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 research group ‘Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery’ is located in the heart of KI’s main campus area in Solna. The group contains senior and junior researchers, biostatisticians, administrator, PhD students and other students. We conduct research of diseases and surgery of the upper gastrointestinal tract, i.e. oesophagus and stomach, with a focus on cancer. Data required for our projects mainly come from national health data registries and clinical data collections. We have extensive international collaborations, a structured approach to developing new studies, and organise Seminar Series, Journal Clubs, Methods Clubs, and PhD courses. In the last external assessment of all research constellations at KI, our group was rated ‘outstanding’ (the highest score possible) in Cancer Research. The research group leader is professor Jesper Lagergren.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The PhD project will examine factors that may prevent adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, a cancer with increasing incidence and poor prognosis. In large-scale studies, based on merged data from several national health data registries in Nordic countries, the project aims to evaluate if the risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma is decreased after obesity surgery, antireflux surgery and use of certain potentially anti-carcinogenic medications, i.e. aspirins, statins, and proton pump inhibitors.
The main work task is research. Other mandatory parts of the PhD education are PhD courses, research seminars and international conference(s). The PhD student is expected to write detailed study protocols, conduct relevant literature reviews, help retrieve and review research data, conduct data management and statistical analyses, and write scientific articles, reviews, and a thesis in English. The project builds on large amounts of registry data from several countries, which means that much time will be spent on data management and statistical analysis.
The main supervisor is Jesper Lagergren, professor and consultant surgeon. The co-supervisors are Giola Santoni, PhD and biostatistician, and Dag Holmberg, research specialist and resident in surgery. The supervisors are knowledgeable in the research field (prevention of oesophageal adenocarcinoma) and the methodology to be used (clinical epidemiology and biostatistics).

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 enthusiastic, curious and talented person with high social competence and collaboration skills. Previous research experience, particularly in research using modern epidemiological methods and biostatistics, is qualifying. Knowledge in oesophageal cancer is meriting. Excellent skills in the English language (both orally and in writing) is required, not the least because English is the official language of the group.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time, or part-time combined with clinical work

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.

Read more here:


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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full-time/Part-time
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%/50%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-706/2022
  • Jesper Lagergren, Supervisor,
Union representative
  • Virpi Töhönen, SACO,
  • Taher Darreh-Shori, SACO, 08-524 835 29
  • Elisabeth Noren-Krog, OFR,
Published 09.Feb.2022
Last application date 14.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CET

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