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 Ivarsson Team is a newly formed team within the Center for Infectious Medicine, at ANA Futura, Department of Medicine in Huddinge. The goal of the team is to perform world-leading research within human uterine immunology, with the aim at translating the knowledge to the clinic. By combining analysis on human uterine immune cells with clinical and diagnostic information, we aim to identify biomarkers that can help to determine a woman’s individual risk of suffering pregnancy complications.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

We are seeking a highly motivated individual to join the team of Assistant Professor Martin Ivarsson, PhD. The student will work on projects deciphering the phenotypes, dynamics and functions of human uterine immune cells. He or she will also take part in large efforts investigating the immunology in COVID-19. The reproductive immunology work will investigate uterine immune cell phenotype and function in a disease model system (neutropenia) and in the context of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The other arm of the PhD involves COVID-19 projects that make use of unique cohorts collected during the first year of the pandemic. The PhD student will thus acquire broad knowledge in both reproductive immunology and in the context of a viral disease.

This position is supported by a highly competitive Swedish Research Council establishment grant. Cutting edge techniques, including 29-color flow cytometry, single cell RNA sequencing, and epigenetic studies will be employed. The Ivarsson team belong to the larger Björkström research group and is based at Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM), a nationally leading and internationally competitive environment for studies of the human immune system in the context of chronic inflammation, infectious diseases, and cancer. The group has a longstanding interest in human immunology, with a focus on the role of innate and adaptive lymphocyte responses against infections and tumors in the tissue microenvironment.

The successful candidate will take part in all research-related activities such as group meetings, department seminars, national/international meetings, as well as standard laboratory routines of the group. Finally, the PhD student will work to achieve 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 seeking a highly motivated individual with a burning interest to study human tissue immunology and the role of immune cells in COVID-19. The successful applicant needs to be fluent in English, have excellent communication skills and the ability to interact effectively and work productively in a team. Previous experience from work with human immune cells in general, and uterine NK cells in particular is a strong merit. Experience with isolation of cells from human blood and tissue, as well as tissue culture work with primary immune cells or cell lines is also positive. Moreover, experience from flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and analysis of related data is highly meriting.

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 October
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Flemingsberg
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-3318/2021
  • Martin Ivarsson,
  • Niklas Björkström,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Mari Giljam, OFR,
  • Elisabeth Henriksson, OFR,
Published 06.Jul.2021
Last application date 28.Jul.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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