Chronic pain is a key societal challenge, affecting one out of five adults. Chronic pain is in general poorly treated and its impact is far-reaching and considerable for society.

The programme FrontierResearchCompentences@CNAP (FRESCO@CNAP) has installed eight early stage researchers (ESRs) at CNAP, doing frontline research on novel tools for identifying and modulating key features of human pain mechanisms. Our aim is to offer our FRESCO@CNAP fellows the best possible research training. Our FRESCO@CNAP fellows are enrolled in Aalborg University’s Doctoral School in in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology, along with more than 200 other PhD students. Here they have access to a range of different PhD courses, some of specific scientific relevance to their own PhD project, and others of a more general character, offering training in transferrable skills such as communication, research and project management, ethical issues, Intellectual Property Rights, or entrepreneurship. This training is supplemented with participation in joint events such as journal clubs, workshops, and symposia.

Based on the combination of first class PhD supervision and extensive training, our ambition is that our FRESCO fellows will serve as first movers in a new generation of researchers, capable of exploiting the synergies between different research disciplines and technologies, and in this way optimising and boosting innovation. The long-term perspective of the research therefore forms a basis of the next generation pain management and is as such important for reducing the load of pain on a personal and a societal level. CNAP is recognised as a unique Centre of Excellence due to the multidisciplinary approach to the studies of pain.

This programme has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754465.


Testimonials from our FRESCO PhD Fellows

  • Marco Rizzo

    "My experience at FRESCO@CNAP has been fundamental for my researcher professional profile. I developed a considerable amount of technical skills as well as communication skills. I have learnt well how to define my goals and how to manage my time on this purpose. All of it in a stimulating work environment. The most important lesson that I took is working effectively on my own and with my supervisor. My advice for students who would like to pursue this career is to be open to collaborations and to be not afraid of asking for help, we are here to work and learn."

    Don't be afraid of asking for help.

  • Armita Faghani Jadidi

    "I am in the second year of my Ph.D. at the CNAP group at Aalborg University. I applied for this position because it seemed an excellent opportunity to work with the well-known group and experienced researchers in the pain field and expand my knowledge and learn advanced skills in this field. I also found this position interesting as the main goal is to make a difference in people's life quality. In addition, my background had given me a solid foundation for this position and fit the requirements. I have learned many skills so far, such as time management, importance of prioritization, self-motivation for learning new skills, working as a team member, etc. Moreover, working as a FRESCO follow allows me to build strong internal and external collaboration with experts in the field by participating in several conferences and workshops. I have also participated in several Ph.D. courses relevant to my project and also general courses, which were really helpful for my future careers, like learning about transferable skills such as communication, research, and project management."

    I have built strong internal and external collaboration with experts in the field.

  • Felipe Rettore Andreis

    "I believe being a FRESCO fellow has provided me with the opportunity of developing a solid foundation for my future career. The interdisciplinary characteristics of CNAP offered me a way to look at a scientific problem from different perspectives, which fosters great critical thinking. Moreover, the integration between researchers from different fields promotes a systemic perspective of science. During this period, the most important lesson I have learned is to combine independence with collaborative work. I believe my academic growth greatly benefits from the independence I have with my project. At the same time, when faced with difficulties, there was always excellent guidance from my supervisors and colleagues. To conclude, my advice for recent graduates who are considering applying for a PhD position is to not be afraid in contacting senior researchers to ask about their work. It can serve as a good way to get a feeling of how your abilities and interests would fit into their research group."

    The interdisciplinary characteristics of CNAP foster great critical thinking.

  • Taha Janjua

    "Being a FRESCO fellow has given me an opportunity to accomplish more than I could on my own. It has allowed me to collaborate and learn from distinguished researchers from around the world. I have learned the value of interdisciplinary research; the potential of collaborations and having a transparent workflow. Here at CNAP, we have the capacity to use each other’s strengths and help one another overcome our individual weaknesses. I chose to work at CNAP for the same reasons. Through round table discussions and individualized research plans, I could see myself invested in an international, collaborative work environment. One that would continue to bear fruit even after completing my Ph.D. My advice to future Ph.D. students is what my supervisor has taught me over the years: You are the pilot of your dreams. You will find the best navigators sitting next to you guiding you along the way, but you must take initiative and be bold. Dare to be more!"

    You are the pilot of your dreams.