Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för biovetenskaper och näringslära, Ekwall (KEK)

The Department of Biosciences and Nutrition performs research and education in several areas of medical science including bioorganic chemistry, molecular endocrinology, cancer biology, functional genomics, systems biology, epigenetics, structural biochemistry, cellular virology, and nutrition. It offers an excellent international research and working environment, including around 300 scientists, students, administrative and technical personnel. The Department resides in the new biomedical research building Neo, aimed at being a creative and open environment that enables meetings, synergies, and exploration of areas of mutual interest across disciplines.

A doctoral position is an available doctoral education project to which a PhD student is to be recruited. After the selection process the process for admission to doctoral education will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral

Research group
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes for example chromosomal states, which are not associated with changes in the DNA sequence. The Ekwall group is taking a holistic approach towards understanding epigenetic regulation, unravelling mechanisms at work both in centromeres and gene regulation.

The group is using a variety of approaches including genome-wide 'epigenomics', cell biology and biochemistry to address important questions about epigenetic regulatory mechanisms such as histone modification, nucleosome remodelling and histone variant function. Translational medicine aspects of this research are exploited mainly in the cancer and cell differentiation areas (epigenetic programming). The group also recently initiated projects on chromatin and DNA repair.

For more information on the work of the laboratory, please visit: http://ki.se/en/bionut/epigenetics-chromatin-remodelling-and-cancer-karl-ekwall

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The PhD studies correspond to 4 years of full-time studies. This includes lab work, courses, seminars, and presentation of results at meetings. Other responsibilities include development of methodology and work routines, literature review, statistical analysis and draft scientific manuscripts.

The research program for this position focuses on the chromatin reprogramming between different cellular states such as the difference of proliferative and non-proliferative states as well as cellular stresses. The fission yeast has become a notable model system to study basic principles of a cell as many of the genes responsible for cell division and cellular organization are also found in the human genome. Using this model organism, the successful applicant will first apply and optimize screens including synthetic genetic interactions and high-throughput fluorescence microscopy to identify the role of key components involved in the chromatin reprogramming. Downstream analyses will next focus on studying the most interesting genes and/or pathways and their roles in the chromatin structure using transcriptome- and genome-wide approaches. This work should strongly contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms driving chromatin reprogramming and cellular transformation in cancer.

The post holder will take a strong lead in the project design and management as well as data generation, analyses and interpretation, and collaborate with other team members.

The ideal candidate is expected to report the scientific results by writing scientific papers, attending scientific meetings, and effectively communicate with peers. The ability to work in a highly interdisciplinary and international environment, and to engage in continuous professional development is a must.

The primary project supervisor is Professor Karl Ekwall. The candidate will be co-supervised by Senior Researcher Mickaël Durand-Dubief.  

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has 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 knowledge 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:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

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

Skills and personal qualities
We are looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated candidates who have a degree in Biomedicine, Genomics, Molecular Biology, Genetics and/or Biochemistry. Proven experiences in yeast genetics approaches, high-throughput screenings, molecular biology techniques and microscopy analysis are important.

A strong interest in interdisciplinary technology development, and novel and creative thinking abilities are essential. The ideal candidate should be collaborative, scientifically adventurous, curiosity-driven, and should bring independent and original ideas into the projects.

Any previous records of independent research as well as productive interactions within a multi-disciplinary team environment are advantageous. Since the applicant will work in a multidisciplinary environment the ability to work with other scientist and good communication skills (proficiency in spoken and written English) are important.

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. 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

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Terms and conditions
All doctoral students at KI receive financial support during their doctoral education and employment on a doctoral studentship is the most common sort of support. During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

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

  • A personal letter and curriculum vitae
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications

The application is to be submitted through the MyNetwork recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-1125/2017
  • Karl Ekwall, Professor, +46-8-524 810 39
  • Thomas Tinglöv, Head of Administration, +46-8-524 835 49
Union representative
  • Joseph Rafter, SACO, +46-8- 524 835 45
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, +46-8-524 840 80
  • Birgitta Lindqvist, OFR, +46-8-524 810 35
Published 07.Mar.2017
Last application date 28.Mar.2017 11:59 PM CET

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