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 PhD student will be working in an interdisciplinary environment, in strong collaboration between clinical departments, experts within basic science and other national and international research groups.

We have a translational approach to our research initiatives. One long-term goal is to develop tissue engineering for urogenital tissue reconstruction. Therefore, we want to investigate the role of non-coding RNAs for tissue healing, tissue re-modelling and expansion.

Our approach is to use several strategies to re-create functional tissues by combining cells/tissue with different biomaterials and to evaluate wound healing responses. Eventually, wound healing and tissue reconstruction could be enhanced by actions of microRNAs in diseased tissues, such as malformations, inflammation, and scarring, that are in need for surgical reconstruction.

The PhD-student will work in the research group for Tissue Engineering at Bioclinicum floor 10, and with the research group for Gynaecology at Bioclinicum floor 9, both belonging to the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at KI.

The Tissue Engineering laboratory is situated at two sites, at Bioclinicum in Stockholm and at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. At present, a professor, a senior researcher, a laboratory manager and two PhD students are part of the group.

The laboratory team in the Gynaecology group consists of a professor, an associate Professor, and an assistant professor, one senior postdoc, a BMA and three PhD students.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

There are several congenital conditions affecting the formation of vaginal canal.  Tissue engineering may provide a way to improve surgical corrections and improve the wellbeing and reproductive capabilities of the affect population. We have identified a knowledge gap on the biological mechanisms that determine a normal healing of the human vagina. In general, wound healing could be defined as the tissues natural capacity to replace injured cells and to heal wounds.

This PhD project aims at giving a deep education in basic science and tissue healing biology. The project involves the exploration of transcriptomics during normal vaginal tissue healing. The doctoral student will work on clinical samples for studies in human primary cell cultures and will learn and practice several molecular cell biology methods including isolation, expansion and creation of vaginal 3D models, immunofluorescence, western blot, gene editing, cell transfection, digital PCR, microscopy, histological preparations, and studies in small animal models. A part of the study will involve bioinformatic analysis of gene expression profiles.

Furthermore, the student will take part in other related studies during the PhD program, that are assigned within the research groups. The student will be expected to work as a part of a team, taking responsibility for the progress of the work in a structured manner, with open communication with peers and the supervisors.

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 engaged and motivated student with strong and genuine interest in research. The candidate should have a master degree or equivalent in biomedicine, cellular biology, medicine or related disciplines. Good communicative skills are highly valued.

Necessary skills and personal qualities:

  • Interest in medical research
  • Experience in basic molecular and cell biology techniques
  • Fluent/proficient in English both oral and written communication
  • Willingness to share knowledge and experience (i.e. Help and teach master students and peer-students)
  • A mind set for team work
  • Good habits related to laboratory work documentation

Meritorious skills and personal qualities (But not a prerequisite)

  • Experience in working with methods related to non-coding RNAs and RNA research
  • Experience in 3d culture
  • Experience in RNA sequence experimental bioinformatic analysis

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 agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-2915/2022
  • Magdalena Fossum, Research Group Leader,
  • Sabina Brinkley, HR-partner,
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Shahla Rostami, OFR,
  • John Inge Johnsen , SACO,
Published 06.Jul.2022
Last application date 04.Sep.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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