Recruit doctoral students

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A university needs a good recruitment process in order to bring on board highly proficient doctoral students. Karolinska Institutet (KI) recruits doctoral students through a competitive process designed to broaden the recruitment base and improve the match of doctoral student to research project.

’Green light’ – approval from department before a new doctoral project is initiated

Before a new doctoral project can be initiated and the principal supervisor can begin the recruitment process, the KI department must give its approval

Mandatory announcement

All vacant doctoral student positions at KI have to be advertised.

Exceptions can be accepted according to Higher Education Ordinance Ch 7, Section 37 (see below). At KI similar special grounds can be for example positions where the student already has been selected in a competitive recruitment process, such as scholarship holders and students awarded a grant through the Clinical Scientist Training Programme (CSTP).

Prior to the announcement the Head of department (or responsible according to the delegation) has to approve that the recruitment to the position may be initiated.

Announcements of doctoral student positions must be:

  • Advertised via the recruitment system at KI (Varbi)
  • Advertised at a suitable point in time, and it is recommended that the application period is three weeks or more.
  • An advertisement in Swedish and/or English. Choice of language depends on working language in the research group.

Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 7

Section 37

Decisions relating to admissions are made by the higher education institution. A person who wishes to be admitted to a third-cycle course or study programme shall apply within the time prescribed and in compliance with the procedures laid down by the higher education institution.

When a higher education institution intends to admit one or several third-cycle students, information shall be provided by the higher education institution through advertising or some equivalent method. Information need not, however, be provided:

  1. about the admission of a third-cycle student who is to complete the course or study programme within the framework of employment by an employer other than the higher education institution
  2. about the admission of a third-cycle student who has previously begun third-cycle studies at another higher education institution, or
  3. if there are similar special grounds.

Recruitment guide

In the recruitment guide you find general guidance to the different steps in a recruitment process. T

Recruitment of international doctoral students

Support and advice for you who is working to recruit and receive incoming doctoral students and researchers from abroad

Residence permit for doctoral students

Information about reisdence permits when changing status (for example from R&D trainee or family member to doctoral student)

Information for international doctoral students

Study funding

The support of a doctoral student during the education can at KI be funded in different ways


For questions regarding the doctoral position, e.g. questions about job assignments, when you will get a response on your application, or what material you shall send in, you may contact the contact person in the advertisement.

For technical questions about Varbi, please contact support at 0520-580050.

How to become a doctoral (PhD) student at Karolinska Institutet

For other questions, please send an e-mail to

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