PhD Position in Neural Stem Cells

Karolinska Institute Department of Neuroscience


Doctoral (PhD) student position in neural stem cells (KID funded)


Do you want to contribute to top quality medical research?

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 research group leaders, 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.

The research group
The Falk laboratory uses reprogramming, healthy and patient-specific iPS cells, and neural differentiation to derive cellular models in 2D and 3D of human brain development. In these models we study cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in healthy and diseased neural development. We are investigating phenotypes in the models using cellular assays as migration, proliferation, differentiation, imaging, flow cytometry, neuronal functionality in addition to bulk or single cell transcriptomics. We are also using genome editing strategies for correcting or introducing mutations in iPS cells for disease modelling. Our overall goal is to understand the molecular and cellular consequences of the emerging genomic findings for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
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.

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented person for dissecting the molecular mechanisms involved in neural stem cell fate choosing during early human neurogenesis using iPS cell derived cellular models. Specifically, the student will work with advanced stem cell culturing of iPS cells and neural stem cells, genomic editing (CRISPR/Cas9), neural induction, immune stainings, qRT-PCR, flow cytometry, Western blots and immunoprecipitations, basic bioinformatics and data analyses. The candidate is expected to work within the general framework of the research project but will be encouraged to contribute with ideas and proposals for experiments. The PhD studies correspond to 4 years of full-time studies and include laboratory work, general and project related research courses, active participation in seminars, participate in writing scientific papers, and to present results at seminars and 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 seeking a talented, enthusiastic person with an interest in stem cell biology and neurogenesis. The successful candidate should be self-motivated and has the ability to work productively and dynamically in a group. He/she is expected to actively contribute to both the practical and theoretical parts of the project, and to have excellent communication and organizational skills. Proficiency in oral and written English is necessary. Applicants should hold a masters' degree (or equivalent) in biology, pharmacology or another relevant life science. Excellent and documented laboratory skills in molecular biology and cell culture are required. Previous experience in the neural stem cells field with proficiency in human iPS cell culture techniques and neural differentiation protocols are seen as an advantage. Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability.

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.

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


Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
Reference number 2-856/2020
Anna Falk,
Union representative
Henry Wölling, SEKO, 08-524 840 80
Magnus Anå, OFR, 08-524 864 37,
Biborka Bereczky Veress, SACO, 46 70-173 85 75
Published 21.Feb.2020
Last application date 13.Mar.2020 11:59 PM CET


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