Karolinska Institutet,

The Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS) conducts research and education in the field of neuroscience from the molecular level to the society level. The clinical research and education is conducted in collaboration with Region Stockholm as well as other research groups from Karolinska Institutet and other universities.
Please visit our website for more information: ki.se/en/cns

A doctoral position is an available doctoral education project to which a PhD student is to be recruited. After the selection process the process for admission to doctoral education will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Research group
We welcome applications for a PhD position in cognitive and affective neuroscience/experimental psychology at the department of Clinical Neuroscience (division of Psychology). The research will be taking place in two separate research groups. The main supervisor, Dr. Andreas Olsson, directs a group consisting of one senior researcher, three post-docs, three PhD students, two research assistants, and several undergraduate students. The other group is headed by Professor Emily Holmes, who has recently arrived in the department (formerly Cambridge, UK). The lab-facilities include several sound attenuated testing rooms fully equipped for measures of behavior and psychophysiology. A testing room equipped with virtual reality (VR) and concurrent psychophysiology is under construction. We are a part of the Division of Psychology and a member of the Stockholm Brain Institute for cognitive and computational neuroscience, housing a widespread expertise in fMRI, PET, TMS, and computational approaches. The Swedish national center for MEG (NatMEG) is located next door to our lab facilities.

The overarching goal of Dr Andreas Olsson’s research group is to understand the mechanisms of emotional learning and regulation in social situations. In particular, we study the learning and regulation of fear and other aversions and how these processes interact with social cognition and decision-making to shape behavior. For more info, and recent publications, please see our web-site: www.emotionlab.se

The overarching goal of Professor Emily Holmes’s research group will be to bridge research in emotion science to psychological treatment innovation research. Her long term interest involves the link between mental imagery and emotion and the implications of this for psychotherapy. She has a particular interest in the trauma film paradigm as a way to study emotional reactions to stressful events in the laboratory  (see James et al, 2016, Clinical Psychological Review) and the reduction of intrusive memories after trauma (e.g. James et al, 2015, Psychological Science). She welcomes the opportunity to co-supervise a student with the Olsson lab on bridging the mechanisms of emotional learning and regulation in social situations to this topic of intrusive memories after trauma.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student 
The PhD position is part of the project “Social learning and regulation of fear: Linking emotion research and psychological treatment innovation”, which is partly financed by a KI Developmental grant award. The project aims at understanding the behavioral, psychophysiological and neurobiological processes underlying the learning, maintenance, and change of traumatic memories. A common theme of the proposed studies is to examine how these processes are influenced by the social situation. Apart from increasing our knowledge about basic processes, the long-term goal of the current project is to facilitate the development of clinical treatments.

The PhD student will be involved in developing, designing and implementing experiments with the overarching goal to understand the mechanisms behind emotional learning in social situations. The PhD student will also analyze and report the results at scientific conferences and in scientific journals. The research groups have wide international research networks and cooperate with several labs in Europe and the United States. In parallel with research duties, the PhD student will attend doctoral courses so that theoretical and practical experiences will be gained continuously throughout the PhD program.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has to be met:

General entry requirements
A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

  1. has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements: http://ki.se/en/education/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

We are looking for candidates highly motivated for research with a master’s degree or equivalent in psychology, cognitive neuroscience or similar subjects.

Skills and personal qualities
Preference will be given to candidates with experience in programming, psychophysiology, fMRI or VR techniques or with previous experience in experimental psychopathology research, such as the trauma film paradigm, alongside the willingness to acquire the aforementioned skills. The candidate should have a strong interest in experimental research using quantitative methods. An interest in clinical research questions is required. It is essential to have the personal and organizational skills for team working across two research groups. The candidate should also have the interpersonal skills and sensitivity to work testing participants in emotion research settings. High expectations will be placed on the applicant’s ability to work independently, and on problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as academic calibre.

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. 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

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Terms and conditions
All doctoral students at KI receive financial support during their doctoral education and employment on a doctoral studentship is the most common sort of support. During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter and curriculum vitae
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications

The application is to be submitted through the MyNetwork recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Enligt ök
Salary Månadslön
Reference number 2-4323/2016
  • Andreas Olsson, Forskargruppsledare, andreas.olsson@ki.se
  • Emily Holmes, Forskargruppsledare, emily.holmes@ki.se
  • Tina Melander, Personalhandläggare, tina.melander@ki.se
Union representative
  • Arsalan Amir, SACO, 08 - 517 733 37, arsalan.amir@ki.se
  • Gunnel Brolin, OFR, 08-524 810 63, gunnel.brolin@ki.se
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80, henry.wolling@ki.se
Published 16.Nov.2016
Last application date 06.Dec.2016 11:59 PM CET

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