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 Clinical Epidemiology Division is one of the larger divisions at the Department of Medicine, Solna with around 100 employees and 60 affiliated researchers or PhD students, the majority of the researchers being clinically active. There are currently eight statisticians employed at the Clinical Epidemiology Division, who are part of an active network with the purpose of developing and implementing methods in biostatistics.

The research group in reproductive epidemiology is a young and rapidly growing group at the Clinical Epidemiology Division and includes 25 professionals, including researchers, postdocs and PhD-students. Our research focus on risk factors and interventions during pregnancy, childbirth and the neonatal period and outcomes for both mother and child. We have a strong collaboration with clinical departments, including paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology and other national and international research groups as well as other organizations like the World Health Organisation (WHO). The group has extensive experience in research in perinatal outcomes using advanced methods in biostatistics and clinical epidemiology. Please see Olof Stephansson’s homepage at Karolinska Institutet for more information on our research (

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Maternal mortality rates have substantially declined during recent decades, primarily through improved family planning and obstetric case. Although a rapid decline in maternal mortality rates have occurred in many countries, rates of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) have not shown similar improvements and are increasing in some regions, mainly because of high rates of pre-existing co-morbidities, including diabetes and obesity. Maternal severe morbidity cause difficulty in pregnancy and could aggravate existing morbidity, which can lead to more severe long-term consequences for women. Currently, there is virtually no data on the association between SMM and long term maternal and infant outcomes. The purpose of this research project is to employ cutting edge epidemiological approaches including artificial intelligence (AI) in the analyses of uniquely rich population data sources available in Sweden and in British Columbia (BC), Canada. This will be the first study to use large birth cohorts with a longitudinal follow-up to examine the association between severe maternal morbidity and long-term adverse health outcomes in mothers in two high-income country settings. The study population and analytical design will ensure high internal and external validity. The results may thus have immediate and far-reaching clinical application because they respond to one of the most difficult issues in obstetrics - i.e. how to identify women with a high risk of severe maternal morbidity and mortality and strategies to reduce impairment, disability, handicap and death in mothers.

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

The doctoral student position requires a Master of Science Degree in Medicine, Epidemiology or equivalent. The applicant must have experience in performing statistical analysis, as well as an understanding of Swedish register and electronic medical record data, register linkages and performing register-based research. A high level of knowledge of statistical software, preferably STATA, is necessary. Knowledge in SAS and R is a merit. The applicant must have some medical knowledge, through a medical education. A background in Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology or Midwifery will be considered as merit. Also, previous experience in pregnancy related research is a preferred knowledge. It is required that the applicant is able to work independently as well as a part of a research group. We are looking for a candidate who is curious about reproductive epidemiology and enjoys learning new things. The applicant should be detail-oriented and well organized, with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously. The applicant must communicate well both in written and in spoken English and have basic knowledge in Swedish.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

--[Video about Karolinska Institutet, how we all work towards "a better health for all"] -

<iframe id="kaltura_player" title="Kaltura Player" src="[streamerType]=auto&flashvars[localizationCode]=en&flashvars[leadWithHTML5]=true&flashvars[sideBarContainer.plugin]=true&flashvars[sideBarContainer.position]=left&flashvars[sideBarContainer.clickToClose]=true&flashvars[chapters.plugin]=true&flashvars[chapters.layout]=vertical&flashvars[chapters.thumbnailRotator]=false&flashvars[streamSelector.plugin]=true&flashvars[EmbedPlayer.SpinnerTarget]=videoHolder&flashvars[dualScreen.plugin]=true&flashvars[Kaltura.addCrossoriginToIframe]=true&&wid=0_gg58khmj" width="400" height="200" frameborder="0" sandbox="allow-forms allow-same-origin allow-scripts allow-top-navigation allow-pointer-lock allow-popups allow-modals allow-orientation-lock allow-popups-to-escape-sandbox allow-presentation allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

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 employment is at the Department of Medicine, Solna. The Department consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. This position is located within the research group of Olof Stephansson at the Clinical Epidemiology Division.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-4337/2021
  • Neda Razaz, +46 8 524 825 07
Union representative
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Bruna Gigante, SACO,
Published 06.Oct.2021
Last application date 15.Oct.2021 11:59 PM CEST

Tillbaka till lediga jobb