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 research group ‘Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery’ is located in the heart of KI’s campus area in Solna. The group contains senior and junior researchers, biostatisticians, administrator, PhD candidates and students. We conduct research of diseases and surgery of the oesophagus and stomach, with a focus on cancer. Data for our projects mainly come from clinical data collections from hospitals and national health data registries. We have a clinical background in upper gastrointestinal surgery and have extensive international collaborations. We have a well-organised structure for PhD education with regular supervisor meetings and progress reports. We organise Research Seminars, Journal Clubs, Methods Clubs, and PhD courses. In the last external assessment of all research constellations at KI, our group was rated ‘outstanding’ (the highest possible) in Cancer Research. You can read more about us on our homepage:

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This KI centrally funded PhD project (KID-funding) is oriented towards clinical research. The PhD candidate will learn the corresponding methodology, i.e. clinical epidemiology. The project will examine factors that may improve the survival in patients who undergo surgery for oesophago-gastric cancer, including prediction of short survival, surgical approach for tumours in the oesophago-gastric junction, which postoperative complications influence the long-term survival, and postoperative follow-up strategies. Most studies will be cohort studies using data from national cohorts in Sweden and Finland, but will also include some work within a multinational randomised controlled trial.

The PhD candidate will mainly conduct research of high quality. This will include drafting detailed study protocols, reading and reviewing relevant literature, collecting and reviewing research data, performing data management and statistical analysis, and writing scientific articles and a PhD thesis. Except for research, other mandatory parts of the PhD education are participation in PhD courses, research seminars and international scientific conferences. The PhD candidate is also supposed to attend the regular supervisor meetings, write monthly reports to the supervisors, and take part in our shared activities, i.e., research group meetings, work place meetings, end-of-term activities, and planning days. Information regarding PhD studies at KI is available on the homepage:

The main supervisor is Jesper Lagergren, professor of surgery, research group leader, and member of the Nobel Assembly at KI. Co-supervisors are Joonas Kauppila, professor and surgeon at the University of Oulu in Finland (and affiliated to our research group at KI), Sheraz Markar, associate professor and surgeon at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom (and affiliated to our research group at KI), and Fredrik Mattsson, biostatistician in our group at KI. The supervisors are experts in the research field and the methodology of this PhD project.

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

We are looking for an enthusiastic, curious and talented person with high social competence and collaboration skills. Documented experience of research and clinical work is qualifying, especially in the fields of surgery, oncology or gastroenterology. Documented research related to oesophago-gastric cancer is meriting. Excellent skills in the English language (both orally and in writing) is required.

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
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-4229/2023
  • Jesper Lagergren,
Union representative
  • Taher Darreh-Shori, SACO,
  • Virpi Töhönen, SACO,
  • Elisabeth Noren-Krog, OFR,
Published 01.Nov.2023
Last application date 30.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

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