Deniz Zelihić

PhD Candidate at the Department of Psychology and Centre for Rare Disorders, Oslo University Hospital

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By embarking on a doctoral research fellowship, PhD students have unlocked for themselves a great opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to evolve as researchers. Today, more than ever I think, society demands researchers that have acquired a certain amount of competency in their field, knowing how to solve difficult and important research questions. Therefore, it may be increasingly important for PhD students to utilize their time as research fellows in a most efficient way. I think that the difficulty for many PhD students lies in knowing how to do this. For example, there is much to learn and many things to coordinate at the same time. Furthermore, knowing where to find necessary resources or guidance may be difficult for students that are not acquainted with the University. 

As a member of the PhD Programme Board, I genuinely want to instigate discussions around steps that can be made to improve the situation for PhD students. That is, so that both present and future students may utilize their time in a most efficient way on the path to flourish as independent researchers and know where to find their most needed resources. I am also happy to have contributed in getting extended personalia profiles for externally funded PhD candidates on the University's website (which was earlier only a privilege of students employed directly by the University). Externally funded PhD candidates may now update information about themselves and their research on the website, which may be linked on different social media platforms. Specifically, I want to focus on three areas that I think may help PhD students along their path:

  1. Developing skills as a researcher: Taking PhD courses at the University provides a great opportunity to delve into the theoretical and methodological basis of ones PhD project. Additionally, there are numerous summer schools and workshops that may be utilized in order to develop one’s own skills as a researcher. It may be difficult however knowing which course to choose or which may best serve the purpose of one’s project or personal needs. Therefore, my aim is to encourage students to share their experiences of what they need and provide suggestions for how to improve the faculty dissemination of information about courses, summer schools, workshops, etc.
  1. Mentoring: I think it is fair to say that many if not all PhD students have or will encounter distressing situations. It can be frustrating not knowing where or whom to turn to in order to get specific advice and guidance. Sooner or later, PhD students may have the need to discuss future career options or challenges they have encountered with their project. My aim is therefore to encourage the PhD Programme Board to develop a mentoring service for PhD students.
  1. Networking: I believe an important part of being a PhD student is to connect with, collaborate and learn from other students and professionals. Studying at the University may however not always be easy in terms of finding the right time or opportunity to meet with other people. I think it is important to encourage the PhD Programme Board to develop a networking arena for PhD students.

About myself: I earned my master’s degree in educational and psychological counselling from the Department of Education at the University of Oslo in 2018. I have previously worked as an educational-psychological counsellor at Skedsmo municipality. In my PhD project, I am conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate an online psychosocial intervention for young people distressed by appearance-altering conditions. Apart from my interest in research, I play the classical piano and drums. I am originally from Bosnia and Hercegovina but was born and raised in Norway.


Av Deniz Zelihić
Publisert 17. juni 2019 09:11 - Sist endret 10. juni 2020 11:09