Doctoral (PhD) Student position in Sleep and Biomarkers Research

Updated: 3 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

Assistant Professor Shireen Sindi works within the Nordic Brain Network (NBN) , which is part of the division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, NVS. The largest part of this multidisciplinary research team is located at KI (Q-building in Solna), but team members are also present at the Karolinska University Hospital, in Finland and the UK. Broadly, the NBN carries out research focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The research team has carried out prevention trials (RCT) and is involved in several international collaborations and networks (Nordic Brain Network ).

Within this network, Dr. Sindi conducts research on sleep disturbances, which have recently been identified as an important risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She established the Multi-Centre Sleep Study, which showed that various sleep disturbances in midlife and late-life are associated with an increased risk for poor cognitive status and dementia in several Nordic cohort studies. She also recently showed that sleep disturbances are associated with a higher speed of chronic disease accumulation (multimorbidity) among older adults. As a next step in this novel line of research, the goal is to investigates the multi-system biological mechanisms underlying sleep disturbances.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The goal of this doctoral project is to investigate the mechanisms underlying sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment / dementia. These include neuroimaging correlates (MRI, PET), Alzheimer’s disease biomarker measures in cerebrospinal fluid (beta amyloid, tau), cortisol, microbiome, brain iron load, and inflammatory markers. The project will use data from population-based cohort studies, clinic-based cohort studies and randomized controlled trials. Results of this project will shed light on the multi-system biological mechanisms associated with sleep disturbances. The findings will also aid in identifying individuals at risk for sleep disturbances and dementia, and inform future multidomain preventive lifestyle interventions

In addition to completing doctoral courses, the candidate will conduct research according to the project goals described above. The candidate will be working with:

  • Conducting literature reviews
  • Data collection
  • Data processing
  • Statistical analyses
  • Interpretation of the results
  • Preparing and submitting manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Presenting the results in relevant seminars and conferences
  • Maintain regular communication with supervisors to update on the progress

To applicant will also contribute to various projects and attend meetings to collaborate with team members located in different sites in Sweden, Finland and in the UK.

This is a full-time (100%)

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 seeking a candidate with a Master’s degree in Neuroscience or related to the field (e.g. epidemiology, psychology), with good statistical knowledge, and capacities to independently perform statistical analyses. Priority will be given to candidates with experiences working with older populations, cognitive impairment and dementia, as well as data on biomarkers including neuroimaging, fluid biomarkers, among others.

    Being fluent in spoken and written English is required. The successful candidate should show a high level of responsibility, independence and problem-solving skills, and be an active team player in our large and dynamic multidisciplinary group. Great importance is attributed to collaboration abilities and communications skills, as a substantial part of the work involves collaboration with others. The candidate should also have good project management skills to structure the work according to planned timelines.

    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. 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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