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 research group where the announced position will be placed is headed by Dr. Konstantinos Ampatzis. Research in the Ampatzis Lab regards the plasticity mechanisms employed by the vertebrate nervous system in health and disease. The lab employs different approaches, from systems neuroscience to stem cell research, with a particular focus on electrophysiology, anatomy, and behavioral studies in adult zebrafish. The lab is located in Biomedicum building at Karolinska Institutet.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

An intriguing feature of the nervous system is plasticity, the remarkable lifelong capacity to change and adapt in light of intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli. The doctoral project aims at providing a comprehensive understanding of the neuronal plasticity (mechanisms and structural changes) contribution to neuroprotection and regeneration of spinal networks after injury. Thus, the outlined research can deliver new, essential knowledge regarding the organization and dynamic adaptations of the adult spinal networks. The results are expected to have a substantial impact because the experiments are designed to lay the groundwork for the development of new, targeted treatments for SCI and other spinal neurodegenerative diseases.

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

Specific duties and qualifications: 

  • Establishing and performing experiments in the adult zebrafish spinal cord
  • Designing behavioral tasks and training the animals
  • Planning zebrafish stocks and maintaining the animals
  • Collection and safe storage of imaging, electrophysiology, and behavioral data
  • Keeping detailed notes and meticulous updates of the lab book
  • Respect and follow the established lab rules.
  • Analysis of data and presentation of the results
  • Analysis of tissue imaging, electrophysiology, and behavioral data using adequate technologies
  • Organization of laboratory routines and corresponding documentation
  • Preparation of manuscript drafts and grant applications
  • Attending seminars, courses, and conferences.

Required skills:

  • Master of Science in biology, biomedicine, or equivalent, focusing on neuroscience.
  • Hands-on experience in neuroanatomy and/or neurophysiology.


Practical experience in intraperitoneal drug administrations, advanced tissue processing (whole mount immunohistochemistry), and analysis (quantified anatomical approaches) is meriting, as is experience with fish animal models. Additional advance knowledge in imaging process (confocal microscopy) and analysis software (e.g. ImageJ, Fiji) is highly meriting.

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 As soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2382/2023
  • Konstantinos Ampatzis, 0852487399
Published 07.Jun.2023
Last application date 15.Jul.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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