Institutionen för medicin, Solna, Clinical Epidemiology Unit

The Department of Medicine, Solna, is one of the largest departments at Karolinska Institutet. The department consists of several units that are separated into different research groups. The core activities of the department are research, doctoral education and undergraduate education for medical and biomedical students. The research has three main profiles: allergy, cardiovascular medicine and inflammatory diseases.

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:

Research group
The research group in chronic inflammatory disease epidemiology is based at the Clinical Epidemiology Unit at the Department of Medicine in Solna. We are approximately 15 people (doctoral students, postdocs, statisticians, senior researchers) with different backgrounds but with common research interests, namely the study of inflammatory diseases using Swedish national registers and clinical data. See our homepage for more information about who we are and what we do ( Our research is supported by several different funding sources, both public and private.

Skills and personal qualities
The successful completion of this research project will depend on knowledge in three domains: statistics, medicine (rheumatology), and genetics. The doctoral student is expected have a strong background, corresponding to a Master of Science degree, in at least one of these fields, or a moderate-to-strong background in more than one. Programming in statistical software will be an essential part of the student’s activities, and applicants currently lacking in this domain will need to demonstrate their willingness and ability to learn. A solid command of written and spoken English is required, and experience working with written scientific English is a merit.

We are looking for a motivated and curious student who wishes to pursue a PhD-degree in epidemiology while being part of a dynamic research environment at the intersection of academia, health care, and the private sector. The purpose of this project is to understand what information is contained in a family history of inflammatory joint disease; what it can tell us about the etiology of these diseases, and whether it may be useful for treatment decisions in clinical practice.

The project aims to:

  • estimate the familial aggregation and heritability of individual chronic inflammatory joint diseases, and the genetic overlap between them
  • assess the clinical value of family history of arthritis-related diseases as a marker for prognosis and treatment outcomes in chronic inflammatory joint diseases
  • use sibling control designs to address several putatively causal non-genetic risk factors for developing these diseases

Throughout the project, the student will have the opportunity to learn, develop, and apply a range of epidemiological methods and study designs, with a specific focus on the large Scandinavian registers, and methodologies involving family data. The student will be supervised by experts in epidemiology, statistics, and rheumatology, and is expected to quickly become an independent programmer in statistical software, taking a leading role in data management and analysis as well as the scientific writing in these projects.

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:

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 (no longer than 2 A4 pages, font size 11 or larger), explaining why the applicant wants to pursue a PhD degree, with specification of previous experiences that may contribute to the development of the proposed project, and a note on when the applicant could start the position.
  • A curriculum vitae focusing on experiences of relevance to this position
  • A copy of degree certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications

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

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-1963/2017
  • Thomas Frisell, PhD, Coordinator, +46 8 517 793 03
Union representative
  • Lars Ährlund-Richter, SACO, +46 8 517 734 50,
  • Nasrin Bavand-Chobot, OFR,
Published 11.Apr.2017
Last application date 03.May.2017 11:59 PM CET

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