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OPEN POSITIONS Doctoral student in Medical Science - Prospective studies of the gut microbiome

Project title: Prospective studies of the gut microbiome in premature and healthy term infants: interactions with early life exposures and allergy development

Job assignments

Third-cycle studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration. Before a PhD degree has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post.

The PhD education in Medical Science comprise carrying out a scientific project and completing at least 30 credits of courses at third-cycle level. The doctoral student must also write a scientific compilation thesis or monograph corresponding to at least 120 credits. For more information about third-cycle studies at Sahlgrenska Academy, see

Project: The gut microbiota during infancy may play an important role for health, both during childhood and throughout life. On one hand, it may be important in educating the immune system, thereby protecting against development of immunoregulatory diseases such as allergy. Allergic diseases have dramatically increased in prevalence over the last few decades and are now at epidemic proportions. However, despite considerable research, the role of the gut microbiota in allergy remains unclear, limiting the development of preventative strategies.

On the other hand, gut bacteria are inflammatogenic and may drive life-threatening diseases in premature infants, with babies born extremely preterm at greatest risk. Necrotising enterocolitis and sepsis are leading causes of death, and gut dysbiosis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of both conditions. Routine antibiotic administration and the intensive care environment are known to disrupt normal bacterial colonization, but the influence of other perinatal factors on the gut microbiota remains poorly understood. A greater understanding of bacterial colonization in extremely preterm babies will provide a foundation for developing strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable group.

The overall aim of this PhD project is to increase our understanding of how the gut microbiota is established during infancy in different populations, and how its composition and function may affect health. The first aim is to identify features of the infant gut microbiota that may protect against developing allergy. The second aim is to investigate how perinatal exposures affect the establishment of the gut microbiota in extremely preterm infants.

This project will be based on three prospective Swedish birth cohort studies, two of which investigated allergy outcomes in children born healthy at full term, and one which followed extremely preterm babies. Next Generation Sequencing of fecal samples will be used to characterize the gut microbiota, and its metabolic activity will be assessed by quantification of short chain fatty acids by gas chromatography. Data will be analyzed using SIMCA multivariate analysis software. 


To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements.

A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if he or she:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification
2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad

A person meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies in Medical Science if he or she: has successfully completed the English B/6 course or is considered to have acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies


In selecting between applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements, their ability to benefit from third-cycle studies shall be taken into account. The assessment shall attach particular importance to documented qualifications for:
- specific knowledge and skills within the subject area and related research fields
- experience of scientific theory and relevant research methodology
- scientific analysis and presentation verified through thesis, degree project, scientific journals or the like.


After admission to third-cycle studies you will be appointed to doctoral studentship. Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. A person may be appointed to a doctoral studentship for a total of eight years. The total employment period may, however, not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle study for four years.

Location: Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Diseases.
Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University. 

For further information regarding the position

For more information about the project please contact the principal supervisor, 
Agnes Wold, Professor, Institute of Biomedicine, e-mail: 


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

You must include the following, in pdf format

  • Personal letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts showing that you meet with the general entry requirement
  • Proof of completion of  English 6 course or the acquired equivalent knowledge through previous studies

If your degree is from a university outside of Sweden, check what you need to submit at where you can also see what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement.

  • If your degree has not been verified by a Swedish authority you need to provide contact details to the issuing university, registrar or similar, that can verify the degree at our request.

Closing date: 2019-08-12


The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 47 500 students and 6 400 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Page Manager:|Last update: 2/23/2017

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