What is the BIGH program?


This programme aims to contribute to the training PhD students to provide specific professional knowledge in the research areas of infection biology and global health as well as generic cross-pollinating knowledge.

Target group

National and international PhD students enrolled at Karolinska Institutet. (As well as students at other institutes within Sweden who with KI are part of the National Program in Infection and Global Health, or associated with the Doctoral National Programme in Infections and Antibiotics)


Basic and clinical aspects of infectious diseases, global health, and translational and transnational research in this respect. Infections and mircobes per se have a global impact on health, not only do infectious diseases as such affect society short term during outbreaks but also through long-term health effects such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. Global health is defined as a study of identification and evaluation of major public health challenges to the world population with an intention to considerably reduce the global burden of diseases, injuries and ill-health. The new discipline integrates expertise and perspectives from the field of public health, medicine, basic science, health economics, environmental sciences, anthropology and other behavioural sciences.

Postgraduate activities

The programme has developed courses that are offered to the programme´s students, as well as students from other programmes in the national and international arena. The teaching activities include lectures, group discussions, individual exercises, seminars, workshops, laboratory training, and problem-based learning techniques. These approaches encourage student participation through discussions, eliciting feedback through questioning, presenting problems rather than teaching to expound or pass on information. Seminars, workshops, and student’s retreats are offered to increase students’ knowledge specific to the research areas and translational skills.

At the end of the programme the students will be able to:

1. understand the role of specific pathogens and their molecules in disease manifestation, development antimicrobial resistance, and their impact on health

2. develop critical and innovative thinking around issues in infection biology and global health

3. identify variations between and within countries of the burden of diseases, describe methods for health system research and health economic assessments

4. define clinical and epidemiological survey methods as well as methods for specimen collection in widely different socio-economic and cultural contexts, and acquire generic skills to work in multinational frameworks through practice in team work,

5. network management, communication and negotiation.