Karlstad University / Faculty of Health, Science and Technology / Department of Health Sciences

Karlstad University takes pride in combining active external cooperation with academic excellence. Karlstad University has around 20 000 students and a staff of over 1 300 members. Democratic principles, equality and diversity are cornerstones of the University. We value the enriching presence of diverse backgrounds and competencies among students and staff. Read more about working at Karlstad University at https://www.kau.se/en/work-with-us

The faculty of health, nature and technology has an exciting opportunity for a motivated student in the interdisciplinary area centered on the importance of environmental exposures for psychiatric or neurological phenotypes. The division of public health sciences has several ongoing projects that study the environmental impacts on pediatric neurodevelopmental outcomes (http://www.selmastudien.se/).

The PhD project is divided into two parts: (1) to investigate the complex relationship between in-utero exposure to various types of environmental factors and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children, and (2) to examine the role of genetic and epigenetic factors in neuropsychiatric phenotypes. The successful candidate will work in a multidisciplinary team using epidemiological data collected through the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal Mother and Child, Allergy and Asthma (SELMA) Study coordinated by KAU. SELMA has been following up almost 2,000 mother-child pairs from early pregnancy, at birth, through the school age. As of now, SELMA has generated more than 50 research articles, including some of which are published in prestigious journals such as JAMA Pediatrics. The SELMA study is also tied with a broad network of researchers across several European countries and the U.S.A. both in epidemiology as well as experimental studies in cell and animal models, and is involved in one finished and 2 on-going EU-projects under Horizon2020 and one NIH project based in the U.S. A major interest includes mixture exposures, epigenetics, mediation mechanisms in relation to health and development in children, as well as development of better risk assessment approaches for environmental chemicals. The second part of the PhD project is to conduct whole-genome genetic as well as epigenetic studies of neurodevelopmental outcomes using the data derived from multiple databases, such as Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Simon’s Foundation, and Autism Speaks, etc. The goal of the second part of the PhD project is to identify (1) multi-locus effects of DNA methylation and (2) gene-environment interactions, using the Mendelian Randomization model (and/or other similar methods) and machine learning algorithms. The PhD candidate will be able to receive 240 credits of research education including seminars. The PhD candidate may also share teaching responsibilities (maximum 20% time) or other services, within the Institution.

For admission to doctoral studies applicants must meet the requirements of both general and special eligibility (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7 sect. 35)

Applicants who have a Master's degree of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 credits at Master level, or who have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad, meet the general eligibility requirements. Special eligibility for admission to doctoral studies in public health sciences requires applicants to have passed at least a master's degree in public health sciences or other field that is considered equivalent. All eligibility requirements must be met for threshold eligibility. Candidates with advanced clinical degrees (e.g., M.D., PharmD, and O.D., etc.) are also encouraged to apply.

Admission and assessment criteria
For admission to doctoral studies an applicant must be judged to have the ability required to pursue the program successfully (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7, sect. 35). Admission is based on individual assessment. Required qualifications include completion of basic-level courses of epidemiology or biostatistics, and knowledge of generic statistical software.

Preferred qualification include experience of analyzing multi-factor high-dimensionality data and experience of prospective cohort studies. Desired qualifications include awards, research grants, and publications. Experience in working in team science environments or collaborative projects, and collegiality, are also desired. Considerable weight is given to personal qualities such as ability to cooperate, to exercise good judgement, to take responsibility, to commit to activities, and to have a positive attitude towards colleagues and students.

Terms of employment
Upon admission to doctoral studies, a studentship position will be offered (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 5, sect.3). The position is a full-time, fixed-term employment (one year that can be extended by two years at the most at a time) with starting-date by agreement.

Further information
Karlstad University places great value on the enriching presence of diverse ethnic backgrounds and gender balance in the organization. We welcome applicants with different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, functional abilities and life experiences.

Submit the application via the University’s web-based recruitment tool, Varbi. Applicants are responsible for submitting a complete application in accordance with the advertisement before the deadline and for ensuring that the documentation allows for objective and qualitative assessment. The candidate needs to provide documentation for her or his merits. An incomplete application may affect the assessment of qualifications. Provide two references, of which at least one is a former or present supervisor, or equivalent. The application should include:

  • Cover letter with description of your background and your interest in the position,
  • List of qualifications (CV) with certified copies,
  • Degree certificate with transcripts of courses completed, or a certified list of completed courses with grades and dates,
  • Copy of a Master thesis or published research article,
  • Copies of publications or certificate of other qualifications, if applicable,

Attach all the documents and publications you wish to be considered to the electronic application (do not just provide links to them).

Name each uploaded document to clearly indicate its content. Documents that cannot be submitted electronically should be sent to:

Karlstads universitet
Fakulteten för hälsa, natur och teknikvetenskap
Erika Bergare


State the ref. no: REK 2019/105

Last day of application: July 15, 2020

Daniel Lin, MD PhD, associate professor of public health sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Karlstad University, Sweden, at email: daniel.lin@kau.se,

Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, PhD, professor and subject leader of public health sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Karlstad University, Sweden, at email: carl-gustaf.bornehag@kau.se

We look forward to your application!

Karlstad University has chosen advertising channels for this recruitment and decline any contacts from advertising or recruitment agencies.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment By agreement
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2019/105
  • Daniel Lin, associate professor , daniel.lin@kau.se
  • Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, professor and subject leader, carl-gustaf.bornehag@kau.se
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-700 1714
  • Tony Ingemarsson, Lärarförbundet, 054 700 1404
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-700 1434
Published 15.May.2020
Last application date 15.Jul.2020 11:59 PM CET

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