The Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB) is among the largest departments of epidemiology in Europe with special focus on increasing our knowledge of the aetiology of different diseases. Our department consists of researchers, doctoral students, biostatisticians, data collectors and database administrators as well as administrative personnel, in total some 250 staff. The department is situated at campus Solna. Further information can be found at

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

With 1.1 million new diagnoses every year, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in developed countries. The prostate cancer group at MEB is a highly interdisciplinary and vibrant research group at the international forefront of developing and implementing precision medicine strategies for improving diagnostics and treatment of prostate cancer. The research spans world-quality data sources, innovative clinical trials, cutting edge genomics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Conservative treatment of prostate cancer with active surveillance is increasingly used for men with low-risk prostate cancer to delay or avoid aggressive treatment. Active surveillance means following the patient with repeated PSA tests and prostate biopsies in order to be able to distinguish those who need treatment afterwards. However, follow-up can cause complications, the most feared being blood-stream infection, which untreated is life-threatening. The overall purpose of these studies is to improve how we select and monitor men with low-risk prostate cancer

We conduct two large studies in Sweden and Scandinavia where we evaluate men with low-risk prostate cancer who are put on active surveillance. Our goal is to evaluate the value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and blood sampling of biomarkers during monitoring as a tool for predicting which men should be selected for active treatment while reducing the number of tissue samples that need to be taken. In addition to increasing the precision of the monitoring, the purpose is to reduce the sampling, which in itself presents a risk of complications for the patient.

Our goal is to implement a new follow-up protocol for men with low-risk prostate cancer that includes MRI and biomarkers. The hypothesis is that an optimized protocol leads to reduced sampling and increased precision in the selection of men who go for active treatment with surgery or radiation. The doctoral student will carry out analyzes within the two studies with a focus on evaluating the predictive value of the Stockholm3 test and evaluating quality of life for men on active surveillance.

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. 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 applicant should possess a master degree together with at least four years of experience from work or studies in medicine. Previous epidemiological research in the prostate cancer field is a very strong merit. In addition, experience from applications of statistics, classical epidemiological study designs, experiences from register-based research, survival analysis and competing risk methods are strong merits.

The ideal candidate should have basic skills in statistical programming, preferably R statistical programming as this is the primary software used by our group.  

Fluency in English is required, and experience of writing and publishing research articles in English is an advantage.

Personal characteristics

The applicant should be highly collegial and be able to work well in a cross-disciplinary team as well as having the ability to work independently. Further, the applicant should possess exceptional organizational skills, know how to successfully multitask, and should be able to describe past examples of having developed structured approaches to solving unanticipated and complex problems.

The applicant should have excellent analytical skills, possess curiosity and creativity, and have capacity to take responsibility for research projects together with the supervisor.

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 Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Reference number 2-1880/2020
  • Martin Eklund,
  • Sara Tiste,
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Ann Almqvist, SACO,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR,
Published 04.May.2020
Last application date 01.Jun.2020 11:59 PM CET

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