Doctoral (PhD) student position in human liver immunology, Karolinska Institute Stockholm, Sweden

Doctoral (PhD) student position in human liver immunology, Karolinska Institute Stockholm, Sweden

Do you want to contribute to better health for all?

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 Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet’s Huddinge Campus comprises seven units, three research centers, and around 70 independent research groups. The Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM) is a research unit within the department, with a focus on basic and translational studies of the human immune system, as well as immunity to infections and cancer. CIM is located in the newly renovated cutting-edge laboratory facilities at ANA Futura.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student
We are seeking a highly motivated individual to join the group of Associate Professor Niklas Björkström, MD PhD, as a PhD student to work on a project concerning the immunobiology of the human liver and biliary tract. This position is supported by a highly competitive ERC Starting Grant as well as an internal Karolinska Institutet KID grant. The project will be centered on understanding the heterogeneity and function of human bile duct-resident immune cells in health and diseases such as chronic inflammation and cancer with a focus on innate and adaptive lymphocytes. Cutting edge techniques, including 30-color flow cytometry, single cell RNA sequencing, and imaging mass cytometry will be employed to decipher the role of these cells in the human biliary tract system using unique human tissue material. The Björkström research group (, with roughly 10 members, is based at CIM, a nationally leading and internationally competitive environment for studies of the human immune system in the context of chronic inflammation, infectious diseases, and cancer. The group has a longstanding interest in human immunology, with a focus on the role of innate and adaptive lymphocyte responses against infections and tumors in the tissue microenvironment.
The successful candidate will take part in all research-related activities such as group meetings, department seminars, national/international meetings, as well as standard laboratory routines of the group. Finally, the PhD student will work to achieve the course requirements of the PhD program as outlined in the relevant rules and documentation available at the website.

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:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. 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
  3. 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 seeking a highly motivated person with a burning interest of the human immune system. The successful applicant needs to be fluent in English, have excellent communication skills and the ability to interact effectively and work productively in a team. Merit is previous lab experience and experience of international collaborations. Great advantage is experience in blood and tissue culture work with primary immune cells or cell lines, flow cytometry, PCR and sequencing technologies.

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.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employment PhD placement
Contract type Full time
First day of employment First quarter of 2021
Salary Monthly salary
Reference number 2-3914/2020
  • Niklas Björkström, Associate professor,
Union representative
  • Belinda Pannagel, SACO,
  • Carina Eklund, OFR,
Published 17.Sep.2020
Last application date 15.Oct.2020 11:59 PM CET


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