Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap

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


At the Division of Psychology, we're conducting research at the intersection between psychology and biomedicine at Karolinska Institutet and the Karolinska University Hospital. Currently, there are fifteen different research groups at the division. We welcome applications for a Postdoc position in psychology and social epidemiology in a research group led by Dr. Richard Bränström. The overarching goal of our research is to generate greater knowledge concerning factors influencing the health and well-being of vulnerable populations, and to develop easily disseminated interventions to improve resilience in these groups. In this research, we try to identify social determinants of health and health-related behaviors, and to study the effects of internet-based psychological treatments. During the past several years, our main focus has been on studies of how social, psychological and contextual factors influence the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals.

We are seeking a post-doctoral associate for two studies: one funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying internalizing psychopathology in a prospective, population-based cohort of sexual minority young adults” (Project PLUS) and one funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) “Victimization, Discrimination, and Life-satisfaction among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals across Europe and the influence of Discriminatory Laws, Policies, and Attitudes” (Project LGBT in Europe). The first project is led by Drs. Richard Bränström (Karolinska Institute), John Pachankis (Yale University), and Mark Hatzenbuehler (Columbia University). The second project is led by Drs. Richard Bränström (Karolinska Institute) in close collaboration with John Pachankis (Yale). The post-doctoral associate would be mentored by Dr. Bränström and would collaborate (as appropriate) with other study investigators.


The post-doctoral associate will be based at the Division of Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute. The appointment is for one-year that is potentially renewable for an additional year, contingent on funding and performance. The successful candidate will be a part of a productive and dynamic research environment and work closely with Dr. Bränström and the study team to:

  • Obtain data across longitudinal time points and prepare data for analyses
  • Develop analysis plans to test study hypotheses and conduct statistical analyses
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication (The post-doctoral associate will have the opportunity to be the first author on several papers and a co-author on others)
  • Assist in project coordination tasks, including managing databases and overseeing participant retention efforts.

Study description (Project PLUS)

Sexual minority individuals are substantially more likely than heterosexuals to experience internalizing psychopathology and associated comorbidity. Young and early adulthood represents the period during which significant sexual orientation disparities in internalizing psychopathology emerge. Yet, little is known about the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying the sexual orientation disparity in mental disorders during this critical developmental stage. We have created a rare opportunity to address these knowledge gaps by creating a large prospective, population-based dataset in Sweden. We will follow a new representative cohort of sexual minority young adults and a same-sized random heterosexual comparison group. We will administer to this cohort an online battery of self-report and behavioral measures of internalizing psychopathology and proposed mechanisms for four years annually to evaluate whether psychosocial mechanisms explain the young adult sexual minority disparity in internalizing psychopathology. We will also evaluate whether biological mechanisms explain the young adult sexual minority disparity in internalizing psychopathology.

Study description (Project LGBT in Europe)

Research has found that LGBT individuals represent a disproportionately high-risk population for mental distress, physical health concerns, and other indicators of poor life-satisfaction. Clear and consistent evidence locates the source of this disparity in LGBT individuals’ disproportionate exposure to stigma and associated stress compared to heterosexuals. Stigma can occur at structural level (e.g., unjust laws, policies, and population attitudes), interpersonal level (e.g., discrimination and victimization), and individual level (e.g., identity concealment) to compromise LGBTs health and wellbeing. This study takes advantage of two unique and large datasets of LGBT individuals across all 28 EU countries with wide variation in structural stigma towards LGBT individuals, to investigate the joint and mechanistic influence of three levels of stigma on LGBT individuals’ health and wellbeing. Using multi-level analyses, we will explore links between structural forms of stigma toward LGBT individuals (i.e., discriminatory legislation and low LGBT acceptance), interpersonal stigma related stress (i.e., victimization, harassment, and discrimination), and individual forms of stigma coping (e.g., identity concealment) and health outcomes (i.e., life-satisfaction, self-rated health, health care access).

Entry requirements

The applicant MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered: Applicants should have a PhD in psychology, social epidemiology, sociology, or an allied discipline, and will have particular strengths in multilevel modeling, latent growth curve modeling, and other methods of analyzing longitudinal data; and knowledge of psychosocial influences on mental health. Knowledge of research on LGBT health is encouraged but is not required for this position. The ability to work well within a team and display high interpersonal skills, is also important, because a large part of the research will be carried out in cooperation with other research group members. Excellent oral and written English language skills are required. Candidates must have completed all requirements for the PhD prior to starting the position.

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

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including date of the thesis defence, title of the thesis, previous academic positions, academic title, current position, academic distinctions, and committee work
  • A complete list of publications
  • A summary of current work (no more than one page)

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

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full-time/Part-time
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 50-100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2-4592/2019
  • Julia Martinez Palm, Personaladministratör, 08-524 832 40
  • Richard Bränström, Forskare, Richard.Branstrom@ki.se
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
  • Arsalan Amir, SACO, 08 - 517 733 37
  • Venus Azhary, OFR, 0707-124 127
Published 12.Sep.2019
Last application date 26.Sep.2019 11:59 PM CET

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