Uppsala University, Department of Medical Sciences

Are you interested in working with a focus on alcohol intake, gut microbiota, metabolomics, and genetics in relation to cardiovascular disease, with the support of competent and friendly colleagues in an international environment? Are you looking for an employer that invests in sustainable employeeship and offers safe, favourable working conditions? We welcome you to apply for a PhD position at Uppsala University.

The Department of Medical Sciences is a large clinical institution with more than 250 employees and over 300 additional coworkers connected via the Uppsala University Hospital. The department has a broad research profile with strong research groups in a number of different areas. The research carried out at the department is performed in close connection with the clinical activities at the Uppsala University Hospital, which includes both basic studies on the causes of a variety of illnesses and the development and evaluation of improved diagnostics and new treatment methods. More information about the Department of Medical Sciences can be found at http://www.medsci.uu.se.

The department has an opening for one position as a PhD student in the Molecular Epidemiology research group led by Prof Tove Fall. Our research focuses on causes and consequences of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, identification of predictive biomarkers and lifestyle factors, and novel methods in disease surveillance. We apply traditional and modern methods for causal inference in large observational datasets, some of which our team have initiated and developed based on high-throughput molecular methods. These data include metabolomics, metagenomics, genomics, proteomics, and imiomics. The group includes several members with extensive experience in advanced statistical, epidemiological and bioinformatics methods. Our group consists of 12 researchers, PhD students, bioinformatician, statistician, and coordinator, and we are located within the Epidemiology Hub at Dag Hammarskjölds väg 14 (“EpiHubben”), where about 40 active epidemiologists, statisticians and PhD students have their work place, enabling collaboration and support in a unique environment.

Additional information about the Molecular Epidemiology and recent publications can be found via

https:// www.medsci.uu.se/research/molecular-epidemiology/

and information about Epihubben via


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an interest in epidemiology using large-scale epidemiological and molecular phenotyping data. The focus of the doctoral studies is on the effects of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health. The project aims to clarify whether the alcohol intake-cardiovascular disease (CVD) association is mediated by the gut microbiota and the circulating metabolome, using the SCAPIS (https://www.scapis.org/) Uppsala and Malmö sub-cohorts. This proposed project will contribute to our biological and clinical understanding of the mechanisms driving CVD in individuals with both low and high alcohol intake. Through the use of genetics, metabolomics, gut microbial sequencing data and alcohol intake and cardiovascular risk factors and disease, the current project will likely lead to the identification of biomarkers that predict response to alcohol intake.

The PhD project involves statistical analyses and molecular epidemiology approaches. All data are already available. The PhD program comprises four years of full-time studies, and includes planning and performing statistical analyses under supervision, presenting research at meetings/conferences, writing manuscripts and thesis. Note that no laboratory work is planned within the project.

The PhD student will be able to develop their skills through coursework and collaboration with other group members. The proposed PhD project, which is funded by Swedish Research Council, is led by Dr Shafqat Ahmad (Principal Investigator) who is also the main supervisor.

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • Hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree in a relevant subject such as biostatistics, epidemiology, medicine, biology or
  • Have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • Have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.

Proficiency in written and oral English is a requirement. Personal qualities such as drive, having a responsible attitude, a logical mind-set, and ability to interact with international researchers in a diverse environment are very important.

Additional qualifications
Knowledge in and experience with STATA and/or R programming will be helpful, as well as experience working in a UNIX environment. Previous coursework in Epidemiology and Biostatistics is helpful. Previous publications in international peer-reviewed journals are also a merit.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University’s rules and guidelines are mentioned here http://regler.uu.se/?languageId=1.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %.  Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala

The application should be written in English and should contain:

  1. The application must contain a curriculum vitae as well as PDFS of any previous project papers/reports/thesis and/or scientific publications (maximum 2).
  2. The curriculum vitae must also contain contact information for two reference persons (names, e-mail addresses, and relationship to the applicant).
  3. The application must also contain a personal letter that includes a brief description of yourself, your motivation for applying for the position, your competence and suitability for the position.
  4. Copies of diplomas and certificates.

For further information about the position please contact: Dr Shafqat Ahmad (shafqat.ahmad@medsci.uu.se).

Please submit your application by September 27, 2023, UFV-PA 2023/3170.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.  https://www.uu.se/en/about-uu/join-us/advantages/

Type of employment Temporary position
Employment expires 2027-12-31
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-01-01 or as agreed
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/3170
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 06.Sep.2023
Last application date 27.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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