Karolinska Institutet, The Institute of Environmental Medicine

The Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) is a department at Karolinska Institutet and an interdisciplinary research institution within the broad field of environmental medicine. IMM conducts cutting edge research within the areas of environmental and occupational medicine, toxicology, physiology, epidemiology, and biostatistics with the aim to clarify how environmental and lifestyle factors affect our health and which role genes have. IMM also serves as a scientific advisor to public authorities within the area of environmental medicine and IMM scientists participate in national and international expert groups.

We are recruiting a doctoral (PhD) student. For more information regarding doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet (KI), see:

Research Environment
The doctoral student for this project will be a part of Joëlle Rüegg’s research group (https://ki.se/en/people/joerue). The Rüegg group’s research interest is to decipher mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with a particular focus on epigenetic regulation. This is achieved using different in vitro models to study molecular and cellular changes induced by EDCs as well as epigenetic analyses of animal and human tissues. The student will be co-supervised by Anna Forsby at Stockholm University. Forsby’s research group is focused on studies of mechanisms of neurotoxicity at the transcriptional, structural and functional levels by using established and novel cell models for the nervous system during development and adulthood. The PhD project is part of the ENDpoiNTs project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon-2020 framework. The aim of ENDpoiNTs is to develop new computational, in vitro and in vivo methods and readouts to predict developmental neurotoxicity induced by EDCs. Methods developed in ENDpoiNTs will be integrated into novel testing strategies to significantly improve EDC testing and risk assessment. ENDpoiNTs will run from 1.1.2019-31.12.2023 and includes 16 participants in Europe, USA, and Australia. The strong international and interdisciplinary dimension of ENDpoiNTs offers a unique training and networking platform.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The main focus of this PhD project is to develop cellular and epigenetic readouts for developmental neurotoxicity into robust methods for EDC testing. The student will use a variety of methods such as cultivating and differentiating mammalian cells, high content imaging, gene expression analysis using real-time PCR, genome-wide and targeted DNA methylation analyses in cells, animal and human tissue as well as bioinformatic and statistical methods for data analysis. In addition, the PhD student is expected to draft scientific articles and participate and present at scientific meetings, in particular the annual ENDpoiNTs project meetings

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position at Karolinska Institutet, the following requirements have to be met:

General entry requirements

A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to

Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

  1. has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent konwledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school is an entry requirement for doctoral education at KI. Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries has met the requirements in English.

Follow the link below for information on how other applicants can certify their English proficiency (such as through IELTS or TOEFL, previous upper secondary or university level studies).

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements, please see: http://ki.se/en/phd/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for a talented, social and highly motivated student who is interested in the field of endocrine disruptors. On top of fulfilling the general entry requirements for doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet, the successful candidate has a background in toxicology, molecular or cellular biology, biochemistry, biomedicine or other suitable areas. Previous experience in working with mammalian cell models and molecular biology methods is required. Background knowledge in (developmental) neurotoxicity and/or endocrine disruption research as well as experience with high content imaging, DNA methylation analysis, statistical and bioinformatic analyses is a merit. As the work will be carried out in an international interdisciplinary environment, good oral and written communication skills in English as well as good collaboration skills are required.

Terms and conditions
The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship during the 4 years doctoral education.

Application process
The application and supporting documents are to be submitted through the Varbi recruitment system.

An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • Documents certifying the entry requirements*: Academic degree diplomas, transcripts of records, and if applicable, authorised translations
  • Copies of degree projects and any previous publications
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above

*All documents certifying the entry requirements must be scans of originals (scans of copies or certified copies will not be accepted). The scanned documents must be in color and both the front and the back of the documents must be scanned. Please note that there are specific documentation requirements for a number countries, please read the instructions at: http://ki.se/en/phd/entry-requirements-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

If an applicant claims equivalent konwledge (point 3 under general entry requirements above) for the eligibility assessment, a form has to be filled in and submitted. Please find more information here: https://ki.se/en/phd/assessing-equivalent-knowledge-for-general-eligibility-for-doctoral-education

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.

KI 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.

The selection process will include several steps. The most suitable applicants will proceed to the next step which includes personal interviews. All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is done.

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-6508/2018
  • Joëlle Rüegg, Associate Professor, +46 8 524 88518 / joelle.ruegg@ki.se
Union representative
  • Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, +46 70-173 85 75 / biborka.bveress@ki.se
  • Niklas Andersson, OFR, + 46 8-524 874 19 / niklas.andersson@ki.se
  • Anne Boström, SEKO , +46 8-524 875 79 / anne.bostrom@ki.se
Published 06.Dec.2018
Last application date 07.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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