Doctoral Position in Medical Science
University of Gothenburg Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Doctoral Student in Medical Science - Genetic Epidemiology -Familial Aggregation of Gestational Duration

Ref PAR 2021/167


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 37 000 students and 6 000 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.

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

The Perinatal laboratory is a research laboratory with extensive research activity of a high international level. The main language is English and Swedish, the working environment is stimulating and developing with high productivity and the research group is inter professional. The Perinatal laboratory is located at Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra. The Perinatal laboratory and research group is led by Professor Bo Jacobsson.

Project title: Familial aggregation of gestational duration

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: Preterm delivery, defined as delivery before 37th completed weeks of gestation, is the leading cause of perinatal mortality worldwide. While medical progress has improved the survival of preterm born babies, we still lack effective strategies preventing preterm delivery. The main obstacle is a vague understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in preterm parturition. Heritability analysis provided the evidence for genetic contribution to population variability, and gave promises for successful genetic-variant identification. However, findings of genetic analyses have not provided a complete explanation for preterm delivery aetiology. The dissonance between the evidence of heritability and genetic studies has been enclosed under the term of missing heritability.

This project aims to provide insights about the contribution of genetic factors to pregnancy duration, and consequently contribute to the debate on missing heritability. An alternative to heritability analysis, are the analysis of family aggregation, which might provide insights about possible mode of inheritance. Here, we propose to study the relationship between the duration of gestation within the pregnancies of a mother. The contribution of primiparity, interpregnancy interval, parental gestational ages at birth, on this relationship will be considered. We plan to find optimal models to the nature of our data and the outlined problem.

In this project, we want to get insight into preterm delivery through the exploration of big epidemiological data. Therefore, we are looking for a PhD student with experience in epidemiology, mathematic and a strong interest in statistic. You are a driven and creative individual with the ability to learn statistical concepts independently. Additionally, we see that you have experience in using R software (other languages such as JavaScript, SQL are an advantage). It is a merit if you have experience of ”dry-lab” work. “Wet lab” experience is not a merit in this context. You will be working with big epidemiological and genetic dataset and programming and documented experience from this is an advantage. The research group is international, therefore, you have proficiency in English and Swedish in speech and writing is desirable. 

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.


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 Obstetrics and Gynecology. 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,
Bo Jacobsson, Professor, Institute of Clinical Sciences, 


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

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: 2021-03-04

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.


If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Medicinoxy


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