Do you want to contribute to improving human health?

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

Research group Pansell belongs to the Division of Eye and Vision, located at Marianne Bernadotte Centre at St Erik's Eye Hospital. The group consists of researchers and clinically active researchers who work within paediatric ophthalmology or brain injury rehabilitation. We all have a common interest in better understanding the causal mechanisms of visual impairment in congenital and acquired brain injuries or diseases affecting the visual pathways.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The starting point for this project is the clinical challenge of assessing patients suffering from dizziness and instability when moving their eyes or in response to a moving visual field. This project will evaluate possible visual motion perception dysfunction from its psychophysical properties to neurophysiology during fixation and saccadic eye movement. Specifically, how visual cortical suppression is controlled during saccades and how traumatic brain injuries might affect this visual suppression mechanism. The project will also include developing new diagnostic and longitudinal monitoring tools to deepen the knowledge of impaired visual motion processing and help physicians identify electrophysiological markers during a clinical examination. We hypothesize that dizziness might occur in a faulty suppression mechanism during saccades, acting over a dysfunctional visual motion network, causing a sensation of perceptual conflict eliciting postural instability and vestibular symptoms.

You will, as the doctoral student i) set up laboratory equipment and experiments, elaborating this visual suppression mechanism. This work includes some minor adjustments of programming code in creating visual stimuli, setting up and synchronize multiple systems (eye-tracking, VEP, balance equipment etc.) and validating the setup. ii) Meeting test subjects and patients, iii) collect and analyze data and write drafts of the manuscript.

With the supervisors' support, you shall take the lead in the project in reading literature, proposing changes in experimental paradigms to elucidate relevant brain mechanisms and communicate the results in lab meetings and conferences. This is a collaboration project where you will co-work with colleagues at the lab and with the psychometrics research group at the University of Bologna (Italy). This collaboration is formalized with co-supervision by the lab head in the Italian group.

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

As a doctoral student, you should be curious and analytical. The research area includes eye movements, electroencephalogram, balance and visual function measurements in subjects and patients with dizziness. The project is challenging because different equipment has to be time synchronized with very high precision, something that has to be solved and evaluated within the project. Most equipment is prepared for synchronization.

Requirement: Formal training to perform and analyze test of cognitive functions.

Advantageous: Formal education in perceptual mechanisms and cognitive functions. Previous experience in visual perception research, recording eye movements and analyze eye movement recordings, particularly ocular torsion recordings. Technical know-how to solve computer issues like synchronization. Previous experience in meeting patients with brain injuries.

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.

Read more about about the research group here

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
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2648/2021
  • Tony Pansell, Research group leader,
  • Anna Wendel, HR-Administrator,
Union representative
  • Venus Azhary, OFR, 0707-124 127
  • Arsalan Amir, SACO, 08 - 517 733 37
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
Published 31.May.2021
Last application date 14.Jun.2021 11:59 PM CET

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