KTH Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Computer Science, Computational Biology track

Project description: Both neurons and synapses in the brain are highly diverse. Fucntional signficance of this diversity is not understood. In this project the doctoral student will investigate the role of neuronal and synaptic heterogeneties on the robustness of neuronal networks in the brain using compoutational models and analysis of network activity dynamics. Supervision: The doctoral student will be based at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and jointly supervised by Dr. Arvind Kumar (KTH) and Dr. Jens Hjerling-Leffler (Karolinska Institute). Research environment: The doctoral student will become a part of the interdiciplinary research environments at the KTH and Karolinska Institute. Dr. Kumar's research group uses computational and analytical methods to understand the dynamics and information processing in biological neuronal networks. The research in the Kumar lab is aimed at understading  (1) the role of oscillations and correlations in communication between different brain areas [Hahn et al. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 2019] (2) control of brain activity dynamics [Vlachos et al. PloS Comp Bio 2016] (3) interaction between neuron properties and network activity dynamics [Sahasranamam et al.  Sci. Reports 2015, Spreizer et al. 2018 BioArXIv]. His group is also developing mathematical models of brain diseases to understand the mechanisms underlying the emergence of disease related aberrant activity dynamics in brain diseases.   More info.: https://www.kth.se/profile/arvindku/ Dr. Jens Hjerling-Leffler's ERC-funded research group is at the forefront of characterising the neuronal diversity in the brain and how this is relevant to disease. In recent years his research group has developed several advances in experimental methods and have revealed neuronal diversity across the brain at unprecedented detail [Zeisel et al., Science, 2015; Skene et al., Nature Genetics 2018]. More info.: http://www.hjerling-leffler-lab.org/

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • Life-long network through KTH's Alumni organization.
  • A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement.
  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe´s fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.
  • Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH.
  • High performance computing facilities at KTH.
  • A highly interdisciplinary research environment with close interactions between theoreticians and experimentalists.


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

We are looking for a student with an MSc. (or equivalent) degree in Physics or Engineering and a strong background in analysis and modeling of physical/biological systems. Previous knowledge of neuroscience is useful but not necessary. Students who expect to graduate by Summer 2019 can also apply.


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach,
  • analyse and work with complex issues,
  • background in analysis of dynamical systems and scientific computing, and willingness to learn to conduct experiments and analyse experimental data obtained from rodents,
  • fluent in English, with excellent communication and writing skills.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.
  • Two reference letters (one must be from the MSc thesis supervisor)

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about Processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment March 01, 2019. Start date can be negotiated
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number J-2018-2828
  • Arvind Kumar, arvkumar@kth.se
  • Maria Engman / HR-handläggare, maengm@kth.se
Published 06.Dec.2018
Last application date 15.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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