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 prospective doctoral student will join Dr. Amir Ata Saei’s group at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology of Karolinska Institute. Our lab is interested in targeting cancer metabolism and discovering novel therapeutic strategies. We routinely apply proteomics to study metabolite-protein interactions and use versatile validation strategies. For more information, refer to or contact Dr. Saei, e-mail:

Our lab is a part of the Center for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR), led by Prof. Lars Engstrand and located at the department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institutet Campus Solna ( CTMR aims to better understand the contribution of the human microbiome to physiology and pathophysiology with the goal to open opportunities for development of novel therapies in the area of gastroenterology, reproductive health, neonatology and cancer. The lab is located on the 8th floor of the modern Biomedicum building that hosts six departments focused on biomedical research. 

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

You will work on an exciting project on understanding how the gut microbiome and its metabolites promote colon cancer. Our team has a solid background in proteomics, bioinformatics and biochemistry. You will combine versatile methods including mass spectrometry-based proteomics, cell-based techniques, molecular biology and biochemistry to identify the targets and mechanism of metabolites that modulate cancer growth. Our new multidimensional proteomics technique called PISA-REX will be one of the exemplary tools that will be exploited (Saei et al. BioRxiv, 2023). Intermediate levels of bioinformatics will be required in the project. We aim to validate the most essential targets and elucidate their mechanism of tumorigenicity. The project will be in collaboration with Prof. Yihai Cao and Dr. Sylvain Peuget’s groups. If you would enjoy making original fundamental discoveries in cancer research, this position is for you.

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

In addition to the aforementioned requirements: 

  • You are an enthusiastic and self-motivated applicant with an educational background in molecular biology or biochemistry or similar disciplines such as biomedicine and preferably have experience in microbiology.
  • The successful applicant should have good communication skills and a very good knowledge of English, both written and spoken.
  • The candidate should be able to work independently and interactively with our team and collaborators.
  • Strong organization, time and resource management skills is required.

Meritorius for the position:

  • Experience in data analysis and bioinformatics is very desirable.
  • Specific experience in metabolism or cancer metabolism and previous relevant work with model systems is meritorious.
  • Experience in programming is a plus, but not a requirement.

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 According to the agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2620/2024
  • Amirata Saei Dibavar,
Union representative
  • Taher Darreh-Shori, SACO,
  • Carina Eklund, OFR,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
Published 19.Jun.2024
Last application date 10.Jul.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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