Candidates for the assignment as Academic Vice President in the Committee for Doctoral Education

KI's Nomination Assembly has appointed candidates for the election of new academic vice presidents to KI's committees. The Committee for Doctoral Education is tasked with supporting the Faculty Board through preparation, quality monitoring and implementation in the field of doctoral education.

See the recorded hearing here

The new term of office for the duties of the academic vice presidents is from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2025.

The following candidates have been appointed to the Committee for Doctoral Education:

Profile picture Michael Fored
Michael Fored, Senior Lecturer at MedS Photo: Private

Michael Fored, Senior Lecturer at MedS

About me:

I became a doctoral student when, as a kidney medic in Sundsvall, I realised that in order to correctly use knowledge, you need to know how knowledge is created. My curiosity and desire to learn kept me in research after the public defence of my doctoral thesis in 2003, and I have been involved in third-cycle education ever since. Firstly in the development of the clinical research school in epidemiology, later as Central Director of Studies and teacher representative in the Board of Research Education. For a long time now, as Director of Studies at the Department of Medicine, Solna, I have had good insight into both experimental laboratory research and clinical patient-related research with younger full-time doctoral students and slightly older doctoral students employed in the hospital and healthcare sector.

Michael Fored's profile page.

Visions for my assignment:

Third-cycle education is at its best when teaching and learning are core values among curious researchers with a passion for new knowledge. I think that permissive attitudes to learning and teaching are important throughout an organisation in which third-cycle education is provided.

  • We have very good third-cycle education at KI but we can be much better and I want to make it possible.
  • We don’t need new goals or more goals, nor additional rules.
  • We need to trust in our great ability.
  • We have many good forces, but we need to see the whole picture and change some of them, individually, good changes have combined to make third-cycle education unnecessarily difficult.
Erika Franzén
Erika Franzén, professor vid NVS.  Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Erika Franzén, Professor at NVS 

About me:

I am professor at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) and physiotherapist (combined employment with Karolinska University Hospital). I publicly defended my doctoral thesis at KI in 2006, completed a postdoc in the USA and now lead a large research group with a focus on exercise/physical activity, motor skills and cases of neurological diseases, mainly Parkinson's disease. I have published over 100 scientific works, from mechanistic laboratory research to clinical interventions/implementation, and I am now the principal supervisor for two doctoral students and co-supervisor for four (supervised 11 to public defence of their doctoral theses, of which 5 as the principal supervisor). I have a strong commitment to issues relating to third-cycle education and experience in pursuing issues in many different bodies at KI and within the region, e.g. the Committee for Doctoral Education (KFU), the Research Council, the Infrastructure Council, the Board of Higher Education, the Search Committee for New President, the Research School for Healthcare Sciences, and the Senate.

In my current role as deputy chair of the Committee for Doctoral Education (KFU), and chair of the Course and Programme Committee (KPK) , I have, among other things, increased the number of places in clinical research schools, started a new research school in health science, investigated research internships (Forskar-AT), improved quality follow-up, including postdocs in courses and have driven educational development.

Erika Franzén's profile page.

Visions for my assignment:

  • High quality third-cycle education in a creative and attractive educational environment. Give supervisors the best conditions with support, training and funding. Offer third-cycle degree programmes, research schools and high quality courses in areas where society and KI have a need. Zero tolerance of discrimination, harassment and unequal treatment.
  • Better collaboration with the hospital and healthcare sector in order to train future researchers, teachers and leaders. More clinical doctoral students in research schools. More and better opportunities to start third-cycle education early on in a career. Clearer conditions and support for clinical doctoral students and supervisors.
  • Strategic collaborations for third-cycle education In order to resolve the complex issues within society today, we need to collaborate between different disciplines and subject areas, both nationally and internationally.
Margaret Sällberg Chen in the lab.
Margaret Sällberg Chen, Professor at DentMed. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Margaret Sällberg Chen, Professor at DentMed

About me:

I became a professor in clinical oral immunology in 2020 and I am Director of Studies for third-cycle education (2004 at MTC, since 2010 at DENTMED) as well as internationalisation coordinator at DENTMED. I have both Degree of Master of Science in Dental Surgery (registered dentist) and Degree of Doctor from KI, and I completed a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. I have had research positions at the Public Health Agency of Sweden (then the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control), assignments as a scientific reviewer for the Research Council in Finland and Israel, and have been the opponent for doctoral theses in Finland and Hong Kong. I have been guest researcher at NIH USA and Lee Kong Chian Medical School in Singapore during several periods. I have been a clinical teacher and now a course provider for the dentistry programme's degree project course (30 HE credits). I have management experience as member of the Dissertation Committee, departmental management, and I have organised national and international symposia. Today, I lead a research group of 11 researchers, of which 6 are doctoral students. I have supervised both clinical and preclinical doctoral students to public defence of their doctoral theses. Today, my group's research is supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR), the Swedish Cancer Society, Centre for Innovative Medicine (CIMED), Region Stockholm for Dental Research (SOF), and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW).

Margaret Sällberg Chen's profile page.

Visions for my assignment:

Central to my view of third-cycle education is that it must be sustainable, for both doctoral students and supervisors. Third-cycle education should create doctoral degree holders who are attractive and competitive in the labour market. Third-cycle education at KI should be seen as a resource for interpreting and implementing new science in clinical practice. This requires a good dialogue in a climate of confidence and a good relationship with the region. Doctoral students should work in an active research environment with a good depth in their subject. That the research environment should provide conditions for long-term, internationally renowned research that benefits everyone's health should be self-evident. Our doctoral students will be needed in a future where complex health problems are expected to increase within healthcare and society. It is therefore important that both doctoral students in clinical research and doctoral students of basic science are exposed to the latest techniques in precision medicine and bioinformatics (interpreting new diagnostics and treatment). Doctoral projects must be given the opportunity for links to our new research infrastructures where the doctoral students can be exposed to and learn from highly advanced technological expertise.

Robert Harris, Professor at CNS. Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Robert Harris, Professor at CNS

About me:

I am a Professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience. I have extensive experience of Doctoral Education, currently leading KFU at KI and also the international organization ORPHEUS. I have previously served as both CNS and central Director of doctoral education at KI. I have an outstanding record of teaching doctoral education in both local and international contexts and have been an expert reviewer for doctoral programs at many international universities. I have a deep passion for developing Doctoral Education and have been doing this for over 15 years, including several quality assurance innovations that have become standard at KI. I have exceptional knowledge of KI and am confident that my leadership competence will allow me to successfully represent KI in all national and international settings. I will inspire a cultural and professional development that will truly empower the university to achieve its full potential.

Robert Harris' profile page.

Visions for my assignment:

My leadership vision is based on 2 pillars – communicative dialogue and professional responsibility. This means that developmental work within KFU must be conducted in dialogue with students, Junior Faculty/KIPA as well as departmental faculty and administrations. I want to ensure that we provide a top quality experience for both PhD students and their supervisors. My vision is that this is the norm, that administration is not seen as a burden and that its purpose is understood. We need flexibility as well as modernization, and we need to fully implement those Best Practices that are already developed. The experiences for clinical and preclinical students should be similar, and the culture for doctoral education at KI must be inclusive and respectful. As the largest Doctoral Education university in Sweden I consider that we should have more of a leading role in implementation of Best Practices throughout Sweden.