The Department of Medicine, Solna, is one of the largest departments at Karolinska Institutet. The department consists of several divisions that are separated into different research groups. The core activities of the department are research, doctoral education and undergraduate education for medical and biomedical students. The research has three main profiles: allergy, cardiovascular medicine and inflammatory diseases.

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
The Tjernlund research team is part of the Broliden research group which is based at BioClinicum at the Karolinska University Hospital site in Solna. We belong to the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Department of Medicine Solna where research and education is performed in close collaboration with the Karolinska University Hospital. The research teams address a wide range of infectious diseases using clinical, epidemiological and experimental approaches. We share laboratory and office space with Professor Färnert’s research group, which perform malaria research.
The Tjernlund team focuses on mucosal immunology and tissue-based analyses is a central platform in our studies. The research-efforts aim towards a better understanding of the pathogenesis of sexually transmitted infections, with the focus on HIV. The long reaching goal is to assist development of novel strategies, such as microbicides and vaccines that will strengthen the epithelial border and/or target protective T cells at the sites of local infection, with the ambition to reduce the risk of STIs, including HIV.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
The aim of this doctoral program is to explore the function and spatial localization of tissue-resident T cells with the effort to understand HIV specific responses. A particular focus will be on CD8+ T cells present in the female genital mucosa of HIV-infected and uninfected women. The project includes experimental work including handling of tissue samples, in situ staining, digital image analysis, and flow cytometry, RNA sequencing analyses and bioinformatics methods for integration of the different datasets.
The doctoral student will gain insights into immunology linked to an important global health question; how to lowering the risk of STIs infections, including HIV.

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
The candidate must hold a master of science (MSc) in a related field. Fluency in English is mandatory. It is highly meriting if the applicant has previous knowledge and practical experience in different immunological techniques, data visualization and multivariate analysis (with the use of R; for example). The candidate is moreover expected to be organized and able to work independently.
The project includes studies abroad, and the project will be done in an interdisciplinary environment, with collaboration with several research groups. Good collaborative-, social- and analytical skills are required.

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 (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 position is located within the Department of Medicine, Solna. The department consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. The position is located within the research team of Associate Professor Annelie Tjernlund at the Division of Infectious Diseases. The research laboratories are located in BioClinicum at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna.

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

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-95/2020
  • Annelie Tjärnlund, 08-517 703 59
Union representative
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR,
Published 09.Jan.2020
Last application date 31.Jan.2020 11:59 PM CET

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