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.

At the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) we conduct undergraduate and doctoral education and research within a wide range of medical fields, covering all internal medicine specialties, infectious diseases, and dermatology. Our vision is to create tomorrow's knowledge through medical education and research at the highest international level.

The department is situated at campus Huddinge. Further information can be found at

The research group

The research group is led by Professor Anders Sönnerborg, who has been conducting HIV research since the 1980s. Christina Carlander, MD, PhD will be the main supervisor of the PhD student. Christina Carlanders research focuses on registry-based epidemiological studies. By linking the national HIV registry InfCareHIV with other nationwide demographic and health registries, Carlander and coworkers collects large population-based data at an individual level to study time trends, mortality and comorbidity risk factors in people living with and without HIV.

We offer a stimulating scientific environment as well as a possibility to collaborate with other researchers at the department, at Karolinska Institutet, in Sweden and abroad.

Supervisors of the doctoral student will be Christina Carlander at MedH, Johanna Brännström at MedH, Olof Elvstam at Lund University and Philippe Wagner at Lund University.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The Swedish HIV cohort is heterogenous, including a large proportion of migrants, diverse modes of HIV transmission and individuals from a range of different socioeconomic backgrounds. The cohort is aging and faced with increasing risk of age-related comorbidities. Additionally, chronic HIV-related inflammation, legacy of pre-treatment immunodeficiency and injury, and past and present ART may also add to the development of comorbidity. Meanwhile, half of people living with HIV are still diagnosed late with well-known consequences for prognosis and transmission. It is still uncertain why some people living with HIV do not recover their CD4 cell count despite sustained HIV viral suppression, so called immunological non-responders. This condition has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality, but data is scarce. Previous HIV cohort studies on comorbidity are not nation-wide, many lack HIV-negative controls, and most include mainly white men.

The main objectives of this doctoral project will be to

1) assess time-trends of key characteristics and outcomes in the Swedish HIV cohort between 1983 and 2023.

2) Assess comorbidity in people with and without HIV - with particular focus on immunological non- responders

3) Assess mortality in people with and without HIV - with particular focus on immunological-non-responders

Under supervision, the PhD student will be responsible for literature review, epidemiological study design and data analyses and the interpretation and presentation of results (through scientific publications and conference presentations)

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

For the announced PhD position, a university education in public health, epidemiology, statistics, or a related subject is required. Previous experience in epidemiological studies, analysis of register data and programming skills in SAS, R, and/or Stata is a particular merit. Previous experience of HIV epidemiological research is a particular merit. A very good knowledge of spoken and written English is a requirement for the position.

We attach great importance to personal qualities in this recruitment. As a person, you are highly motivated, enthusiastic and curious individual. Applicants must demonstrate a high degree of accuracy and independence. The work involves close collaboration with others, which is why good social and  collaboration skills are of great importance.

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 Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH)

Infectious Diseases and Dermatology Unit

Choose to work at KI – Ten reasons why

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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 2-1974/2023
  • Christina Carlander,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Sidinh Luc, SACO,
  • Mari Gilljam, OFR,
Published 12.May.2023
Last application date 02.Jun.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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