Do you want to contribute to improving human health?

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.

A PhD student is now to be recruited for a research project in tight collaboration between MPI for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA) in Frankfurt am Main and the Department of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Primal world beliefs are a recently-identified set of basic perceptions about the general character of reality (e.g. the world is boring) thought to have many psychological implications (Clifton et al. 2019). To date, Primals research is still limited and entirely based on cross-sectional phenotypic data making it difficult to address causality and familial confounding.

The proposed project is the first to explore the underlying etiology of Primal World Beliefs and the nature of the relationships between Primals and variables under five main themes, namely: Primals and (1) personality, (2) life stress, (3) mental and physical health, and (4) musical, cultural and social engagement. The project will utilize a large (N>30,000), longitudinal, genetically informative cohort of twins and address associations between Primals and a variety of phenotypes including central questions about causality, the importance of genetic and environmental factors, and their interplay.

Ideally, the candidate would spend the majority of his or her time at the MPIEA in Frankfurt. 

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity, in a collaborative project between two of the world's leading medical universities.

The MPI is a highly interdisciplinary and international scientific environment, with English being spoken in the laboratory. It is located in an attractive location with excellent infrastructure in Frankfurt’s Westend. You can expect a modern workplace with flexible working hours and a pleasant working atmosphere. Regular travel between the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the MPIEA in Frankfurt is required.

The vision of Karolinska Institutet (KI) is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At KI 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. KI collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. 

For this PhD position, the PhD employment is set at MPI but the PhD degree is held at KI. 

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

Requirements for this position are a Master’s degree, or equivalent, in behavior genetics, psychology, public health or a related field, as well as a high proficiency in oral and written English. A solid methods background in statistics, including structural equation modelling, twin and family designs, and/or molecular genetics as well as experience with handling of registry or big data is highly desirable.

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 start date for the position is negotiable and with the earliest in Feb, 2022. The selection process will continue until the position is filled.

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 upon agreement
Salary monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-4401/2022
  • Miriam Mosing, Associate Professor,
Published 16.Nov.2022
Last application date 31.Dec.2022 11:59 PM CET

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