Doctoral position – Identification of medication repurposing candidates in alzheimer’s dementia

  • Contract
  • Sweden

Karolinska Institutet

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

Professor Eriksdotter’s research group is a multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, doctors, statisticians, machine learning researchers, engineers and basic lab researchers working together to understand the pathophysiological processes causing dementia and influencing the time of dementia onset, detect factors to prevent dementia, slow cognitive decline in patients with dementia, and ensure high quality and equal access to dementia care throughout Sweden. The PhD candidate who is employed for this position will work under the direct supervision of Assistant professor and docent Sara Garcia-Ptacek within Prof Eriksdotter’s SveDem research group. The SveDem research group conducts epidemiological research with the Swedish Registry for Cognitive/Dementia disorders. We are located in the NEO building, in Flemingsberg and belong to the division of Clinical Geriatrics, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The PHD student will conduct a series of cohort studies to determine whether certain medications that patients take for other conditions influence the rate of cognitive decline in dementia. To do so, the student will work with SveDem and other Swedish registries. The student’s duties include data cleaning and preparation, developing hypothesis, designing cohort studies, and choosing the methods, and conducting statistical analyses, as well as interpreting findings and writing scientific articles. You will also have the opportunity to participate in scientific congresses and present your work internationally. You will take courses to achieve the competencies necessary to conduct this work and the credits for your doctoral education, and you will receive supervision and coaching.

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

    For this position, it is absolutely necessary that you have excellent oral and written English skills. You should know how to communicate your ideas to people with different levels of expertise in the field and in different mediums.

    You must be a good team worker and have excellent interpersonal skills.

    You learn fast and are independent. You have some experience conducting statistical analysis.

    It is meritorious to have:

    •  A solid statistical background, particularly if you have experience with survival analysis, mixed models, target-trial emulation/other forms of causal inference, or machine learning.
    • Previous studies or knowledge on pharmacology, pharmacoepidemiology or biochemistry, particularly if they concern neurodegeneration (especially Alzheimer’s), cholesterol metabolism, lipid lowering medications, the renin-angiotensin system, or blood pressure regulation.
    • Knowledge of the Swedish healthcare system as a clinician (doctor, nurse, or paramedical profession)
    • Knowledge of the Swedish language.
    • Previous experience with registry data or Swedish quality registers.
    • Previous scientific publications or conference presentations are merits.

    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.

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