About the Research School in Health Care Science (FiV)

The Doctoral School in Health Care Sciences at Karolinska Institute (FiV, former National Research School of Health Care Science, NFV) was established based by the Board of Doctoral Education (FUS) in 2009. The research school is originally a development of the National Health Care Science Postgraduate School (NFVO established in 2000 and hosted by Karolinska Institute in collaboration with four partner universities. 

The Research School in Health Care Science co-finances doctoral students during four years of full-time studies. Since 2009, the Research School has had four calls for funding with high application rates. About 15 doctoral projects have been selected for funding each time after external assessment. The last batch of doctoral students in the Research School in Health Care Science was accepted in the autumn of 2018.

Goals and purpose

The overall goal of the research school is to strengthen education in health care science at doctoral level, to stimulate high-quality research in close connection to health care and to contribute to the recruitment base of postgraduates.

The Research School does this by:

  • Offering doctoral education in research projects of high quality with relevance to the needs of healthcare. FiV is a significant player in funding health care research. The research school's calls for funding and admission process create good conditions for research projects of high quality.
  • Offering doctoral students a solid knowledge base, a cohesive structure as well as targeted activities throughout the education. FiV also offers an opportunity to create networks for both doctoral students and supervisors through various activities.

Research and themes

The doctoral students who have been accepted have different professional backgrounds, mainly in the field of health care, and are for example nurses (the largest group), physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors, sociologists and public health scientists. Projects with a focus on health care environment or health care organization also include students with a background in design and management.

The research school's activities focus on complex care processes using knowledge and methodology from different academic disciplines which can be distinguished from medical and preclinical research. The emphasis is not on specific occupational groups but on the development of interdisciplinary field of knowledge.

Examples of research are:

  • Research on patient-centered care
  • Research on theory, - concept and method development in healthcare
  • Research on implementation of knowledge in healthcare


The research school's doctoral students are partially financed in accordance with Karolinska Institute's faculty funds (so-called KID funds) for four years.


Doctoral students have access to compulsory courses intended to provide a methodological breadth. Doctoral students must take at least 30 credits during their doctoral education, through courses and other activities such as seminars, as well as their own presentation at least one international conference of at least 4.5 credits.

At the time of admission, an individual study plan is created together with the supervisor to establish commitment, goals and results as well as relevant courses and other activities.

For doctoral students admitted in the Research School in the fall of 2018, 23 of the 30 credits consist of compulsory courses (see below). For doctoral students admitted previously, 30,5 credits come from courses.

The courses are given by the Doctoral Programme in Health Care Science (PUF-V). The programme offers courses to provide knowledge of concepts, designs and analytical methods especially suited for multidisciplinary studies and the understanding of complex processes related to the field of health care sciences.

Compulsory and elective courses

During the first semester, doctoral students are automatically enrolled to the first course. For all other courses, students need to apply; however, the doctoral school students have prioritized admission to the courses if applied for according to their course plan.

Preliminary course planning:

Semester 1

  • 3085 - Philosophy of science and research ethics, statistics, presentation techniques and information literacy (former 2507) - 7.5 credits

Semesters 2 and 3

Students choose two of five courses. The first four courses usually take place in semester 2 and the last course in semester 3. More information is available on PUF-V's website.

  • 2673 - Introduction to qualitative methods, 4 hp
  • 2664 - Introduction to modern test theory and test / survey methodology, 4 hp
  • 2666 - Methods for statistical analysis: from variance analysis to multilevel modeling, 4 hp
  • 2520 - Interview techniques in health and care research, 4 credits
  • 3029 - Observation as research method (former 82350), 4 credits

Semester 3

  • 3066 - Methods for systematic review, 7.5 credits

More information about doctoral education for you as a doctoral student or supervisor can be found here:

Activities and networking

The purpose of activities such as seminars, project presentations, workshop offered by the Research School is to give the possibility to advanced studies within specific topics, beside these the research project itself entail. Doctoral students and their supervisors are expected to participate in the yearly doctoral student- and supervisor retreats as well as the "Advances in Health Care Sciences Conference" arranged together with the Baltic Sea Region Network.

Students are encouraged to apply and look for opportunities to spend time at research groups abroad with the aim to increase new ideas and opportunities for collaboration.

Governance and organization

As of 1st January 2021, the Research School in Health Care Science falls under the organization of the Research School in Health Science.

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