One or more PhD Stipends in Solving Physical Activity Related Challenges in Wheelchair Users (21-18060)

At the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Health Science and Technology one or more PhD stipends are available within the general research programme "Biomedical Science and Engineering". The stipends are open for appointment from 1 November 2018 or soon hereafter.

Job description

This job advertisement concerns a PhD study, which will focus on methods and means for solving physical activity related challenges within the group of wheelchair users. The PhD project is a joint initiative between the Department of Health Science and Technology (HST), Aalborg University and the University College Nordjylland (UCN). HST carries out multidisciplinary research, teaching and dissemination within rehabilitation robotics, biomedical engineering, sports science, and medicine. More than 160 PhD students are enrolled in the doctoral school affiliated to the department. The department is a key player in the following educations at Aalborg University: Sports Technology, Sport Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, and Clinical Sciences and Technology. UCN is a teaching and research institution with responsibility for educating professional bachelors in Northern Jutland e.g. physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses, as well as research responsibilities in applied sciences within these fields. UCN has approx. 30 affiliated PhD students. Both institutions have at their disposal laboratory facilities for e.g. 3D movement analysis, sensory and motor functions analysis.

Within these organisations, the PhD students will be affiliated to the Sport Science group within HST, and the TiBS group within UCN. The Sport Sciences group is newly established research section ( The group focuses on methods to combat physical inactivity and its side effects. Key objectives are to examine aspects that influence whether sports and physical activity are meaningful to individuals and groups, and work to develop knowledge and methods that encourage societal members to become and/or to remain physically active. Further, the Sport Science group work to promote participation in sport and physical activity that contribute to physical, mental and social well-being. TiBS “Technologies closely connected to citizens´ health (TiBS)” forskning/forskningsprogrammer/teknologier-i-borgernær-sundhed). The TiBS group conducts research into the interaction of technology and citizens and/or the professionals in various contexts and with a special focus on how technology supports or restricts the citizen's quality of life and health. TiBS has two current strategic foci that has motivated participation in this PhD project. One focus is prevention of wheelchair users’ health-related problems for example shoulder pain due to wheelchair use, cardiovascular disease because of a sedentary lifestyle, or pressure ulcers because of an ill-fitted wheelchair. The other research focus is on developing technology-enabled interventions that supports physical activity for citizens with physical limitations. The project also has an industrial partner, Wolturnus A/S (, which manufactures wheelchairs.
The successful applicants should investigate methods and means solving physical activity related challenges within the group of wheelchair users. More specifically, the project will investigate the relationship between volume, intensity and type of physical activity and neck-shoulder complaints. On this background, the project will suggest and evaluate a technology-enabled intervention to increase physical activity in wheelchair users, while preventing shoulder complaints and pain. The ultimate goal is to improve wheelchair users’ mobility and function so that they may live in their own homes longer without aid, and improve their cardiovascular health, to prevent the excess mortality of cardiovascular diseases in the group.

The successful candidates for the PhD stipends hold a master degree in Clinical Sciences and Technology, Sports Technology, Physiotherapy, Sport Sciences or Biomedical Engineering. Experience within experimental and clinical research is expected. Further, high level of written and spoken Danish and English proficiencies are also expected.

A high proficiency in oral and written Danish and English are required. Good dissemination skills are important.

As part of the application, the applicant is requested to submit a "project description", which is a suggestion for a PhD project within the topics mentioned above. This project description should include: Background, problem statement, project activities/methods for problem solution, and a time schedule e.g. by using a Gantt chart.

You may obtain further information from Professor, Pascal Madeleine, Sport Sciences, Department of Health Science and Technology, email: or Docent Uffe Læssøe, University College Nordjylland concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.

The qualifications of the applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine will make a decision for allocating the stipend.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Bettina Wedde, The Faculty of Medicine, email:, phone: +45 9940 9909.

For more information of the The Doctoral School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology:

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.

We wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardsless of personal background.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015, on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current Circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.     

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Online application - some good advice

Online application - some good advice

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