Lunds universitet, Med fak, Institutionen för laboratoriemedicin

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

CanFaster, an EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND programme, is a four-year doctoral program, within cancer research and entrepreneurship. The goal is to faster forward the discoveries in cancer research, to speed up the time from discovery to clinical practice. The candidate will undertake a comprehensive training programme, that includes courses in entrepreneurship, innovation processes, as well as education in clinical aspects of cancer and attend seminar series at the business incubator. Team activities will ensure the development of a network that lasts beyond the programme, and that helps to boost the future career. The CanFaster students will be offered secondments in the non-academic sector, such as clinic or industry. The goal of CanFaster is to educate tomorrow’s cancer researchers in a broad set of scientific, transferable, and business skills to become entrepreneurs and build an international network by the end of the training. The program is administrated by CREATE Health, located in the energetic and dynamic science park, Medicon Village, and the research will be conducted at Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, as well as Social Sciences at Lund University in Sweden. Lund University and the Medicon Valley area has been nominated as one of the top 13 Brain belts in life science in the world.

 The PhD student project is entitled:  The role of microRNAs in Homing and Seeding of Prostate Cancer Metastases in Bone. The overall aim of this project is to increase the understanding of cancer metastasis in order to address the unmet clinical need for novel therapeutic strategies targeting metastatic prostate cancer. The development of metastases is a complex, dynamic and inefficient process, involving detachment of the tumour cells from the primary site, entering and surviving in the bloodstream, migration to distant locations, extravasation and establishment at distant sites. These steps are dependent on interaction between the tumour cell and the microenvironment leading to cellular plasticity. Extracellular vesicles containing tumour-derived miRNAs can significantly impact the plasticity of other tumour cells and also effect the cells present in the distant microenvironment priming the metastatic niche as well as subvert the immune cells drive.

The specific aim of this project is to investigate the role of miRNAs in the communication between tumour cells and cells in the bone microenvironment and how this enables homing and seeding of prostate cancer cells in bone environment. The student will study how miRNAs in extracellular vesicles secreted by tumour cells and cells in the bone microenvironment can facilitate priming of the metastatic niche, the survival and expansion of tumour cells in the bone environment, and thus contribute to the metastatic process. This will be studied in vitro using reporter systems and functional cell based assays as well as in vivo imaging in mouse models to elucidate the mechanisms of action. All findings will be validated in clinical material. This project aim to increase the understanding of cancer metastasis and as the reversibility of this type of regulation presents a therapeutic interference option, it can lead to improved design of novel therapeutic strategies to target the metastatic spread.


Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Additional requirements

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • To qualify for this third cycle program the applicant must have performed an independent research project
  • The applicant must be a highly ambitious scientist with a documented cancer research interest.
  • Outstanding, documented experience in molecular and cell biology


  • Experience working with microRNAs
  • Completed FELASA certification for work with animal research and other completed courses in mouse models of cancer
  • Prior experience in RNA sequencing
  • Bioinformatic skills

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

1) Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study

2) An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems

3) Written and oral communication skills

4) Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience

Other assessment criteria

1) Motivation to be accepted to the program and statement of career development benefits after graduation from the program

2) The ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems will be judge on based on undergraduate research experiences, a Master's thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview

3) The ability to collaborate and communicate will be judge through the application documents and interview 

4) Mobility, you cannot have resided in Sweden for more than 12 months in the last 3 years 

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment

Third cycle studies at the medical faculty consist of full-time studies for 4 years. Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§. 

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered.

  • Scanned copies of the complete (Bachelor and Master equivalent) and official academic transcripts in English
  • References: Two reference letters written in the template found at The form should be sent to with the subject Referee form and name of the applicant before the 25th of January 2019.
  • Scanned copy of standardized test results (GRE, TOEFL, etc.).
  • All required application material, including letters of reference, must be complete and submitted by deadline in order for the application to be considered. Documents written in other languages must be translated into English by an authorised translator.
  • You will be asked to answer a number of evaluation questions when submitting the application.

Eligible applicants will be evaluated by an evaluation panel based on merit, motivation to apply to the program, motivation for career development, measured in terms of the academic record, academic excellence, and personal qualifications such as collaboration and communication abilities. The applications will be evaluated continuously and can be contacted for interview prior to the call closure.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment Spring 2019, according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2018/4531
  • Yvonne Ceder, +46462226452
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 21.Dec.2018
Last application date 25.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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