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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

Our team under the leadership of senior professor Lars Rydén, in research group J Pernow at the Cardiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Solna, has a long experience in performing epidemiological research and clinical trials in the field of dysglycaemia (= type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance) and its relation with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The main aim with our research, in individuals with dysglycemia, is to study risk factors and markers for cardiovascular disease and their potential pathophysiological mechanisms, point out and evaluate new treatment paradigms, distribute obtained information and study how new information is implemented. Our main hypotheses are that the prognosis for patients with dysglycemia can be improved by 1) early detection and intervention 2) identification of new risk markers that may increase the understanding of the disease and its complications and may lead to new treatment possibilities and 3) improved management.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world and a main source of disability, thus representing an important public health challenge. Among traditional cardiovascular risk factors, dysglycaemia, defined as type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, is considered to play a central role in the development of CVD. The mechanisms behind the increased risk to develop CVD in patients with dysglycaemia is not fully understood.  It is of crucial importance to close existing knowledge gaps on the relation between CVD and glucose perturbations by identifying new possible biomarkers and their correlation with patients’ profiles and risk for future CV events.

The main aim of the project is to explore the role of different novel biomarkers in CVD and dysglycaemia, including mannose, mannose-binding lectin and copeptin, and their prognostic capacity. Our main hypotheses are that the prognosis for patients with CVD and dysglycaemia can be made less dismal by 1) the identification of new risk markers that may increase the understanding of the disease and its complications and 2) improve risk stratification and diagnostic implications by the use of new biomarkers.

The PhD student will, under the leadership of the supervisors, prepare the study protocols and the analysis plans, perform the statistical analyses, write grant and ethical applications, interpret data, and write the manuscripts and present the results at local, national and international meetings. Moreover, the student should participate in the laboratory work (copeptin).

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

Applicants should have a deep interest in medical and clinically oriented research. A Medicine Degree as well as previous experience within cardiovascular research, is a merit.

Good social and communication skills (spoken and written).   

Basic knowledge in Swedish and a high level in English spoken and written language are essential to integrate with the members in the research group and our international collaborators.

We are searching an intelligent, creative, hardworking and enthusiastic team player for this project. The PhD candidate is expected to take part in experimental design, statistical analyses, presentations, and preparation of publications.

Terms and conditions

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

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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 will be 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 John Pernow at the Cardiology division.

research group  Your career continues here


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
Full-time equivalent 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-939/2022
  • Linda Mellbin, +46 8 517 717 18
Union representative
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Bruna Gigante, SACO,
Published 02.Mar.2022
Last application date 11.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CET

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