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PhD student in Explainable AI for Childhood Cancer Analysis

Karolinska Institutet

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.

The research group

The position is in the Rare Diseases research group. We study genetic disorders on a molecular level in order to understand disease mechanisms and apply new knowledge to genetic diagnostics. We work in a modern laboratory at the Bioclinicum building situated within the grounds of the Karolinska University Hospital, Solna. Several group members also work at the Department of Clinical Genetics at the hospital, the largest clinical genetic department in Sweden with 90 employees working with genetic diagnosis and counseling. We also work on analysis based on machine learning at the department of Computer Science and Engineering and the department of Mathematical Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology.

The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

This project provides an opportunity to participate in a large national translational research project
about Childhood Cancer that will have direct clinical impact. The selected applicant will perform epidemiological studies and develop and use explainable machine learning techniques to investigate childhood cancer and associations between congenital syndromes and childhood cancer predisposition.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.

Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement

You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*

Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

*If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

B) Specific eligibility requirement

You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

– Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

(A) and (B) can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education.

Skills and personal qualities

We are looking for a motivated person with a strong background in machine learning and statistics and an interest to work with registry-based studies and machine learning. A Master’s degree within the area of computer science, biostatistics, or corresponding area is required. Previous experience of statistical analysis of large national registries from Statistics Sweden and the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare is a strong merit. We are seeking a new group member with a broad range of interests and expertise in the following key areas:
1) Advanced knowledge of machine learning techniques
2) Advanced knowledge of statistics
3) Good programing skills in programming languages such as Python, R, STATA, and SAS
4) Good writing skills
5) Administrative skills
6) Curiosity and willingness to study relevant medical domains

The applicant will be evaluated based on education and previous experience, relevance for the project, track records, motivation, problem solving skills, and cooperative ability. Personal suitability is also an important criterion.

Fully Funded Scholarships for International Students to Work and Study Abroad

Terms and conditions

The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

Application process

Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

Your application must contain the following documents:

– A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
– Degree projects and previous publications, if any
– Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
– Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
– Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:

– Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
– Analytical skill
– Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.

All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.

Want to make a difference? Join us and contribute to better health for all

Type of employmentPhD placement
Contract typeFull time
Number of positions1
Working hours100
CountyStockholms län
Reference numberSTÖD 2-4195/2021
ContactClaes Strannegård,
Union representativeVirpi Töhönen, SACO, virpi.tohonen@ki.seTaher Darreh-Shori, SACO, 08-524 835 29Elisabeth Noren-Krog, OFR,
Last application date24.Oct.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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