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Heidelberg Alumni International

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“Heidelberg University is an ideal place to work”

Porträt Baloglu
Assoc. Prof. Emel Baloglu

Assoc. Prof. Emel Baloglu, Pharmacologist at the Medical School of Acibadem University, Department of Pharmacology, in Istanbul/Turkey

From 2006 to 2014 Postdoc scientist at the Department of Sports Medicine at Heidelberg University, return to Heidelberg with HAIreconnect in July 2017



Why did you decide in favour of the Ruperto Carola?

After completing my specialty degree in Pharmacology in Turkey, I was looking and applying for postdoc positions abroad. I met my supervisor Prof. Heimo Mairbäurl at an international scientific meeting where we decided to write a research proposal together and applied to DFG for funding and my salary. The main topic of the project fit well to my background and the opportunity of working in a worldwide highly reputed university was so exciting enough, so that it was not a difficult decision for me to move to Heidelberg.


What did you like best about being in Heidelberg? What suggestions would you have for improvements?

Personally, I like to live in Heidelberg very much. I have wonderful memories. Heidelberg is a small charming city, but it offers a lot to learn, experience, travel though shopping may be sometimes boring. The working environment is great, people are open to talk and to exchange ideas, and a great help when something is needed. Not only international professionals are hired, also the university personnel office and Guest House is very nice and helpful. For me Heidelberg University is an ideal place to work and likewise Heidelberg to live.


How did your career continue after your time in Heidelberg?

I came back to Turkey in May 2014 due to governmental obligatory work after completing my last research project. Since October 2014, I work at the Department of Pharmacology, Medical School of Acibadem University, Istanbul. I think my being in Heidelberg and working with an internationally well-known group added value to my CV and helped me to be hired in my current position.


What is your view of the German scientific system in comparison to that of your home country or to that of other countries where you may have conducted research?

I think the German scientific system is very well developed compared with the Turkish system. A very important point is that Germany has an old scientific culture which helps and keeps it in the heart of the current developments. On the other hand, lately, the Turkish scientific system is also making progress though still more improvement is needed. One of the striking differences regarding research budget and funding programmes is that it is very satisfying in Germany because one also can get support from various companies, foundations or universities besides the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the European Union. This makes the research groups big and productive while teams are working all together. Another difference is that universities in Turkey are classified as governmental and private where in private universities positions are limited to small numbers and there is heavy teaching work that keeps people away from research.


In your opinion, what is the importance of international exchanges for researchers?

I think it is very important and exciting. It increases collaborations between people and let them learn new work-related and cultural habits, moreover it offers the experience to work and live in a different country.


Why did you apply to HAIreconnect and what have you done during your stay in Heidelberg?

I heard about HAIreconnect from my colleague who also worked at Heidelberg University and then applied. For such a short term fellowship grant I applied with a small project which was also related to my previous works in Heidelberg. My colleagues had already organized everything what I needed, so my experiments went fast and productive. The short-term grant allowed me to re-visit my old department and work with them again.


You are Research-Alumni Ambassador for Heidelberg as a location of research – what are your experiences and plans?

I already established an Erasmus exchange programme between the Medical School of Acibadem University and Heidelberg University. Two years ago, I visited Heidelberg thanks to an Erasmus agreement. I encourage my colleagues and my students to visit Heidelberg and I share my experience with them. I plan to make a meeting with medical students to give them more knowledge about academic possibilities offered by Heidelberg University for international students.

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Latest Revision: 2019-03-08
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