Stinne Ravn Greisen brought her husband and kids with her and spent 4 months in New York City as a visiting scholar at Weill Cornell Medical College. She shares more about her experience as a Fulbrighter below.

“My name is Stinne Ravn Greisen, and I am a medical doctor, working to specialize in Rheumatology and also doing postdoctoral research. I stayed in Manhattan for four months and worked in a lab associated with Weill Cornell Medicine and Hospital for Special Surgery which was a really great experience!

The overall purpose of my stay was to foster ongoing collaboration between my group here in Denmark, and the group in NYC, and to engage in both scientific and educational discussions about the teaching and education of students both at the university and in the lab. My research mainly focuses on understanding specific cellular subsets in Rheumatoid Arthritis. The goal is not only to understand the disease pathology better but also to find new biomarkers of disease progression and new potential treatment targets.

Personally, I wanted to get familiar with single-cell sequencing, as I find this method really important for an unbiased approach to better understanding the mechanisms behind complicated immunological diseases. While I was in New York City, I joined one of their projects that had a very similar purpose; looking at patients who were receiving immune checkpoint therapy for cancer and then developing a Rheumatoid Arthritis-like disease. The collaboration in the lab was great, and because several labs were involved in this project, it was amazing to be part of a large multi-center study across the east coast of the US. I learned both the method and became familiar with the data analysis. The work is currently being submitted for publication.

Most importantly, I now have a network of new and very valuable collaborators who are willing to discuss the initial design of my future studies as well as the analysis of the data.

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Fulbright offers visiting scholar grants for Danish scholars employed as assistant professors, associate professors or professors at a higher educational institution in Denmark.

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Fulbright Denmark awards grants to the most talented scholars who demonstrate outstanding academic performance and will actively contribute to the promotion of mutual understanding as cultural ambassadors of Denmark.

The next application round opens in Fall 2022

In regard to teaching and the learning environment, I find it very useful to experience how things can be done differently. I had great talks with PhD students about their educational programs, what they consider “good teaching” and an optimal learning environment. I also joined classes from the different PhD programs which definitely gave me thoughts for consideration. Additionally, I engaged in different projects in the lab, where I gave advice and supervised undergraduate students. Doing this is always a fun experience, and it was quite similar to how it is done in my lab in Denmark.

Being a Fulbright scholar made it possible for me to complete my stay in the U.S. Because Covid-19 made everything so complicated, I would never have been able to travel to the United States without the Fulbright grant, which I am very thankful for. While I was in the United States, the Fulbright Program provided numerous opportunities for social events, academic lectures, and brief courses. I had brought my family with me to New York and quickly made friends, so I did not attend the social gatherings – but for someone traveling to the United States alone, these events appeared to be fantastic opportunities!

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Stinne brought her husband and kids with her to New York. Pictured is her kids (aged 3 and 7 years old) exploring Halloween decorations.

"Bringing the family was a fantastic experience that I can only encourage"
- Stinne Ravn Greisen

Finally, I would like to encourage everyone reading this to travel abroad. It is a great experience on both a personal and academic level, even if the outcome of the stay is simply “being there” and meeting people from other cultures.

The same message goes for those of you with children. I have two kids, ages 3 and 7 but my husband took a 4-months leave of absence from work to take care of the kids while I was at work. The 7-year-old attended school, which turned out to be even better than we had hoped. She became fluent in English in less than 3 months and fell in love with New York City. Meanwhile, the little one stayed at home and went exploring The City with his dad. Bringing the family was a fantastic experience that I can only encourage.”

If you want to apply for a Fulbright grant as a scholar, please click here to learn more about our grants, deadlines, and eligibility.