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Doctoral programme in Neuroscience

The doctoral programme in neuroscience provides learning activities in neuroscience, including cellular/molecular neuroscience, circuits and systems, cognition and behavior, and mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders. We welcome all interested doctoral students to courses and other activities organized by the programme.

Bild på hjärnan i blått
Photo: Lennart Nilsson

Programme overview

A significant part of the Research at Karolinska Institutet deals with the normal function or pathology of the nervous system. Doctoral students are trained within the different neuroscience disciplines in research groups at eight departments. The inter-departmental "Doctoral Programme in Neuroscience" organizes courses and supports other activities.


Annual Courses

In the beginning of each fall a package of six courses, the "Frontiers Courses in Neuroscience", is given. You may apply to all courses or select individual courses.

We especially recommend doctoral students in the beginning of their training period to apply to all courses. This will quickly give you a broad knowledge base and make you acquainted with many neuroscientists at KI.

Frontiers courses in Neurosciences

  1. The developing brain
  2. Functional neuroanatomy
  3. Brain Circuits
  4. Frontiers in cognitive neuroscience
  5. Neurogenetics
  6. Neurodegenerative disorders

Other Courses

A number of other specialized and general courses are also given each semester and will be announced in the course catalogue.

Refresh your knowledge in basic neuroscience

If you feel that you need to refresh your knowledge in basic neuroscience we recommend the free on-line course in Medical Neuroscience organized by Duke University.

Log in to, register and search for Medical Neuroscience.

Neuroscientific Psychiatry - MOOC

Karolinska Institutet´s new MOOC (=Massive Open Online Course) in Neuroscientific Psychiatry is open to register at!

It will be hosted on the international edX platform and start April 3rd, 2018.

The course covers cognition, emotion, personality and resilience from a neuroscientific perspective - and includes virtual patients with different psychiatric conditions.

Open spots for "Clinical and experimental neuroimmunology” (3200)

We still have a few open spots for the doctoral course “Clinical and experimental neuroimmunology” (3200) given this autumn, 14-18 October 2019. The description of the course is included below, more details can be found in the course catalogue.

If you are interested, contact Pernilla Strid directly at

The purpose of this course is to enable doctoral students and other participants to gain an understanding of the major neuroinflammatory diseases and the key players involved, including the interaction between the central nervous and immune systems. An additional purpose is that those who participate in the course learn to understand critical aspects of creating and using experimental systems to model neuroinflammatory diseases.

The course includes an overview of clinical symptoms, signs, pathology, treatments and diagnostic criteria for the most important neuroimmunological diseases including Multiple Sclerosis, Myastenia Gravis, Guillain-Barrés Syndrome/Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathies and Narcolepsy. Also included is an overview of experimental models of neuroimmunological diseases, with an emphasis on techniques for genetic analysis (intercrosses, congenics, transgenics etc). Key molecular concepts in neuroinflammation are covered such as immune mechanisms (the blood-brain barrier (BBB), major cell players, MHC-TCR interaction, costimulation, chemoattraction) as well as key tissue degeneration/regeneration. Different techniques used to study neuroinflammation are discussed including imaging, high-throughput genotyping, expression analysis and proteomics.

Human Brain Anatomy course

This highly popular three-day course has been running since 2007 and provides a comprehensive introduction to structural, functional and radiological brain anatomy, providing delegates with a solid, three-dimensional understanding of the human brain and its relationship to cross-sectional (MRI) anatomy. Mean delegate feedback: 4.9 / 5.0

Date: July 23-25, 2019

Venue: King's College London, UK / Guy's Campus

Price: £395

Register now open:

OPTIONAL half-day post-course human brain anatomy practical

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in structural and functional brainanatomy and is widely attended by delegates at all levels from undergraduate student to professor.

Date: Friday 26th July

Venue: KCL dissection room

Proposals for new courses

We welcome proposals for new courses within the neuroscience area that you feel would be valuable. Proposals should include the theme of the course and possible course organizers (within KI) and other possible teachers, Send proposals to Lennart Brodin, e-mail:

Activities organized by doctoral students

Ski Conference in Neuroscience

Each year in March a ski conference is organized by a team of doctoral students. The program includes, in addition to skiing, presentation of own research data in oral or poster form.

Places will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Part of the cost is covered by the Doctoral Programme in Neuroscience.

Funding available for other student-initiated activities

We are pleased to have the opportunity to support student-initiatiated activities (in addition to the Ski Conference).

We welcome suggestions of interesting, fun and very social activities with scientific touch that you would like to do together with your fellow doctoral students in the neuroscience field.

The funding might cover for instance, invitation of lecturers. The event must be open to doctoral students in all KI departments. The proposal should include name and department of the organizer(s), a brief description of the aims and contents, the estimated number of participants and a budget.

Send proposals to Eva Noréns

Steering group

Application and admission to courses on doctoral level

Application to courses is made directly in the Course catalogue at Karolinska Institutet. The available courses at the doctoral level are announced once per semester. The catalogue for courses is published on around 15 April respectively 15 October and is open for application during one month.

Courses within the programme of Neuroscience

After the application period is closed the applicant can only be admitted according to availability. A late application is made directly to the course organizer. KI's courses are open for registered doctoral students at all universities and colleges. If space allows, other applicants may also be accepted.

Formal note about admission (or not) is emailed to the applicants within a month after the application time is closed.  If you are not admitted, you will be asked for interest to be on the waiting list. The applicant needs to confirm participation by a form signed by the applicant and his/hers supervisor.

All syllabi for courses at doctoral level at KI are collected in the KIWAS database.


Department of Neuroscience is the host department for the programme

Postal address:

Karolinska Institutet
Department of Neuroscience
171 77 Stockholm

Visiting, and delivery address