Karolinska Institutet, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Farnebo

The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) is a department with a strong focus on basic science. CMB conducts research and education in cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, stem cell biology, cancer and infection biology.

A doctoral student is admitted to third-cycle/doctoral education. A doctoral education consists of supervised research, combined with courses and other educational activities. An individual study plan is established for each doctoral student. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

Research group
The position is placed in the laboratory of Marianne Farnebo, which currently includes 9 employees - 3 PhD students, 4 postdocs and a lab manager- and locates at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) at Karolinska Institutet. The laboratory studies the function of non-coding RNA and RNA-binding proteins in DNA repair and chromatin remodeling, and how defects in these processes contribute to cancer. A number of cutting-edge techniques required to study RNA are already up and running in Farnebo laboratory, including single-molecule RNA FISH, RNA tethering, live-cell imaging and laser-micro irradiation.

Farnebo laboratory recently moved to Biomedicum, a new interdisciplinary research center designed to concentrate much of the experimental research conducted at Karolinska Institutet Campus Solna under one roof to promote collaboration. Biomedicum house approximately 1,600 researchers and other personnel and allow expensive equipment to be shared and utilised more effectively.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
Accumulating evidence reveals that RNA plays a key role in the regulation of chromatin structure, however, the underlying mechanism(s) remains poorly understood. The PhD project will focus on characterizing the involvement of RNA and associated proteins in opening and closure of chromatin and in signaling and repair of DNA damage. This project is conceptually novel and expected to have important consequences on our understanding of chromatin integrity control and whether these functions are altered in cancer, which could have implications for cancer therapy.

The PhD student will practice a number of molecular and cellular techniques, including cancer cell culture, RNAi, qPCR, immunofluorescence microscopy, live-cell imaging and immunoprecipitation of proteins and RNAs. He/she will also learn novel and powerful techniques, such as single-molecule RNA FISH and tethering of RNA and proteins to chromatin.

Supervisors: Marianne Farnebo (main supervisor), Associate Professor, Department of CMB, Karolinska Institutet

Nico Dantuma (co-supervisor), Professor, Department of CMB, Karolinska Institutet

Time period: 4 years full-time studies, starting autumn/winter 2019.

For further information, see Farnebo research lab homepage: https://ki.se/en/cmb/marianne-farnebos-group

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
To build a strong and creative research team, we are looking for high achievers from universities around the world. We will offer an intellectually stimulating environment and are looking for the talented people who will play a part in developing our next breakthrough ideas. Are you ready to discover the unexplored?

More specifically,

1. Applicant should have a high personal drive and motivation

2. Applicant should have innovative thinking and be eager to solve problems

3. Applicant should be efficient and able to work productively in a team

4. Applicant should be fluent in English (written and spoken)

5. Applicant should have previous experience various cell biology techniques, including cell culture, microscopy, western blot and cloning

6. Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability

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 
  • Degree projects and previous publications, if any 
  • 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 copy of high school and university grades and any associated certificates

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.


All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-588/2020
  • Marianne Farnebo, marianne.farnebo@ki.se
Union representative
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75
  • Magnus Anå, OFR, 08-524 864 37, magnus.ana@ki.se
  • Elisabeth Valenzuela, SEKO, 08-524 863 53
Published 03.Feb.2020
Last application date 06.Mar.2020 11:59 PM CET

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