The Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) conducts world leading research in aging, dementia, epidemiology and care sciences. This research extends from basic molecular and cell levels to clinical research and societal studies. NVS educates almost a third of KI students at basic and advanced levels. The Department has approximately 450 employees and a revenue 2018 of 490 million SEK. It comprises seven divisions, located at Campus Flemingsberg and Campus Solna.

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group
Aging Research Center (ARC) is one of the divisions at the NVS Department, located at KI campus Solna. The Aging Research Center is a multidisciplinary academic environment, representing psychology, sociology, and various branches of medicine (e.g., neurology, epidemiology, and psychiatry). In the psychology sector of the center, we examine brain correlates of cognitive aging and seek to understand how genetic and lifestyle factors shape development of brain and cognition in adulthood and old age. We approach these research questions with small-scale neuroimaging studies, large-scale intervention (e.g., training) studies, and large-scale population-based longitudinal studies. Our research group consists of senior researchers, postdocs, and doctoral students.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
Iron is an essential metal for several neurobiological mechanisms, such as neurotransmission and myelination. However, at high concentration, iron becomes deleterious to cellular integrity. Brain iron overload has been observed in virtually all neurodegenerative diseases, and also in normal aging. The study of brain iron load in aging is a new field of research. Hence, its implications in brain and cognitive aging remain to be characterized.

The present doctoral project focuses on brain iron load and accumulation in aging. The aim of the studies embedded in this project is to uncover the role of brain iron load and accumulation on molecular and functional properties of the brain, and motor and cognitive decline with advancing age. In addition, genetic and lifestyle factors will be investigated in relation to brain iron accumulation using data from two multimodal neuroimaging protocols (see for example In addition to participating in follow-up data collection, the successful candidate is expected to play a critical role in formulating scientific research hypotheses, testing those hypotheses by using proper study designs, processing MRI and analyzing data, presenting and interpreting the results, and writing scientific articles in English. The student will work independently to execute his or her doctoral project, in collaboration with the research team and supervisors.

What do we offer?
A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

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 a highly motivated doctoral student who is efficient, thorough, and enjoys working in an international and dynamic multidisciplinary team.


  • Applicants should have second-cycle background in neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, or some other relevant area
  • Prior knowledge in neuroscience and cognitive psychology
  • Prior knowledge and skills in neuroimaging (more particularly image processing of brain MRI data) and statistics
  • Good communicator in English (both orally and in writing)


  • Computer programming ability

Terms and conditions
The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Video about the Karolinska Institutet, how we all work towards "a better health for all":

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 (Swedish or English)
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any (Swedish or English)
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (Swedish or 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.

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.

 All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

The department of NVS
Aging Research Center

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-5899/2019
  • Grégoria Kalpouzos, Senior researcher, +46 (0)705328585,
  • Ulla Cronfalk-Hernlund, Head of administration, +46 852486818,
  • Catarina Cleveson, Coordinator doctoral education, +46 852486832,
Union representative
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75
  • Carina Eklund, OFR, 08-585 826 65
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
Published 26.Nov.2019
Last application date 17.Dec.2019 11:59 PM CET

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