Karolinska Institutet, The Department of Women's and Children's Health

The Department is organized in 10 divisions: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Surgery, Neuropediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, Neonatology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Neuropsychiatry (KIND), Reproductive and Perinatal Health. The divisions have separate scientific profiles and vary in size and have several research groups, dealing with both basic and clinical science.

A doctoral student is admitted to third-cycle/doctoral education. A doctoral education consists of supervised research, combined with courses and other educational activities. An individual study plan is established for each doctoral student. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The Childhood Cancer Research Unit consists of several research groups conducting preclinical, clinical and psychosocial research with the major aim to improve the care of children with cancer and their families. Our research group has a long standing experience in translational research on the embryonal neural tumors medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma with the aim to find better treatment options for children with these diseases.

Research group
The research group of Assistant Prof. Malin Wickström has funding available for a 4 year PhD position. The research involves translational studies of neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, with a particular focus on molecular characterization of novel therapies in vitro and in vivo. To address this we uses a variety of preclinical models, in vitro and in vivo. Recent relevant publications of the research group include: Wickström et al, Nat Comm 2015, Dyberg et al, BMC Cancer 2016, Dyberg et al, PNAS, 2017.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The successful candidate will work within a project with the aim to investigate the importance of non-canonical Wnt signaling in neuroblastoma to gain insights in its role in tumor development and in search for novel therapies. More specially, we will study interactions within the tumor microenvironment, validating single-cell RNA-seq data, and testing drug combinations. The candidate is expected to work within the general framework of the research project, but will be encouraged to contribute with ideas and proposals for experiments. The PhD studies correspond to 4 years of full time studies and include laboratory work as well as animal work, general and project related research courses, active participation in seminars and to present results at seminars and meetings.

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.

Skills and personal qualities
We are seeking a talented, enthusiastic person with an interest for preclinical drug studies in vitro and in vivo. The successful candidate should be self-motivated and has the ability to work productively and dynamically in a group. He/she is expected to actively contribute to both the practical and theoretical parts of the project, and to have excellent communication and organizational skills. Proficiency in oral and written English is necessary, and basic communication skills in Swedish is an advantage. Applicants should hold a masters' degree (or equivalent) in biology, pharmacology or another relevant life science. Excellent laboratory skills in molecular biology and cell culture are required. Previous experience in the research field and with certain methods is seen as an advantage.

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.

Your application should contain the following documents:

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae (Swedish or English)
  • Degree projects and previous publications, if any (Swedish or English)
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (Swedish or English)
  • 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.

KI 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.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-3299/2019
  • Malin Wickström Näsman, malin.wickstrom@ki.se
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
  • Bodil Moberg, OFR, bodil.moberg@ki.se
  • John Inge Johnsen, SACO, john.inge.johnsen@ki.se
Published 05.Jun.2019
Last application date 26.Jun.2019 11:59 PM CET

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