USA - National Institutes of Health

The KI-NIH Doctoral Partnership Programme in Neuroscience 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 students spend a minimum of 18 months of the project in an NIH laboratory and benefit from a broad scientific experience. The rest of the training period is spent at KI, and it is KI that confers the doctoral degree after four years of study.

The aim is to promote ground-breaking research in fundamental areas of neuroscience and psychiatry that could lead to a better understanding of brain function, neurological diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders and new medical diagnostics and treatments. The programme additionally addresses the advancement of methodology for human brain imaging.


Once a year, announcements for projects grants are made and PIs and group leaders are invited to apply. The group leaders award the project grants and re responsible for the recruitment of suitable students. Students already registered as doctoral students at KI cannot be recruited to the program. Students are admitted according to the admission process at KI.

Knowledge of Swedish is not required at all. English is the official scientific language.

Incoming Students to KI

Courses at KI

As a PhD student you need to attain a certain number of course credits. As most courses have a limited number of places, remember to apply in time for a course. The department giving the course is responsible for entering credit points in LADOK. Each department has a LADOK administrator. (LADOK is a national system to document presence and results of students in higher education.)

External courses

External courses might be considered for course credits at KI. Please contact the study director (studierektor) at your KI department. The director decides what courses can be considered equivalent to courses accepted at KI, and will in turn give the information to the LADOK administrator at the department.


Incoming students should apply for housing as early as possible. Please contact the Karolinska Institutet Housing for more information.

Outgoing Students from KI

Visa for outgoing students to NIH

Applicants should first complete an on-line GPP application. The NIH mentor must then get a copy of that application and collect additional documents (copy of passport, letter of good standing) from the applicant and assemble a request to approve a Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellow (this is the job title of the GPP students). After that request is assembled, it goes through an approval process at NIH, and is then sent to the Division of International Services (DIS). An Immigration Specialist at the DIS mails out a form called "DS-2019" to the applicant, along with general instructions on how to apply for the visa. Applicants must then contact the US embassy located in Stockholm in order to schedule a visa interview. It generally takes anywhere from 1-8 weeks to schedule a visa interview, depending on the embassy's workload at that particular time

Information from the Stockholm Consular office

NIH asks for 4 months lead time so that applicants have enough time to secure a visa.

The general guidance is that applicants should apply through the US embassy that is located in their home country, so that background checks and police checks can be performed quicker (the immigration rule governing this is called 214B).

Applicants from third country

Some embassies will allow applicants from third countries to apply for a visa, and others will not. If third country applicants have some kind of proof that they are students at the Karolinska Institutet, the embassy might not have a problem with them applying for the visa there. Or the consulate might ask them to apply for the visa in their home country. Always contact the embassy to ask if a citizen of a third country (specify which country) can apply for a J-1 visa at the US embassy in Sweden?

GPP Summer Housing Options in DC Metropolitan Area

Nationwide Apartment Search Tools, by city

Washington DC

Local Housing Postings

Washington City Paper
Washington Post

Feel free to contact Caroline Duffy, or 301-594-9605, for further assistance.

Meet one of our students

Jaime Ross, a NIH pre-Doctoral Fellow from the USA, is researching the aging process in the central nervous system. Jaime is part of the collaborative National Institutes of Health - Karolinska Institutet Graduate Partnerships Program, working with Professor Lars Olson at the Department of Neuroscience and Dr. Barry J. Hoffer from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

"Learning from the feet of two mentors at two different institutions in two separate countries is indeed challenging; however, the rewards are countless and worth all the effort!"

I was mainly attracted to the joint NIH-KI PhD program because it meant performing research at two internationally recognized institutions, and immediately beginning to work on my research project upon admission (rather than waiting the typical 2 years in the US programs). I was also impressed that PhD students from Karolinska Institutet have an average of 4-5 papers in their theses!

Stockholm is a very beautiful city and I cherish the friends I have made during my time here. I am very satisfied with my decision to be part of this joint program!" 

Lise-Lotte Vedin

International coordinator

Jaime James

Affiliated to research