Want to study at doctoral level at Karolinska Institutet?

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Karolinska Institutet (KI) wants to recruit the best doctoral students. The process from recruitment to admission at KI is described below.

Why choose KI?

How to become a doctoral (PhD) student at KI

To become a doctoral student at KI, you start by applying for one or more of the announced doctoral projects.

If you have your own funding in form of an external scholarship you can still apply for any of the announced projects but you can also try to establish contact with a research group on your own. If the scholarship has been earned in competition with others the project might not have to be announced like the other projects. Please be aware that the research group still might have to pay for you if the scholarship is not high enough.

External scholarships.

There are also other ways into doctoral education, for example for medical doctors employed at one of the hospitals.

KI wants to recruit only the best candidates. Even if you have managed to establish contact with a research group it is in the end the supervisor and the head of the department that decide if you are a person with the right qualities for pursuing a doctoral degree and if you have the ability to perform research and write a high quality thesis.  

The procedure from recruitment to admission

The procedure consists of two parts:

In the first part (step 1-5 below), you apply for an announced doctoral education position.

If you are offered the position, the second part, applying to be admitted to doctoral education at the KI department, begins (step 6-8 below).

1. Available positions are advertised

Available doctoral education positions are announced on KI's website continuously. Also, a few times per year there are larger common announcements when a larger amount of projects are announced. A formal assessment of your eligibility is not done until later in the process (step 6 below) which means that you can apply even though you not quite yet have reached the eligibility criteria.

Available doctoral education positions at KI

2. Apply to an available position

KI has a recruitment system that you can log in to and apply for the doctoral education positions that you are interested in (you find the link to the recruitment system at the end of the announcement). Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an e-mail to confirm that you have applied for a doctoral education position, and that we have received your application.

3. Interview

The department receives all applications, and the best candidates that are deemed to meet the requirements for the doctoral education position are invited to interviews.

4. Checking references

Taking up references is considered as supplementary to the interview and is performed in agreement with you. We never take up references without informing you.

5. Decision on awarding a doctoral education position

Once everything has been completed, all applicants will be notified that the recruitment process has been terminated and who has been chosen to proceed with the admission process. The final decision of admission to doctoral education is taken at a later stage (see step 9 below).

6. Apply for an assessment of your eligibility

If you have been selected for a position, you must apply for an assessment of your eligibility. Please note that the application for eligibility assessment must be approved before you can apply for admission (step 7), and thus we recommend that you submit the application (form 1) as soon you have been selected.

Read more about the eligibility requirements and how to apply for an assessment.

7. Application for admission

Together with the intended supervisor, you write a proposal for an individual study plan, and apply for admission to doctoral education at the department. During this period, you may be offered fixed-term employment for a suggested period of four months (up to a maximum of six months).

The application for admission to doctoral education is sent to the department. The dates for when to hand in your application are announced at each respective department.

8. Admission seminar

The Admission Board at your department invites you to an admission seminar. At the admission seminar, you and your supervisor present the proposed individual study plan; research project, timetable, individualised learning objectives, supervisors and financing. The seminar will be held in English.

Read more about admission in chapter 2 in Rules for doctoral education at KI

9. Decision on admission

If the candidate passes the admission seminar, the head of department will make a decision on admission to education at doctoral (third-level) level.


Doctoral education