Doctoral (PhD) student position in Molecular Epidemiology of Aging

Updated: about 5 hours ago
Deadline: 23 Apr 2020

The Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB) is among the largest departments of epidemiology in Europe with special focus on increasing our knowledge of the aetiology of different diseases. Our department consists of researchers, doctoral students, biostatisticians, data collectors and database administrators as well as administrative personnel, in total some 250 staff. The department is situated at campus Solna. Further information can be found at

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

This is a joint position by Karolinska Institutet & National Institute on Aging. The aging research group at MEB is involved in a wide variety of research projects, including molecular and genetic epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, as well as twin and family studies. The group contains about 18 people - from senior professor to PhD- and master students - with five different PI´s collaborating on many research topics within aging. Research interests are biological aging, frailty, genetics of dementia, polypharmacy in the old and many more. For more information please contact Sara Hägg, see information below

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The doctoral student project aims at investigating available drugs to repurpose for preventive treatment of Alzheimer´s disease (AD) using epidemiological data and methods. To assess the effect of an approved drug in a new context, one would ideally carry out a large randomized controlled trial. However, for practical reasons, this may not always be feasible. Instead, data driven approaches may be applied to investigate the effect of a given drug on alternative outcomes. Hence, we hypothesize that primary preventive drugs for AD exist and can be found using causal inference methods on epidemiological data. The selected student should have an interest in aging and epidemiological research questions. The position is a joint effort between KI and NIA/NIH, with supervisors both from Sweden and US. Hence, the student will be part of the doctoral program in epidemiology at KI and attend courses in epidemiology and biostatistics, but is also required to conduct one of the studies at the NIA in Baltimore, US, for 18 months.

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 documentsKarolinska 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

    • The applicant should have a master’s degree in biomedical or health sciences, epidemiology, gerontology, genetics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, statistics or related discipline, and have a strong interest in aging and Alzheimer´s disease.

    • The applicant should have at least some knowledge or training in genetics and epidemiology.

    • Programming skills in R is considered a strong merit.

    • Experience with research in the field of aging, epidemiology or genetics is a strong merit.

    • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

    • The applicant should be able to work well in a team, as well as having the ability to work independently.

    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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