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 position is placed in the laboratory of Marianne Farnebo, that studies the function of non-coding RNA and RNA-binding proteins in DNA repair and nuclear organization, and how defects in these processes contribute to cancer. A number of techniques required to study RNA and DNA repair are already up and running in Farnebo laboratory, including RNA immunoprecipitation, RNA FISH, generation of site-specific DNA damage and various biochemical approaches.

The Farnebo laboratory is offering a stimulating, international research environment. We are currently 5 employees, including three PhD students, a lab assistant and the group leader. We are part of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the world’s leading medical universities. The lab is located in Biomedicum, state-of-the-art research building on Solna campus.

Link to research group page:

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Accumulating evidence reveals that RNA plays a key role in the regulation of DNA repair and genome stability. However, the underlying mechanism(s) remains poorly understood. The PhD student will perform research focused on RNA biology and DNA repair employing human cell lines as model system, including cells from patients with dyskeratosis congenita disorder. This project is designed not only to elucidate novel mechanisms underlying the regulation of genome stability via RNA, but also to provide new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of associated diseases. A better understanding of the function and regulation of RNA in connection with DNA repair may pave the way for novel anti-cancer therapies based on restoring or blocking specific RNAs.

The PhD student will practice a number of molecular and cellular techniques, including cancer cell culture, RNAi, qPCR, immunofluorescence microscopy, immunoprecipitation of proteins, RNAs and DNA (IP, RIP, ChIP). He/she will also learn novel and powerful techniques, such as single-molecule RNA FISH and tethering of RNA and proteins to chromatin.

Supervisors: Marianne Farnebo (main supervisor), Associate Professor, Department of CMB, Karolinska Institutet

Thomas Helleday (co-supervisor), Professor, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet

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

To build a strong and creative research team, we are looking for high achievers from universities around the world. We will offer an intellectually stimulating environment and we look for talented people who will play a part in developing our next breakthrough ideas. Are you ready to discover the unexplored?

More specifically:

  • Applicant should have a high personal drive and motivation
  • Applicant should have innovative thinking and be eager to solve problems
  • Applicant should have prior experience and skills in basic molecular biology methods, including cell culture, microscopy and western blot
  • Applicants should have excellent documenting and presentation skills
  • Applicant should be fluent in English (written and spoken)
  • Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability, including high personal drive and ability to contribute productively in a team

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 According to agreement
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2249/2023
  • Marianne Farnebo,
Union representative
  • Björn Andersson, SACO,
  • Elisabeth Valenzuela, SEKO, 08-52486353
  • Shahla Rostami, OFR,
Published 02.Jun.2023
Last application date 23.Jun.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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