PhD Position in Environmental Epidemiology

Karolinska Institute Institute of Environmental Medicine


Doctoral (PhD) Student Position in Environmental Epidemiology

Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group

The epidemiological research at IMM is focused on advancing knowledge about disease etiology and prognosis with an emphasis on environmental and lifestyle factors, and on methodological development and stringency. The unit of Environmental Epidemiology is focused on epidemiological research concerning the health effects of ambient air pollution, community noise and green structure as well as causes of asthma and allergy. Molecular biomarkers are used to assess interactions between environmental and hereditary factors, as well as to better characterize exposure and health effects. Many projects are conducted in international collaboration. We often participate in environmental health risk assessments for national as well as international organizations and authorities. These assessments are often based on research conducted within the unit.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Air pollution is recognized as a serious public health issue worldwide and increasingly associated with adverse health outcomes including airway disease. Still we need better understanding of the true nature of the link between air pollution exposure and long-term disease risk, as well as to what extent underlying molecular changes induced by air pollution can be detected already during early childhood. The overall aim of this project is to elucidate etiological mechanisms behind the negative health effects of air pollution exposure in children and young adults using advanced –omics data, including proteomics and high-resolution metabolomics. The project will utilize data from several longitudinal cohorts and apply quantitative epidemiological methods.

The doctoral student is expected to acquire broad knowledge and systematic understanding of the main research fields encompassed in the thesis work including air pollution exposure and the related health outcomes, epidemiological theory and principles. This will be accomplished through working on the project under supervision, taking relevant courses and participate in seminars and journal clubs. The student is also expected to acquire in-depth experience in the epidemiological methods applied, manage the data, perform the statistical modelling, interpret and present the results and in disease etiology; further, to develop excellent scientific writing and deliver high-quality publications in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as give presentations at scientific meetings.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement
You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

- Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents
Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

Skills and personal qualities

We are looking for a dedicated student with a solid background within the field of environmental factors and health. Applicants with a degree in environmental science, public health, biomedicine, medicine, statistics or toxicology are encouraged to apply. Documented knowledge in epidemiology, molecular biology, biostatistics, and experience from working with epidemiological studies (particularly in environmental medicine), as well as of quantitative methods, database management, statistical analyses (particularly large-scale molecular data) and using the STATA or R software is a merit.

The student must be able to work independently and take responsibility for project progression. Other required personal skills are analytic ability, endurance and ability for structured work. The applicant will also need to feel comfortable with working in teams and demonstrate good interpersonal skills. Furthermore, it is a requirement that the applicant has a very high proficiency of English both in terms of speech and writing.

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Application process

Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions.

Your application should contain the following documents:

- A personal letter and a curriculum vitae (Swedish or English)
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any (Swedish or English)
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above (Swedish or English)
- Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
- Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

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.

 All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

For more information:

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Reference number 2-2934/2020
Olena Gruzieva, MD, Assistant Professor,
Anna Bergström, Researcher, Head of the Unit, anna.bergströ
Union representative
Anne Boström, SEKO, 08-524 875 79,
Niklas Andersson, OFR , 08-524 874 19,
Karlhans Che, Anda Gliga Saco-S,,
Published 24.Jun.2020
Last application date 16.Aug.2020 11:59 PM CET

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