Doctoral Degree in Nutrigenomics and Personal Nutrition (TNUT): 2016-17


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Title Description

Candidate profile and admission requirements

The Doctoral Programme targets postgraduate students interested in the research in the field of Nutrigenomics and Personalised Nutrition. The candidate students must have a solid base in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Nutrition and Physiology. The possible sources of students are different graduate/bachelor studies (European and overseas) in fields related with sciences and health sciences (such as Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Nutrition, Biology, Genomic Sciences, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursery and other related studies). The students must have finished a Master degree of at least 60 ECTS credits (or equivalent depending on the academic system of origin), according to the present legislation for the access to PhD studies. The titles of Master or previous postgraduate studies can be diverse and related with health sciences.

To access the PhD programme, different criteria will be taken into account, as explained below (with the percentage of value of each item to be evaluated):

  • Academic marks of the previous studies, including the weighted average of the graduate/bachelor and postgraduate studies (50%).
  • Valuation of the abilities and capabilities of the student to move with ease in a research environment (50%). Within this valuation different points will be considered:
    • Curriculum vitae (CV): the mark obtained (in the previous studies) in the Final Master’s Work will be considered, or the authorship of technical reports. Other achievements will be also taken into account such as congress communications, published papers in research journals and patents. 15% of total.
    • Personal interview: the capacity for autonomous and independent work and for team work will be considered, together with the capacity for critical analysis of bibliography and research data and to understand new theoretical and practical information, as well as the personal motivation for the doctorate. 25% of total.
    • Grants, prizes and other achievements. Grants and prizes obtained during the university studies will be considered, such as collaborating grants (of MEC for Spanish students), or grants of the university/institution of origin to collaborate in research tasks, Erasmus grants, and other grants or prizes of similar category. The attendance to congresses, seminars or workshops related with topics related with the doctorate will also be considered. Also, it will be taken into consideration the skills in other languages, to have more than one graduate/bachelor degree, other non-official postgraduate studies, practical training stays, practical training in other labs, and stays in foreign institutions not related with research. 10% of total.

Specialist and Cross-cutting Training Activities

NOTE: The specialised activities are optional, taking into account each student must do a total of 60h by doing transversal or specific activities (with the option to do up to 150h).

Activities in the first semester:

  • (T1) Communication skills in English: Written and Oral expression (Module I).

Activities in the second semester:

  • (T3) Communication skills in English: Written and Oral expression (Module II).

Annual activities:

  • (E1) Techniques in bibliographic search
  • (E2) Bioethics in scientific research
  • (E3) Technological transfer models
  • (E4) Research seminars (senior researchers and PhD students)
  • (M1) PhD students’ mobility
T1 - Communication skills in English: Written and Oral expression (Módulo I)
Object Specialised transversal activity with the object of reaching advanced skills in English language (written and oral communication).
Number of hours 30
Requirements Confirm B2 English level.
Modality Intensive timetable and transversal.
Temporality 1st semester of every academic year.
Academic year It will be offered every academic year and the student can choose when doing it.
Procedure of control Activities where the students can practice written English to get abilities in a context of C1 level.
Mobility Since this activity is done at the UIB, the participation in mobility calls for students will be promoted for students of the other participating Universities. Nevertheless, it is important to note this activity is optional and, moreover, it can be recognized by an equivalent activity in the University of origin. The Academic Commission will judge the possible recognition by knowing the contents, hours, objectives and competences of the activities and considering the mechanisms of evaluation, which have to be the same in the participating Universities.
T2 - Communication skills in English: Written and Oral expression (Module II)
Object Specialised transversal activity with the object of reaching advanced skills in English language (oral communication). The specific content of this module will be tools for fluid oral expression (Seminars, presentations and workshops).
Number of hours 30
Requirements Confirm B2 English level.
Modality Intensive timetable and transversal.
Temporality 2nd semester of every academic year.
Academic year It will be offered every academic year and the student can choose when doing it.
Procedure of control Activities where the students can practice oral English to get abilities in a context of C1 level.
Mobility Since this activity is done at the UIB, the participation in mobility calls for students will be promoted for students of the other participating Universities. Nevertheless, it is important to note this activity is optional and, moreover, it can be recognized by an equivalent activity in the University of origin. The Academic Commission will judge the possible recognition by knowing the contents, hours, objectives and competences of the activities and considering the mechanisms of evaluation, which have to be the same in the participating Universities.
E1 - Techniques in bibliographic search
Object Specific activity with the purpose to get the ability to perform and manage bibliographic searches about the topic of research in different relevant bibliographic databases.

Language of the activity: Spanish and English.
Number of hours 30
Requirements No specific requirements.
Modality Specific activity of the PhD programme.
Temporality Annual
Academic year This activity will be done during the whole period of the doctorate.
Procedure of control The students will make a review work of the state-of-art of their topic of investigation, by analysing the main important works found by bibliographic search under the supervision of their Thesis Director. The control of these activities will be done by evaluating oral seminars (done by the students) about what they have learnt with the bibliographic research.
Mobility Due to its particular characteristics, this activity will be done in each of the venues of the participating Universities.
E2 - Bioethics in scientific research
Object Specific activity with the object to make students aware of the purpose and objectives of scientific research in any research area. Bioethical aspects in research and therapies. Embryo and genetic manipulation. Bioethical connotations associated to functional food. Rights and duties. Bio-information. Social and historic impact.

Teaching language: Spanish and English.
Number of hours 20
Requirements No specific requirements.
Modality Specific activity of the PhD programme.
Temporality Annual
Academic year This activity will be offered every academic year and the PhD student can decide when doing it, although it is advised to do it during the first or second year.
Procedure of control The activity will be assessed by the resolution of practical cases. The students will have to elaborate a written document with the answers to different questions, about practical cases proposed by the lecturer responsible of the activity.

Lecturer in charge Ana María Rodríguez Guerrero (UIB)
Mobility Not necessary. The students will be able to access the course on-line from their computers, by using the credentials for the access to UIB digital. The contents of the course will be in the UIB digital platform.
E3 - Technological transfer models
Object Specific activity with the objective of making students to get the knowledge about the ways to transfer knowledge and innovation. Basic legislation about R+D+i. Protection of intellectual and industrial property. Strategies of technological transfer: law, exploitation licences, spin-offs.

Teaching language: Spanish and English.
Number of hours 20
Requirements No specific requirements.
Modality Specific activity of the PhD programme.
Temporality Annual
Academic year This activity will be offered every academic year and the PhD student can decide when doing it, although it is advised to do it during the first or second year.
Procedure of control The students will deliver a work about technological transfer related with their thesis topic, which will be corrected and marked by the lecturer responsible of the course.

Lecturer in charge Juana Sánchez Roig (UIB)
Mobility Not necessary. The students will be able to access the course on-line from their computers, by using the credentials for the access to UIB digital. The contents of the course will be in the UIB digital platform.
E4 - Research seminars (senior researchers and PhD students)
Object Specific activity where conferences with the students, the thesis directors, other researchers related with the programme and/or invited prestigious researchers will be organised, with oral presentations of scientific seminars in line with the research lines of the PhD programme. The participation of all the students will be promoted, as audience in the seminars and as speakers (presenting their experimental lines and research works during their thesis development). The number of hours of the activity includes the time necessary for the preparation of the oral/s presentation/s and the attendance to the other presentations. When allowed by the circumstances, this type of activity will be also done in congresses, workshops, etc., both national and international, thus promoting the participation of the PhD students in the presentation of experimental results in poster format and/or oral communication. Moreover, the organization of an annual workshop will be promoted, with the participation of the three participating Universities of the programme (UIB, UPV/EHU, URV), by using the videoconference system, with presentations of both PhD students and senior researchers.

Teaching language: Spanish and English.
Number of hours 40
Requirements No specific requirements.
Modality Specific activity of the PhD programme.
Temporality Annual
Academic year This activity will be done during the whole period of the doctorate studies.
Procedure of control The elements for assessment will be the oral presentations of the experimental results, as well as the attendance to the seminars. The assessment of the oral/s presentation/s will be done by a two-member evaluating tribunal, integrated y two tutors/directors of the doctorate programme. One lecturer will be responsible of the follow-up of the students’ attendance to the seminars (of the three participating universities).

Lecturer in charge Juana Sánchez Roig (UIB)
Mobility For the seminars performed in the venues of the participating Universities, the inter-connection by video-conference will be used. For the eventual attendance to congresses, workshops, etc., the participation in calls for obtaining mobility grants (given by the participating Universities or by public or private institutions) will be promoted.
M1 - PhD students’ mobility
Object Research stays in other national and international institutions.
Multiple objectives: to develop in more depth one or more of the topics of the Doctoral Thesis in collaboration with the receptor group; to enrich the global education of the student in terms of ethnic and cultural diversity, by interacting with researchers and PhD students from other places.

The activity will be supervised by the thesis Director and by a lecturer/researcher of the receptor institution.
Number of hours  
Requirements No specific requirements
Modality Mobility to other research institutions
Temporality Annual
Academic year It is advised to do this activity during the 2nd or 3rd year of the studies.
Procedure of control The student must deliver a short technic report summarizing the activities and achievements during the stay; this report must have the approval of the lecturer/researcher in charge in the receptor institution and will be assessed and marked by the Director of the thesis. The activity has a lecturer who is the coordinator (lecturer in charge), who will establish the guidelines for the report and who will inform about the aspects to be included in the report to be delivered and how they must be assessed.

Lecturer in charge M. Luisa Bonet Piña (UIB)
Mobility The funding for travel and stay expenses can be obtained from funds of the groups involved in the doctoral programme (obtained in competitive calls), together with specific mobility programs of the Research Vice-Chancellorship (or equivalent) of the Universities involved, grants for stays given by CIBER centres, and complements of PhD grants (such as FPU, FPI, grants from regional governments, etc.), as well as other possible grants.

 

Tutorial Plan

The procedure of the Academic Commission of the Doctoral Programme in Nutrigenomics and Personalised Nutrition for the assignment of the thesis Tutor and thesis Director is as follows:

  1. Every academic year, the Commission will designate for each research line one or more Thesis Tutor/s within the lecturers/researchers linked to the programme.
  2. Once the student is accepted in the programme, the Commission will assign the corresponding tutor depending on the line of research chosen in the admission application form.
  3. The Tutor will propose to the Commission a Thesis Director, chosen within the lecturers/researchers participating in the Doctoral Programme, taking into account the research line and the situation of the student as full- or part-time student.

The Thesis Director will be formally assigned to the PhD student by de Academic Commission in a maximum due date of 6 months from the enrolment in the programme.

The Doctoral Programme also foresees a continuous monitoring of the progress of the PhD Students by the following mechanisms:

  • Regular and direct supervision by the Thesis Tutor of the progress of the PhD Student and of the Document of PhD Student Activities.
  • Regular and direct supervision of the Thesis Director of the education and experimental progress of the PhD student. The thesis director will act as instructor and guide and will promote the diffusion of the research results.
  • To a better efficiency in the supervision process, the Thesis Tutor and Director will be the same person whenever possible.
  • The Director of the Doctoral Programme will supervise the thesis Tutors and Directors and will be regularly informed of the experimental results and the learning of the students. The specific activity “Research seminars (senior researchers and PhD students)” will be used by the Director of the Programme as a forum of information and debate.
  • When the thesis project is related to research lines mainly associated to members of different research teams of the programme, the co-direction of the thesis will be promoted, including members of the teams involved (maximum 2 directors).
  • The realization of thesis including stays in foreign institutions (thus allowing obtaining the mention of International Doctor) will be promoted, although this will be optional for each PhD student.

The direction and supervision of training activities and the doctoral thesis conform the
" Procedures for doctorates of UIB (RD99/2011) "

Academic Committee Members

Coordinator  Andreu Palou Oliver
Secretary   Ana M. Rodríguez Guerrero
Member   Anna Arola Arnal
Member   María Puy Portillo Baquedano
Member   Catalina Picó Segura
Member   Francisca Serra Vich
Member   Mª Luisa Bonet Piña
Member   Paula Oliver Vara
Member   Joan Ribot Riutort
Member   Alfredo Fernández Quintela
Member   María Teresa Macarulla Arenaza

General Objectives

The PhD studies in Nutrigenomics and Personalised Nutrition offer an specialised education focused on training professionals able to do research in the most cutting-edge and innovative aspects in the field of Nutrition. In particular, is aspects related to Molecular Nutrition , with special emphasis in new technologies such as transcriptomics , epigenomics , proteomics , metabolomics and the concept of systems biology , which are fundamental for the new professionals in the field of nutrition, who also need to know concepts related with gene-nutrient interaction , food safety, functional food , etc. The doctorate programme addresses the latest aspects in the field of Nutrition, which are demanded by the food enterprises for their R+D+I projects. In the last years, the European Commission has highlighted the importance of the most leading-edge topics in research by creating the “Networks of Excellence”. One of the pioneer excellence networks is NuGO (The European Nutrigenomics Organization, www.nugo.org ), the most outstanding European exponent and world leader in Nutrigenomics; various members of the research teams of the PhD programme participated in the foundation of NuGO.

This doctoral programme has inter-University character, coordinated by the UIB but also participating the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). Other important aspect is the international projection of the studies, both in terms of promoting the participation of doctoral students in European research projects and by the capacity to attract talented international students to the Spanish University. The main object of the interuniversity collaboration in the doctorate in to foment the excellence in education and research, and the collaboration in work and joint research projects as well, putting together the efforts of research groups that already have a wide experience in collaboration.

Research Areas

  1. Energy metabolism, white and brown adipocytes, and obesity.
  2. Bioactive ingredients in pathology prevention.
  3. Hormones, cytokines and physical exercise in the control of energy metabolism.
  4. Bioactive compounds and biochemistry of membranes.
  5. Health claims made on food.
  6. Early biomarkers of metabolic robustness.
  7. Nutrients and epigenetics.
  8. Perinatal nutrition and risk of obesity and its co-morbidities.
  9. Breast milk components and prevention of metabolic diseases.
  10. Nutrigenomic biomarkers of childhood obesity.
  11. Diet and obesity.
  12. Functional ingredients and cardiovascular risk.
  13. Functional ingredients and obesity.
  14. Functional ingredients and insulin function.
  15. Metabolism and secretory activity of adipocytes.
  16. Nutritional status evaluation.
  17. Perinatal programming and health.
  18. Nutrigenomics and metabolic syndrome.
  19. Interaction of phytochemicals with metabolism.

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