Do you want to contribute to improving human health?

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 Department of Oncology-Pathology announces a PhD student position within Pär Nordlund’s research group. The research group has developed a strategy for identifying and mapping novel clinical biomarkers that can assist in improving cancer therapies. The group relies on a technology called the cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA), which can directly monitor protein interactions in intact cells and tissue samples. The PhD student will work within a well-established local research environment including both basic and clinical researchers.

Pär Nordlund’s group

Information regarding doctoral (PhD) education

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The project will focus on utilizing a mass spectrometry (MS)-based CETSA strategy for deriving further mechanistic understanding of the action of cellular proteomes in basic cancer processes related to tumour immunology. Once proteome-wide CETSA experiments have been established and performed, the data will be analysed and utilized for constructing a proteome-wide biochemical interaction map of potential drug efficacy biomarkers, drug targets and off-targets. The most promising proteins will be further evaluated with standard cell biology and molecular biology techniques. A key aspect of this project will be to identify novel candidate biomarkers that report on therapeutic efficacy and resistance for improved cancer immune therapies. The PhD student will have an important role in all the parts of the project and the responsibilities will include literature review, statistical analysis, result interpretation, scientific article writing, and data presentation.

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 highly-motivated student who has a strong interest in cancer research, particularly immune-oncology. The applicant should preferably have a biotechnology, biochemistry, or biomedicine background and previous experience in similar research. A master’s degree as well as previous experience in the research field of the PhD project are highly meritorious. Candidates should have a minimum of 12-18 months experience of practical laboratory work. Previous experience of mass spectrometric analysis of protein samples, particularly MS-CETSA, is highly advantageous. Knowledge and experience of other relevant methodologies e.g. western blot, characterizing protein-ligand interactions, and aseptic cell culture are also an advantage. The applicant should be able to work independently in the lab as well as to interact effectively and work productively in a team of researchers with both clinical and basic research background, and with external collaborators. Good communication skills in English, both oral and written, are required. Good skills in scientific writing in English 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.

Your career continues here

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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As per agreement
Reference number 2-2699/2020
  • Pär Nordlund,
Union representative
  • Helen Eriksson, OFR, 08-524 823 38
  • Andreas Lundqvist, SACO, 08-517 768 84
Published 15.Jun.2020
Last application date 05.Jul.2020 11:59 PM CET

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