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 Cellular Metabolism group is led by Associate Professor Erik Norberg at the Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacoloy. The group has a central focus on profiling and understanding the difference in metabolism in a normal healthy cell compared to tumors. 

A defining hallmark of cancer is altered metabolism. Since the metabolism is rewired in tumors, compared to normal tissues, it holds great promise for discovery of novel drug targets and to improve cancer therapy. Despite significant efforts, the mechanistic basis for a rewired metabolism remains largely unknown.  We undertake an integrative approach that blends many different methods including multiple cutting-edge methods (Seahorse Technology, Metabolomics  and Proteomics) to assess metabolism, combined with classical biochemical and genetical tools. Our research has a strong translational focus combining analyses of normal cells, cancer cell lines, mouse models and human cancer material.

The group is located in an inspiring and interactive research environment in the top modern Biomedicum at Campus Solna and has on-going collaborative projects with national and international colleagues. 

More info about the group, please visit our web page:

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

A cancer cell’s metabolism is very distinct from the normal cell it originates from. Cancer cells enhance their metabolism by elevating the expression of metabolic enzymes to support generation of new biomass, required for rapid proliferation. Targeting the regulatory mechanisms that shapes cancer metabolism holds great promise for improved therapy.

The project has a focus on 1) the discovery of new regulators of cancer metabolism 2) Characterization of their mechanisms of action 3) To target metabolism to improve cancer therapy.

The student is expected to take the mandatory PhD courses of the doctoral program, actively participate in regular group meetings, seminars, present at national/international meetings and take part in routine work within the research team. Importantly, the student is expected to plan and drive the research projects, perform experiments, analyze and interpret data, and present results as posters, in seminars/conferences and as research articles.

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 and enthusiastic candidate that expresses a passionate research interest in the research aims of the lab.

The candidate should be able to work efficiently with the research team but also be self-driven to conduct independent duties to drive the the project.

For this project it is desired that the applicant has a background and hands-on research experience in basic laboratory techniques incl. cell culture, Western Blot, qPCR etc.   

The candidate must be fluent in English and have excellent writing skills. The candidate will join an enthusiastic, collaborative, hardworking and dynamic team.

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 2-4928/2020
  • Erik Norberg,
Union representative
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO,
  • Gunnel Brolin, OFR,
  • Göran Engberg, SACO,
Published 17.Nov.2020
Last application date 14.Dec.2020 11:59 PM CET

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