Doctoral candidate (PhD) position: Hormones and oesophago-gastric cancer

Updated: about 2 months 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

Our internationally renowned research group ‘Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery’ is located in the heart of KI’s campus area in Solna. The group contains senior and junior researchers, biostatisticians, administrator, PhD candidates and students. We mainly conduct research of cancer of the oesophagus and stomach. Data for our projects mainly come from clinical data collections from hospitals and national health data registries. Many of us have a clinical background and we have extensive international collaborations. We have a well-organised structure for PhD education, including regular supervisor meetings, progress reports, Research Seminars, Journal Clubs, Methods Clubs, and PhD courses. In the last external assessment of all research constellations at KI, our group was rated ‘outstanding’ (the highest possible) in Cancer Research. You can read more about us on our homepage:

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The strong and unexplained male predominance in the incidence of oesophago-gastric cancer may be due to the differences in sex hormonal levels in women and men. This PhD project will examine if medication with oestrogenic drugs (menopausal hormone therapy) in women and anti-androgenic drugs (5-alpha-reductase inhibitors against prostate hyperplasia) in men influence the risk of developing oesophago-gastric cancer and influence the survival in patients with such tumours. The project is based on a Nordic database with linked registry data from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. The project will include large case-control studies and cohort studies.

The PhD candidate will mainly conduct research. This includes reading and evaluating relevant literature, drafting and revising study protocols, collecting and reviewing research data, performing data management and statistical analysis of large data quantities, and writing of scientific articles and a PhD thesis. Except for research, other mandatory parts of the PhD education are PhD courses, Research Seminars/Journal Clubs and international scientific conferences. The PhD candidate is also supposed to attend the supervisor meetings, write monthly reports to the supervisors and take part in activities, i.e. research group meetings, work place meetings, end-of-term activities and planning days.

The main supervisor is Jesper Lagergren, professor of surgery, research group leader, and member of the Nobel Assembly at KI. Co-supervisors are Giola Santoni, senior biostatistician and Shaohua Xie, principal researcher in cancer epidemiology. The supervisors are experts in the research field and the methodology that will be used in this PhD project

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

    We are looking for an enthusiastic, curious and talented person with high social competence and excellent collaboration skills. Documented experience of research is qualifying. Interest in epidemiology and biostatistics is important, and knowledge within these areas is particularly qualifying. Qualifying is also interest in and experience of cancer in general, and oesophago-gastric cancer in particular. Excellent skills in the English language (both orally and in writing) is required.

    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.

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