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PhD Degree in Human Sciences


I am currently a 3rd year MPhil/PhD student at the University of Greenwich.

I am pursuing my second PhD degree after obtaining a PhD in Physical Education in 2018.

Video format: MP4 | watch on YouTube

In the video above, I outlined my project at the First CEAR Meeting within the Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich in December 2021. I am curently recruting participants for the first interventional study.



PhD Degree


Path to my second PhD



University of Greenwich - London

I commenced an MPhil/PhD programme in Human Sciences on 11 October 2021 at the Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences (School of Human Sciences), University of Greenwich in London, United Kingdom.

Accredited Programme: MPhil/PhD in Human Sciences

Research Title: Effects of Combined Microcurrent and Resistance Exercise on Muscle Strength, Body Composition, and Physical Function in Older Adults

MPhil/PhD Student: Stefan Kolimechkov

Lead Supervisor: Professor Fernando Naclerio PhD
(University of Greenwich, London, UK)

Second Supervisor: Marcos Seijo PhD
(University of Greenwich, London, UK)


Research Summary

Sarcopenia is a progressive and generalised skeletal muscle disorder associated with an increased likelihood of falls, fractures, physical disability, and mortality. Low muscle strength (primary parameter of sarcopenia) is associated with physical frailty, which is at least partly responsible for hospitalisation and loss of independence of living in many adult people. Microcurrent (small doses of electrical current which mimics humans bioelectricity) might help to attenuate loss of muscle strength in sedentary individuals, and adding microcurrent to exercise could emerge as a potentially effective treatment to effectively combat sarcopenia. The aim of the PhD project, therefore, is to assess the effectiveness of combining microcurrent and resistance exercise to counteract the loss of muscle mass and strength which accompanies ageing. We will also intend to analyse potential benefits on body composition and physical function in middle-aged (>40 to 65 years old) and older adults (>65 years old).

What is a PhD?

PhD is simply the pinnacle of formal education, so only a small number of people have ever obtained it. In fact, only around 1% of the world's adult population who have been to university have a PhD. PhD is short for Doctor of Philosophy, and is the highest level of degree that is awarded by universities to candidates who have submitted a doctoral thesis, based on extensive and original research in their chosen field.

The University

The University of Greenwich was established in 1890 (more than 130 years ago), and it is well known around the world. It was ranked as one of the top modern universities in London, and it is most famous with its main campus at the Old Royal Naval College on the south bank of the river Thames, next to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. Personally, I believe that the Greenwich campus is one of the most beautiful and recognised campuses in the world because of its location, which in fact is UNESCO World Heritage Site (Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site). Postgraduate programmes at the University of Greenwich are at the leading edge of progress in multiple fields, including sports medicine and human sciences. The University's staff and post-graduate students contribute significantly to developing knowledge, which sets standards in the UK and worldwide.


MY PhD Degree (2021-2027)

This is a part-time joint award (MPhil/PhD) accredited programme of study at the University of Greenwich, UK. Initially starting as an MPhil and will then upgrade to a PhD once I complete a substantial piece of doctoral level work and pass the transfer VIVA (usually within 36 months from registration). Here is a full list of all skills, trainings and requirements for the successful completion of this degree.

The Greenwich Postgraduate Research Development Programme

Skills and Training Year Status/Certificate
Strand 1 – Introduction to Research Skills
1.1. Working towards a doctorate 2021


1.2. Excelling in your doctorate 2021
1.3. Information Security Awareness 2021 Pass
1.4. Data Protection (including GDPR) 2021 Certificate»
Strand 2 – Teaching Skills
2.1. Know your students & plan how to teach 2021




2.2. Deliver content with presenting techniques 2021
2.3. Engaging students with questioning techniques 2021
2.4. Student-led learning with facilitating techniques 2021
2.5. Assessment and Feedback 2021
2.6. Microteaching 2021
Strand 3 – Examination Preparation
3.1. Preparing for MPhil to PhD transfer 2021 Certificate»
3.2. Preparing for final PhD examination   coming in 2026
Strand 4 – Subject-Specific Skills
4.1. IELTS Academic Test 2021 Pass
4.2. Presenting at the 1st CEAR Meeting 2021 2021 Pass
4.3. Microcurrent Therapy 2021 Pass
4.4. Musculoskeletal Ultrasound 2022 Pass
4.5. Body Composition with Bod Pod 2022 Pass
4.6. White Blood Cells Count with HemoCue 2022 Pass
4.7. Attending the 2022 ECSS Congress in Spain 2022 Pass
4.8. Effective Management of Doctoral and Master's Research 2023 Pass
4.9. RETI Training: Your PhD in a Day 2023 Pass
4.10. RETI Training: Powerful Presentations & Personal Impact Masterclass 2023 Pass
4.11. Presenting an oral presentation in relation with my PhD project at the 2023 FIEPS Congress in Romania 2023 Pass
4.12. Presenting a poster presentation in relation with my PhD project at the 2023 ECSS Congress in Paris, France. 2023 Pass
Strand 5 - Extramural Skills
5.1. Safeguarding Refresher Course 2021 Pass
5.2. Attending the 2022 FIEPS Congress in Finland 2022 Pass
5.3. Presenting an Oral Presentation at the 2022 FIEPS Congress 2022 Pass
5.4. Presenting a Poster at the 2022 ECSS Congress 2022 Pass
5.5. Chairing a Session at the 2022 ECSS Congress 2022 Pass

5.6. Published an article outside the University project

Kolimechkov, S., Petrov, L., Vankova, D., & Douglas, D. (2022). Nutritional Assessment of Female Yoga Practitioners with Different Levels of Experience. Sport Mont, 20(1), 45-49. doi: 10.26773/smj.220208 (Indexed in Scopus)

2022 Pass

5.7. Published an article outside the University project

Petrov, L., Alexandrova, A., Makaveev, R., Penov, R., Bonova, I. & Kolimechkov, S. (2022). Copper, selenium, zinc, and iron deficiencies in male athletes. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 22(2), 423 - 429. doi: 10.7752/jpes.2022.02053 (Indexed in Scopus)

2022 Pass

5.8. Published an article outside the University project

Kolimechkov, S., Douglas, D., Izov, N., Alexandrova, A., Petrov, L. (2022). The effect of turmeric and its compound curcumin on muscle recovery in athletes: Mini review. Kinesiologia Slovenica, 28 (1), 83-95 (Indexed in Web of Science)

2022 Pass
5.9. Electv Training: Your professional profile and networking 2022 Pass
5.10. Electv Training: Build your own website in a day 2022 Pass
5.11. RETI Training: Why research needs to change; an introduction to open science / scholarship practices 2023 Pass
5.12. British Gymnastics: Anti-doping education 2023 Pass
5.13. UK Coaching & Sport England: Sudden Cardiac Arrest eLearning 2023 Pass
5.14. CIMSPA: Digital Marketing Hub Gold Accelerator 2023 Pass
MPhil to PhD Transfer
MPhil to PhD VIVA   coming in 2024
Final Examination for PhD
PhD VIVA   coming in 2027



Records of important milestones

26 July 2021

Took and passed the IELTS Academic English language test.

3 September 2021

Applied for MPhil/PhD in Human Sciences.

28 September 2021

Official interview in relation to my application. Accepted!

11 October 2021

Registration date.

November 2021

Induction Checklists Part A & Part B completed.

7 December 2021

Presented at the 1st CEAR Meeting (Centre for Exercise Activity and Rehabilitation) within the ILD, University of Greenwich.

February 2022

Supervisory Team Approved.

March 2022

Ethical Approval for Research Project entitled ‘Effects of microcurrent treatment with and without resistance exercises on body composition, muscle strength, and physical function in middle-aged adults’ reference number: FREC-EHHS-21-3-35-03

19 April 2022

Research Plan Approval – Approved by the Faculty Research Degrees Committee - Education, Health, & Human Sciences.

27 August 2022

Presenting a study at the 2022 FIEPS World and European Congress in Vierumaki, Finland.

01 September 2022

Chairing my first session at an international conference (‘Health and Fitness in Children’ at the 2022 ECSS Congress in Seville, Spain.

01 September 2022

Presenting a poster at the 2022 ECSS Congress in Seville, Spain.

04 October 2022

Effects of Microcurrent Treatment with and without Resistance Exercises was registered and posted on the ClinicalTrials.gov public website. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05567237

18 November 2022

Published Review Article in the European Journal of Applied Physiology
Kolimechkov, S., Seijo, M., Swaine, I., Thirkell, J., Colado, J. C., & Naclerio, F. (2022). Physiological effects of microcurrent and its application for maximising acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise. European journal of applied physiology, 10.1007/s00421-022-05097-w. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-022-05097-w

14 December 2022

Year 1 Progress Report: Satisfactory progress was noted by the Faculty Research Degrees Committee (Education Health & Human Sciences), University of Greenwich.

27 May 2023

Presenting a pilot study in relation to my PhD project at the 2023 FIEPS European Congress in Galati, Romania.

27 May 2023

Recognised as a World Physical Education Ambassador by the International Federation of Physical and Sports Education (FIEPS) during their 100-year anniversary congress in Romania.

13 June 2023

The protocol of my systematic review on the effectiveness of microcurrent combined with physical exercises was registered and posted on the international prospective register of systematic reviews, PROSPERO (CRD42023434009).

6 July 2023

Presenting a poster with preliminary data in relation to my PhD project at the 2023 ECSS Congress in Paris, France.

20-26 August 2023 Completed the International Summer School ‘Research Methods in Sports Science for Interdisciplinary Approaches’ at the German Sport University Cologne in Germany.

Coming in 2024

MPhil to PhD Transfer.

Coming in 2027

Final Examination for PhD.



Driven by Passion

How did it all start and why I believe doing a PhD is the most amazing and fascinating journey ever?

I believe, it all started in 2011 when I was in my 4th year at University, studying for a Bachelor's degree in Sport and Physical Education at the National Sports Academy in Bulgaria. The same year, I was working on my first coursework in sports science (this was my first scientific project ever), and with the help and support of my supervisor, it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences in my life. The coursework itself was evaluated as the best in the Department of Gymnastics, and my presentation was described as a wonderful example of excellence by the head of the Department and Ex-Vice-President of the International Gymnastics Federation, Professor Nikola Hadjiev, D.Sc. In fact, the exact words that he said after my presentation were as follows:

'Dear colleagues, this is a wonderful example of a Coursework, it is very well illustrated, and it has been presented in a magical way. We’ve known the student for 4 years from our lectures and I suggest that we should award an excellent mark of the highest category. Congratulations! It has been a real pleasure for us.’

Later that year I extended my coursework into a bachelor's dissertation, which received the highest possible mark. However, I really started thinking about doing a PhD a year later (in 2012), after an excellent defence of my master's dissertation at the Department of Physical Education at the National Sports Academy. In January 2013, I moved to the United Kingdom, as this was a long-standing goal of mine, and I have been living and working here since then. While my passion for doing a PhD continued to grow during the first few years of my stay in the UK, I was well aware that getting into a PhD programme in London was too expensive, and that my English skills were not at academic standards at that time. Therefore, in 2014, I started preparing my self-proposed project for a PhD thesis and the following year I was accepted for a distant learning PhD at the National Sports Academy in Bulgaria. Between 2015 nad 2018, I travelled to Bulgaria on a few occasions to take modules and exams, as well as for my viva (thesis defence). On the 30th of May 2018, I defended my Doctoral thesis in front of an audience of 50 people, including researchers from 3 departments at the National Sports Academy, the Scientific Jury, lecturers, colleagues and friends. The defence was an absolute success, and I believe that this has been the greatest moment in my life so far. In November 2018, I was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

In line with my short and long-term goals, passions, and curiosity, at the beginning of 2021, I started exploring the opportunity of getting into a PhD programme at a British university. Finding the right PhD programme took a while, but eventually one university ticked all the boxes. The University of Greenwich offered a great PhD opportunity, in fact it was a joined MPhil/PhD programme in Human Sciences exploring the following research topic: Effects of Combined Microcurrent and Resistance Exercise on Muscle Strength, Body Composition, and Physical Function in Older Adults. Between May and August 2021, I prepared my PhD proposal related to the advertised research project, and in September I submitted my application. After a successful interview held on 28 September 2021, I was offered a place. Yes, I have already completed one PhD in 2018, and now I am pursuing a second one (but this time here in London) in Human Sciences, and more specifically in the fascinating research area of sarcopenia, due to my genuine curiosity towards slowing the aging processes.