PhD in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences – Benoit Smeuninx

PhD in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences – Benoit Smeuninx


So my name is Benoit Smeuninx. Most people
just call me Ben. I’m a third year PhD student at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
My research focus is on why people loose muscle mass as they age and what we can do about
it. I knew Birmingham was quite a good University
for Sport and Exercise Sciences. They’re always top five on the university rankings for good
research and I know all the staff in the school is really good at what they do, so it’s
a really good background and support for doing your research. That’s probably the main
reason that I chose Birmingham. So my typical weeks is quite – there’s a
lot of a variety in my week. I’m in the labs quite a bit. I’m in the office a bit. I write
articles, read articles. I do some analysis on my samples, testing subjects. Sometimes
meeting up with students that you help out for their project. I see my supervisor quite
a lot. He helps me out with my research, so I’ll probably see him every week, probably
a couple of times a week, so I meet him quite a lot. In the school it’s quite good with all the
PhD students. We sit in one big office so everyone knows each other quite well. We organise
quite a lot of activities together, for example, barbeques or going for a drink or playing
some sport. I know some people play football during midday in a little league at the University.
And for the University itself it’s quite good too, there’s a lot of activities being
organised by the University itself or by the Guild. So it’s quite good fun to be a postgraduate
researcher over here. I think the variety of the work that you do
especially, so every day could be something different so it’s not like going into work
from nine to five and just sitting behind a computer, but it’s being flexible and
trying to work and do whatever you want. And it’s also you’re independent so that’s
quite fun to choose what you do a little bit. I hope to stay in research. I hope to stay
at the University of Birmingham for a couple of more years. My supervisor and myself are
looking to get some funding at the moment so hopefully it all goes well. Yes I’ve done some teaching. I gave a couple
of lectures to undergraduate students, mostly about my research. I’ve also helped out in
some lab practicals, so helping students and my supervisor to run them. So those two things
I do mostly to help people out. The facilities at the University of Birmingham
are really good. I know that the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has one of the
biggest labs in the whole of UK. We’ve got a lot of really good equipment that some other
unis don’t have such as a mass spectrometer, for example. So the research facilities are
really good. But then if you look at well kind of sporting facilities I know they’re
building a new sports centre right now so hopefully by next year all the sporting facilities
will be amazing compared to all the other universities, so I think the facilities are
really good over here. So I’m school funded, so my whole course is
paid for and also my research is paid for too. So yeah, I’m funded – I don’t have
to pay for it. I think the most important thing for anyone
coming to Birmingham is be sociable, take all the opportunities you get to socialise
with people, and it will make your experience way better than not being social probably.
So that would be my tip. Go to all the things you can go to.

One thought on “PhD in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences – Benoit Smeuninx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *