Karolinska Institutet, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Kutter

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.

Research group
The research group of Dr Claudia Kutter seeks applications for a Doctoral (PhD) student position in the field of RNA and/or chromatin biology as well as functional and/or comparative genomics. The Kutter lab has a track record in deciphering molecular mechanism by which noncoding RNAs (i.e. long noncoding, transfer and small RNA) regulate genes and genome structure in mammalian somatic tissue and in the germline (Ernst et al, NatComm, 2017; Rudolph et al, PLoS Genetics, 2016; Schmitt et al, Genome Research, 2014; Kutter et al, PLoS Genetics, 2012; Kutter et al, Nature Genetics 2011). The research program for this position focuses on gene regulation during cell differentiation and disease progression in mouse and human.

The group investigates the roles of noncoding RNAs genome- and transcriptome-wide by employing a combination of next generation sequencing technologies and high-throughput genetic screening approaches, applying and developing experimental and computational methods. The group uses an integrative and collaborative approach, and works closely with experimental and computational groups at KI, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab), and other local and international research groups.

The laboratory is located at SciLifeLab on the Karolinska Institute campus in Stockholm. SciLifeLab offers an attractive research environment, provides state-of-the-art instrumentation and core facilities, and is home to the second largest sequencing cluster in Europe. SciLifeLab is a joint effort between Karolinska Institute, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and Stockholm University. It hosts research groups with diverse backgrounds and expertise, creating a unique interface between basic and applied biology, has strong expertise in *-omics approaches, bioengineering, drug discovery, and translational medicine.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
The human body consists of hundreds of highly specialized and morphologically diverse cells, yet virtually every cell in the body contains the same genetic information. To exert cell-specific functions, high fidelity mechanisms restrict the expression and processing to only a particular set of genes and transcripts. Abnormal cell behavior as seen in many fatal human diseases, such as cancer, is often the consequence of aberrant transcripts formation. The research program for this position focuses on investigating the regulation of noncoding RNAs during cell differentiation and disease progression, with a particular interest on gene regulation, transcriptional processing and understanding of the underlying molecular and cellular responses by using diverse cell lines, mouse and human tissues as model system. The individual study plan for this position has already been approved by the KI funding for doctoral education (KID).

The successful applicant will acquire basic and specialized knowledge and understanding in chromatin, gene regulation, RNA biology, organ development and cancer biology. The work implies to apply, master and develop innovative research methodologies in genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, next generation sequencing and bioinformatics, statistics, molecular biology and biochemistry, in which the group is specialized in. The post holder is expected to take a strong lead in the project design and management as well as data generation, analyses and interpretation under consideration of ethical standards and scientific research conduct, and collaborate with other team members.

The candidate will identify and formulate scientific issues accurately, critically, autonomously and creatively; plan, execute, understand and discuss research questions, methodologies, results and interpretations within a given timeframe; present research findings effectively to the group, national and international research community, which also includes vigorous reporting of the work and drafting of scientific manuscripts. The duties also include to work in a team and to adhere to high scientific standards and responsibilities (ethics). The ability to work in a highly interdisciplinary and international environment and to engage in continuous professional development is a must.

The primary project supervisor is Assistant Professor Claudia Kutter (KI-MTC, SciLifeLab). The candidate will be working with postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and other group members in the Kutter lab and will be co-supervised by Assistant Professor Emma Andersson (KI-CMB and BioNut) and Professor Yihai Cao (KI-MTC).

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 looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate who has a degree in Genomics, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Biomedicine, Genetics and/or Biochemistry. Proven experiences in eukaryotic RNA biology, gene regulation, transcriptome-wide studies, mammalian tissue culture techniques and the CRISPR/Cas system and/or prior knowledge in bioinformatics and R programming for statistical computing and graphics is important. A strong interest in interdisciplinary experimental and computational method development, and novel and creative thinking abilities are essential. Applicants wishing to integrate computational and experimental biology approaches are especially encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate should be collaborative, scientifically adventurous, curiosity-driven, and should bring independent and original ideas into the project. Any previous records of independent research as well as productive interactions within a multi-disciplinary team environment (e.g. first- and/or co-author publications in high profile journals) are advantageous. Since the applicant will work in a multidisciplinary environment the ability to work with other scientist and good communication skills (proficiency in spoken and written English) are necessary.

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 with contact details of three referees (English)
  • Degree projects and previous publications, if any (English)
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (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
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-4104/2019
  • Claudia Kutter, claudia.kutter@ki.se
Union representative
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, niklas.andersson@ki.se
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75
Published 08.Aug.2019
Last application date 09.Sep.2019 11:59 PM CET

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