Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Travel grants strengthen cooperation with the University of São Paulo

During last autumn, employees and PhD students at Health had the opportunity to apply for funding to either visit or receive a visit from the University of São Paulo. Find out who the funding was awarded to and what a travel grant could mean for the recipients.

2019.02.07 | Simon Byrial Fischel

Nine travel grants financed by Erasmus + have been awarded for exchanges between Aarhus University and the University of São Paulo. Photo: Colourbox.

Nine travel grants have been awarded for exchanges between Aarhus University and the University of São Paulo. The grants are awarded to researchers who will be visiting colleagues in another country either to learn or to provide teaching or instruction. The travel grants are made possible by a funding pool from the Erasmus + educational collaboration and were open for applications from Health researchers at the end of 2018.

One of the travel grant recipients is PhD Therese Juul from the Department of Clinical Medicine who works at the Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology at Aarhus University Hospital. She specialises in delayed complications after cancer in the pelvic organs and is looking forward to spending five days in São Paulo this autumn.

"At the University of São Paulo, they have a different approach to treating colorectal cancer than we have in Denmark. During my visit, I will follow a prominent research group that is working on treating the early stages of colorectal cancer with radiation alone. It’s a less intrusive and more observant approach that they call watch and wait. So it’s a different treatment strategy than the one we primarily use in Denmark today, where we will in the great majority of cases resort to surgery, often combined with radiation," says Therese Juul.

Travel grant is the first step

Therese Juul is looking forward to following her Brazilian colleagues' work and to finding inspiration in their clinical practice as well as their research projects.

"Seeing how they work will definitely give me new perspectives on our own methods, but what I also hope is that the visit can form the basis of a research partnership in the long term. It’s not a big jump to imagine that the patient’s quality of life could be enhanced in the long term if we made do with radiotherapy, but we don’t really know. We have extensive experience from studies of delayed complications, and it would therefore be enormously interesting for us to study which delayed complications their patients have compared to ours,” says Therese Juul. 

Apply for funds for new scholarship pool

The great interest for the travel grants also means that many applicants have received rejections. Health's international adviser Tanja Hansen, who is jointly responsible for applying for and awarding grants for travel grants, finds this disappointing.

"Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to award as many grants as we’d like to. But having said that, we’re pleased to see the high-level of interest in our cooperation with the University of São Paulo. We are therefore already applying for more funding so we can hopefully offer a new round of grants," explains Tanja Hansen.

A new round of travel grants would be welcomed by Therese Juul and her Brazilian colleagues. Especially as the researchers from São Paulo during the planning stage already indicated that they hoped to visit AU in the near future and learn from Therese Juul and her team.

The initiative for the travel grants is the result of a number of existing research partnerships with the University of São Paulo. Researchers from the Department of Clinical Medicine and the Department of Dentistry in particular have been committed to supporting and expanding this cooperation. It is hoped that the travel grants can inspire increased international cooperation between the two universities. 

The recipients of travel grants from Denmark to Brazil are:

The recipients of travel grants from Brazil to Denmark are:

  • Roberto R. Braga
  • Rita C. Tostes
  • Ariandra Sartim
  • Omar Melendres Ugarte
  • Joao Paulo Lopes da Silva


Tanja Hansen, International Advisor
Aarhus University, Health
Dean's Secretariat
Building 1265-216
Email: tanja.hansen@au.dk
Telephone: (+45) 9350 8108

Collaboration, Research, Academic staff, Health, Health, Grants and awards, Administration (Academic), Technical / administrative staff, PhD students, Exchange students