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PhD Program

The Karolinska Institutet (KI) awards the PhD degree, the goals and requirements of which are described in detail on their website at Rules for Doctoral Education.

Three Major Milestones. The PhD studentship has three major milestones, which are briefly reviewed below.
  • Individual Study Plan and Admissions Seminar. Within three months of starting, the student, with active help from the two co-mentors, must prepare an individual study plan that describes both research objectives and learning outcomes. After the individual study plan is completed, the student presents the proposal to KI Departmental faculty for review and approval. The admission seminar must occur within six months of the student starting at NIH and must be attended in person at KI.
  • Half-time Review. After two to three years, the student must summarize progress on research and educational training and also present a feasible plan to complete all research and education in the remaining period of the studentship.
  • Thesis Defense. The last milestone is writing the PhD thesis and successfully defending it at the KI.


Course Requirements. All students must complete 30 university credits of research education, and 7.5 of these credits (“core” courses) must be completed prior to the half-time assessment/review; one week of full-time studies corresponds to 1.5 university credits. Both “core” (7.5 credits) and “advanced” (22.5 credits) courses may be obtained at the KI, the NIH, or affiliated universities. However, for any course outside the KI, the student must seek prior approval from the home department at the KI.


Program Overview

PhD Program

Program Funding

How to Apply

Two Routes of Entry

NIH/KI Mentors

FAQs and Helpful Links

Student Publications

Graduate Theses


 The KI-NIH Doctoral Program in Neuroscience is managed and supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.   NIH LOGO DHHS LOGO USA GOV LOGO