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 Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB) conducts research in epidemiology and biostatistics across a broad range of areas within biomedical science. The department is among the largest of its type in Europe and has especially strong research profiles in psychiatric, cancer, reproductive, pediatric, pharmaco, genetic, and geriatric epidemiology, eating disorders, precision medicine, and biostatistics.

Part of the success of our department is due to our collaborative spirit where one factor is that researchers at the Department share and co-finance common resources (e.g., IT and an applied biostatistics group). The department is situated at campus Solna. Further information can be found at

The research group

The doctoral student will be part of a research group led by Associate Professor Mark Clements and Assistant Professor Jiayao Lei. The group’s research focuses on epidemiological and health economic evaluation of the current and new cancer prevention programs, involving cervical cancer and prostate cancer. We offer a vibrant and stimulating scientific environment and possibilities to collaborate with excellent researchers nationally and internationally.

Through this position, the student will collaborate with colleagues from the Center for Cervical Cancer Elimination in Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC) at KI campus Flemingsberg and Karolinska University Hospital.

The supervisors’ team for this position include Dr. Jiayao Lei, Dr. Mark Clements, Dr. Alexander Ploner and Dr. Miriam Elfström (CLINTEC).

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Getting vaccinated against Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been proven to greatly reduce the risk of getting HPV infections and cervical diseases (Lei et al, NEJM 2020). In 2020, WHO launched a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem through scaling up vaccination, screening and treatment. The HPV vaccines are initially only given to girls and now many countries have started to give the HPV vaccines to boys to prevent HPV-related diseases in males. The goal of this project is to perform an internationally leading research program to assess how well the vaccine works, how it might changes the risk of HPV-related diseases and if this could lead to changes in how we should screen the vaccinated females. The specific aims are to:

  • assess the long-term effectiveness of HPV vaccination on cervical diseases
  • examine the effectiveness and herd effects from sex-neutral HPV vaccination
  • estimate incidence trends of non-cervical HPV-attributable cancers
  • evaluate screening outcomes of school-based vaccination cohorts

The project will be primarily using data from the Advancing Cervical Cancer Eradication Strategies (ACCES) database, which builds on the excellent Swedish register infrastructure and contains information compiled from several Swedish population and healthcare registers.

Under supervision, the PhD student will be responsible for literature reviews, epidemiological study design and data analyses, and the interpretation and presentation of results (through scientific publications and conference presentations).

What do we offer?

Choose to work at KI-Ten reasons why
Career support for doctoral students
International staff

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

  • Applications are welcome from students with a university education in medicine, public health, epidemiology, statistics or a related subject.
  • Prior experience in epidemiological studies, analysis of large-scale data and programming skills in SAS, STATA and/or R are particular merits.
  • Practical experience from infectious diseases or cancer related research is meritorious.
  • An understanding and interest in disease prevention is required.
  • Good written and spoken skills in English is required.

We attach great importance to personal qualities in this recruitment. As a person, you are curious, highly motivated and persistent. You demonstrate a degree of independence and problem-solving skills. You are collaborative and has good communication skills.

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 Temporary position
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 2-3730/2023
  • Jiayao Lei,
  • Mark Clements,
  • Sara Tiste, HR-partner,
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Ann Almqvist, SACO,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR,
Published 03.Oct.2023
Last application date 31.Oct.2023 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies