Rob Mann OIV- Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre (OSTRC), Norway

Norwegian Olympic Training Centre (Olympiatoppen)

As a Sport and Health Sciences PhD candidate, my research is concerned with injury and illness in adolescent athletes, with a specific focus on distance running. In March of this year I had the opportunity to undertake an 11-week Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV) at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre (OSTRC), based at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. The OSTRC is a world-leading research centre with the aim of preventing injuries and other health problems in sports through research on risk-factors, injury mechanisms, and prevention methods. The goals of my visit were to develop data management and analysis techniques, share preliminary PhD research findings, and to develop an international research network.

From left to right: Prof. Roald Bahr, Rob Mann, Prof. Lars Engebretsen, Dr Ben Clarsen

Whilst in Oslo, I was able to attend a number of workshops that were relevant to my current research and spent time building a data analysis tool with Dr. Ben Clarsen. I was also able to present my PhD research during the centre’s annual Spring Seminar at Kleivstua, a personal highlight, whereby I was included in proceedings as if I were a full member of OSTRC.

The research network that I developed during the visit, which included academics at a number of the International Olympic Committee Injury Prevention Research Centres, has already been hugely beneficial, with further collaborative work being possible further into my career.

In terms of the OIV experience, as a whole, I benefited from a very engaging research environment, being able to share ideas with and learn from the staff and PhD students based at the OSTRC. This was complimented well by the Physical Activity and Health group, who I also had regular contact with during my visit. I also benefited from being able to experience the work that was being carried out at the Norwegian Olympic Training Centre (Olympiatoppen) which has helped me to understand how athlete surveillance methods can be embedded within the context of performance sport

Diamond League meet, Bislett Stadium, Oslo

The visit was rounded off by watching the Oslo meet of The Diamond League (an annual series of elite track and field athletic competitions) at the iconic Bislett Stadium!

I would highly recommend the OIV Scheme to other students. The primary reason for this is to experience a different research culture to your ‘home institution’. During a PhD, you can become a little too familiar with your own research environment. Therefore, an OIV allows you to experience how a different research group operates, spend time with leading academics, and challenge your own academic predispositions. This opportunity also allows you to develop a substantial research network in a different country.

Rob Mann
Health and Wellbeing, University of Exeter

For more information on OIV funding, download our OIV Guidance notes