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Project title: Early-life environmental risk factors for inflammatory bowel disease: A Nordic birth cohort study

Job assignments

The PhD education in Medical Science comprises 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: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, debilitating immune-mediated disease with a typical onset in childhood and young adulthood. After a rising incidence over the past decades, it now affects 0.5% of Western populations, and is an emerging disease globally. There is ample evidence that the early life environment contributes to IBD, however the nature of such factors is poorly defined, which partly relates to a scarcity of sufficiently powered, prospective data from population-based cohorts.  In this doctoral project we will address these challenges by analyzing birth cohort data on some 82,000 children followed, from birth (1997-2009) throughout 2020, in the ABIS (Sweden) and MoBa (Norway) cohorts for development of IBD. We will identify IBD diagnoses using linked nationwide health-register data. Pooled cohort analyses will consider early-life psychological stress, smoking exposures and socioeconomic characteristics as potential risk factors for childhood IBD. Causal inference will be improved by taking advantage of comprehensive data on potential confounders. If successful, knowledge gained from this unique data may eventually be translated into preventive measures against IBD. Preliminary and previous results confirm that pre-study assumptions for this doctoral project are robust.

The project is part of a larger transdisciplinary study on environmental determinants of IBD that will provide a simulating learning environment and opportunities for international research visits. It is important that the PhD student has a good understanding of how population-based studies works. The PhD student will work independently with processing/analyzing large-scale data. The candidate must be organizational, effective, responsible and able to work both independently and in groups. Good language skills in written and spoken English and Swedish is essential. 

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 (departmental duties). Before a PhD degree has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post.


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.

Documented experience within the areas of gastroenterology/medicine, pediatrics, epidemiology or other relevant clinical subject area is of merit. Experience of statistical software and of data from registers and large-scale cohorts is desirable.


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 Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics. Extent: 100%. First day of employment: as agreed, although we aim to start as soon as possible.

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, 
Karl Mårild, Associate Professor, Institute of Clinical Sciences,
phone: +46-765887277, e-mail:


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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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, make sure that you attach a diploma and full transcripts that makes assessing your degree easier.  

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.

For information on what you need to submit in order to fulfill the English language requirement see

Closing date: 2022-01-24


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.

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.