data collection, analysis together with other researchers in the project.

The PhD candidate will be responsible for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data at schools and conduct interviews with staff in the municipalities and schools. Data collection takes place in Stockholm County and involves some travel. The doctoral student will also participate in external activities with the schools and other stakeholders in the municipality.

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 candidate is expected to have a strong drive to conduct research, to be organized and structured, and to have an ambitious and innovative approach to research. A master's degree in public health, global health, nutrition or equivalent is required.

Experience in intervention and implementation research, knowledge of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and analysis, health economics, and health inequality are meritorious. Professional experience from healthcare or schools is also advantageous. As a large part of the project takes place in contact with municipal staff, school personnel, and parents with different mother tongues, it is required that the applicant has a very good knowledge of Swedish, both spoken and written. Experience from health and/or clinical settings, working with behaviour change interventions or experience in educational activities are also meritorious.

Applicants must have a scientific approach, be thorough, have the ability to collaborate and the ability to prioritize among several tasks. Driver's license is meritorious.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Location: Solna

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 motivating why they would like to apply for this position and a curriculum vitae (Swedish or English)
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any (Swedish or English)
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (Swedish or English)
- 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 Department of Global Public Health (GPH)

Read more about the project you will be working on

Your career continues 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 as soon as possible
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-1326/2023
  • Kristi Sidney Annerstedt, 08-52480000
Union representative
  • Magnus Anå, OFR, ,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Saco styrelse,,
Published 27.Mar.2023
Last application date 18.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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