The Food Quality, Safety and Technology doctorate program, previously called Food Science, has been taught at the University of Zaragoza for more than 30 years, organized by the Department of Animal Production and Food Science.
The doctoral program brings together research groups that are actively working on research and training of PhD students in the field of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition at the University of Zaragoza. The research carried out is basic and applied, within an environment where the agri-food industry is of great importance. The research groups maintain an intense scientific collaboration with this industry and the transfer of knowledge from the university to the industry, allows the improvement of technological processes and development of new products. The topic of research of this program responds to the economic, social and political importance that the agri-food and nutrition sector has acquired in our region and in our country, as well as the concern of the society for food safety, food quality and healthy eating.
The professors of the program belong to six research groups, recognized by the Government of Aragón, which work on front-line issues in Food Science and Technology, in various areas of quality, safety and technology of products of animal and plant origin. These research groups are:
The members of these research groups collaborate with research centers such as the Center for Research and Agrifood Technology of Aragón, the Technological Institute of Aragón, the University Institute for Research, Biocomputing and Physics of Complex Systems, the Research Institute in Nanoscience of Aragón and the Aula Dei Campus Science and Technology Park. The research groups are integrated in the Agro-Food Institute of Aragón (IA2, https://ia2.unizar.es/), which has numerous equipment resources and also offers various scientific and dissemination activities of great interest for students of the doctoral program. It is also important to highlight the international dimension of the program, given the existence of numerous collaborations with foreign research groups and companies, with participation in international research projects, scientific publications, research stays of the students of the program in foreign laboratories and theses carried out in two countries under joint supervision or with international mention.
The research lines of the program are two general lines, Food Quality and Safety and Food Technology:
Food quality and safety: this research line has always been linked to the same objectives in terms of providing: a) scientific data that contributes to the process of evaluating and monitoring food safety; b) basic scientific information for the prevention and control of food risks; c) advanced and innovative technologies for healthy eating. Current subjects of study include:
Food Technology: this line is aimed at the study of various aspects of obtaining, producing, transforming, preserving and controlling food of plant and animal origin. The topics of study are dynamic, although they currently include:
The general objective of this doctoral program is to offer its scientific and technological potential to the scientific community, companies and society, training highly qualified researchers and professionals, in order to be competitive in the field of Food Quality, Safety and Technology. Likewise, another general objective is to promote national and international scientific cooperation and mobility of students and teachers.
The specific objectives of this program are:
Researchers with a high scientific level, to carry out their professional activity in universities, in research centres or in agri-food companies.
The Academic Comission collects information through personalized consultation with PhDs to monitor their professional performance. From the data collected from the 2013/2014 to the 2020/2021 academic year, it can be deduced that 75% of the PhD graduates carry out a professional activity in accordance with the competences of the doctorate. These activities include jobs related to R+D+i (50% of the graduates) or jobs with a high/very high level technical profile (25% of the graduates). Regarding R+D+i related jobs, these are:
-Postdoctoral positions either abroad (12.5% of the total number of graduates) or in Spain (6.25%)
-University teachers and researchers in universities, technological centers or in companies (31%
of the total number of graduates).
Secretaría del Departamento de Producción Animal y Ciencia de los Alimentos
Facultad de Veterinaria
Miguel Servet, 177
Tel No.: 976762132 - Ext.: 842132
Current program coordinator: Mª Pilar Mañas Pérez
Tel No: 876554136 - Internal University extension: 844136
The students of the program acquire the basic competences indicated in article 5 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on doctorate. They are the following:
The RD 99/2011 highlights the high professional training of doctors in various fields, especially those that require creativity and innovation. Therefore, the doctors of the program will have acquired, at least, personal skills and abilities to:
The requirements for access to doctorate studies are set in RD 99/2011 and can be consulted in the corresponding Instruction of the Doctorate School (pdf). In general, an official Spanish Bachelor's and Master's degrees or equivalent are required, with a minimum global extension of 300 ECTS credits.
Candidates with university degrees issued by a country of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may request admission directly (info). If the degree is issued by a country outside the EHEA, the application for access with a non-homologated foreign degree must be submitted (info).
Those interested can expand their information in the administrative section of the Doctoral School (web) or the administration of the program (see contact data in the program general information section).
Oferta de plazas: 15
The recommended access profile is that of a student with previous knowledge of basic and / or applied disciplines in the field of Food Science, who has acquired basic skills related to scientific research, and who has knowledge of at least one of the languages of the program, Spanish/English, preferably both, at a B2 level or equivalent.
The most frequent profile is that of a graduate in Food Science and Technology, with a master's degree in the field of Food Science or in close scientific areas. The most common master's degree is the University Master's Degree in Food Quality, Safety and Technology, currently taught at the University of Zaragoza, which is directly linked to this doctoral program. The access of the Veterinary graduate is also frequent.
These majority access profiles are not selective since, given the scope and interdisciplinary of the program's lines of research, there are other suitable academic backgrounds. These includes graduates in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, in Agri-Food Engineering and Rural Environment, in Chemistry, in Biotechnology or in other related areas, with masters-level studies in Food Science or related scientific areas.
To be admitted to the doctoral program, you must apply to the Academic Commission, as described on the EDUZ website (https://escueladoctorado.unizar.es/admision-programa-doctorado-puntos-clave). Along with the required general documentation, the applicant must also provide the Academic Commission with its curriculum vitae. Applicants whose mother tongue is different from Spanish or English must possess a B2 level of one of these two languages.
If the number of applications exceeds the number of places offered, the Academic Commission will carry out a prioritization according to the following general criteria:
a) Adaptation to the recommended profiles (20%). 20% will be assigned to students who present a profile that provide direct access (see “Specific training activities” section).
b) Graduate degree academic transcript: 20%.
c) Master's studies academic transcript: 10%.
d) In the case of those students who have obtained a graduate degree of at least 300 ECTS credits that includes at least 60 ECTS credits of Master's level, the average mark of this academic record will represent 30% of the assessment. If the applicant also submits additional master's level studies and wishes to be assessed according to these latter, then his/her academic transcript will be assessed as indicated in points b) and c).
e) Other relevant merits (20%):
f) Motivation letter, preferably endorsed by a professor from the doctoral program (30%). The letter shall indicate the motivation as well as the interests of the applicant. If the Commission considers it necessary, the applicant may be called for a personal interview.
In view of the documentation submitted, the Academic Commission may admit the student to the program, admit it conditioned to the completion of some specific training activities, or reject their admission in a reasoned way.
NEW ADMISSION PLACES OFFERED
12 full time and 3 part time. In the event that part-time places are not covered, full-time places may be completed up to 15, and viceversa.
To be admitted in the part-time modality, the applicant must submit to the Academic Commission, together with the part-time admission form, a supporting document.
The Academic Commission will determine the need to complete specific training activities based on the previous background of the applicants. According to the recommended profile, the following students will have direct access to this Doctorate Program, without specific training activities:
- Students with 300 ECTS Bachelor´s degree (BSc) in Food Science and Technology, in Veterinary, or other degrees in the scientific field of food considered equivalent by the Academic Commission (level 3 MECES, Spanish Qualification System of Higher Education, or equivalent).
- Students with a BSc degree (level 2 MECES or equivalent) in the scientific field of food, such as the Degree in Food Science and Technology, Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Degree in Agri-Food Engineering and Rural Environment taught at the University of Zaragoza (or other similar degrees from this or other universities that the Academic Commission may consider equivalent), which have passed at least 60 ECTS of master's level studies in the scientific field of food (Master in Food Quality, Safety and Technology or equivalent) or in related scientific areas (Molecular and Cellular Biology, Quantitative Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering or similar).
- Students with BSc degreee in related scientific areas (Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biology or similar) who have passed at least 60 ECTS of master level studies in Food Science (Master in Quality, Safety and Food Technology or equivalent).
Students who are not in the cases detailed above must complete specific training activities, adapted to their profile. The specific training activities will be indicated in each particular case by the Academic Commission and will depend on the previous academic and professional expertise and the line of research. In this regard, proposals from the thesis supervisor may be taken into account.
Specific training activities will be taken at the University of Zaragoza, will not exceed 24 ECTS, and must be passed during the first year or during the first two years, for full-time and part-time students, respectively. Courses from the Master's Degree in Food Quality, Safety and Technology taught at the University of Zaragoza, or transversal training activities from the Doctoral School will be requested. The information of the master's courses that may be requested appears on the institutional website of the University of Zaragoza (https://estudios.unizar.es/estudio/ver?id=702), and that of the transversal activities, in the the Doctoral School webpage (https://escueladoctorado.unizar.es/es/tr-oferta-actividades-transversales).
The following cases are considered:
- Students with BSc degree in the scientific field of food, whose master's studies are not in the field of food, or related sciences (Master's Degree in Secondary Education, in Occupational Risk Prevention, etc.). For these students, subjects from the Master's Degree in Food Quality, Safety and Technology will be requested, preferably from the basic module, and/or, where appropriate, transversal training activities of the Doctoral School, which together will comprise up to 24 ECTS (or equivalent hours).
- Students with BSc in scientific related areas (Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biology, etc.) who have passed at least 60 ECTS of master level studies also in similar scientific areas. For these students, subjects from the Master's Degree in Food Quality, Safety and Technology will be requested, preferably elective subjects, which together will comprise up to 12 ECTS.
In any other case not previously mentioned, the Academic Commission of the doctoral program will evaluate the academic and professional trajectory, and the adaptation to the line of research, and will establish the specific training activities.
Doctoral students, as researchers in training and students of the University of Zaragoza, have to formalize every year the enrollment with the corresponding rights to the academic tutorship while continuing their doctoral training. The enrollment period will be set in the academiccalendar approved each year by the Doctoral School.
As a general rule, enrollment will be done online through the Secretaría Virtual ofthe University of Zaragoza. Previously a personal identification number (NIP) and password will have been obtained in the identity management service. Face-to-face registration will be allowed to those who cannot do it online, by going to the doctoral school during public service hours. PhD students must submit every year in which they enroll, documentation about their previous studies, depending on whether they have been taken in countries of the European Education Area or outside that space.
Full and up-to-date information on the enrollment procedure, including key points, is provided on the website of the Doctoral School, as well as prices, discounts and insurance, legalization and translation of documents and some others practical details.
The procedures for the supervision of doctoral students are set in article 11 of Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies and the rules about Thesis (Reglamento sobre Tesis Doctorales de la Universidad de Zaragoza). The doctoral student admitted to the program has to enrol each academic year in academic tutelage at the University of Zaragoza. The Academic Committee of the program will assign a Thesis Director and a tutor, who may or may not be the same. The Thesis Director will be the person in charge of the overall management of the doctoral student's research tasks, of the coherence and adequacy of the training activities, of the impact and novelty in his/her field of the subject of the doctoral thesis and of the guide in other projects and activities where the doctoral student is involved. The tutor is responsible for the adaptation of the training and the research activity to the principles of the program and the Doctoral School and will ensure the interaction of the doctoral student with the Academic Committee of the program, the body responsible for supervising the progress of the research and training and the authorization of the thesis presentation of each doctoral student of the program.
The supervisory functions of the doctoral students will be documented in the Doctorate Letter which, once the registration is made, will be signed by the doctoral student, its tutor and its director, the program coordinator and the director of the Doctoral School. Those interested can expand the information on the thesis supervision in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.
The follow-up of the training process leading to the presentation of the doctoral thesis is carried out through the research plan and the doctoral student's document of activities. The research plan is presented before the end of the first year of enrolment and includes, at least, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be achieved, as well as the means and the temporal planning to achieve it. The plan may be improved and detailed later and must be endorsed by the Director and the tutor. The document of activities is the register of all the activities -research stays, courses, attendance to congresses, or others- that the doctorate carries out from his enrolment until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. Annually, the Academic Committee of the program will evaluate the follow-up of the research plan together with the document of activities. The positive evaluation will be an essential requirement to continue in the program. In the case of a negative evaluation, the doctoral student must be evaluated again within a maximum period of six months. Those interested can expand this information in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.
Once the thesis is concluded, the doctoral student must proceed to deposit and defend it according to the dispositions included in the thesis regulation of the University of Zaragoza and its procedure (info).
The Doctoral School offers an annual series of voluntary activities for all doctoral students. This formation has a transversal and interdisciplinary nature. The offer is dynamic and covers the following formative aspects: communication (oral and written), access and information management, and skills for a future social and professional performance. Information about the activities, admission and enrolment can be found in the website of the Doctoral School (info).
Additionally, other formative activities of interest for a wide range of our doctoral students are disseminated through our web (info).
The students of the Doctoral Program can carry out different training activities.
First, they can carry out transversal training activities, such as those offered by the Doctoral School or the G9 group of Universities (Activity 1: Transversal training activities, see previous section).
In addition, the program organizes specific training activities (Activity 2: Doctoral Annual Session and Activity 3: Conferences and courses) on topics related to Food Science. Finally, throughout their doctoral studies, students can carry out other activities such as research stays in external laboratories (Activity 4: Mobility), the preparation of scientific papers, reports and patents (Activity 5), attendance and active participation in conferences and scientific meetings (Activity 6), including interdisciplinary doctoral sessions, or teaching collaborations (Activity 7), which allow both transversal and specific training, associated with the different lines of research of the program.
TEMPORARY PLANNING OF ACTIVITIES:
The transversal training activities of the Doctoral School (or G9) are recommended especially, but not exclusively, during the first two years, for full-time students, and during the first three years, for part-time students.
The specific training activities organized by the Program can be carried out throughout the entire period of the doctorate, such as the Doctoral Annual Session, for which attendance is considered compulsory at least twice throughout the doctorate. Active participation (oral presentation of the Research Plan) is also compulsory at least once throughout the doctorate, preferably the second year for full-time students and the third year for part-time students.
Research stays (mobility) can be done at any time during the doctorate, although they are recommended from the second year on, both for full-time and part-time students.
The rest of the activities are suitable for the entire period of completion of the doctorate, both for full-time and part-time students.
ACQUISITION OF COMPETENCES
Activity 2, Doctoral Annual Session, is the only activity that is established as compulsory, while all the others are considered optional. The Academic Commission monitors the various activities through the annual report of the research plan and the activity notebook of each PhD student.
In addition to the attendance and participation in the Doctoral Annual Sessions, the Academic Commission of the Doctoral Program has established that throughout the period of doctorate, each student must achieve a minimum of 30 points by carrying out optional training activities, in accordance to the following score:
Activity 1: Transversal training activities (transversal training):
Activity 3: Conferences and courses (specific training): up to 0.5 points / hour of attendance. Specific training courses not organized by the program may be also considered in this section.
Activity 4: Mobility (transversal and specific training): stays in external research centers.
Activity 5: Publications, patents and technical reports (transversal and specific training):
Activity 6: Congresses, meetings and interdisciplinary doctoral sessions (transversal and specific training):
Activity 7: Collaboration in teaching (transversal and specific training):
The Academic Commission will be responsible for the final evaluation of each merit, including merits not contemplated in this section, that contribute to the acquisition of the doctoral competences. If a doctoral student, at the end of the period of completion of his/her doctoral thesis, does not meet the minimum required score, a reasoned report will be requested from the supervisors of the thesis, which will be assessed by the Academic Commission.
NOTE: This scale will begin to apply to students enrolled in 2020/2021 academic course.
Doctoral students enrolled in doctoral programs benefit from mobility aids established in various national and international calls. The calls for the Erasmus + program stand out.
In the Erasmus + Studies mode, doctoral students can choose a wide range of destinations, since most of the agreements signed by the University of Zaragoza with other universities include places for PhD students of all branches.
In the Erasmus + Stays / Practices in companies modality, PhD students access two calls: the one from the University of Zaragoza and the one carried out by the Iberus International Campus of Excellence for the universities that comprise it, the one from Zaragoza among them.
Other mobility calls are specifically designed for Latin American students and for international stays of students with predoctoral contracts. The mobility of doctoral students of the University of Zaragoza is also encouraged with cotutela agreements signed with foreign universities.
The Doctoral School of the University of Zaragoza has rules and procedures to achieve its various goals, which have been written with the agreement of the different levels of the Doctoral School, and are published on its website.
The regulations section of the Doctoral School website contains other important regulations, both national and of the University of Zaragoza, such as RD 99/2011 por el que se regulan las enseñanzas oficiales de doctorado, el Reglamento de los Estudios de Doctorado (2012) y el Reglamento sobre tesis doctorales (2014).
Rules of duration and permanence in the doctorate are established in Instrucción de23 de mayo de 2018 de la Escuela de Doctorado relativa al acceso, admisión,dedicación y permanencia en los estudios de doctorado de la Universidad deZaragoza (R.D. 99/2011).
Full-time thesis should be complete in three years, from the date of admission to the doctoral program, although the Academic Committee of the program may authorize the extension of this period for one more year. Part-time doctoral students will have five years from their admission to the presentation of the thesis, and the Academic Committee may authorize an extension for two more years. Exceptionally, an additional year of extension can be added.
PhD candidates may request a change in dedication (full-time / part-time) as well as the temporary withdrawal for justified reasons of the Academic Committee. They can cause a definitive withdrawal and see their file closed in these cases: if the available time to deposit the thesis is exceeded or if they receive two consecutive negative evaluations of the research plan.
The academic year is governed by the deadlines established in the specific Doctoral School´s academic calendar.
This calendar sets the periods of request for entry, admission to the programs, enrollment at the University of Zaragoza, as well as how the students must present every year the research plan and the activities document, deadlines for defending doctoral theses, etc.
The Doctoral School website publishes the calendar of the current course as well as the two previous courses (info).
Most of the students of the program carry out their research activities in the Department of Animal Production and Food Science, located in the Veterinary Faculty, located in the so-called Miguel Servet Veterinary Campus, where the Food Science and Technology Pilot Plant is also located. In the Food Technology and in the Nutrition and Bromatology sections, the two main university units involved in this program, the following laboratories are available:
1.- Laboratories in the Food Technology Section:
2.- Laboratories in the Nutrition and Bromatology section:
The multidisciplinary Food Science and Technology Pilot Plant is equipped with modern facilities with food processing equipment; physical-chemical, unit operations and microbiological analysis laboratories; sensory analysis room and other complementary infrastructures. The Pilot Plant is located in a two-story building, with a total area of 961 m2, and has the following facilities:
1.- Food processing plant of 250 m2 for the following production lines:
2.- Laboratories of 30 m2:
The University of Zaragoza has been sensitive to aspects related to equal opportunities, taking as a priority objective to make university buildings and their surroundings accessible by removing architectural barriers.
The provision of scientific equipment is extensive for the research activities carried out in the different lines. This information can be found in the links to the research groups on the IA2 website (http://ia2.unizar.es/grupos/grupos-de-investigacion).
For the development of their research activity, students and supervisors also have the support of both central and assistance services offered by the University of Zaragoza, highlighting all the different units of the Research Support Services (SAI, http: //sai.unizar.es/), and the services offered by the UZ Library (http://biblioteca.unizar.es/) and the Veterinary Faculty Library, which facilitate access to documentary resources, databases bibliographic data and scientific publications related to the doctoral program. In relation to this point, all enrolled students are provided with an institutional email account and identification number that allows them access to databases and scientific journals. Students who complete the thesis in the Department have access to the Internet, either from offices, or through the Wi-Fi network accessible from most areas in the Faculty.
In addition, students may find help in the administrative section of the Doctoral School, the International Relations Section, the Center for Researcher Mobility (EURAXESS), the Research Management Service, and the career guidance service of the University from Zaragoza, Universa, among others.