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
The Hagberg lab ( is a young, dynamic research group working translationally to understand how obesity impacts the emergence of dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular disease, with a particular focus on the human fat, or white adipose tissue. As a part of a well-established larger network of researchers within the Cardiovascular Medicine Division at the Department of Medicine Solna, we focus on identifying early disease mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets, taking discoveries from mouse disease models to human cell systems.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
The fully funded doctoral project is focused on adipose tissue as a regulator of circulating cholesterol levels, and if alleviating adipose dysfunction can protect against the development of dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular diseases. Studies are performed using next-generation sequencing of human and mouse fat tissue biopsies and subsequent mechanistic validation using novel transgenic mouse models of dyslipidaemia and state-of-the-art spheroid and transwell cell culture systems. The project will also involve analysis of human data from biopsies and biobanks. Particular focus will be on the interaction between adipose tissue and the vasculature, and on the lipid handling dynamics of these cell types in both physiology and pathology.

The PhD student should have good collaborative skills, be open to learning new things and working with different people and techniques, including an interest in working with genetically engineered animal models, and with a strong motivation to further understand the molecular basis of disease. The duties furthermore include collaboration with peers, documentation of experimental data, and communication of the results both within the group and to the greater research community, taking part in research meetings, helping out with common laboratory duties as well as contributing to a positive, energetic and innovative research environment.

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 looking for a student with a keen interest in physiology and molecular medicine and motivation to discover novel disease mechanisms. Previous experience using in vivo animal research or cell culture are a plus, but willingness to learn is more important. Taking part in research projects outside the scope of your previous education, such as laboratory summer work, is a merit, as is knowledge of basic laboratory techniques such as qPCR, western blot and ELISA. Please therefore list techniques you are confident in in your CV. You should be curious, self-driven and goal-oriented and a proactive and problem-solving attitude is highly valued. Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English are necessary, as is the ability to work in a team consisting of different nationalities and personalities. Examples of past academic work such as a Master’s thesis written in English, together with a short description of your contribution, degree of independence and role in the project can supplied to help demonstrate language skills and academic potential.

Terms and conditions
The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

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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. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish:

- 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 
- 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.

The position is located within the Department of Medicine, Solna. The department consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. The position is located within the research group of Carolina Hagberg at the Cardiovascular Medicine Division. The team currently has four people and is an integrated part of a larger research division, which comprises around 55 basic and clinical researchers working on metabolism, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular inflammation. The successful PhD student will thus work with many international colleagues, as well as participating in two larger cardio-metabolic research networks within Karolinska Institutet that organize yearly conferences and host excellent international speakers. He/she will moreover have an opportunity for an international research exchange to a world-leading UK or US university to network and learn new techniques. The PhD candidate will receive top class research training in the lab, through courses and through personal mentoring, working tightly with both the main supervisor and both co-supervisors. The labs are located in the brand-new research building BioClinicum in Solna, with close proximity to both the clinics at the Karolinska Hospital and the research resources of Karolinska Institutet. The university has a nice green campus area with gym, cafeterias and several lunch options, as well as infrastructure for networking and career development for early career researchers.

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 STÖD 2-4410/2020
  • Carolina Hagberg, assistant professor, +46 70 757 22 04
Union representative
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
Published 15.Oct.2020
Last application date 05.Nov.2020 11:59 PM CET

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