Doctoral (PhD) Student Position in Psychiatric Epidemiology and Pharmacoepidemiology

Updated: about 1 month 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

We are seeking a self-motivated and skilled doctoral student to work in the ‘Epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology team’ (led by Dr Anna Sidorchuk, MD, PhD), which is a part of Professor Mataix-Cols’ research group at the Centre for Psychiatry Research, a division of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience. The main research focus of the ‘Epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology team’ is to study the risk factors and consequences of various psychiatric disorders and explore how psychotropic drugs can influence health outcomes. We offer an engaging and international research environment where you will have the opportunity to contribute to high quality research at international top level.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The project focuses on understanding the predictors and consequences of long-term prescription of benzodiazepines in order to create an evidence base for further development of intervention to reduce long-term benzodiazepine prescribing in primary care. The goal is to gain knowledge on patient-related and prescriber-related factors that predict and modify the unwarranted prescription of benzodiazepines and to quantify the impact of various prescribing patterns on the risk of adverse health outcomes in life-course perspectives. The project involves a wide range of longitudinal and family-based epidemiological studies with the use of advanced statistical methods and nationwide pharmacological, clinical, and administrative data from the Swedish registers. In addition, within the same project, the student will conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

The applicant will be involved in all parts of the project, ranging from contributing to designing the studies, to acquisition and management of data from large population-based registers, statistical data analysis, writing scientific publications and disseminating the results. The student will have full access to the infrastructure of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and to the Swedish population registers, via an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. We also collaborate with researchers from the Stockholm Health Care Services and the Academic Primary Care Center.

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 a person with strong background knowledge and analytical skills in epidemiology and biostatistics. Therefore, the candidate must hold a Master Degree (or equivalent, as described above in the “General eligibility requirement”) related to the field of medical epidemiology, public health epidemiology or similar, with courses in quantitative research methods. Documented experience in conducting research with an emphasis on pharmacoepidemiology and/or psychiatric epidemiology as well as experience in working with the Swedish nationwide health and administrative registers (in particular, with the Swedish Prescribed Drug register) are particularly meritorious. Proficiency in the use of analytic software such as Stata and experience in working with other analytic software (e.g., SAS, R) are required. Experience in carrying out statistical data analysis with focus on longitudinal modelling of register-based cohort data is a strong merit. Sufficient knowledge and skills in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses, preferably with the experience of carrying out such studies in pharmacoepidemiology, are highly advantageous.

    In addition, the candidate should be able to take initiative, ensure that project goals are consistently met, be flexible to manage projects effectively, and be comfortable having parallel activities. The applicant must be able to integrate well into the international and multidisciplinary environment. Excellent oral and written communication skills, fluency in English, and personal suitability are, therefore, of great importance.

    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.

    Read more about the research group

    Read more about the Centre for Psychiatry Research

    Read more about the Department of Clinical Neuroscience

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