Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

The Department of Neuroscience includes several research groups working on different aspects of nervous system function, both under normal conditions and in various disease states. Research projects include a broad range of studies on the molecular and cellular levels, networks of neurons, and the organization of the nervous system as a whole. The Department has a flat organization with 40 research group leaders, of which 24 are full professors, and 65 PhD students.

Teaching represents a fundamental activity at the Department, which participates in several undergraduate courses and postgraduate education programs. Each year approximately 15 students receive their PhD from our Department and many of our graduates have gone onto distinguished careers in the academic or private sector.

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 Diaz Heijtz Lab uses different animal model systems to understand the contribution of genetic factors, impact of early adverse life experience (e.g., stress, antibiotic exposure), and gene-environment interactions on the development of social and cognitive functions. Current research goals are to elucidate the potential role of some innate immune molecules that specifically detect “bacterial motifs” during brain development, and to shed some light on the mechanisms by which the non-pathogenic gut microbiota modulates brain development and behavior. In parallel, ongoing human studies aimed to investigate the potential role of the gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
We are seeking a highly motivated and talented student to dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in the communication between the gut microbiota and the developing brain. Specifically, the student will work with advanced genetic mouse models and behavioral tests, molecular and biochemical techniques (e.g., RNAseq, qRT-PCR, RNAscope immunohistochemistry and morphological techniques flow cytometry, Western blot, and HPLC), basic bioinformatics and data analyses. The candidate is expected to work within the general framework of the research project but will be encouraged to contribute with ideas and proposals for experiments. The PhD studies correspond to 4 years of full-time studies and include laboratory work, writing of scientific papers, general and project-related research courses, as well as active participation in lab seminars and national /international conferences.

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 seeking a talented, enthusiastic student with an interest in brain development and behavior. The successful candidate should be self-motivated and can work productively and dynamically in a group. She/he is expected to actively contribute to both the practical and theoretical parts of the project, and to have excellent communication and organizational skills. Proficiency in oral and written English is mandatory. Applicants should hold a masters' degree (or equivalent) in neurobiology, pharmaceutical sciences, or another relevant life science. Excellent and documented laboratory skills in basic molecular and biochemical techniques are a requirement. Previous experience in the field of microbiome research, flow cytometry, and molecular biology will be considered as an advantage in the selection process. 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 (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.

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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-1276/2020
  • Rochellys Diaz Heijtz,
Union representative
  • Magnus Anå, OFR, 08-524 864 37,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
  • Björn Meister, SACO,
Published 11.Mar.2020
Last application date 01.Apr.2020 11:59 PM CET

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