Doctoral (PhD) student position in molecular biology of neurodevelopmental disorders

Updated: about 1 month ago

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.

For more information regarding doctoral (PhD) education, see:

Karolinska Institutet, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health

The Department is organized in 7 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.


Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND). KIND is a competence center for research, development, and education within the area of developmental psychopathology. The center is established in collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council aiming at improving generating high-end basic research, clinical practice, and spread new knowledge to stakeholders.

Research group

This doctoral education project is a collaboration between research group of Kristiina (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) and group of Myriam Gorospe (National Institute of Health, Intramural Research Progam, USA). The student would divide his/her time between the two institutes for this joint KI-NIH PhD project.

The research group led by Assistant Professor Kristiina Tammimies ( focuses on understanding genetic and biological factors associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) such as autism spectrum disorder. The group perform high-resolution genetic analyses in different NDD cohorts and follow-up the findings using bioinformatics approaches and cellular models. The research group is located in BioClinicum, the new Karolinska University Hospital research building, and shares a lab floor with other research groups from the women/children/genetics theme.

The research group led by Senior Investigator Myriam Gorospe ( investigates the post-transcriptional mechanisms that regulate aging physiology and pathology.  The group studies RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that control gene expression programs driving the normal physiologic decline of aging as well as age-associated disease.  The research group is located in the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, USA.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This doctoral education project focuses on molecular biology characterization of HNRNPU-related NDDs. The project will utilize human neuronal models, including induced pluripotent stem cells from controls and patients carrying mutations affecting the HNRNPU locus, to map the crucial contributions of the gene and its RNA products, including circular RNAs, in chromatin organization and RNA splicing.

The student will get training in wet laboratory methods needed for the project including cell culture, immunohistochemistry, qPCR and quantitative protein analyses. Additionally, the student will use multiple bioinformatics tools to analyse the data from large scale experiments such as assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq), RNP immunoprecipitation (RIP), crosslinking followed by RNP immunoprecipitation (CLIP), and bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing techniques. 

During the PhD period the student will also learn to a) methodically plan, execute and evaluate experiments and results, b) perform literature review and write papers to be published in peer-reviewed journals and c) communicate his/her research oral presentations.

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 engaged candidate with a degree in Molecular biology, Biochemistry, Biomedicine, Genetics, Medicine, Computational Biology or similar fields. Earlier demonstrated experience in cell culture, molecular biology techniques and bioinformatic analyses will be beneficial. Furthermore, the candidate should be curiosity driven, methodical, honest and passionate for science. She/he should able to work both independently and as part of the two teams. Good written and verbal communication skills in English are required. The applicant will be evaluated based on education and previous experience as well as 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.

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