Doctoral (PhD) student position in tissue immunology

Updated: 29 days ago

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 Björkström group has a strong background in characterizing the features of human tissue resident natural killer (NK) cells in steady-state and disease. Therefore, we work in close collaboration with the Karolinska University Hospital through which we receive unique human tissue samples.

The Björkström group is located at the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM), which is a research unit within the Department of Medicine Huddinge with a strong focus on the human immune system and infectious diseases. The close proximity to the University Hospital and the excellent infrastructure at CIM facilitate translational research.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

Natural killer (NK) cells are important early immune effector cells in the defense against cancer and viruses. NK cells are prevalent in peripheral blood but also exist as tissue-resident (TR) cells in most human peripheral organs. We have previously generated comprehensive maps of NK cell tissue-residency across different human tissues and defined functional regulation of human NK cell tissue-residency. However, multiple aspects of TR NK cells are still understudied. Building on novel insights related to TR NK cells from this work, we will address questions related to metabolism and spatial localization of human TR NK cells at steady state in this PhD-student project. The successful candidate will work with primary human tissue samples and analyze metabolic aspects of TR NK cells using high-dimensional flow cytometry-based, single cell resolution imaging. In addition, spatial transcriptomics will be used to define the spatial localization of those cells. The successful candidate will be responsible for methodological development and experimental work on the tissue samples and data analysis in close coordination with national and international collaboration partners.

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:

  • have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  • 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
  • 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 successful candidate must:

    • have a strong interest in human tissue immunology and immunometabolism
    • have a higher degree in relevant fields such as medicine, molecular medicine, biochemistry or similar
    • have excellent communication skills and work productively in a team
    • be proficient in writing and speaking English

    Previous laboratory experience within human immunology and handling of primary human tissue will be considered a merit. Likewise, is previous experience with flow cytometry, microscopy, biobanking, long-term cultures of immune cells, and experience in running metabolic and function assays considered merits.

    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.

    Niklas Björkström Group

    Department of Medicine, Huddinge

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