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 Molecular & Cellular Exercise Physiology group led by Professor Jorge Ruas at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, studies the molecular mechanisms that regulate systemic energy metabolism, with special focus on skeletal muscle and exercise. The group is particularly interested in understanding how exercised or sedentary skeletal muscle cross-talks with other organs, and how it can affect individual health and disease.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The doctoral student will study how metabolites of the tryptophan-kynurenine pathway can serve as non-canonical signals in obesity and diabetes, and how they are affected by exercise training. The project includes experiments using both cell culture systems and animal models. The student will also take required courses and actively participate in lab meetings, seminar series at departmental and KI-wide levels, and national and 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 looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and professional candidate that above all, expresses a passionate research interest in the project and the research aims of the lab. We highly value a collaborative research environment and as such, applicants should be able to work in a team and possess leadership qualities. Additionally, applicants should be independent and self-driven for when individual tasks are required. Lastly, applicants should be able to maintain a positive attitude towards the workplace and the work involved throughout the duration of the doctoral degree.

We expect applicants to be proficient in the English language and demonstrate effective communication skills in written and oral formats. Applicants should have strong organizational skills yet be flexible to re-prioritize as needed. Solid theoretical knowledge in skeletal muscle biology and exercise physiology is required. Previous wet lab, cell culture, and animal research experience is a merit. Lastly, experience with project management and programming languages is preferred.

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. 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.

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 Upon agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Reference number STÖD 2-4821/2020
  • Jorge Ruas, Professor,
Union representative
  • Gunnel Brolin, OFR,
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Helin Norberg, SACO,
Published 12.Nov.2020
Last application date 07.Dec.2020 11:59 PM CET

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