Declaration of interest regarding PhD project in robot-assisted training in adolescents and adults with cerebral palsy

The Orthopaedic Research Unit at Department of Clinical Research, SDU is looking for applicants for a PhD scholarship within the field of robot-assisted training in adolescents and adults with cerebral palsy.

The PhD stipend will work within the cross-disciplinary research frame entitled Bodily and Robotic Interaction: A Transdisciplinary Concept of Rehabilitation Training (BARI) which is anchored in SDU-Trinity, a research environment dedicated facilitating research in human motion technology http://trinity-motion.org/Files/phdpositions_2020.pdf.   

The overall aim of BARI is to develop a proof of concept for the use of robotic-assisted training in adolescents and adults with cerebral palsy (CP). CP is a condition that describes a broad group of musculoskeletal disorders, which includes altered muscle tone, movement disorders, muscle weakness, ataxia and limb/joint rigidity. Patients with CP may also be diagnosed with cognitive, language, speech and communication disorders that may affect every day social interaction.

SDU-Trinity offers 3 interrelated PhD projects  as part of the BARI framework,  representing 3 distinct scientific areas: the first PhD project (current posting) is  focused on training physiology, motion analysis and clinical perspectives in CP patients (health science), while the remaining two PhD projects are anchored within social interaction and robotics and are hosted by The Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Engineering, respectively. 
The current PhD project within training physiology, motion analysis and clinical perspectives aims at evaluating a novel assistive robot for reducing the effect of gravity during walking in patients with chronic gait impairments. Contributing to the development of a proof of concept by describing how developing and implementing a robot-based intervention protocol to improve gait and physical function plus to offer potential clinical benefits are key cornerstones of the project.
The methodological approach of the study will preferably fall within implementation of robot-assisted exercise, systematic review, explorative/objective evaluation of gait function, and patient reported outcome measures on function and quality of life.

Research environment
The PhD stipend will be part of SDU-Trinity, a trans-disciplinary team, consisting of 3-5 PhD fellows and 5-10 senior researchers, dedicated to developing feasible modes of bodily human/robot interaction in the context of SDU’s  ongoing efforts to develop training-robots for use in human motion analysis and clinical health care.  

We offer a challenging and innovative position, in an international, stimulating and highly interdisciplinary environment that forge new research paradigms by crossing the traditionally separate domains of engineering-, health- and humanistic research, for the benefit of the users and society as a whole.

The PhD student will be affiliated with the Orthopedic Research Unit at the Department of Clinical Health, Odense University Hospital; a clinical research unit that aims at developing clinical evidence for patients with orthopedic and related health issues for the benefit of the patient’s function and quality of life. 

Project description
Trinity is based on a collaboration between SDU’s faculties for health, engineering, and humanities, where pioneering researchers are combining their knowledge and scientific experience in order to study and understand the processes of bodily human/robot interaction, with the goal of creating and demonstrating new concepts and applications for interaction of technology and human motion.  
PhD fellows working in Trinity will share a common project space, with direct access to peers and senior researchers from their own field, as well as the two adjoining fields. Trinity is physically located at SDU’s campus in the city of Odense, and Trinity draw on a number of facilities and laboratories at Institute for Sport science and clinical biomechanics, as well as the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller institute.

It is expected that all applicants will read the detailed description of the Trinity-BARI project, and in their application describe how they envision that  the Trinity framework can benefit the PhD project at hand, and also describe how  the proposed PhD project may benefit the overall goals of Trinity.
These thoughts should be written in a short (1-2 pages) synopsis outlining the PhD study protocol as proposed by the applicants themselves. More detailed description of the PhD project(s) is available at: https://trinity-motion.org/Files/phdpositions_2020.pdf 

Qualifications:
We are looking for a person with a relevant degree (MD, MSc. etc.) who fulfil the qualifications for being enrolled as a PhD student at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.
https://www.sdu.dk/en/forskning/phd/phd_skoler/phdskolensundhedsvidenskab/phd_students/getting_started 

For further information about the project, please contact:
Associate Professor Anders Holsgaard Larsen
Department of Clinical Science
University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
Tlf. +45 26503912   E-mail: AHLarsen@health.sdu.dk 

Application must include:
• At letter stating the interest, motivation and qualifications for the project (max. 2 pages)
• A synopsis of your project proposal (1-2 pages)
• Detailed CV, including personal contact information and scientific experience 
• Certified copy of diploma (Master’s degree in relevant field)

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online". 
Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. 

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will not be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Closing date October 25, 2020

The successful stipendiate will be asked/supervised to send an application for enrollment as PhD student to the PhD Secretariat, Faculty of Health Sciences, SDU.

The PhD Programme will be carried out in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order)

Terms of employment will be  stated in  agreement  with accepted standards established by the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


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