Doctoral (PhD) student position in Infection and Ageing Biology (KID)

Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för medicin, Solna, Infectious Diseases Unit

The Department of Medicine, Solna, is one of the largest departments at Karolinska Institutet. The department consists of several units that are separated into different research groups. The core activities of the department are research, doctoral education and undergraduate education for medical and biomedical students. The research has three main profiles: allergy, cardiovascular medicine and inflammatory diseases.

A doctoral position is an available doctoral education project to which a PhD student is to be recruited. After the selection process the process for admission to doctoral education will commence. An admission decision will not be taken until an individual study plan has been approved by the departmental admission board.

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

Research group
The research group, headed by Professor Anna Färnert, is part of the Unit of Infectious Diseases, where experimental and epidemiological research is conducted in close collaboration with the clinical Department of Infectious Diseases at the Karolinska University Hospital.

The Färnert group focuses on prevention and treatment of infections especially malaria. Major interests are the mechanism by which immunity to malaria is acquired and maintained, and the impact of repeated and chronic infections on the host. Within this work the group investigates the molecular mechanisms by which infectious diseases affects immunosenescence and biological ageing. The research is truly translational including experimental and clinical studies, and is performed in international and national collaborations. The laboratory is located in Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) on the Karolinska University Hospital Solna.

The doctoral education project and the duties of the student
The project aims to establish the effect of infections as exogenous drivers of ageing and allostatic load. In particular, the project will investigate the effect of single, multiple and chronic infections on biological ageing by performing in-depth analyses of ageing markers in circulating cells as well as in tissues. The studies integrate epidemiological and experimental approaches, with a particular focus on the immune system. The PhD student will capitalize already established molecular methods in the lab and further expand the toolbox to study the effect of infections on ageing.

The PhD project has been granted KID-funding block grant for partial financing of doctoral education at KI. The doctoral student will be supervised by Prof Anna Färnert together with Dr Muhammad Asghar at the Unit of Infectious Diseases and Dr Eduardo Villablanca at the Unit of Immunology and Allergy at the Department of Medicine Solna.

Entry requirements for doctoral education at KI
To be eligible for doctoral education following requirements has to be met:

General entry requirements
A person meets the general entry requirements for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education (according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapt 7, section 39) if he/she:

  1. has been awarded advanced/second-cycle/master qualification (i.e. master degree) or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle/master level, or
  3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school:
Proficiency in the English language can be documented by an internationally recognized test such as TOEFL or IELTS, see web-link below for more information.
Applicants who meet the general entry requirements (1 or 2 above) from a university in one of the Nordic countries fulfill the requirements in English.

For more information regarding general and specific entry requirements:

The applicant should be aware that the project would involve experiments with animal and possibly human tissues. The ethical permits for the Project are either already approved or will be applied for approval. The applicant will attend the compulsory courses in laboratory animal science to conduct research with animals at KI.

Skills and personal qualities
The application is open for highly motivated students with an ambition to learn more about pathological mechanisms of infectious diseases and their role in ageing.

The student should have experience from laboratory work, ideally including molecular biology methods, PCR and qPCR, and RT-qPCR, as well as statistical analysis of data. Applicants with previous experience in ageing and infectious diseases research will be prioritized.

The nature of the work requires extensive interaction with co-workers in an international atmosphere, so English proficiency and social skills are essential.

Assessment criteria
A selection will be made among qualified applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. 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

The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Terms and conditions
All doctoral students at KI receive financial support during their doctoral education and employment on a doctoral studentship is the most common sort of support. During the time between recruitment and admission a short-term employment can be offered for up to 6 months.

Application process
An application must contain the following documents in Swedish or English:

  • A personal letter and curriculum vitae
  • A copy of degree certificates and associated certificates
  • A copy of degree projects and any previous publications
  • Two reference letters from the previous supervisors or teachers

The application is to be submitted through the MyNetwork recruitment system.

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