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The Swedish Bioinformatics Advisory Program

The Bioinformatics Advisory program was started in 2015 with the first 15 students, and the plan is to admit new students annually. The application for 2018-2019 will open late autumn 2017.


Deadline to apply: TBA

Successful applicants will be notified latest TBA

Program fee

The program is free of charge.


High-throughput technologies are transforming the demands on scientists in genomics and other medical and biological research fields. As many research groups are in need of large-scale data analyses, we see a need to complement the traditional role of the supervisor with bioinformatics consulting directed towards PhD students. The SciLifeLab Bioinformatics platform offers a track where PhD students can get a senior bioinformatician as a personal advisor for up to two years of their PhD studies. We believe that the program will be an important part in building Swedish large-scale research competence in medicine and biology.

The program

PhD students are admitted to the Swedish Bioinformatics Advisory Program for a maximum of 2 years. During this time, the PhD student gets assigned a senior bioinformatician acting as a personal advisor, according to the limitations below:

  • 1 start-up meeting where the advisor visits the research group of the PhD student.
  • A 1-hour physical meeting or video conference per month (except July), where the PhD student and her/his supervisor are expected to attend.
  • 2 grand meetings per year (1-2 days/meeting), where all PhD students currently enrolled in the program, as well as their PhD supervisors, meet with the advisors at SciLifeLab.


  • The program only offers advice, and the PhD supervisor retains the full scientific responsibility for the PhD student and her/his projects and education.
  • The bioinformatics advisors will not perform any hands-on analyses in the PhD projects, but will only provide feedback and advice.
  • The advisory program is aimed directly at PhD students, and is independent of the hands-on bioinformatics project support provided by the bioinformatics platform at SciLifeLab (NBIS).
  • Should the advisor be absent for longer times due to e.g. illness, parental leave, or change of jobs, we will try to cover for this. However, should there be no suitable replacement, we have the right to limit or even cancel the program.
  • The program ends if the PhD student terminates her/his PhD education, or gets her/his PhD degree before the 2 years period is over.

Entry requirements

  • Students from all areas of biological and medical research are welcome to apply, as long as the competence needed by the advisor falls within the areas of the bioinformatics infrastructure. This includes e.g. genomics and transcriptomics, proteomics, systems biology and high-performance computing in biology.
  • The student must be formally enrolled as a PhD student at a Swedish university before sending the application. If accepted to the program, a document showing that you are enrolled as a PhD student at a Swedish university has to be sent in.
  • Both the PhD student and the supervisor needs to approve the application
  • PhD students are welcome to apply at any stage of their PhD education.

Admission to the program

The bioinformatics infrastructure management team takes the admission decisions.

Selection criteria include correct entry requirements, motivation to attend the program, competence match to the available bioinformatics infrastructure staff, the competence of the PhD student, as well as gender and geographical balance. Experience in working with Unix/Linux, as well as basic scripting skills, are strong merits.


Applications will open once a year, and we expect to enroll about 15 new PhD students this year, with an expected increase in coming years.


Questions and contact

For questions, feedback and ideas, please contact