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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.


The Doctoral Programme in Neuroscience invites PhD students to a retreat about How to Commercialise Life Science Research, lead by Patrik Blomquist and Mats Ferm at KI Innovations.

Time and venue:

From 10:00 on 28 November to 14:00 on 29 November 2019 at Sånga-Säby kursgård, outside of Stockholm


  • How to define your idea
  • What can be commercialised
  • Who owns the idea and patent
  • How to pitch your idea
  • How to attract investors

All participants have to prepare a three minute pitch describing the potential value of their ongoing research before the retreat. Instructions, detailed programme and directions to Sånga-Säby will be sent to participants mid-November.

The retreat is free of charge and includes the training, lunch x 2, dinner, one overnight stay and breakfast.


Apply by e-mail to Eva Noréns

Please note that there are 25 spaces available, so first come, first served! Admittance according to date of your e-mail.

The application is binding!


If you have any questions, please contact Lilly Schweiler.


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.

Basic Human Neuroscience

We can now offer a seven (7)-week course in Basic Human Neuroscience for doctoral students without a basic training in biomedicine/medicine. This course follows the curriculum of the medical programme at Karolinska Institutet. It will be given every semester starting Spring 2020 and will be announced in the course catalogue.

If you have studied basic neuroscience but feel that you need to refresh your knowledge, we recommend the free online course in Medical Neuroscience organised 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 now open for registration.

It will be hosted on the international edX platform.

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

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

The Programme supports activities aimed at promoting neuroscience and networking among doctoral students. Send proposals to Lennart Brodin, e-mail:

This fall we are happy to announce:

Neuroscience seminar series for doctoral students

6 September
"What do reactive astrocytes (really) do?", Speaker: Dr. Shane Liddelow
14:00, Biomedicum 4 (A0315), Solnavägen 9, Solna

24 September
"Synaptic transmission", Speaker: Dr. Dasiel Oscar Borroto Escuela
16:00, Atrium, Nobels väg 12B, Solna

31 October

"Combined approaches to bridge structure and function in cognitive and sensory neuroscience"
15:00, Karolinska University Hospital, J3:11 Birger & Margareta Blombäck, BioClinicum, Solna

Winter Conference in Neuroscience

Each year in February/March, a conference is organised by a team of doctoral students. In addition to skiing, the programme includes a presentation of own research data in oral or poster form.

We are now looking for doctoral students who would be interested in taking part in organising the winter conference 2020.

Interested? Please contact Eva Noréns, e-mail:

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

Eva Noréns

Educational administrator
08-524 866 33