Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine, Solna, Rheumatology research division

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.

We are recruiting a student for doctoral education.

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

Research group
The student will be part of the Arthritis Research Group at Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM), led by Professor Anca Catrina (http://ki.se/en/meds/arthritis-research-team-anca-catrina). The projects focus on the role of autoimmunity against citrullinated self-proteins in bone destruction, pain and inflammation of the joints.

Our group has contributed to the current knowledge of the longitudinal course of RA by showing how genes and environment contribute to specific phases of RA development. This leads to early immune activation in the lungs, and formation of autoantibodies. In a later phase these antibodies will target the joints to induce bone loss and pain, eventually leading to chronic joint inflammation (Catrina et al, Nature Review Rheumatology).

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The student will learn how to use epidemiological and clinical data as well as patient derived material in a complex translational research project. 

The student will be responsible to set up or optimize experimental models and to design new experimental systems. The student will become proficient in techniques such as cell culturing of macrophages, osteoclasts, fibroblasts and neutrophils/granulocytes, immunohistochemistry, microscopy, flow cytometry, signal transduction and gene expression analyses as well as real-time cell imaging in IncuCyte.

The student will learn to set up magnetic resonance imaging techniques to evaluate joints and soft tissues in animal models.

The student will learn to develop specific hypotheses, and to design well-controlled experiments to test those hypotheses. Also, the student will learn to write manuscripts and formulate oral and written presentations to present and communicate science.

The student will participate to courses at the Karolinska Institutet and elsewhere needed, present his or her research data at institutional seminars and scientific meetings and write a thesis.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education, 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
  1. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

For more information regarding the general entry requirements, please see:

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school. Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the English language requirement.

For information on how other applicants can certify their English proficiency (such as through IELTS or TOEFL, previous upper secondary or university level studies), please see:

We expect from the candidates a broad basic understanding of the immune system and the mechanisms of autoimmunity.

We are primarily looking for candidates with expertise in clinical and experimental rheumatology research and some experience in the above-mentioned technologies.

Understanding early disease development, patient diagnosis and current therapeutic strategies in RA are expected from the candidate and therefore a medical background with training in rheumatology is a strong advantage.

Good knowledge in written and spoken English is required

Skills and personal qualities
The candidate should be ambitious and dedicated to develop novel experimental techniques and to set up and elaborate complex research lines. We expect good collaboration skills but also a capacity to work and develop independently in certain areas. The applicant would work together with other team members but also in the context of external collaborations with both academic and pharmaceutical partners.

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.

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

  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
  • Academic degree diplomas, transcripts of records in original language and, if applicable, authorised translations
  • Copies of degree projects and any previous publications
  • Proof of English proficiency as stated in the specific requirement 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:


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

Type of employment Doktorandplats
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-5353/2018
  • Anca Catrina, Professor, +46 8 517 000 00
Union representative
  • Lars Ährlund-Richter, SACO, +46 8 517 734 50, lars.ahrlund@ki.se
  • Nasrin Bavand, +46 8 517 723 64
Published 05.Oct.2018
Last application date 16.Oct.2018 11:59 PM CET

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