The Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery (MMK) carries out both preclinical and clinical research within numerous fields. Linked to the department are approximately 450 researchers, postgraduate students, teachers and technical & administrative staff and we currently have about 150 PhD students. The department is conducting undergraduate courses for medical students, physiotherapist students, biomedicine students and biomedical laboratory students.

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:

Research group

The members of the research group are researchers, PhD students, biostaticians or administrators. We conduct clinical research in diseases and surgery of the upper gastrointestinal tract with focus on oesophageal cancer. The research databases originate from large clinical data collections and health care registries. We have: a strong clinical link with upper gastrointestinal surgery, a broad international network, a structured approach to developing new research projects, a well organised PhD program, an active seminar series, a journal club for PhD students, a methods club, and we run own PhD courses. In the recent external research assessment of all research groups at KI (ERA 2010) our group was rated as ‘outstanding’ in the area of cancer research, which was the highest possible score.

You can read more about us here:

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student 
We seek a PhD student for a clinically oriented research project with the aim of identifying factors that influence the risk of developing adenocarcinoma of oesophagus amongst people with Barrett’s oesophagus (a metaplasia of the oesophagus which is found in approximately 1.5 % of the adult population). We will create a large Swedish cohort of patients with Barrett’s oesophagus for research purposes by conducting review of medical records and registry data. The factors to be studied include tumour progression risk in the study cohort, clinical factors (e.g. hiatal hernia and oesophagitis) and use of certain medications.

This PhD project has in competition been awarded with central funding from Karolinska Institutet (KID funding).

PhD studies correspond to four years full-time work and include scientific work, courses, seminars and conferences. The PhD student will be responsible for drafting detailed study protocols for each study of the thesis, conduct data collection, literature reviews, statistical analyses (with support of a biostatistician), and draft scientific manuscripts as first author.


The main supervisor is Jesper Lagergren, Professor and Consultant of Surgery at Karolinska Institutet and King’s College London. He belongs to the group of professors at Karolinska Institutet who has received the Distinguished Professor Award. The co-supervisor Hashem El-Serag who is Foreign Adjunct Professor at Karolinska Institutet and Professor at Baylor College, Houston USA. Both supervisors have expertise knowledge of the project.

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:

Excellent knowledge of English is expected and knowledge in written Swedish is required for the review of medical records.

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for an enthusiastic, curious and talented person with an interest in clinical cancer research. Documented interest in the research area is desired. The prerequisites are suitable medical background and education, ideally with some knowledge in gastro-oesophageal diseases. Documented ability to collaborate with others and arrange research projects are qualifying.

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
The most common way of financial support for doctoral students at KI is doctoral grant the first year and a doctoral studentship (doctoral employment) for year 2, 3 and 4. 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 on the NetRecruiter system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number Dnr 3-1604/2014
  • Jesper Lagrergren / Professor, 08-5177 6012 eller 070-2274088
Union representative
  • Michael Tekle, SACO, 08-517 73442,
  • Mirjana Poljakovic, SACO, 08 - 517 722 23,
  • Nasrin Bavand-Chobot, OFR, 08-517 72230
Published 16.May.2014
Last application date 15.Jun.2014 11:59 PM CEST

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