Karolinska Institutet, the Department of Neuroscience

The Department of Neuroscience includes several research groups working on different aspects of nervous system function, both under normal conditions and in various disease states. Research projects include a broad range of studies on the molecular and cellular levels, networks of neurons, and the organization of the nervous system as a whole. The Department has a flat organization with 40 researchers, of which 24 are full professors and 65 PhD students.

Teaching represents a fundamental activity at the Department, which participates in several undergraduate courses and postgraduate education programs. Each year approximately 15 students receive their PhD from our Department and many of our graduates have gone onto distinguished careers in the academic or private sector.

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
The Broberger laboratory has a broad interest in integrated systems neuroscience. Recent work in the group has focused on the role of the hypothalamus in controlling the state of the body and behaviour. Particular attention has been paid to how hypothalamic neurons interact within networks to drive adaptive changes in hormonal output and behaviour in the context of e.g. pregnancy, aggression, sleep and food intake. This work involves state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques such as in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, virally driven ablation of neuronal populations, histochemistry and high-resolution microscopy, behavioural paradigms and molecular methods. The group offers a vibrant international atmosphere of complementary expertise and skills. Part of the project will be performed in collaboration with Dr. Paolo Medini’s group at Umeå University.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
In this project, the student will investigate the role of the so-called persistent subplate neurons (PSNs) in the bottom layer of the cerebral cortex. PSNs have previously received little attention due to their relatively low number, but in recent years work from our (e.g. L. Case et al., Cerebral Cortex, 2017) and other groups has suggested that these strategically placed neurons may play a major role in determining if the cortex is set in a sleeping or awake state, in response to inputs from the hypothalamus and other brain regions.

These new insights have generated several important follow-up questions, which the student will address using experimental techniques applied to transgenic mouse models. This includes the interaction of PSNs with other neurons in the cortical network, their connectivity within the cortex and other brain regions and what happens to the animal when PSNs are activated or inhibited, especially with regard to sleep-arousal state and the processing of sensory inputs. The student will use both in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology (patch clamp recordings), anatomical tracing of neuronal pathways and optogenetic manipulation of the activity of identified neurons.

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
The successful candidate is dedicated, able to take own initiatives, driven by a curiosity to understand how the brain operates and works well within teams. A university education in neuroscience is expected and training in statistical analysis is considered a strength. Experience of experimental animal work is an advantage and students with prior experience in electrophysiological techniques will be given particular consideration, although this is not a requirement. Please specify previous laboratory experience in the application, and provide names and contact details for 2-3 reference persons. Applicants from all over the world are welcomed.

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 Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-4260/2017
  • Christian Broberger, Senior Researcher, christian.broberger@ki.se
Union representative
  • Cecilia Björkdahl, SACO , 08-524 872 65
  • Anne Edgren, OFR/S, P, O, 08-616 16 29
  • Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80, henry.wolling@ki.se
Published 15.Sep.2017
Last application date 15.Oct.2017 11:59 PM CET

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