Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

The Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) conducts world leading research in aging, dementia, epidemiology and care sciences. This research extends from basic molecular and cell levels to clinical research and societal studies. NVS educates almost a third of KI students at basic and advanced levels. The Department has approximately 450 employees and a revenue 2017 of 470 million SEK. It comprises eight divisions, located at Campus Flemingsberg and Campus Solna.

The Doctoral School of Health Care Sciences at Karolinska Institutet
The Doctoral School of Health Care Sciences co-finances PhD students during four-year full-time studies. The doctoral students are offered a coherent structure of courses and targeted activities throughout their doctoral education. The aim is to strengthen scientific research at doctoral education in health care sciences and to promote high quality care research in close relations to health care. The focus is not on specific occupational groups but on interdisciplinary and multiple academic disciplines. The graduate school was established following a decision by the Board of Doctoral Education (FUS) 2009-03-05 and is placed at the Department of NVS. For more information about the Doctoral School of Health Sciences, see http://ki.se/nvs/forskolani-vitenskapsvetenskap-fiv (only in Swedish)

We are recruiting a student for doctoral education. After a candidate is selected, an admission process commences. The candidate is admitted as a student once an individual study plan for the doctoral education has been approved by the departmental admission board.  

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

Research group
The research group has extensive experience in pediatric lung and allergy research. The group is multidisciplinary and consists of molecular geneticists, pediatricians, nurses and midwives, as well as a comprehensive national / international network. PreventADALL is a Swedish-Norwegian collaborative project. The doctoral student will establish collaboration and learning together with a research group at Oslo University. The doctoral candidate will work at the Unit for Clinical Pediatrics at the Department of Women's and Children's Health, KI in Solna. The research group has established collaboration and derives from the lung and allergy department at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
Allergic diseases cause serious health problems for children. Atopic diseases often start in infancy with atopic dermatitis (AD), and food allergy, followed by asthma and allergic rhinitis. A reduced skin barrier, found with protein defects of filaggrin (FLG) gene mutations, are associated with AD and asthma. There are few birth cohort studies investigating environment and lifestyle factors in pregnant mother and the association of eczema and allergic disease in offspring. Key risk factors of common childhood diseases, like asthma and allergy, stem from the intrauterine environment and exposures early in life. Asthma development and association to outcomes related to early deviation from normal development in infancy is crucial to understand.

The prevention study PreventADALL is investigating if it is possible to prevent allergic diseases by simple, low-cost prevention strategies of skin care and early food introduction. PreventADALL is a longitudinal birth cohort with randomized controlled factorial designed intervention (skin treatment and early food introduction) that includes 2397 mother-child pairs. From 18 gestational weeks, at birth and up to the age of 3, 6, 12 and 24 months have we collected information about health, socioeconomics, lifestyle, perceived stress and biological samples. The outcomes of the skin treatment and the early food introduction will be analysed at 12 months and 3 years, respectively. PreventADALL is a Nordic collaboration between Sweden and Norway and the hypothesis is that allergic disease can be prevented by protective skin care treatment and early taste of food in the first 3 months of life. A recent study showed that the introduction of peanut in the diet during the child's first year of life can reduce the risk of peanut allergy in children who were at high risk for peanut allergy. However, it is unclear if early taste portions with basic foods, such as milk, eggs, and wheat increases tolerance and protects against allergies in healthy children.

In combination with preventive interventions, we study risks and predictors for allergic disease in pregnancy, at birth and during early life in PreventADALL. We are studying how women's health and perceived stress during pregnancy can affect the health of the child and the risk of allergy development. Markers for stress have been collected during pregnancy in saliva and self-reported stress with a validated questionnaire has been applied. Furthermore, we have studied the newborn's lung function and we would like the PhD student to link these outcomes of stress and lung function to asthma development up to 3 years of age.

The doctoral student is expected to work with data collection, together with a group of doctors and nurses. Furthermore, the PhD student will under supervision analyse data with focus on asthma development up to the age of 3 years. The doctoral student will be offered a research environment in an active and growing research group that supports learning and personal development for the PhD student. There are currently 3 PhD students in the research group, one is already included in the Doctoral School of Health Care Sciences at Karolinska Institutet.

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

Since the PhD student will participate in the clinical follow-up of children in PreventADALL in Stockholm, the PhD student should have good knowledge in Swedish.

Skills and personal qualities
Personal skills that are valued are collaborative ability, and being analytical and structured are also desirable. Willingness and motivation to learn and perform research is a requirement. Good oral and written language skills in English and Swedish are a requirement.  If you have previously worked in research projects, this is a good merit.

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 Varbi recruitment system.

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-5932/2017
  • Björn Nordlund, Adjunct lecturer, bjorn.nordlund@ki.se, 070-323 44 14
  • Anna-Maria Loimi, Coordinator FiV, anna-maria.loimi@ki.se, 08-524 864 36
  • Mona Hellstadius, HR supervisor, mona.hellstadius@ki.se, 08-524 868 14
Union representative
  • Carina Dahlin, OFR , 08-524 836 92
  • Agneta Öhlen, SACO, 08-524 837 53, Agneta.Ohlen@ki.se
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, henry.wolling@ki.se
Published 18.Dec.2017
Last application date 19.Feb.2018 11:59 PM CET

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