PhD Degree in Human Sciences
I am an MPhil/PhD student at the University of Greenwich.
I am pursuing a second PhD degree after obtaining my first PhD in Physical Education in 2018.
In December 2021, I outlined the project at the First CEAR Meeting within the Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
Path to my second PhD
UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM | ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF HUMAN SCIENCES
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
MPhil/PhD Student: Stefan Kolimechkov
Lead Supervisor: Professor Fernando Naclerio PhD
(University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Second Supervisor: Professor Ian Swaine PhD
(University of Greenwich, London, UK)
Third Supervisor: Marcos Seijo PhD
(University of Greenwich, London, UK)
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 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|
|1.4. Data Protection (including GDPR)||2021||Pass | Certificate»|
|Strand 2 – Teaching Skills|
|2.1. Know your students & plan how to teach||2021||
Pass | Certificate»
|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|
|Strand 3 – Examination Preparation|
|3.1. Preparing for MPhil to PhD transfer||2021||Pass | Certificate»|
|3.2. Preparing for final PhD examination||coming in 2025|
|Strand 4 – Subject-Specific Skills|
|Strand 5 - Extramural Skills|
|MPhil to PhD Transfer|
|MPhil to PhD VIVA||coming in 2024|
|Final Examination for PhD|
|PhD VIVA||coming in 2027|
Driven by Passion
How did it all start and why I believe doing a PhD is the most amazing and fascinating journey ever?
I think, 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.