Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Type of programme
Ph. Degrees
between 02-09-2024 and 29-08-2025
Annual enrolment on the programme: 915€
Thesis deposit rights: €850
Thesis reading and defence rights: €1500
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

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. José Antonio González. Department of Odontology

Dr. Cari Bagur. Department of Physiotherapy

Dr. Pere Castellví. Department of Medicine

Dr. Mireia Llauradó. Department of Nursing

Dr. Rut Fadó. Department of Basic Sciences

Dr. Pablo Altuna. Department of Odontology

Dr. María Ángeles de Juan. Department of Nursing

Dr. Esther Jovell. Department of Medicine

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

Line 1: Palliative care at the end of life and with chronic disease. Communication with patients


Head of research line: Dr. Cristina Monforte Royo


  • To study the protective and precursory factors of the suffering of people diagnosed with terminal illness and their families.
  • To further our understanding of the needs of people with advanced illness and their families.
  • To analyse the different treatments for alleviating the suffering of both patients and their families following a diagnosis of advanced illness.
  • To investigate the impact of and approach to suffering and the desire to anticipate death in patients with advanced illness.
  • To develop diagnostic, support and treatment models for patients and families.
  • To create learning models that provide professionals training on how to address the needs of people with terminal illness and their families. 

This line integrates a recognised and consolidated research group (2021-SGR-01379) and the WeCare Chair: End of Life Care.

The group’s object of study is suffering, particularly the desire to anticipate death (DAM) in people with terminal illness. In recent years, we have attempted to answer some of the most urgent questions about this phenomenon: What does it mean for those who experience it? Why do some patients, but not all, wish to die? How prevelant is it, and what factors trigger DAM?

Our research has been carried out from a multidimensional perspective (including physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects) and encompasses not only patients, but also families and professionals. This group has contributed to improving:

a) the understanding and conceptualisation of DAM,
b) its detection and evaluation,
c) the identification and understanding of certain related factors,
d) the identification and evaluation of the needs of people with advanced illness,
e) the design, consensus and implementation of assessment models on the needs of people with advanced illness,
f) self-confidence among professionals to address and manage suffering and a desire to anticipate death in patients with advanced illness, and
g) the importance of providing patients in palliative care the opportunity to talk about death.


Research and teaching team:

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

Line 2: Health education.

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

Line 3: Translational, clinical and applied research.

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


Line 4: Infectious diseases: prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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

Line 5: Study of health determinants.

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

Line 6: Physiotherapy assessment and performance in movement control

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


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

Research and teaching team:

For more information, please contact: Dr M. Caridad Bagur Calafat (

Line 7: Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine

Head of research line: Dr. Román Pérez Antoñanzas


  • To interlink multidisciplinary concepts from various fields such as biology, chemistry, materials science, physics and medicine to develop medical devices that can enhance the regeneration or replacement of damaged organs. 
  • To understand and study the interactions between such medical devices and living tissues.
  • To learn experimental methodologies and techniques in the field of Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Research lines:

The main objective is to establish new systems and devices that can stimulate the regeneration of damaged or injured tissue. The Institute is subdivided into four main research areas:

1. Substrates for tissue regeneration

A key aspect of research will be to develop new biomaterials and substrates capable of guiding cells towards specific lineages to stimulate the regeneration of damaged tissue. This will be achieved by adjusting the chemical and physical characteristics of biomaterials to mimic the native structure of tissues and organs. 

2. Biomolecule/cell distribution systems

Our goal is to mimic the regenerative pathways of native tissues by releasing multiple molecules involved in tissue regeneration. This objective will be achieved through the sequential distribution of therapeutic molecules and/or ions, as well as the encapsulation of cells capable of releasing signalling molecules to surrounding tissues. The intention is to obtain fibre-based systems that can be easily applied to 3D printing to allow for the allocation of cells and molecules in specific assignments. 

3. Cell therapy

The aim is to develop protocols that allow for cellular differentiation through more efficient strategies than those currently being used. It also aims to modulate cell response through different molecules and/or ions. 

4. Dental materials 

The aim of this research line is to improve the materials currently being used in dental implants, to enhance their activity and increase the success of the implanted materials. 

Research and teaching team

For more information, please contact: Dr. Isabel Elorduy (

Line 8: Basic and Clinical Research Applied to Dentistry

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


Treatment and rehabilitation of oral disability. To further explore the treatment of processes that cause oral disability, the treatment of sequelae caused by maxillofacial tumour disease, osteochemionecrosis of the jaws, trauma, maxillomandibular atrophy due to edentulism, maxillofacial developmental alterations and dental pathology. The Treatment and Rehabilitation Team for Patients with Oral and Maxillofacial Disability is the result of the merger of three research teams and focues on the comprehensive restoration of patients’ oral and facial function. This encompasses everything from problems in the jaw and maxilla to bone reconstruction procedures and conservation and restoration techniques in endodontic dentistry. The objective is to unify all research that involves the holistic and comprehensive treatment of patients:

  • Comprehensive reconstruction project for people with oro-facial disability.
  • Rehabilitation project in maxillary atrophies.
  • Dental autotransplantation project.
  • Treatment project for obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Minimally invasive digitised orthognathic and reconstructive surgery project.
  • Project for the creation of computer programs for clinical decision-making in patients with oral pathology.
  • Personalised reconstructive medicine project.
  • New technologies in endodontics.
  • Projects in the treatment of TMJ dysfunction.

Research and teaching team:

For more information, please contact:

Periodontics: Dr Cristina Vallés (

Surgery: Dr. Maria Giralt Hernando (

Orthodontic: Dr. Andreu Puigdollers Pérez (

Endodontics: Dr Francesc Abella Sans (

Line 9: Research in Neuroscience

Head of research line: Dr. Núria Casals Farré


The molecular, cellular and physiological study of neurons and their integration into the organism as a whole.

Currently, the research sublines are as follows:

  • Hypothalamic control of energy metabolism and obesity prevention.
  • Transport of AMPA glutamate receptors and their role in cognition.
  • Molecular bases of hereditary spastic paraplegia.
  • Regulation of axonal transport by nutrients.
  • In vivo functional imaging of brain circuits for sensory, predictive and attention processing.
  • Cerebral 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 plasticity in models of autism spectrum disorders.

Research and teaching team

For more information, please contact: Dr Núria Casals (

Line 10: Research in Physiology and Cell Proliferation

Head of research line: Dr Roni Helene Grace Wright


Team formed with the aim of studying different aspects of cellular physiology and pathology, especially proliferation. Some of the questions it addresses are:

  • Analysis of the role of new cyclins in tumours.
  • Cellular response to nutrient limitation.
  • Study of the role of nuclear ATP in metastasis.
  • Discovery and cellular validation of potential cancer biomarkers in 3D spheroids and CAM in vivo models.

Research and teaching team:

For more information, please contact:

Line 11: Research in Hereditary Haematology and Iron Metabolism

Head of research line: Dra. Mayka Sánchez 


This research line is part of the SGR group: 2021 SGR-00561- GRC- Hereditary Haematology and Iron Metabolism.

This SGR is comprised of researchers from the Research Group in Iron Metabolism: Regulation and Diseases at UIC Barcelona and external researchers from VHIO, FTM, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Hospitals HM Nens de Barcelona, ICO-Badalona-HGTiP.  

This team has been formed with the aim of studying different aspects of iron metabolism and other hereditary haematological diseases at the molecular, cellular, genetic and pathophysiological levels. 

The group’s objectives are:

  • To improve the genetic diagnosis of diseases related to iron metabolism and other hereditary haematological diseases using NGS panels in cooperation with BLOODGENETICS and WHOLE GENIX SL.
  • Discovery and functional characterisation of new diseases related to iron metabolism and other hereditary haematological diseases through WES and WGS.
  • Development of telemedicine tools to improve the diagnosis and management of patients with hereditary haematological diseases and diseases related to iron metabolism.
  • Discovery of new mRNAs regulated by IRPs through molecular and cellular studies in cell lines and in vitro and in vivo studies.
  • Development and improvement of bioinformatics tools to predict mRNA elements called Iron Response Elements or IREs. 

At present, the research lines are as follows:

  • DIAGNOSIS AND GENE THERAPY IN CDA. Translational research on Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anaemias (CDA), a rare type of hereditary anaemia, to improve its diagnosis and develop innovative therapies such as Gene Therapy for Type II CDA.
  • NEW GENES IN IRON METABOLISM – IRP/IRE Regulatory System. Basic research on new mRNAs that contain an Iron Response Element (IRE) and are post-transcriptionally regulated by Iron Regulatory Proteins (IRPs).
  • NEW DISEASES, NEW GENES AND NOVEL MUTATIONS IN HEREDITARY HAEMATOLOGICAL DISEASES AND DISEASES RELATED TO IRON. Transnational research on the discovery of new human diseases and new mutations in hereditary haematological disorders and iron-related diseases. 

Research team:

For more information, please contact: Dra. Mayka Sánchez  (

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