Tre internationale PhD-studerende beskriver deres ophold på SDU

I Forskningsenheden for Muskuloskeletal Funktion og Fysioterapi (FOF) er det vigtigt for os at samarbejde internationalt for at løfte kvaliteten af forskningen. Samtidig har vi fokus på at vores PhD-studerende får et udenlandsophold som en del af deres PhD, da det er lærerigt både på et personligt og videnskabeligt plan. Derfor er vi også meget åbne for, at internationale PhD-studerende kommer på forskningsophold hos os, hvilket samtidig giver forskningsgruppen muligheden for at blive inspireret. De tre nedenstående PhD-studerende har alle været på ophold i forskningsenheden i efteråret 2019.

Dilara Sari
Hello, this is Dilara Merve Sari from Istanbul, Turkey. Currently, I am a guest Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). I am still enrolled as a Ph.D. student at my home university which is Marmara University, Istanbul. I have 3 years of work experience from a rehabilitation center mainly working with children with Cerebral Palsy. My main research interest is in the field of orthopedic and pediatric rehabilitation.


As I am in the first steps of my research career, I wanted to make international contacts and see how other people are working in the research field. I wanted to see and experience their perspective, their point of view on the research field. While I was searching for where to apply, I came across Jonas Bloch Thorlund’s studies and I got interested in the work they are doing and the research they are conducting here. I was also curious about their nationwide studies and how they would be able to manage clinical studies in cooperation with the clinicians.

During my stay at the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics (SDU), I have worked on a project titled “Pain medication use in young handball players”. I have done analysis and some data cleaning. I had the chance to work with Jonas Bloch Thorlund and Merete Møller. Also, I had the chance to attend meetings of the research team here. It was inspiring for me to listen and learn how other researchers were designing, analyzing and writing their research. I felt lucky to be here meeting other international researchers in the team and this was a valuable experience for my development and my research career. I was also lucky to find Danish classes at the university campus and learn a little bit of Danish language and culture as said “lidt dansk”. It has been nice for me to be here with the FoF team and I am excited about keeping the contact with the team for possible future projects. Det var hyggelig at møde jer!

Fernando Domínguez
Hi, this is Fernando Domínguez, from Universitat de València (Spain). I am a physiotherapist and currently combining clinical practice as a physiotherapist with research projects in my university about exercise therapy for musculoskeletal conditions. At this time, I am doing my PhD thesis focused on strength and proprioceptive training in the preoperative period for people undergoing total knee replacement.


And this is actually the main reason why I came to SDU as visiting PhD student: to expand my research knowledge, about exercise therapy in general and about knee osteoarthritis, in particular. As SDU has a strong research team specialized in those fields, I took the decision to come here and learn from this group.

My adventure at SDU started a couple of weeks ago, and my research collaboration here is already ongoing. I am working with professor Anders Grøntved and professor Soren Thorgaard Skou in the LOFUS project, which is a cross-sectional study involving more than 24.000 participants from Lolland and Falster, where we use socio-demographic and clinical outcomes. Indeed, we are right now focused on the physical activity patterns of people with hypertension and the possible association between the amount of time spent on physical activity and the blood pressure.

Furthermore, I have had meetings with people specialized in exercise therapy and sports injuries and osteoarthritis, and we share our scientific knowledge and current projects and try to establish further collaborations. I especially like the way the department works here, being multidisciplinary, and having regular meetings where you can present and get feedback on current projects and discuss interesting matters. I am also very impressed by the facilities at SDU.
I wish my internship will keep on going well and that I get the best possible experience.

Halit Selçuk
I am Halit Selçuk from Istanbul, Turkey and am currently a Ph.D. physiotherapy candidate. I had my B.Sc. from Dokuz Eylül University, İzmir and M.Sc. from Trakya University, Edirne in Physiotherapy field. At the moment, I am working as a research assistant at Marmara University, İstanbul, Turkey. My main research focus is on orthopedic rehabilitation and biomechanics.


I applied for the Erasmus program and my idea was to go abroad during my early research career for my professional development and make valuable contacts with a leading research team in the physiotherapy field. The reason why I decided to contact the University of Southern Denmark and my supervisor, Soren Thorgaard Skou, was basically because of this pursuit of excellence in the research environment and valuable networks. I came across this high impact work on osteoarthritis: the GLA:D Project developed by them. Since this was a nationwide, efficient project which was also implemented in other countries, I wanted to work and make network with the research team who developed the GLA:D in the first place.

My main focus of the visit was to do a validation study with data from the GLA:D Project and Danish registries. During my stay, I had a chance to meet with researchers from different backgrounds and have their feedbacks on design and analysis and work on the publication from the study. This gave me a chance to collaborate with an international research team, which is also a valuable experience for my professional development. I would gladly say that this was more than a positive experience for me and it exceeded my expectations from the research stay in the first place. In addition to my main work, I also had a chance to visit other research labs, meet with other research teams who work on different projects and attend monthly research team meetings which were another piece added to my positive experiences here. I would say that I am highly satisfied with being at SDU, even though my time here was really short, and I would reallylike to keep in contact with the team for future projects.

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