Collaboration within doctoral education

KI has established a number of formal collaborative agreements on doctoral education with other universities and research institutions on both an international and national level.

International collaboration

KI has established a number of formal collaborative agreements on doctoral education with leading universities and research institutions around the world.

KI receives and sends out a number of doctoral students for short term and long term visits within existing research collaborations. Since the departments have the responsibility for doctoral students, the majority of the collaborations at doctoral level are at departmental level. There are a few exceptions, where collaborative agreements are initiated and supported centrally. They are all university wide collaborations open for doctoral students from all departments.

The majority of the collaborations are reciprocal, but there are exceptions where it is a one-way agreement. For more information about the collaborations, terms and conditions for admission and other matters, see the relevant links. Information about contact persons can be found in connection with each collaboration below.



The Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Karolinska Institutet offer short-term PhD student research experience of up to one year at respective institution. The PhD student will continue to be registered at their home institution and pay the requisite fees to the same.

Collaboration with Canada


The Chinese University of Hongkong offers a short term student exchange program for hosting 1-2 doctoral students from KI each year. KI will receive 1-2 doctoral students from CUHK per year. The duration of the short term exchange of doctoral students will be from 1-6 months.

Collaboration with China


RIKEN offers a short term student exchange program for hosting doctoral students from KI. The duration of acceptance of doctoral students from KI will be from 3 months to less than 12 months for each KI student.

Collaboration with Japan


Doctoral programmes (double degree programmes) with Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore.

Collaboration with Singapore

South Africa

KI and Stellenbosch ran a doctoral programme between 2012 and 2020 but the programme has been phased out.


Researchers and teachers at Karolinska Institutet (KI) have been working with their counterparts at MUHAS for the past 30 years. During this period, more than 30 doctoral students from MUHAS have benefited from this collaboration, many of whom have successfully defended PhD and graduated thanks to this Sida-funded collaboration.

Collaboration with MUHAS


The collaboration started in 2001 as a Sida/SAREC funded support of twinning supervisors in five research areas with 20 PhD students.

Collaboration with Uganda


Doctoral Partnership Program in Neuroscience. The KI-NIH Neuroscience Program provides the possibility for doctoral students, from either the United States or Sweden, to divide their training for a doctoral degree between the two participating Institutes.

The Rockefeller University is a private university that offers doctoral and postdoctoral education. Karolinska Institutet has an extensive cooperation agreement with the Rockefeller University. The initial agreement covers three exchange programmes: Nicholson Lectures Programme, Nicholson Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme and Nicholson Exchange Programme for Research, Education, Technical and Resource Staff.

Collaboration with USA (NIH)


As a doctoral student you can participate in a student exchange or a teacher exchange in a European country.

Currently, only a few of KI:s Erasmus+ agreements allow student exchange on a doctoral level. For information please kontakt Kristina Jesinkey, central Erasmus coordinator. However, signing new agreements is an easy process if the participating institutions are interested in supporting an exchange. If you are selected to go on a student exchange, the same conditions apply, including the size of the grant, as for student exchange on Bachelor's and Master's level. However, it is possible to combine the Erasmus+ grant with other types of grants, i.e. travel grants.

You can also do a traineeship in a European country where the same conditions as for students on Bachelor's and Master's level apply as well. Please note: the exchange must be at least three consecutive months long and an interinstitutional agreement must be signed.

For a traineeship no agreement needs to be signed, and the minimum stay is 60 consecutive days. For more information, please email Kristina Jesinkey.

Erasmus+ programme


As a doctoral student, you can participate in a Eurolife exchange and spend a research period at another Eurolife member institution. Eurolife is a network of nine prestigious academic institutions across Europe, that promotes and facilitates collaborative research, joint postgraduate training and education, the exchange of researchers, research and master students and the building of joint research projects within the field of Biomedicine and Medicine.

Apart from Karolinska Institutet the other participating Eurolife institutions are Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands), Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), University Medical Center Göttingen (Germany), University of Strasbourg (France), Trinity College of Dublin (Ireland) and Semmelweis University (Hungary).

If needed, Erasmus+ agreements can be signed in order to receive Erasmus+ grants, which can be combined with other types of grants, i.e. travel grants. For more information, please contact Anna Dahlerus.

Eurolife programme

National collaboration

KI and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) have initiated a joint doctoral programme in medical technology leading to a joint doctoral degree from both universities.