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 Neuroscience Department at the Karolinska Institute welcomes applications for a 4-year PhD position in the research group of Francois Lallemend. This project is a collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Matthew W. Kelley at NIH in Bethesda, MD, USA.

The Lallemend lab is devoted to studying the genetic and molecular aspects of the peripheral sensory system, including development, identity, function, and plasticity (Nat Commun 2018, Cell Rep 2019, Nat Commun 2019, Nat Commun 2021, Nat Commun 2022). The PhD student will be responsible for investigating the transcriptional and epigenetic landscape of the inner ear at the single-cell level, examining the impact of metabolism and genetic background, and quantifying the genetic pathways involved in the emergence and senescence of a whole sensory organ during early development and aging. This research is basic and translational as it will have implications for the identification of new molecular targets to counter aging or rejuvenate the organs' function.

The project will require mouse and human tissue handling, advanced imaging analysis, single-cell RNA-sequencing and epigenetics, physiological recording, and behavioral measurements. Since this is a team effort, excellent communication skills and the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams are essential.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

We are seeking a highly motivated student with a strong bioinformatics background who is interested in using single-cell computational tools to better understand the complexity of cell types in various conditions, their potential interactions, and biological impacts in a whole organ. The candidate's primary responsibility will be to establish pipelines for analyzing gene expression data from single-cell RNA-sequencing (Smartseq3xpress and 10X), spatial transcriptomics, and other platforms, including chromatin accessibility sequencing (ATAC-seq and multi-omics). The candidate will analyze cell-type-specific aging clock, GRNs, loss of gene-to-gene transcriptional coordination, and transcriptome imbalance, among other things, to make significant advances in the genetic regulation of complex organ emergence and senescence in mammals.

The doctoral student will be employed on a funded studentship for a 4-year full-time position. The position will be based in the Lallemend lab at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, with internships in the laboratory of Prof. Matthew W. Kelley at NIH. For more information on Lallemend's lab, please visit, and for information on Kelley's lab at NIH, visit

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

[Enter here skills and personal qualities necessary or desirable/advantageous for this project and for the ability to reach the outcomes of the doctoral education. Make it clear for the applicants what is necessary and what is only desirable. It is important that this section is well thought-through in order to help in the selection process.]

Terms and conditions

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

--[Video about Karolinska Institutet, how we all work towards "a better health for all"] -

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 December 2023
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2095/2023
  • Francois Lallemend, 08-52487641,
Published 08.Jun.2023
Last application date 22.Aug.2023 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies