Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering 2023–2024


The PhD program in Biomedical Engineering is jointly organized by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the University of Zaragoza. It has been offered since academic year 2003-04 and is currently regulated by an agreement signed on June 23rd, 2011, and amended in  May 2012.

The students of the program can enroll in either of the two universities, on which they will depend administratively, and they can take any course or activity from the offer of the interuniversity program. Information about the program at the UPC can be found at this link. The joint doctoral program also has a collaboration agreement with the Polytechnic University of Madrid for academic cooperation with its PhD Program in Biomedical Engineering. 

The PhD Program obtained the Quality Mention from the Ministry of Education (MCD2003-00157) from the first edition and for all of the following years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. Subsequently, it obtained the Mention of Excellence (MEE2011-0509) valid for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2009 it was verified as a PhD program in accordance with RD 1393/2007  (correction error in resolution), and later in 2012 the program accreditation was again renewed.

In 2019, the Program obtained the renewal of the Accreditation, obtaining the qualification WITH EXCELLENCE by the AQU in the follow-up of 2020.


For those students who have completed the master's degree in Biomedical Engineering, the program will consist of carrying out and defending a doctoral thesis, as well as carrying out training activities during each year, which will be reflected in the Activities Document.

To those students who come from other previous studies, the Academic Committee of the Doctorate Program will assign credits of complementary training from among the courses offered in the University Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering.

The research groups that support the program are largely linked to the Center for Research in Biomedical Engineering (CREB) and the Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC) of the UPC and the Aragon Institute for Engineering Research (I3A) of the UZ, respectively. Many of the research groups belong to the Center for Biomedical Research in Network Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) of the Center of the Carlos III Health Institute, with access to the ICTS NANBIOSIS of the CIBER-BBN.

The program allows training in research topics by completing a doctoral thesis in any of the following fields: biomechanics and biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, mechanobiology, microfluidics, biomedical instrumentation, analysis of biomedical signals, modeling and biosystems simulation, medical robotics, medical imaging, radiation dosimetry, etc.


Personalized mentoring:
To be agreed with the Coordinator/Tutor/PhD Director, by direct contacting by  e-mail or phone.

 Administrative support:
Yolanda Velicias
Instituto Universitario de Investigación de Ingeniería en Aragón (I3A)
Edificio de Institutos I+D Campus Río Ebro. 50018 Zaragoza

 Academic support: 
Juan Pablo Martínez
Phone: 876555560


 Administrative inquiries:

Yolanda Velicias
Phone: 976762760 - Ext.: 842760

Basic Skills

The students of the program acquire the basic competences indicated in article 5 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on doctorate. They are the following:

  1. Systematic understanding of their field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  2. Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  3. Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  4. Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  5. Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages commonly used in their international scientific community.
  6. Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a society based on knowledge.

Personal Abilities and Skills

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:

  1. Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  2. Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
  3. Design, create, develop and undertake innovative and innovative projects in their field of knowledge.
  4. Work both as a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  5. Integrate knowledge, face complexity and formulate judgements with limited information.
  6. The criticism and intellectual defence of solutions.

Other Specific Program Competences

CMECES1 - Having acquired advanced knowledge at the frontier of knowledge and demonstrated, in the context of internationally recognized scientific research, a deep, detailed and well-founded understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects and scientific methodology in one or more research areas

CMECES2 - Having made an original and significant contribution to scientific research in its field of knowledge and that this contribution has been recognized as such by the international scientific community

CMECES3 - Having demonstrated that they are capable of designing a research project with which to carry out a critical analysis and an evaluation of imprecise situations in which to apply their contributions and their knowledge and work methodology to make a synthesis of new and complex ideas that produce a deeper knowledge of the research context in which you work

CMECES4 - Having developed sufficient autonomy to initiate, manage and lead teams and innovative research projects and scientific collaborations, national or international, within its thematic scope, in multidisciplinary contexts and, where appropriate, with a high component of knowledge transfer

CMECES5 - Have shown that they are capable of developing their research activity with social responsibility and scientific integrity

CMECES6 - To have justified that they are capable of participating in scientific discussions that take place internationally in their field of knowledge and of disclosing the results of their research activity to all types of public

CMECES7 - Having demonstrated within their specific scientific context that they are capable of making advances in cultural, social or technological aspects, as well as fostering innovation in all areas in a knowledge-based society.

General Information

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).

Program Specific Information

Oferta de plazas: 10

 Admission profile:

Given the multidisciplinary nature of the scientific field of the Program, degrees of provenance are very diverse. The most appropriate previous training for admission to the Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering will correspond to graduates with scientific and technological profiles and who have completed a master's degree in Biomedical Engineering or a master's degree related to the scientific field of the Program. In addition to this academic profile, certain personal characteristics are considered important, such as interest in the research projects developed in the program, critical and analytical capacity, having initiative, perseverance and perseverance in their work, ability to work as a team and to communicate adequately orally and in writing.

Specific criteria for admission and weightin:

The main access qualifications are the following:
• Degrees that have direct access. Students who have completed the Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering will have direct access to the doctoral program without the need for training complements.
• Qualifications that require training complements. Other equivalent qualifications will be accepted, in which there has been a training in techniques that have special relevance for the development of a doctoral thesis in Biomedical Engineering. The academic commission will determine the required training complements.

The criteria for admission to the program also include the following aspects:

• Personalized prior contact with the student will be particularly valued through interviews, questionnaires or exercises to assess their suitability to the program and their motivation.
• Other aspects will be valued, such as knowledge of languages ​​or previous research experience.

Selection criteria:

With the aim of prioritizing and selecting students who meet all access requirements, the following weighting of the admission criteria is established:
• Academic record: 50%
• Personalized contact and interview: 25%
• Motivation: 5%
• Knowledge of languages: 10%
• Research experience: 10%

The body responsible for the admission of students is the Study Commission of the Joint Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the University of Zaragoza. In accordance with the collaboration agreement between both universities, that Commission may authorize the function of admission to the Program Coordinators of each university.

For other aspects about the management of the admission process see the page of the Doctoral School (

Specific Training Activities

Profile: Students who access from other masters, according to the previous academic training, may require the completion of training in subjects of the Master in Biomedical Engineering, with a number less than 60 ECTS. The complements will be, in all cases, research training and will be proposed by the study commission, depending on the student's curriculum.

Complements to be taken: The study commission will establish the training complements to be taken by each student, depending on the subjects studied in their master's degree and the research line chosen for the thesis. The study commission of the program will monitor the training complements and will establish the appropriate criteria to limit its duration.

The possible subjects of the Master in Biomedical Engineering to study according to the training obtained previously can be seen in the following link

Enrolment Dates, Deadlines and Procedure

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.

Thesis Supervision

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.

Student's Follow-up and Evaluation

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).

Other Specific Program Procedures

The program has a quality assurance procedure in the Doctoral Theses in Biomedical Engineering:

Transversal Training Activities

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).

Specific Training Activities

Title: TUTORIES. Optional
Duration: 288h.
Control procedures: Annual report director

Title: Complementary COURSES. Optional
Duration: 18h.
Control procedures: attendance report. Registration in the Doctorate Activities Document. Follow-up of the thesis director.

Title: SEMINARS Optional
Duration: 3h
Control procedures: attendance report. Registration in the Doctorate Activities Document. Follow-up of the thesis director.

Title: WORKSHOPS. Optional
Duration: 3h
Control procedures: attendance report. Registration in the Doctorate Activities Document. Follow-up of the thesis director.


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.

Research Lines

  • Applied Mechanics and Bioengineering (AMB)
  • Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tissue Enginnering (BIBITE)
  • CV LAB(Grupo de visión por Computador)
  • Biomaterials Group (GBM)
  • GEMM (Grupo de Mecánica Estructural y Modelado de Materiales)
  • Informatic for Enginneirng Group (GIE)
  • Research group on energy and radiation studies (GREENER)
  • Intelligent Robotics and Systems (GRINS)
  • Instrumentation, sensors and interfaces Group (GRUP ISI)
  • Grupo de investigación: GTC (Grupo de Tecnologías de las Comunicaciones)
  • Electronic and Biomedical Instrumentation (IEB)
  • Multiescale in Biomedicla Mechanics and Biology (M2BE)
  • Robotics Perception and real Time Group (RoPERT)
  • Signals and Biomedical Systems (SISBIO)

Research Teams

Mecánica aplicada y Bioingeniería (AMB)

Robótica, percepción y tiempo real (RoPErt)

Biomateriales (GBM)

Multiescala en ingeniería mecánica y biológica (M2BE)

Networks and information technologies (CeNIT)

Biomédical signal interpretation and comutational simulation (BSICoS)

Voice input voive output laboratory (ViVoLab)

Medical image analysis lab (MIALAB)

Graphics and imaging lab


Academic Regulations

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).

PhD Duration and Their Management Rules

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.

These processes are explained in detail on our website (info) and the doctoral students are told how to proceed in cases of temporary withdrawal (info).

Academic Calendar

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).

Learning Resources

The Doctoral School is the unit of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia / University of Zaragoza responsible for providing technical and administrative support to the university community linked to doctoral studies.

International Relations Service

Library and Documentation Service

Language and Terminology Service

Research Assistance and Support Unit

The laboratories of the research groups of the thesis directors.