Karolinska Institutet,

At the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology we teach and conduct internationally acclaimed, high-quality research in Physiology, Pharmacology, Anesthesiology and Intensive care. We have around 400 employees, 30 research groups, and 90 doctoral students. Our research fields include cellular signaling, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, neuropsychopharmacology, neuroinflammation, pharmacogenetics, regenerative medicine, Renal System, anesthesiology and intensive care, muscle physiology and pain. Our collaboration with the clinics at Karolinska University Hospital provides unique opportunities for translational research within our subjects. More information about research at http://ki.se/fyfa_english

We are recruiting a doctoral (PhD) student. For more information regarding doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet (KI), see:

Research group
The overall research mission of the unit for molecular pain research led by Dr. Camilla Svensson is to advance our understanding of the mechanisms that drive chronic pain states, in particular persistent pain in rheumatoid arthritis. In this context, we are exploring novel links between the presence of different autoantibodies, activation of osteoclasts and regulation of pain signal transmission. Intracellular signaling pathways that are activated or deactivated in this process are being dissected and studied in relation to persistent pain. We use a number of behavioral, immunohistochemical, electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques to dissect pain pathways in vivo and in cell culture systems. The research group (10 PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and staff members) collaborate with preclinical as well as clinical researchers not only within Karolinska Institutet, but also with other Swedish and international researchers. The principal supervisor will be Professor Camilla Svensson. See below for information about the doctoral education project and the duties of the student.

About the BonePain Network
We have 1 open positions for PhD fellows in the EU-funded Innovative Training Network BonePainII (www.bonepain.eu). BonePainII is a European Innovative Training Network to promote frontline research, innovation and education within bone pain. Millions in Europe and beyond suffer from bone pain, which is a debilitating complication of many musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis and bone metastasis. The BonePainII network has participants from 6 European countries and encompasses 8 academic groups and 4 industries all committed to creating an outstanding training program for 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) to elucidate the mechanisms of bone pain and develop new medicines. This project is part of the EU-funded project BonePainII, www.bonepain.eu. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 814244. 

Project title: Autoantibody driven bone erosion – novel links to chronic pain in rheumatoid arthritis
The main focus of the current PhD project will be to examine which and how autoantibodies derived from RA-patients’ B-cells increase neuronal excitability via activation of osteoclasts. The student will learn several techniques for analysis of joint pathology and bone erosion and different in vivo behavioural assays and immunological and molecular biological tools. The project also includes in vitro work in based on neuronal and osteoclast cell cultures and associated assays as well as analysis of patient samples. The student will be part of a larger research network in Stockholm consisting of preclinical and clinical researchers.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position at Karolinska Institutet, the following requirements have 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 konwledge 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 is an entry requirement for doctoral education at KI. Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries has met the requirements in English.

Follow the link below for information on how other applicants can certify their English proficiency (such as through IELTS or TOEFL, previous upper secondary or university level studies).

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

Specific requirements for the Innovative Training Network (ITN)
All PhD students recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESR). ESR can be of any nationality and age, and they must comply with the LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE and MOBILITY RULE (see below).

LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE: Early-Stage Researchers (= PhD Students) must, at the date of recruitment by the beneficiary, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. The date of recruitment means the first day of the employment of the researcher for the purposes of the action (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract or equivalent direct contract). Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited), even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged.

MOBILITY RULE: Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Skills and personal qualities
We are seeking a highly motivated, talented student who has the maturity and desire to study hard and independently as well as work in a group setting. The day-to-day studies are to a large extent laboratory based and require self-motivation. In addition, the research is team based and the group have multiple ongoing collaborative projects and as such the applicant must have strong communication skills and an ability to interact effectively and work productively in a collaborative manner. The applicant must be fluent in English, with excellent communication and writing skills. A genuine high level of curiosity for research in general and in the pain field in particular is advantageous. Previous experience in the fields of neuroscience, immunology and/or behavioral pharmacology is considered an advantage for this project. Emphasis will be placed on personal skills, motivation and previous experience of laboratory work.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
• Relevant skills and knowledge
• Previous publications
• Relevant work experience
• The grades achieved during bachelor/master studies
• Language skills
• Assessment of the candidate’s motivation letter

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.

Application process
The application and supporting documents are to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

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

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • Documents certifying the entry requirements*: Academic degree diplomas, transcripts of records, and if applicable, authorised translations
  • Copies of degree projects and any previous publications
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above

*All documents certifying the entry requirements must be scans of originals (scans of copies or certified copies will not be accepted). The scanned documents must be in color and both the front and the back of the documents must be scanned. Please note that there are specific documentation requirements for a number countries, please read the instructions at: http://ki.se/en/phd/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

If an applicant claims equivalent konwledge (point 3 under general entry requirements above) for the eligibility assessment, a form has to be filled in and submitted. Please find more information here: https://ki.se/en/phd/assessing-equivalent-knowledge-for-general-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

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.

The selection process will include several steps. The most suitable applicants will proceed to the next step which includes personal interviews. All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is done.

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-800/2019
  • Professor Camilla Svensson, Group leader, Camilla.svensson@ki.se
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, niklas.andersson@ki.se
  • Göran Engberg, SACO, 08-524 867 17
Published 15.Feb.2019
Last application date 14.Mar.2019 11:59 PM CET

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