Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Type of programme
Ph. Degrees
Full-time: 3 years. Part-time: 5 years
Annual enrolment on the programme: €885
Thesis submission and defence: €2230
Application for the PhD title: €315
  • Home
  • Academic Doctoral Committee (CAD)
  • Research lines and team
  • General Information
  • Organisation and planning
  • Admissions procedure
  • Financial Information
  • Defended Theses

Application period for the school year 2022-23: CLOSED

The programme

The Doctoral Degree in Health Sciences brings together the knowledge and experience of research professors from the Departments of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Bioengineering and Basic Sciences. The programme aims to train researchers in the field of health with an interprofessional and multidisciplinary vision, with the capacity to generate new knowledge and propose solutions to the current health challenges facing our society.

The aim is that doctoral students, in addition to the specific research in their research topic, learn from the diverse and complementary perspectives of other disciplines. The programme is also interrelated with other programmes at the University and offers the possibility of studying the influence of education, communication, economics and urban planning on health.

The programme benefits from all the facilities available on the Sant Cugat Campus (biomedical research laboratories, microscopy, cell cultures, dental materials, simulation, bioengineering, etc.) as well as the University Dental Clinic facilities, physiotherapy rooms, university hospitals and associated centres where all the medical, surgical and central services specialities are located.

Doctoral candidates will acquire the knowledge and skills to apply scientific method to medical research, and will be able to analyse and propose solutions to health challenges. In addition, they will have the capacity to train future researchers in the field of healthcare.

Employment profiles

Two employment profiles need to be distinguished. The first is that of highly qualified non-health professionals who can work in the health sector, in both public and private entities. Graduates will be able to carry out research tasks in research institutes or evaluation agencies, develop and evaluate of health interventions, design clinical trials and manage projects.

A second profile is that of working professionals in the health sector, combining care and research activities in hospitals or health centres. As a result, they can contribute to improving healthcare in a proactive way.

The programme's main professional opportunities are:

  • Hospitals and healthcare centres
  • Health assessment agencies
  •  University teaching
  •  R&D in public research centres
  • Pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations (CROs)
  •  Innovation and entrepreneurship

Academic Doctoral Committee (CAD)

The Doctoral Academic Committee has the general objective of ensuring the quality of doctoral theses and the general education of all doctoral students.

In order to do this, they assess the Doctoral Activities Document (DAD) on a annual basis, as well as any progress doctoral students have made on their Research Plan. Similarly, the committee is responsible for the final approval of the doctoral thesis so that it can be defended before the examining board.

Doctoral Academic Committee for Health Sciences


Dr. Carmen Muñoz Almagro (president)



Dr. Maria Caridad Bagur Calafat.  Department of Physiotherapy

Dr. Fernando Durán-Sindreu Terol. Department of Dentistry

Dr. Carlos García Forero. Department of Medicine

Dr. Esther Jovell Fernàndez. Department of Medicine

Dr. Mireia Llauradó Serra.  Department of Nursing

Dr. Andrés Pascual la Rocca. Department of Dentistry

Dr. Mariana Ponte Cardoso Ribeiro. Department of Basic Sciences

Research lines and team

Lines of research

Lines of research: Introduction

The Doctoral Degree in Health Sciences at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya is coherently adapted to the current educational and academic offer in which the following lines of research are proposed, all of which are carried out by a large group of lecturers with accredited research experience.

Coordinator: Dr. Albert Balaguer Santamaría



Head of the line of research: Dr. Cristina Monforte Royo


  • To study the biological and psychological aspects that lead patients to desire death.
  • To develop models of diagnosis, support and treatment for patients and their relatives.
  • To develop learning models to train professionals.

This line integrates a consolidated recognised research group (2017-SGR-1004) and the WeCare Chair: End-of-Life Care.

The focus of the group's study is suffering and particularly the desire to hasten death in people with advanced illness. Over the past years, we have tried to answer some of the most pressing questions regarding this phenomenon: What meaning does it have for the individual who experiences it? Why do some, but not all, patients wish to hasten death? What is its impact and what factors might act as triggers?

Our research has been conducted from a multidimensional perspective (including physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects) and has sought to include patients, families and professionals. This group has contributed to improve: a) the understanding and conceptualisation of the desire to hasten death, b) its detection and assessment, and c) the identification and better understanding of related factors.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact Dr. Iris Crespo ( or Dr. Andrea Rodríguez (


Head of the line of research: Dr. Alberto Gallart Fernández-Puebla


The UIC Barcelona Health Education line of research focuses on two main areas:

  • Health education, aimed at improving the population's knowledge of health and its determinants, and training future health professionals as health educators;
  • Education in health sciences, aimed at improving the training of future health professionals to achieve professional excellence both in their technical skills and in their relational skills, self-management, inter-professionalism, prioritisation and decision-making.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact: Dr Albert Gallart


Head of the line of research: Dr. Xavier Corbella Virós


  • Application in clinical practice of the knowledge acquired in the biomedical and/or basic and/or experimental sciences laboratory, with the aim of improving healthcare.
  • To understand the mechanisms of the disease, as well as its demographic, epidemiological and/or socioeconomic determinants, as well as its clinical characteristics, diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures, prognostic factors and/or preventive measures.
  • To analyse best practices in terms of activity, quality, safety, efficiency and satisfaction, at the level of care, professional, organisational, institutional and/or health system itself, as well as in the field of public health and/or health policies.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact: Dr Xavier Corbella



Head of the line of research: Dr. José Nart Molina


  • To study scientific advances and establish medical and health improvements in preventing, diagnosing and treating infectious diseases.
  • To study the interrelationship and translation of different infectious diseases.
  • To promote general patient health, reducing the risk of infections and inflammatory diseases.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact:

Dentistry area: Dr Cristina Vallès Vegas

Medicine area: Dr. Carmen Muñoz Almagro


Head of the line of research: Dr. José M.ª Martínez Sánchez


To characterise the health determinants of the population in our environment.

  • To evaluate the implemented health policies.
  • To develop public health policies of primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary prevention to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases in the population.
  • To find new biological markers for the correct characterisation of health determinants.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact: Dr. José M Martínez-Sánchez


Head of the line of research: Dr. M.ª Caridad Bagur


The main research objective of this group is to analyse the mechanisms of physiotherapy assessment and action in the processes involved in the control and execution of movement.

Team of research professors

View the physiotherapy work groups.

For more information, please contact: Dr Mª Caridad Bagur Calafat


Head of the line of research: Dr. Román Pérez Antoñanzas


  • To blend multidisciplinary concepts from various fields such as biology, chemistry, materials science, physics and medicine to develop medical devices that can improve the regeneration or replacement of damaged organs.
  • To understand and study interactions between designed medical devices and living tissues.
  • To learn about experimental methodologies and techniques in the field of bioengineering and regenerative medicine.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact: Dr. Isabel Elorduy


Head of the line of research: Dr. Federico Hernández Alfaro and Dr. Miguel Roig Cayón


Treatment and Rehabilitation of the Oral Invalidity. To study in depth the treatment of the processes responsible for oral invalidity, treatment of the repercussions caused by maxillofacial tumour disease, osteochemionecrosis of the jaws, trauma, maxillomandibular atrophy due to edentulism and alterations in maxillofacial development.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact:

Periodontics Area: . Marta Vallès Rodríguez

Surgery Area: Dr. Maria Giralt Hernando

Orthodontic Area: Dr. Andreu Puigdollers Pérez


Head of the line of research: Dr. Núria Casals Farré


The molecular, cellular and physiological study of neurons and their integration into the whole organism. At present, the sublines of research are as follows:

  • Hypothalamic control of energy metabolism and preventing obesity
  • AMPA glutamate receptor transport and its role in cognition
  • Molecular basis of hereditary spastic paraplegia
  • Regulation of axonal transport by nutrients
  • In vivo functional imaging of brain circuits for sensory, predictive and attentional processing
  • Plasticity of cortical brain circuits
  • Dysfunctionality of neural circuits in psychiatric diseases
  • Repetition of neuronal activity during sleep
  • Brain bases of language processing and learning
  • Interaction between synaptic plasticity and brain waves as a molecular mechanism of learning and memory
  • 4D functional mapping of dendritic spine structural plasticity in models of autism spectrum disorders.

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact: Dr Núria Casals


Head of the line of research: Dr Josep Clotet Erra


A team of biologists with the objective of studying different aspects related to the field of cell physiology:

  • Monitoring the cell cycle of saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Analysis of the role played by new cyclins in relation to tumours
  • Cellular response to limited nutrients
  • Genetic diagnoses of iron metabolism diseases and other inherited haematologic diseases

Team of research professors

For more information, please contact:

General Information

Organisation and planning

Specific doctoral information

Doctorate in Health Sciences training


Recommended / Year 1 - Seminar on the ethical criteria of scientific research, and other possible ethical issues related to the field of research, science, technology and professional practice

Recommended / Year 1- Research methodology

Optional / Year 1- Course on databases, indicators and the assessment of scientific output. 

Optional / Year 2 - Course-workshop on writing articles for specialised and general publications

Optional / Year 2 - Advanced course in the protection of intellectual property and technology transfer

Optional / Year 3 - Course-workshop in writing a research project and applying for funding

Optional / Year 3 - Research seminars

Optional / Year 3 - Public speaking.  Building on oral communication skills

Specific Doctoral Committee (CED)

Before the end of the first year, the doctoral student must submit their Research Plan to a committee of experts outside the UIC, the specific doctoral committee (CED), for further approval by the DAC.

The aspects to be considered for the oral presentation and which will be evaluated are as follows:

  1. To demonstrate the scholarly objective of the research plan: current status, contribution of work in current period, relevance of the topic.
  2. Present the methodology and the proposed work plan to achieve the project's scholarly objective.
  3. Show that the project's proposed objectives can be reasonably achieved within the stipulated timeframe.
  4. Doctoral candidate’s communicative skills.
  5. The ability to provide a critical and reasoned response to the questions posed by the Committee.
  6. Present other relevant data during the current period of the research plan: incorporation of the doctoral candidate into a research team (if appropriate).

Development and approval  

  • The specific committee must evaluate the quality and feasibility of the Research Plan, and it may reject it if it does not seem appropriate.
  • Each member of the CED shall evaluate the aspects indicated in the template and, if desired, indicate the optional recommendations, mandatory modifications, or any other comments it may consider in relation to the evaluated research plan.
  • At the end, the president of the CED shall fill in the evaluation report

Assessment of your research plan:

  • PASS (project and presentation are correct)
  • PASS BUT WITH SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT (CED recommends that the doctoral student make some changes that do not substantially affect the research plan, but can improve the thesis project)
  • PROJECT WITH compulsory MODIFICATIONS (the project must be reviewed, to incorporate the changes indicated by the CED that modify the research plan presented to a significant extent (objectives, methodology, capacity to carry out...) The doctoral candidate must submit the project again, in writing or in oral presentation to the CED, as directed.
  • FAIL (The doctoral candidate will be advised to submit a new project to the CED)

Admissions procedure

Incoming profile and admission criteria for the Doctoral Degree in Health Sciences:

a) The recommended profile for doctoral students is as follows:

  • To hold a degree (bachelor’s or master’s) related to the field of health sciences, namely, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biology, biotechnology, psychology, nursing, physiotherapy, nutrition, etc., or related fields such as health economics, health management, chemistry, or others that include research-related subjects
  • Previous experience in undertaking a research project
  • A vocation for science and research
  • B2 level of English

b) Admission criteria. The CAD will select candidates based on the following weighting:

  • CV and previous research experience: 40%
  • Research topic and its strategic relevance: 40%
  • Interview: 10%
  • Level of English: 10%

Financial Information