The Karolinska Institute is a research-led medical university in Solna within the Stockholm urban area of Sweden. This is Sweden's third oldest medical school, after Uppsala University (founded in 1477) and Lund University (founded in 1666). The Karolinska Institute is consistently ranked amongst the world's best medical schools, ranking 6th worldwide for medicine in 2021. The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The assembly consists of fifty professors from various medical disciplines at the university. The current rector of Karolinska Institute is Ole Petter Ottersen, who took office in August 2017.
The Karolinska Institute was founded by King Karl XIII in 1810 as an academy for the training of surgeons, after one in three soldiers wounded in a war against Russia died in field hospitals. In 1861, the institution was granted the right to confer degrees and gained a status equal to that of a university. In 1895, Alfred Nobel's will bequeathed the Karolinska Institute the right to select the winner of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
Since then, five Karolinska Institute researchers have won a Nobel Prize in that category. In 1997, the institution was granted full university status. The institution has two campuses: KI Campus Solna and KI Campus Huddinge, located in the northwest and south of Stockholm respectively. As well as bachelor’s and master degrees, the Karolinska Institute also offers doctoral degrees. To gain a PhD, students must develop an advanced general knowledge of medical science and scientific methodology, as well as cutting edge scientific skills in the research field they choose to explore in their thesis.
Its vision is to contribute to the improvement of human health via research and teaching. The institution, which has around 6,000 students, is located close to the Karolinska University Hospital. The Karolinska Institute’s research spans the whole field of medicine, from basic experimental research to patient-oriented and nursing research. The institution is the single largest conductor of academic medical research in Sweden, accounting for 30% of the medical training and more than 40% of all academic medical and life science research conducted in Sweden.
The Karolinska University Hospital, located in Solna and Huddinge, is associated with the university as a research and teaching hospital. Together they form an academic health science centre. While most of the medical programs are taught in Swedish, the bulk of the PhD projects are conducted in English. The institute's name is a reference to the Caroleans.