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 Cell and Gene Therapy Group is a multidisciplinary research group with >20 members, including senior scientists, PhD students, technical and biomedical lab and administrative staff at Karolinska Institutet, Campus Flemingsberg, working in a translational research environment. We are exploring the biology of Natural Killer (NK) cells and how these cells can be used for treatment of Multiple Myeloma. The group’s primary research focus is to optimize and clinically adapt strategies to retarget NK cells to tumors with increased anti-tumor capacity and limited off-target effects and toxicity profiles. Our long-term goal is to leverage immunobiology and genetic engineering for the development of novel immunotherapeutic and cancer detection strategies. We have received funding for our research from several national and international research foundations, including the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the Swedish Agency for Innovation (Vinnova) and we have productive collaborations with national and international clinicians and researchers both in academia and with leading industrial partners within the cell therapy field.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

We are looking for a highly motivated individual who has a strong documented interest in immunology, tumor biology and cellular immunotherapy, and ideally with proven skills in molecular biology and genetic engineering.

The doctoral candidate will work in the team of Arnika Wagner on developing new engineered surface receptors for NK cells and investigating the anti-tumor capacity, the potential for combination therapies as well as potential off-target and side effects of these genetically modified NK cells. The project entails working with expansions and genetic modification of NK cells from healthy donors and patients with Multiple Myeloma. The methods involve immunological, molecular and cell biology methods, such as genome editing and genetic modification techniques, antibiotic-free cell culture under GMP-like conditions, multiparametric flow cytometry, molecular cloning and virus production. In addition, assays to assess transcriptional activity, metabolism and secretome will be performed. We expect that the successful candidate will lead the project under supervision and will gradually acquire independence in planning, executing, analyzing and presenting data. We collaborate with several research groups both nationally and internationally, and the candidate will play an active role in driving the part of collaboration related to their project. Excellent communication skills with the ability to present results clearly, work co-operatively as part of a team as well as independently, with strong attention to details are essential. Personal suitability is of great importance when evaluating the applicants.

The successful candidate will take part in research-related activities such as group meetings, departmental seminars, relevant international meetings, supervision of other students and researchers, when necessary, as well as contribute to common lab routines. Finally, the PhD candidate will work to fulfil the course requirements of the PhD program as outlined in the relevant rules and documentation available at the website.

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 ambitious, technically skilled and creative person who can communicate fluently in English, both spoken and written form. The successful applicant must be able to work independently within their project but also have the capacity to work efficiently and productively in a team. It is necessary to work carefully and systematically.

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.

The Cell and Gene Therapy Group

Arnika Wagner team

Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine (HERM)

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
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Flemingsberg
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-4247/2023
  • Arnika Wagner ,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Sidinh Luc, SACO,
  • Mari Gilljam, OFR,
Published 01.Nov.2023
Last application date 22.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

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