PhD Position in Immunology

Karolinska Institute


PhD Position in Immunology


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

This PhD offers a unique opportunity to combine clinical epidemiology with immunology through a collaboration between the Clinical Epidemiology Division (KEP) and the Division of Rheumatology, both at the Department of Medicine, Solna, where the student will be registered. The student will be part of the Chronic inflammatory disease group at KEP, and Caroline Grönwall’s team at the Division of Rheumatology. This setup will enable the student access to, learning from and interaction with top researchers in clinical epidemiology and immunology, and access to a network of around 100 researchers at all levels.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The aim of this PhD project is to study autoantibody patterns in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory disease that targets the joints. Our research program aims at answering both etiological and clinical questions regarding RA and to move towards precision medicine. In this PhD project, the student will work with autoantibody profiles of patients with RA, with the aim of identifying individuals who would most benefit from targeted intervention that could prevent RA, and among those where disease could not be prevented, delay disease and decrease severe long-term consequences.

In this project, the student will use autoantibody data from our research data collections and combine these with large scale register linkages. The student is expected to have an interest in learning, and performing statistical and analytical epidemiological methods, and to combine these skills with knowledge in immunology. The student will spend time doing hands-on work in both the wet lab and in front of the computer, linking the data from the lab to various nationwide registers, and running statistical analysis using different statistical software and methods, summarizing the work and findings in written scientific reports.

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.

(A) and (B) can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education.

Skills and personal qualities

The following competence and experience are a requirement

- strong problem solving and analytical skills

- formal training in statistical methods

- experience of statistical software such as R and SAS

- experience from the wet lab

- a strong interest in epidemiology, immunology and combining the two

- excellent communication skills in English, both orally and written

- be organized and structured

 The following skills and experiences are considered strong merits

- Programming in other languages than R and SAS

- Experience with real world data and handling of data bases and registers, in particular clinical         data

- Experience of chronic diseases in general, and rheumatological diseases in particular

- previous research experience

- A technical background, such as biotechnology and engineering, or other education relevant to     the research programme

Personal suitability will be a strong factor in the recruitment. As the student will be part of two research groups and combining two fields, a collaborative, open and curious mindset, and the ability to work independently is of most importance.

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. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

Your application must contain the following documents:

- A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
- Degree projects and previous publications, if any
- Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
- 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.


The position is located within the Department of Medicine, Solna. The department consists of twelve divisions and each division consists of several research groups. The position is located within the research group Chronic inflammatory Diseases at the Clinical Epidemiology Division. Our research group contains well over 30 people (PhD students, postdocs, senior researchers, clinician researchers, and statisticians) with various backgrounds, with a common research interest, namely to study inflammatory diseases through register and clinical data. You find more information on our website:

The student will also spend time in Caroline Grönwall’s team at the Division of Rheumatology.

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

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Solna
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number  
  • Helga Westerlind,
Union representative
  • Afsar Rahbar OFR,
  • Louisa Cheung, SACO,
Published 15.Aug.2023
Last application date 15.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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