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Oferta 2021/2022

PhD Program Clinical Research

General Information

Number of places: 40

Languages: Spanish, English

  • Guillermo Muñiz Albaiceta
  • Academic committee

    • Guillermo Muñiz Albaiceta, Program coordinator, representative for the Heart-Lung-Kidney research area.
    • María Jesús Lobo Castañón, representative for the Biotechnology area.
    • María Paz García Portilla, representante for Neuroscience area.
    • Sonia González Soler, representative for the Endocrinology and Metabolism area.
    • Rubén Martín Payo, representative for the Research in Nursery area.
    • Ana Coto, representative for the Cancer Research area.
    • Beatriz Suárez Álvarez, representative for the Immunology, Microbiology and Infection area.

The PhD program on Clinical Research stems from the involvement of Universidad de Oviedo in the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias (ISPA), as a strategy to train researchers in the field of Health Sciences. The main objective of this program is teaching basic and advanced research skills to students with different science backgrounds, to tackle relevant health-related questions and contribute to the advance of the knowledge.

The program includes a large variety of research lines, covering different approaches from basic and translational research in mechanisms of disease to research in the clinical setting and in health services. The program explicitly promotes the collaboration among researchers from different fields and with different trajectories. With this strategy, the students will acquire the abilities needed to develop their own research line and translate their results to the society.

Access and Admission

Access Profile:

The most accurate profile to be admitted in the PhD program on Clinical Research is a Graduate or Master student with a strong background in biomedical sciences. It is desirable for the students to have received training in specific topics including biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, physiology, genetics, immunology, pharmacology or clinical, disease-oriented specialties including pathology, therapeutics or epidemiology. The variety of degrees that may provide this background will facilitate the integration in the research groups of students with different trajectories, from basic scientists to clinicians, thus contributing to the diversity and enrichment of the teams.

The closest degrees to the desired profile are Medicine, Biology,

Pharmacy,Veterinary, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Odontology, Nursing or Physiotherapy. Regarding the MSc degrees, it is desirable to have training in fields related to the aforementioned degrees. There are different possibilities in several Universities that may provide the requested training, including the Master Degree in Clinical Research (currently on development) or the Master Degree in Molecular Biomedicine and Oncology, both offered by the Centro Internacional de Posgrado at Universidad de Oviedo. Previous experiences in biomedical research, by having a health-related MSc degree (finished or ongoing) or by participation in scientific, research-related activities in the fields of biomedicine included in our research lines, will be an additional merit. In addition, residents and fellows (mainly those included in the MIR program, but also FIR, BIR or QUIR) during their specialty training may be accepted in part time.

Admission from other degrees or different academic trajectories will also be considered, provided their background may help to enhance the established research lines. This includes, but is not limited to, degrees in Engineering, Physics or Mathematics. For these students, it is mandatory to assist to one or more of several courses during their first PhD year. These courses include "Basic and applied research methodology" (6 ECTS credits), "Methodology for clinical trials" (3 ECTS credits), "The process of illness: a continuum between health and disease" (3 ECTS credits), "Theoretical and methodological basis of health care" (3 ECTS credits) [all included in the program of the MSc degree on Clinical Research] or "History and methodology of Science" (3 ECTS credits) and "Molecular and histological diagnosis of cancer" (3 ECTS credits) [from the Master Degree in Molecular Biomedicine and Oncology]. The conceptual and methodological contents of these courses will complement the background of these students, facilitating their approach to the biomedical sciences. This requisition can be requested to those students that, according to the judgement of the academic committee, must acquire some knowledge on research methodology and/or the basis of biomedicine. All these students will have to complete 6 ECTS credits. In specific cases, depending on the research lines involved or the needed skills, the Academic Committee, according to the students' tutor, can demand other specific courses included in the Master portfolio of Universidad de Oviedo, up to 18 ECTS.

This PhD program allows the adaptation of its content to Spanish and English-speaking students. Proficiency in English language (at least to understand and write scientific articles) is required for all the students.

Criteria for Admissions:

Acceptance to the PhD program on Clinical Research is carried out according to the article 18 of the current PhD normative of Universidad de Oviedo, and articles 6 and 7 of the Royal Decree 99/2011. The academic commission will be responsible for the management of this procedure. All the candidates who are applying both in full-time and part-time will have to provide, alongside the required documentation, a document in which they specify the line(s) in which they would want to work and, if possible, the professor under whom they would like to work if they are admitted. This document will only be used to speed up the task of assigning directors and will never be used as a further merit.

Merits will be assessed following these criteria:

  • A) Academic record of the Undergraduate or Bachelor's Degree (up to 4 points): 40% of the numerical value featured on the academic record will be counted. If the academic record does not specify a numerical value, it will be adapted with the following criteria:Aprobado 1;Notable 2;Sobresaliente 3; Matrícula honor 4
  • B) Academic record of the Master's Degree (up to 2 points): 20% of the numerical value featured on the academic record will be counted.
  • C) Affinity with the field of Biomedicine and Molecular Oncology of the Undergraduate and Master's Degrees completed (up to 1 point). In the related Degrees mentioned in the previous section (Medicine, Biology, Pharmacy, etc.), the full point will be awarded.
    Nevertheless, given the recent increase in the multidisciplinary nature of our teams, it is possible, as it has previously happened, that Graduates from other less-related Degrees (Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, etc.) may offer an adequate profile for a certain line of work. In this case, Undergraduate and Master's Degrees may be awarded 1 point as long as they are useful for working with any of the teams that compose our lines of research. To do so, it will be necessary to provide a written justification on the adequation of the profile of the cadidate to the lines of research desired by said profile, by any professor working on that line. This justification must be attached to the documentation presented during the process of admission.
  • D)  Research merits (Up to 1 point): There is the possibility of evaluating merits related to research that have been achieved before the start of the PhD period. Although the competences related to research are acquired mainly throughout the PhD, it is not uncommon to find that some students begin to work at laboratories during their Master's Degrees or the last year of their Undergraduate Degree via, for example, collaboration grants. During this period, the student may conduct basic research that can be taken into account. It is also possible that some of the candidates have taken specific courses that may be useful for lab work, stays at other laboratories or even a previous PhD. This mix of possible merits can be assigned with up to 2 points, according to the following criteria:
    • Publication of scientific articles in indexed journals: up to 0.3
    • Other scientific communications (congresses, etc.): up to 0.1
    • Related courses: up to 0.1
    • Stays at research centers: up to 0.2
    • Collaboration grants/Internships: up to 0.2
    • Other research merits: up to 0.1
  • E) Personal interview (Up to 2 points): The PhD Committee or, if needed, a professor of the PhD Program proposed by the Committee due to their relation with the line of research that the candidate shows interest for, will conduct an interview with the applicants, in which they will explore aspects such as the attitude and motivation of the student towards the scientific topics of our field, the capacity to argue in a reasoned way about the ethical aspects of biomedical research or the critical capacity of the applicants when they have to approach matter related to scientific knowledge.
    In order to properly measure the results of these interviews, the following criteria will be applied:
    • a) Personal attitude and critical capacity in relation to aspects of research in the field of biomedicine and their interrelation with society.
    • b) Degree of knowledge of the scientific and social dimension of the problems faced by research in the biomedical field and the importance of communication in the field of biomedical sciences, as well as that of the dissemination of scientific knowledge within society.
    • c) Knowledge of the relevance of the legal framework in which biomedical research takes place (basically, the contents of Law 14/2007, dated July 3, of Biomedical Research).
    • d) Consideration of the ethical implications of experimental research in aspects such as work with lab animals, genetical manipulation or research in human subjects. E) Consideration of biomedical research as a basic tool to develop strategies that facilitate the improvement of the quality of the health of the population.
    • e) Consideration of biomedical research as a basic tool to develop strategies that facilitate the improvement of the quality of the health of the population.

Part-time students

Admission criteria for part-time students are the same as described above for full-time students. In case a part-time student considers the possibility of a change towards full-time dedication, he/she must provide the Academic Commission with a written document exposing the motivations leading to this request.

The Commission, according to the provided information, will take a decision on the pertinence of this request within 1 month.

Students with special needs

The Academic Commission explicitly endorses the regulation on support of people with special needs, and manifests its compromise to ensure that there is no discrimination of any kind in relation to those candidates with disabilities, so that these students concur in equal conditions. In addition, the Commission will provide the best work conditions for the student.

To this end, Universidad de Oviedo has a dedicated Office for people with special needs (ONEO,, giving a personalized service to develop the scholarship program for students with special needs, to reinforce their integration in the university life and to care for the compliance with the regulation on equal opportunities. The aim of the ONEO is to provide aid and support services to facilitate the access, inclusion and participation of students with special needs in the different spheres of academic, cultural, sports and social life at university. This office also provides collaboration, support and guidance services to lecturers to prevent difficulties from arising in the teaching-learning process derived from special needs. The work of providing advice and help at the ONEO is addressed not only to students, but also to lecturers. The ONEO specialist staff have specific information and resources that can help lecturers pay more and better attention to students with special needs.

Formative Activities

  • Cross-curricular formation (+)
    Total Amount of Hours: 60

    Description: This activity aims to develop the basic skills of the students, mainly during their first year. It includes seminars addressing communication and spreading of science, high-quality professional development or specific formation in scientific topics from several fields. The specific yearly program will be published in the webpage of the Centro Internacional de Posgrado (

    The main learning objective for these activities is to acquire the skills needed for:

    Searching the scientific literature.

    • Elaboration , presentation and publishing of scientific results.
    • Elaboration and presentation of a patent.
    • Knowledge of the basic principles of company development and self-employment.

    The teaching languages will be English and Spanish.

    • Monitoring procedures:
      • Personalized monitoring of attendance.
      • When needed, the performance of the students will be evaluated by requesting a specific work or document, following detailed instructions provided by the faculty.
      • All these monitoring activities will be included in the student activities portfolio, which will be periodically reviewed by the Tutor and the PhD thesis advisor, and evaluated by the academic commission.
    • Mobility actions: Not applicable.
  • Doctoral meetings (+)
    Total Amount of Hours: 15

    Description: Proposed to all the PhD students in Universidad de Oviedo, but mainly oriented to those in their second or third year after admission, these meetings combine lectures, panel discussions, discussion sessions and sessions of posters showing discussing the PhD research plan and his/her recent findings.

    These meetings are scheduled during the first academic quarter on a yearly basis.

    The main learning objectives are:

    • Sharing of knowledge with other PhD students.
    • Spreading of his/her research activities to companies and the Society.
    • Finding professional paths alternative to his/her academic career.
    • Remarking the role of PhD as carrier of innovation to the enterprise.

    Teaching language will be Spanish

    • Monitoring procedures:
      • Personalized monitoring of attendance.
      • The PhD student's activities will be included in the student activities portfolio, which will be periodically reviewed by the Tutor and the PhD thesis advisor, and evaluated by the academic commission.
    • Mobility actions: Not applicable.
  • Research Seminars of the Instituto de Investigaciones Sanitarias del Principado de Asturias (ISPA) (+)
    Total Amount of Hours: 20

    Description: The research seminars at ISPA constitute a bi-weekly activity for all the members of the institute, and especially for those in their training period. Therefore, assistance is mandatory for PhD students and scholars. These seminars cover, research advances of each one of the strategic lines of ISPA and include invited lectures on emergent topics.

    These meetings are scheduled regularly along the academic course.

    The main learning objectives are:

    • Sharing of knowledge in a world-class scientific environment.
    • Promoting the critical approach and discussion of methodological issues and research.
    • Identifying research topics and their methodological approach.
    • Acquiring knowledge of the possibilities and limits of research techniques used to obtain results.

    Teaching languages will be Spanish and English.

    • Monitoring procedures:
      • The current monitoring procedure include an attendance sheet that must be signed by each student.
      • The PhD student's activities will be included in the student activities portfolio, which will be periodically reviewed by the Tutor and the PhD thesis advisor, and evaluated by the academic commission./li>
    • Mobility actions: Not applicable.
  • Courses on Advanced Statistics applied to Clinical research (+)
    Total Amount of Hours: 30

    Description: This activity includes courses and other seminars that can be chosen by the PhD student to increase his/her scientific skills on data analysis. ISPA schedules the following courses along the year, addressed to all the reseach personnel and mainly to PhD students and scholars: Introductory Course to the R Statistical Package (30 hour), Basic statistics (descriptive and inferential analyses, 30 hour) and course on Bayesian data analysis (10 hour).

    These meetings are scheduled during the first academic quarter on a yearly basis. The main learning objectives are: 

    • Acquiring knowledge on Bayesian computation and its application to health research. 
    • Modelling clinical studies with different designs.
    • Stratified analyses and regression models. 
    • Survival analyses using Kaplan-Meier and curve-comparison tests. 
    • Advantages and limitations of Cox regression.

    Teaching language will be Spanish, with some teaching materials in English. 

    • Monitoring procedures:
      • The current monitoring procedure include an attendance sheet that must be signed by each student. o The PhD student’s activities will be included in the student activities portfolio, which will be periodically reviewed by the Tutor and the PhD thesis advisor, and evaluated by the academic commission. 
      • A satisfaction survey will be carried out at the end of each course. 
    • Mobility actions: Not applicable.
  • Science communication to the Society (+)
    Total Amount of Hours: 30

    Description: This is an introductory and specialization course for researchers and healthcare workers, offering knowledge and expertise in the main frameworks and tools for science communication. The objective of the course is to form agents of the scientific culture that may facilitate the envision of research results and contribute to the scientific culture of the society. Given that ISPA owns an office for scientific communication and provides grants for the interested students, the course constitutes an interesting activity for PhD students, mainly those with full-time dedication receiving PhD grants.

    The course is offered during the first semester, every other year.

    The main learning objectives are: 

    • Extracting information related to scientific activities that is relevant for the society.
    • Knowing the structure of the information addressed to the society.
    • Acquiring practice in different formats of science communication to the society, such as direct communication, debates, presentations…

    Teaching language will be Spanish.

    • Monitoring procedures: 
      • The current monitoring procedure includes an attendance sheet that must be signed by each student.
      • The PhD student’s activities will be included in the student activities portfolio, which will be periodically reviewed by the Tutor and the PhD thesis advisor, and evaluated by the academic commission. o Practice of presentations in high schools, community centers or in the Science Week of Universidad de Oviedo.
    • Mobility actions: Not applicable.


Lines of Research

  • The PhD program in Clinical Research includes 7 groups that cover 30 research lines. These are research teams from both clinical and basic fields, all of them focused on health. All the members of the research teams have a PhD degree and fulfill the requirements requested by the Regulation of doctoral studies of Universidad de Oviedo.

    Cancer research

    • Mario Fernández Fraga
    • Ana Coto Montes
    • Adonina Tardón García
    • Ana Fernández Somoano
    • Emilio Esteban González
    • Juan Pablo Rodrigo Tapia
    • José Luis Llorente Pendás
    • César Antonio Álvarez Marcos
    • Vanesa Martín Fernández
    • Carmen Rodríguez Sánchez
    • Virginia López Martínez
    • Agustín Fernández Fernández
    • Rocío González Urdinguio
    • Juan Ramón Tejedor Vaquero
    • Ignacio Vega Naredo
    • Beatriz Caballero García
    • José Gutiérrez Rodríguez
    • Carmen Oliván García I
    • solina Riaño Galán
    • Pedro Ignacio Arcos González
    • Rafael Vicente Castro Delgado
    • Paula Jiménez Fonseca
    • Isabel Palacio Vázquez
    • Mª Rocío García Marín
    • Juana María García Pedrero
    • Fernando López Álvarez
    • María Dolores Chiara Romero
    • René Rodriguez González
    • Jorge Santos-Juanes Jiménez
    • Mario Hermsen
    • Marco Antonio Álvarez Vega
    • Carmen María García Bernardo.
  • Research in heart-lung-kidney diseases

    • Guillermo Muñiz Albaiceta
    • César Morís de la Tassa
    • Eliecer Coto García Laura
    • Amado Rodríguez
    • Inés López Alonso
    • Pablo Avanzas Fernández
    • David Calvo Cuervo
    • Isaac Pascual Calleja
    • José Manuel Rubín Lóipez
    • Daniel Hernández-Vaquero Panizo
    • Rebeca Alonso Arias
    • Rocío Díaz Méndez
    • Juan Rondán Murillo
    • Íñigo Lozano Martínez-Luengas
    • Ana Ayesta Lopez
    • Alberto Medina Villanueva
    • Juan José Díaz Martín
    • Carlos Bousoño García
    • Juan Gómez de Oña
    • Miguel Arias Guillén
    • Marta María García Clemente
    • Ramón Fernández-Alvarez
    • Cristina Martínez González


  • Metabolism

    • Elías Delgado Álvarez
    • Jorge Cannata-Andía
    • Sonia González Solares
    • Cristina Lasheras Mayo
    • Clara González de los Reyes
    • Miguel Gueimonde Fernández
    • Ana Suárez Díaz P
    • atricia López Suárez
    • Eduardo Iglesias Gutiérrez
    • Cristina Tomás Zapico
    • Benjamín Fernández García
    • Miguel Enrique del Valle Soto
    • Sandra Rodríguez Rodero
    • Edelmiro Menéndez Torre
    • Nuria Valdés Gallego
    • María Riestra Fernández
    • Pedro Pujante Alarcón
    • Jesús María de la Hera Galarza
    • Adriana S. Dusso
    • Sara Panizo García
    • Manuel Naves Díaz
    • Natalia Carrillo López
    • Minerva Rodriguez García
    • José Luis Fernández Martín
    • Nuria Fernández González
    • Nuria Salazar Garzo
    • Silvia Arboleya Montes
    • Sabino Riestra Menéndez
    • Ruth de Francisco García
    • Adolfo Suárez González
    • Javier Rodríguez Carrio
    • Francisco Javier Ballina García
    • Aleida Martínez Zapico
    • Hugo Olmedillas Fernández
    • Nicolás Terrados Cepeda


  • Biotechnology

    • María Jesús Lobo Castañón
    • Noemí de los Santos Álvarez
    • Elisa Blanco González
    • María Montes Bayón
    • Luisa María Sierra Zapico
    • Jorg Bettmer
    • Rebeca Miranda Castro
    • Fernando Santos-Beneit
  • Immunology, micriobiology and infection

    • Carlos López Larrea
    • Segundo González Rodríguez
    • Víctor Asensi Álvarez
    • Eulalia Valle Garay
    • José Manuel Martín Alonso
    • Francisco Parra Fernández
    • María del Rosario Rodicio Rodicio
    • María Rosaura Rodicio Rodicio
    • Abelardo Margolles Barros
    • Patricia Ruas Madiedo
    • Borja Sánchez García
    • Ana Rodríguez González
    • Pilar García Suárez
    • Beatriz Martínez Fernández
    • Beatriz Suárez Álvarez
    • José Ramón Vidal Castiñeira
    • Ramón Maria Rodriguez López
    • Aroa Baragaño Raneros
    • Alejandro López Soto
    • Ana Pilar González Rodríguez
    • Tomás Suárez Zarracina
    • José María Asensi Álvarez
    • Ángel Hugo Montes Hernández
    • Marta Elena Álvarez Argüelles
    • José Antonio Boga Riveiro
    • Kevin Dalton
    • Alberto Espí Felgueroso
    • Javier Ferández Domínguez
    • Jonathan Fernández Suárez
    • Ana María Fernández Verdugo
    • Santiago Melón García
    • Luis Otero Guerra
    • Juan José Palacios Gutiérrez
    • Teresa Peláez García
    • Azucena Rodríguez Guardado
    • Mercedes Rodríguez Pérez
    • Susana Rojo Álvarez
    • Susana Delgado Prieto
    • Lorena Ruíz García
  • Neuroscience

    • Julio Bobes García
    • María Paz García-Portilla González
    • Pilar Alejandra Saiz Martínez
    • Antonello Novelli Ciotti
    • Jesús Merayo Lloves
    • Begoña Baamonde Arbaiza
    • Luis M Quirós Fernández
    • Fernando Vázquez Valdez
    • Jorge Luís Tolivia Fernández
    • Ana María Navarro Incio
    • Aurora Astudillo González
    • Luis Jiménez Treviño
    • Celso Iglesias García
    • Julia Rodríguez Revuelta
    • Leticia García Álvarez
    • María Teresa Bobes Bascarán
    • Isabel Menéndez Miranda
    • Leticia Gómez Blanco
    • Marta Blazquez Estrada
    • Germán Morís de la Tassa
    • Manuel Menéndez González
    • Davinia Larrosa Campos
    • Montserrat González Delgado
    • Ángel Ignacio Pérez Alvarez
    • Elena López-Cancio Martínez
    • María Rico Santos
    • Victoria Álvarez Martínez
    • Laura Gutiérrez Gutiérrez
    • Inmaculada Soto Ortega
    • Beatriz García Fernández
    • Carla Martín Cueto
    • Iván Fernández Vega
    • Eva Martínez Pinilla
  • Primary care and healthcare

    • Alberto Lana Pérez
    • Rubén Martín Payo
    • Fernando Alonso Pérez
    • Ana Fernández Feito
    • Julio César Alonso
    • Lorenzo Rubén Villa Estébanez


Centro Internacional de Postgrado

Plaza de Riego, s/n, 33003- Oviedo
985 10 40 75 / 985 10 40 76
Correo Electrónico:
  • Guillermo Muñiz Albaiceta


Project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports and the Government of the Principality of Asturias in the framework of the Campus of International Excellence