It started as a summer job for doctoral student Caroline Schagerholm

Caroline Schagerholm is a doctoral student at KI and also active as chairman of the association; Students in Research. According to her, curiosity and a commitment to research are important if you are interested in a doctorate. For her, the summer job developed into the doctoral position she has today.

Photo of research student Caroline.
Photo: N/A

Name: Caroline Schagerholm
Based: Stockholm
Degree: Medical degree VT20
Current role: Doctoral student at the Department of Oncology-Pathology

How did it go when you became a doctoral student?

I have been in the researching group that I am now a doctoral student in, for almost five years. It started as a summer job where I gradually gained more and more experience and thus more responsibility - which was fun! I was registered during my last semester in the medical program.

What is your research about?

I research breast cancer and specifically on what may be the reason why some respond and others become resistant to one of the most common treatments - antihormonal therapy.

When did you become interested in research?

I think I always wanted to do research and therefore started in a research group already during my first semester in the medical program. When I was little I wanted to be an inventor, but it is through education, employment, and commitment that I am where I am today.

What does a normal day look like for you?

Currently, I am 100% a doctoral student, which you might think will make it easy to answer this question, but the days vary a lot. Either I can be in the lab, analyzing data, give presentations or take a doctoral course. I enjoy the variety.

What are your goals for the future?

I am very much looking forward to being able to apply research in my clinical activities in the future. For me, that's the whole point, to be able to be involved and improve how we help people - both by being clinical and caring, but also by analyzing connections on a larger scale in research. The good thing is that you can include both aspects in each other and I think you become a better clinician by doing research and vice versa.

Do you have any tips you want to give to those students who are considering entering the world of research?

Try it! The most important thing in my opinion is to be curious and interested. You are guaranteed to learn something even if you in the long run feel that it is not for you. Find out what areas you are interested in and contact the researchers you would like to be supervised by. It is important to point out why you are interested and that you have a bit of patience to wait for the response (many researchers have very active mailboxes). You can find more tips at Good luck!