Swedish INterdisciplinary Graduate School in register-based research - SINGS

Swedish population registers constitute a unique resource for research in order to provide better public health and welfare. The graduate school is a result of the Swedish Research Council's initiative in providing a national focus on register-based research. The school is coordinated by Karolinska Institutet. Six other higher education institutions also take part, i.e., University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, Lund University, Linköping University, Umeå University and Uppsala University.

Short, illustrative film “The benefits of using Nordic population registers for research purposes” developed by SINGS now on YouTube

Next call

Preliminary spring semester 2023.

Subject area

The subject area “register-based research” covers all quantitative scientific disciplines that use registers in research, such as epidemiology, public health, sociology, demography, psychology, statistics, health economics, and other medical and social sciences.

Overall programme description

The curriculum is designed in accordance with outcome-based education and is intended to develop deeper knowledge, skills and scientific and ethical approaches regarding how different sources of data and registers can and should be utilised in research, preparing for a scientific career in the area of register-based research.

The graduate school is a complement to mandatory courses required at the university where the student is registered. The programme includes a minimum of 12 higher education credits. The school runs in 2-year cycles, and students are admitted biannually.

The educational activities focus on methodological, practical, ethical and legal aspects related to register-based research. Courses represent the major part and include core courses that are strongly recommended to be taken by all students, as well as a variety of elective courses in order to enable tailoring of individualised study plans. Retreats, workshops and seminars are also arranged regularly, where issues are highlighted from theoretical, applied, methodological and practical perspectives.

Each semester, two to three core activities (courses and other activities) are arranged. All activities are in English. Most of the educational activities are arranged at Karolinska Institutet, but some are held elsewhere. E-learning activities will also be used.


The overall objectives are that the student shall:

  • demonstrate thorough knowledge of existing registers,
  • demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate problems of relevance for register-based research,
  • demonstrate the ability to use appropriate methods to undertake research-based research,
  • demonstrate the capacity to perform and assess register-based research, following laws and research ethical principles,
  • demonstrate methodological and practical skills when undertaking register-based research,
  • demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of register-based research.

Target groups and previous calls

The target group is doctoral students involved in register-based research within their research training. Eligible applicants are doctoral students registered at a Swedish university. 

There have been three previous calls within SINGS 1 (administrated from Department of Medicine, KI); Cohort 1 (spring semester 2010─spring semester 2012) when 30 students were admitted, Cohort 2 (spring semester 2011─spring semester 2013) when 19 where admitted and Cohort 3 (spring semester 2013─fall semester 2014) when 28 where admitted.

Within SINGS 2 (administrated from Institute of Environmental Medicine, KI) 28 doctoral students were admitted to the first cohort (fall semester 2014─fall semester 2016). In the second cohort (spring semester 2016-spring semester 2018), 25 doctoral students were admitted. 

Administrative Organisation and Steering Group

The administrative and educational organisation is made up of a research school director and an academic administrator.

Research school director and chair: Anita Berglund, Phone: +46 70 7986534, +46 8 524 874 66

Assistant research school director: Karin Modig, Phone: +46 8 524 801 53

Academic administrator: Johanna Bergman, Phone: +46 8 524 872 66

National coordination SINGS and the persons responsible at each university constitute SINGS national steering group:

Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm
Anita Berglund, Ass. Professor of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine (project leader and chair steering group, regular member in VRREG national coordination group)

Karin Modig, Ass. Professor of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine (deputy chair steering group, for Anita Berglund)
Magnus Stenbeck, Ass. Professor of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Secretary in the Research Data Inquiry

Stockholm University, Stockholm
Gunnar Andersson, PhD, Professor of Demography, Dep. of Sociology, Demography Unit (deputy member for Anita Berglund in VRREG national coordination group)

Lund University, Lund
Jonas Björk, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dep. of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Umeå University, Umeå
Xavier de Luna, PhD, Professor of Statistics, Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics, Unit of Statistics

University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg
Max Petzold, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, Dep. of Public Health and Community Medicine

Linköping University, Linköping
Maria Brandén, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Dep. of Management and Engineering, Institute for Analytical Sociology

Uppsala University, Uppsala
John Östh, PhD, Ass. Professor, Senior Lecturer of Geography with GIS, Dep. of Social and Economic Geography

Doctoral student representatives
Christina Evmorfia (Eva) Kampitsi, Karolinska Institutet, Institute of Environmental Medicine
Vivien Boldis, Stockholm Univerisity, Department of Public Health Sciences

News and events

Previous events:

  • Workshop - Advanced Quantitative Genetics Using Twin and Family Data, 7-9 June, 2022

  • Workshop "Outcome-wide Epidemiology and Causal Inference" with Tyler J. VanderWeele, 15 March 2022

  • Seminar series Methodological issues in epidemiology and population research starting 10 February, 2022.
    Read more, and register, on LUPOP at Lund University 

  • 16 November, 2021
    Workshop - Transporting treatment effects from randomized trials to real-world target populations
    Registration needed. 
  • The registration to the VRREG meeting 2020 "Collaborative research in VRREG" (October 1st, h: 10.00-15.15, Zoom) will close on Wednesday next week, the 23rd September. Please, follow this link for registration: VRREG registration form. Meeting program.
  • Save the date! Workshop “Causal Mediation and Interaction Analysis” with Tyler J. VanderWeele_May 17-18, 2018
  • EPI Seminar with Bianca De Stavola and Gita Mishra, 8 March 2016
  • Invitation SINGS Event December 8, 2016
  • The 25th Annual Postgraduate Population Studies Conference (PopFest) will take place in Stockholm May 31st - June 2nd 2017. The call for papers is now open.
  • Plenary talk by Christian Brzinsky-Fay, WZB Berlin: School-to-Work-Transition Patterns and Early Occupational Attainment, 5 October, 2016
  • Live Plenary "Causal Mediation in Epidemiology"_March 2, 2016, 1:00 - 3:00pm EST
    Live Plenary featuring:
    Drs. Ashley Naimi and Tyler VanderWeele
    "Causal Mediation in Epidemiology"
    The event is arranged by the Society for Epidemiologic Research
  • SIMSAM/SINGS will organize an educational event 3 December at "Medicinska Riksstämman 2015", ”Registerbaserad forskning – vad, varför och hur? En interaktiv workshop med konkreta tips och råd”
  • Biostatistics Seminar - Current status data: Epidemiology, avalanches and screening with Nicholas P Jewell, Professor of Biostatistics & Statistics, University of Berkeley
  • Seminar - ADHD Medication and Substance Use Problems: Pharmaco-epidemiology studies in Sweden and the US
  • The Stockholm Register Summit - learnings on register-based research in an indertisciplinary context
    Arranged by SINGS (Swedish INterdisciplinary Graduate School in Register-Based Research) within SIMSAM (Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social And Medical Sciences) - supported by the Swedish Research Council.