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

Prostate Cancer (PC) is the most commonly detected cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among US men overall; however, mortality rates among African American (AA) men are nearly twice as high compared to Caucasian men. Studies show heritability of PC to be as high as 58% and genome-wide association studies have validated over 100 small nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with elevated PC risk. AA men have higher rates of aggressive PC, higher PSA on diagnostic testing and are more likely to develop aggressive PC at younger ages. One reason for this, many researchers believe, is linked to heritability.

The Stockholm3 (STHLM3) study, developed a unique multivariable biopsy outcome prediction model within a Nordic population of nearly 60,000 men. This model, which incorporated 6 protein markers, 232 SNPs and clinical variables was shown to be capable of reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies by 32% while maintaining adequate sensitivity for detection of clinically significant PC with Gleason grade ³ 7. It is unknown whether an approach developed in Sweden that incorporates kallikreins, genomics, and clinical variables would be beneficial in a racially diverse U.S. cohort.

This work aims to focus on prostate cancer disparity seen in the United States by investigating genetic as well as non-genetic risk factors within diverse multiethnic cohorts. These investigations would be done in a clinical setting for men presenting for prostate biopsy. We are now looking for a doctoral student with an interest in prostate cancer epidemiology, prostate cancer genetics, clinical trial implementation, and statistical programming. The candidate is expected to absorb necessary knowledge on heritable risk factors for prostate cancer including overall genetic risk, genetic predictors of ethnic ancestry and genetic predictors of ethnic specific risk of prostate cancer. The candidate should also maintain a high level of statistical programming competence with focus on model prediction.

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 applicant should possess a doctoral medical degree or equivalent experience with an insight in the clinical field working with patients presenting for a prostate cancer diagnostic evaluation. In addition, the applicant should have insight into the infrastructure of the US healthcare system. As this project is centered on implementing prospective and retrospective trials in a multiethnic US cohort, the applicant should have strong relationships and networking skills that would facilitate multi-institutional collaboration with US institutions. The applicant should be able to navigate international research agreements while maintaining the privacy and safety of all patients involved in studies.

The ideal candidate should have basic skills in statistical programming, preferably R statistical programming as this is the primary software used by our group. Experience from applications of statistics and/or epidemiology are also considered strong merits, together with experience from crossdisciplinary research in a cancer research environment.

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

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
Reference number 2-2908/2020
  • Martin Eklund,
  • Sara Tiste,
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Ann Almqvist, SACO,
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR,
Published 26.Jun.2020
Last application date 17.Jul.2020 11:59 PM CET

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