Department of Oncology-Pathology

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 student will be in a team led by Weng-Onn Lui at the Department of Oncology-Pathology ( Our team is focusing on the molecular basis of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) development and the understanding of immunobiology and immunotherapy response in MCC. The team currently consists of two postdoctoral fellows, one PhD student and the principal investigator. The lab is located at the Cancer theme of BioClinicum, and actively collaborating with basic scientists and clinicians locally and internationally.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The doctoral projects will focus on the identification of predictive biomarkers for immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) response and characterization of immune evasion mechanisms in MCC. The student will use single cell technologies to understand tumor-immune interplay in ICB response and perform functional studies to investigate the immune evasion mechanisms, under the supervision of Weng-Onn Lui (principal supervisor) and Andreas Lundqvist (co-supervisor) with their respective expertise in cancer biology and tumor immunology. The projects are run in collaboration with both national and international researchers and conducted in human clinical samples and experimental models using a combination of single cell spatial technologies, biochemistry, molecular biology and immunological methods. The student is expected to play a strong role in scientific hypothesis, experimental design, experimentation, data analysis, presentation of results at meeting and conferences, and manuscript preparation. The student will be responsible to follow the general rules and regulations and time plan of the doctoral program. 

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 and talented student who has a strong interest in cancer biology and tumor immunology. The applicant should have good communication skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in a team of researchers. Emphasis will be placed on personal ability and previous experience of laboratory work. Excellent ability to express themselves in speech and writing, including scientific writing in English is a requirement. The candidate should have a solid background in biomedicine, cancer biology or tumor immunology. It is highly meritorious to have previous experience in bioinformatics, tumor biology or immunology. 

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 According to agreement
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number STÖD 2-5183/2022
  • Weng-Onn Lui, 0702911228,
Union representative
  • Per Hydbring, SACO/Nick Tobin, SACO,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Helen Eriksson, OFR,
Published 20.Dec.2022
Last application date 28.Feb.2023 11:59 PM CET

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