Doctoral (PhD) student position in asthmagenetics

Updated: 8 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

The Department is organized in 10 divisions: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Surgery, Neuropediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, Neonatology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Neuropsychiatry (KIND), Reproductive and Perinatal Health. The divisions have separate scientific profiles and vary in size and have several research groups, dealing with both basic and clinical science.


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 research group belongs to the unit of Clinical Pediatrics at the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Karolinska Institutet in Solna. The unit of Clinicial Pediatrics is focused on pediatric immunology, infection and inflammation. The work in the research group focuses on genetic and epigenetic patterns and the role of other risk factors in asthma and allergies. Asthma is a complex disease with genetic and environmental contribution. We use molecular methods in combination with well characterized longitudinal clinical cohorts and epidemiological studies to increase the understanding of the development of asthma and allergies. We work closely with clinicians and researchers at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital and the Department of Women's and Children's Health, as well as other research groups in the field, both nationally and internationally. The lab is located in the new research building Bioclinicum on the Karolinska University Hospital campus in Solna, where we share space with other research groups from the same department.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
We are recruiting a student for a doctoral education. A doctoral education (PhD) consists of supervised research, combined with courses and other educational activities. An individual study plan is established for each doctoral student. This doctoral project will focus on genetics and epigenetics in childhood asthma and allergies. A special interest will be of the epithelial barrier. We are looking for a highly motivated student to pursue a PhD in medical sciences with focus on genetics, epigenetics and other risk factors for asthma and allergies. The project has a need of close collaborations between clinicians, statisticians and molecular biologists, which is reflected in the constellation of the supervisors. The experimental work will include work on biological samples from humans, mainly focusing on work with DNA and RNA. In close connection with medical doctors and research nurses, the student will receive human samples for molecular analyses of longitudinal cohorts in our own lab, including RNA and DNA extractions and preparations for e.g. RNA-seq analyses. Cell-biology work may be included. Analyses of genetic variants, gene expression and DNA methylation in relation to clinical outcomes in well characterized cohorts of children will be performed, both targeted analyses as well as on a genome wide level. Standardized methods for allelic discrimination, gene expression, and methylation levels will be used. Statistical analyses will be a significant part of the duties, including large data sets. The project will be performed independently, but in collaboration with other PhD students with related projects.

For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required. For more information regarding PhD education at Karolinska Institutet, see: http://www.ki.se/doctoral.

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.

    Skills and personal qualities
    We are looking for a highly motivated and driven person, with an interest within the field of genetics and epigenetics in asthma and allergies. The PhD student is expected to take a strong lead in project management, data generation, as well as analyses and interpretation. The project includes both practical molecular work in the lab, as well as statistical analyses, and the ideal candidate is interested in both molecular biology and bioinformatic methods. Handling data sets on a genome wide level will be part of the PhD, and therefore it is essential to work in a thorough and structured way. The PhD candidate is supposed to organize and structure the work independently, as well as together with the rest of the group and supervisors. We rely heavily on close collaborations with clinicians, which the successful candidate will be expected to manage. Applicants must have a relevant educational background with a master degree in biomedicine, molecular biology/medicine, immunology or similar. It is highly meriting if the applicant has previous knowledge and practical experience in the field of gene expression, genetics and epigenetics. The applicant should be familiar with standard molecular biology techniques, including cell biology and proficiency in at least one statistical software package (e.g. Stata, SPSS, R) is an advantage.

    The candidate should have good communication skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in a team, as well as independently. Excellent ability to express themselves in speech and writing in English is a requirement. The position also entails contact with health care staff, and therefore good communication skills in Swedish are meriting. We also require that the successful candidate will participate in journal clubs, seminars, research group meetings and other educational activities. The applicant will be evaluated based on education and previous experience, relevance for the project, motivation, problem solving skills, and cooperative ability. 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.

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    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)

    Selection
    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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