Third cycle (doctoral) Education and Training

Ambitious and highly motivated students interested in our research areas may contact MTC research groups to inquire about student positions. We provide an international environment with excellent researchers, students and core-facilities.

The Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC) provides a dynamic research environment for approximately 80 PhD students.

Students, are you interested in doctoral education at MTC?

To become a doctoral student at KI, apply for one or more of the announced doctoral projects. You can also find more information here:

Advertised positions for doctoral education at KI

How to become a doctoral (PhD) student at KI

Information for Supervisors

With a few exceptions, all PhD positions are publically advertised. Before considering taking any PhD students, please contact the studierektor for information, relevant updates, and regulations.

Prospective supervisors are required to follow a step by step admission routine in preparation for every PhD student intake.

Admission to doctoral education at KI

In essence the steps are:

  1. Establishment of a doctoral position
  2. Recruitment and eligibility assessment
  3. Admission decision
  4. ISP and the ISP seminar

These steps are summarised below with the links to the relevant forms and guidelines.

1. Establishment of doctoral position

As of August 1st 2017, KI requires all supervisors to obtain departmental approval (the so called “Green Light”) before any PhD recruitment process can begin. This is irrespective of how the PhD students are financially supported. The official application form may be downloaded below. After completion, this form should be sent to the third cycle educational administrator at MTC (see below).

Please note that the ‘green light’ routine does not replace the current admission routines.

Every prospective principal supervisor must also apply to his/her department to establish a doctoral position by submitting the form for the Establishment of doctoral position. The completed form and all the required attachments should be handed to the third cycle educational administrator at MTC (see below)

Form for the Establishment of a doctoral position (See page 2 of this form for instructions and information about necessary attachments).

The Green Light form

2. Recruitment and eligibility assessment

All prospective doctoral students must meet both the general and the specific eligibility requirements for doctoral studies.

The application for eligibility is normally handled through the online system during the recruitment process. Otherwise in some instances, as for CSC students, the supervisors have to get in touch with the study administrator for the proper procedure.

Please follow the routines for recruitment and eligibility stipulated by KI in the link below. Once a shortlist of candidates has been made, MTC will follow the selection process stipulated by KI. For more information regarding this process, please contact the Studierektor.

Link to Eligibility Requirements

3. Admission decision

The admission process stipulated by KI is strictly followed, and is described in this link.

Admission to Doctoral Education

The completed forms (below) and all the required attachments for admission should be handed to the study administrator at MTC.

Admission Decision Form (See page 2 of this form for instructions and information about necessary attachments)

Financing plan

4. The Individual Study Plan (ISP) and ISP Seminar

Each doctoral student is required to have an ISP. Instruction and forms for the ISP can be found on the link below. The proposed ISP should be handed in to the study administrator within a month of the commencement of studies.

Please note that there is only one study subject for Third cycle (doctoral) students at KI, namely "Medical Science".

The ISP seminar has to be held soon after admission, whereupon the final Individual Study Plan is endorsed. This has to be completed within 3 months from the date of commencement. Seminar dates are fixed once admission has been completed, and then doctoral students and supervisors need to choose at date and inform the study administrator. All the relevant instructions will be sent to the respective doctoral students and their principal supervisors well in advance of the seminar.

Form 3.1 Individual Study Plan Form

Form 3 Instructions for ISP form

Doctoral programmes at KI

Dates for ISP seminars spring 2021

  • 13 January 14:30
  • 10 February 14:30
  • 10 March 14:30
  • 14 April 14:30
  • 19 May 14:30
  • 16 June 14:30

Yearly Follow Up Seminar

MTC monitors the progress of all postgraduate students via a yearly student seminar and a follow up discussion with the student, main supervisor and an appointed chairperson. The chairpersons are representatives of MTC and KI and should implement the rules and regulations in a constructive way to help the student achieve their academic goals.

The yearly control is an obligatory part of the student’s education plan, which is required by all universities. Routines and forms for the follow-up can be found below:

Yearly follow up - MTC Guidelines (pdf)

Yearly follow up seminar form (word doc.)

Changes in Study Plan

You have to inform the study administrator of any changes in your individual study plan, research plan, financial plan, and mentor. Please use the form "MTC Changes form" (See link below) for those changes.

MTC's changes in Study Plan (Word doc.)

If you want to change supervisor use the Form 15, Application to change supervisor(s).

Form 15, Application to change supervisor(s) (Word doc.)

If you want to terminate your studies at MTC use the form "MTC Deregistration Form" (See link below).

MTC's deregistration form (Word doc.)

Credit Transfer of Courses and Accredition of credit-bearing activities

Please note that we normally cannot accept courses which were taken during the four first years of your basic university exam (240 university credits)

All doctoral students must obtain at least 30 university credits when applying for thesis defense. Credit transfers are done using two different forms:

  1. Form 13 for University and other courses
  2. Form 16 for other credit-bearing activities which do not include courses

The signed form together with attachments should be handed in to the Educational administrator for approval and registration in LADOK. Doctoral courses taken at KI are automatically entered into LADOK (no form is needed).

The forms and instructions can be found by following the link:

Forms and instructions

Guidelines for Half-time review

All PhD students are required to have a half-time review after four semesters of full time studies and no later than the end of the fifth semester. Please refer to the requirements below:

KI rules and regulations for half-time review

In addition to the KI requirements, all PhD students registered at MTC must pass the Literature Examination in accordance with their study plan.

MTC literature examination guidelines and form (pdf file)

Time for Dissertation

IMPORTANT: You must refer to the study administrator to arrange your dissertation (date and time) before contacting the committee.

Your completed application needs to be handed in to the study administrator at least 5 working days before the meeting deadline set by the dissertation committee. Failure to do so may delay your submission and subsequently your dissertation.

Time to defend your thesis

1. A date must be set and confirmed immediately with the study administrator. As a general rule only two dissertations are allowed at MTC in any one day i.e. one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The study administrator will help you to book a suitable lecture hall and date. It is important that you confirm this date with the study administrator at MTC

2. The Head of Department and the study director must sign the forms before they are sent to the Dissertation Committee. Please hand in the application at least five days in advance to the study administrator.

IMPORTANT: Before your thesis is sent to the printers it MUST be checked for plagiarism. You may contact your study director (Studierektor) for the exact procedure.

3. Send ONE copy of the doctoral thesis to the study administrator for official use.


Study Administrator

Educational administrator

Eva Noréns

Organizational unit:Administration


Director of Doctoral Studies

Senior researcher

Velmurugesan Arulampalam

Phone:+46-(0)8-524 859 95

Organizational unit:Forskarutbildning



The MTC HR department can be reached by email

MTC Student Association (MSA)

All students are registered for a PhD in Medical Science. The doctoral students at Karolinska Institutet may be affiliated to the medical students association (MF, Medicinska Föreningen). There is also an active departmental students association: the MTC-students association (MSA).

You can contact the MSA by email: