About this blog

This blog is run by a team of PhD students, postdocs, alumni and Career Service at Karolinska Institutet, a medical university located in Stockholm, Sweden.

The point of this blog is to help prospective students and researchers get an idea of what studying and doing research at Karolinska Institutet is like. Our bloggers provide an inside perspective on everyday life. An academic career can be both challenging and exciting! Career Service also contributes with posts on career advice for careers inside or outside academia and stories from inspiring career events.  You are more than welcome to contact our researchers and the career programme managers to ask your questions on careers in health and life science and research.

For more information about master’s studies

For more information about doctoral studies

For more information about jobs at KI

The blog is administered by Career Service. For questions about Career Service at Karolinska Institutet see our web page or send us an e-mail career-service@ki.se

For admission and study guidance, however, you should email admissions@ki.se or study-guidance@ki.se.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily shared with Karolinska Institutet, since not all of the bloggers are KI staff.

Please note that Karolinska Institutet is not responsible for the comments published by individuals. The responsibility lies with the person who made the post.

Comments containing racist, derogatory or defamatory material will be deleted. Comments with a commercial purpose will also be removed.

Contact information to Karolinska Institutet is available at ki.se

17 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Hi Fei,

    Thank you for your very informative & entertaining blog. It has exactly the type of information that I am looking for, though I must admit that I have not read it word-for-word yet.

    I am a Chinese Australian that is completing my specialisation training in Dentistry in Australia. I am interested in a PhD in treatment of dental implant infections. KI as well as Malmo are 2 of the top universities that I am interested in pursuing my PhD.

    There are a few questions that I would like to ask if that’s ok. They relate to scholarships and funding.

    1. Is PhD free for non-Swedish citizens in Sweden?
    2. Does a scholarship cover living expenses?
    3. Is a PhD candidate employed by the Department? Hence, is remuneration involved?
    4. Can a non-Swedish medical/dental board certified medical/dental doctor practice in a teaching hospital and be remunerated? My partner is also training to be a dental specialist and I wonder if she will be able to work in the University.

    Warm regards. I look forward to your reply. Take care.

    Tony Leung

    1. Hi Tony,
      Great to see so many students interested in studying at KI! Before I start, I need to clarify that I am not a blogger from the website. However, I have a MD background and was a PhD student at KI from outside of EU, so I am familiar to the questions you have. I graduated end of 2013, and am now working at a different sector in Stockholm.
      Coming back to your questions:
      1. Is PhD free for non-Swedish citizens in Sweden?
      A: Yes, PhD program is still tuition free.
      2. Does a scholarship cover living expenses?
      3. Is a PhD candidate employed by the Department? Hence, is remuneration involved?
      A: Answer together: At KI, a PhD program usually takes 4 years (since the day you get registered), and the 4-year time is divided into 2 period — 1+3 years. During the first year the student usually gets ”utbildningsbidrag”– study grant for 15000sek/m. Some departments give additional 4500sek/m as ”teaching assistant reimbursement, which makes the final amount ~20000sek/m. The next 3 years the student will be employed by KI and get ”doktorandtjänst”, corresponding to 26000sek/m. The amount of money is sufficient to live a fair live — pay the rent, eat at home mostly and a little extra in case of emergency. Quite good for a student when comparing worldwide.
      A little extra here: a PhD student is usually not registered directed here at KI, and will have 6m-1yr ”trainee” period. The the exact amount of money you will get during this period is very hard to say (from 0 to a full study grant). Make sure you take care of that… The risk of not being registered after the trial is low, but not 0.
      4. Can a non-Swedish medical/dental board certified medical/dental doctor practice in a teaching hospital and be remunerated? My partner is also training to be a dental specialist and I wonder if she will be able to work in the University.
      A direct answer is no. The complicated thing here is that non EU MDs need to redo the internship (1.5 years) first before entering the practice period (2.5-4 years). And before you can enter the internship, you need to reach Swedish B level — corresponding to native high school language level. The position for internship and later practice is rather limited, especially at big university hospitals. If you happens to be a specialist already, you can skip the internship part, but cannot escape from the re-practice. I had a surgeon friend who comes from non EU country and was a GI specialist before he came, it took him 5 years before he got his medical license here — and I grantee he is one of the smartest guy I have ever met!
      So mush for the answer, and good luck!
      Linda

  2. Dear Tony,

    We apologize for the delay, but Linda Brenn posted a reply to your comment. Her reply needs to be approved by the administrator of this blog, but I’m copying & pasting her reply here until her reply has been approved.

    Hi Tony,
    Great to see so many students interested in studying at KI! Before I start, I need to clarify that I am not a blogger from the website. However, I have a MD background and was a PhD student at KI from outside of EU, so I am familiar to the questions you have. I graduated end of 2013, and am now working at a different sector in Stockholm.
    Coming back to your questions:
    1. Is PhD free for non-Swedish citizens in Sweden?
    A: Yes, PhD program is still tuition free.
    2. Does a scholarship cover living expenses?
    3. Is a PhD candidate employed by the Department? Hence, is remuneration involved?
    A: Answer together: At KI, a PhD program usually takes 4 years (since the day you get registered), and the 4-year time is divided into 2 period — 1+3 years. During the first year the student usually gets ”utbildningsbidrag”– study grant for 15000sek/m. Some departments give additional 4500sek/m as ”teaching assistant reimbursement, which makes the final amount ~20000sek/m. The next 3 years the student will be employed by KI and get ”doktorandtjänst”, corresponding to 26000sek/m. The amount of money is sufficient to live a fair live — pay the rent, eat at home mostly and a little extra in case of emergency. Quite good for a student when comparing worldwide.
    A little extra here: a PhD student is usually not registered directed here at KI, and will have 6m-1yr ”trainee” period. The the exact amount of money you will get during this period is very hard to say (from 0 to a full study grant). Make sure you take care of that… The risk of not being registered after the trial is low, but not 0.
    4. Can a non-Swedish medical/dental board certified medical/dental doctor practice in a teaching hospital and be remunerated? My partner is also training to be a dental specialist and I wonder if she will be able to work in the University.
    A direct answer is no. The complicated thing here is that non EU MDs need to redo the internship (1.5 years) first before entering the practice period (2.5-4 years). And before you can enter the internship, you need to reach Swedish B level — corresponding to native high school language level. The position for internship and later practice is rather limited, especially at big university hospitals. If you happens to be a specialist already, you can skip the internship part, but cannot escape from the re-practice. I had a surgeon friend who comes from non EU country and was a GI specialist before he came, it took him 5 years before he got his medical license here — and I grantee he is one of the smartest guy I have ever met!
    So mush for the answer, and good luck!
    Linda

    1. Hi! Im the administrator and I am very sorry that I have missed to aprove the comment! I hope that you have gotten answers to all of your questions now! /Charlotte, Career service at Karolinska Institutet.

  3. Hi KI,

    I will be completing the research component of the Masters of Health Promotion/ Public Health in 2015 and ideally, I would like to complete this in Sweden. Currently I am a student at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia with a Distinction average in all coursework. In addition, I have support from the Director of Health Promotion and Sexology, Associate Professor to complete the final year of the Masters degree abroad.

    As there is no direct relationship between Curtin University and the Karolinska Institutet, I have been advised to contact Professors and researchers directly to discuss the possibility of alternative opportunities.

    It is a strong passion of mine to undertake health research in Sweden, learn about the culture and grow as a professional in the area of Public Health. I am open to participating in all current research opportunities within this field at Karolinska Institutet.

    Are you able to provide any guidance or advice on how I can be considered to study at KI as an exchange Masters student?

    Kind regards,

    Louella

    1. Hi Louella,

      Nice to hear that you want to come to KI. I’m not conducting research in Public Health so I have forwarded your question to other people who might be able to answer your question.

      But as a Biomedical PhD student at KI, we do get a lot of requests from international students who wants to do their research component of their BSc and MSc studies. 100% of the time the students contact the Professor/group leader directly and as far as I know this is the most common method (at least in the biomedical field). However since this will be part of your MSc studies, the Professor will probably not give you a salary so you have to find a way to support your living expenses.

      I don’t think it will be a problem to get accepted by a Professor to be part of a research project at KI. The problem is how to support yourself and finding accomodation. If you have read some of the posts here then you know that it is very difficult to find accomodation in Stockholm.

      Dudi

      1. Hi Dudi,

        Thank you for your reply and forwarding on my enquiry to others. I really appreciate it.

        I have contacted a few professors directly, mostly via email, however I have not received a high response rate. So I figured I would look at other options as well.

        I will still be eligible for financial support from Australia, so that should not be too much of an issue. Also I will be eligible for a working holiday visa, although I hear it is difficult to find work in Stockholm?

        I had no idea about the accommodation situation – Is it also expensive?

        Thanks Dudi,

        Louella

    2. Hi,

      A late reply but it might help….I’m an Australian post-doc at KI (public health sciences). I also completed the master in health promotion/public health here.

      You are welcome to contact me directly if you have questions about studying in the department. I currently supervise masters students in the PHS program.

      My research is about exercise and depression and substance abuse.

      Good luck,
      /Mats
      mats.hallgren@ki.se

  4. Hi,

    the Professors are often slow when it comes to replying e-mails, because they get so many emails. There are periods when my Professor gets several emails per week from students.

    About the accomodation situation in Stockholm, yes it is expensive. The high price is mostly due to lack of available apartments. Both regular apartments and student apartments. But it is possible. If you are prepared to just rent a room in an apartment/house then it becomes more affordable. But then you have to live together with someone you don’t know. I’ve met several students who have done so and it has been fine. It’s all up to you.

    If you can get a position at KI, then you should definitely try to come. KI is a very international work place and Stockholm is beautiful 🙂

  5. Hi,

    My name is Tanya and I’m writing from the Biomedicine Network. Can I speak/chat/tweet with someone from your blog about a possible collaboration? Many thanks!

    Best Regards,
    Tanya

    1. Hi Tanya,

      I guess it is absolutely OK to re-post any post from this blog through other social media channels. For direct connection with the blogger about collaboration, it would be better to clarify what types of collaboration. Then it is better for the administrator to answer.

      Regards,
      Terry.Fei

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  7. Hi,
    It’s really good to have such a platform here. I have passed my medicine degree as graduation and after that a masters in public health from a private university of my country Bangladesh. And now interested to get into a PhD program at KI.

    My first query would be, will KI recognize my Masters degree and allow me to apply at PhD program?

    Second of all I have been fond of surgical practices during my studentship and also passionate in research. Did major in Epidemiology and had opportunity to work in Global Health and Climate change projects nationally and internationally. Loved all.

    Now while choosing any PhD track I am really confused. May be an early opportunity will help me out in making decision.

    I hope you people will make a major contribution and help me out.

    Thanks in advance.

  8. Hi ,
    I am first year PhD student at karolinska Instituet . I have seen in the earlier posts that some departments pay extra “teaching assistant reimbuirsement” for first year PhD students . May i know more about it ?

  9. Hi,

    I got accepted for a phd position at KI, department of NVS but it wont be that easy. Only the PI offered me the position and now I have to go to Stockholm to present the project to a committee and wait for the final decision. Did you have the same procedure and I really liked this projet so it s a huge opportunity for me but I am scared of rejection. Do you think I should worry about “Admission seminars” ? I eould appreciate a lot.

  10. Hi,
    I’m an international student currently in the process of finishing my masters thesis here in Sweden and I’ve applied to some PhD positions here at Karolinska. I wanted to know approximately how long after the deadlinend has pass does it take to hear back with a response. Also how long approximately does the process take from getting interviewed to presenting to the committee to officially be accepted into the program.

    Thanks and I appreciate the answers!

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