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Research ecosystem

Research at University of Deusto is arranged around four focus areas:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Human Rights, Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Sustainable Development & Innovation
  • Education and lifelong learning

These serve as a flexible framework where five interdisciplinary platforms, several research units and centres operate, enabling our researchers from 22 Teams of Excellence to collaborate and cross-fertilise ideas. They make novel use of methodologies from their different disciplines to address local and global issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. This rich research ecosystem complements our teaching, and provides a fertile ground for our 7 PhD programs, and our extensive Post Graduate activity.


Focus Areas (Overall description, main objective, aim and goals)

Our four focus areas of research follow the University´s mission to address present and future societal challenges from a truly interdisciplinary perspective, nurturing international and cross-sectoral collaboration.

They are oriented to respond to the core societal challenges identified by the European Commission as priorities, making Deusto very well positioned to play an important role in international collaborative research projects.

University of Deusto carries out projects in several Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges (i.e., Europe in a Changing World Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing; Smart, Green and Integrated Transport; and Secure Societies, etc.)

Health and Wellbeing

This focus area aims to further assess and identify the risk factors for many health problems, both physical and mental, and develop prevention and intervention programmes that improve the health and welfare of citizens from an integrative perspective. Current work include the evaluation of brain structure and function in neuropsychiatric patients, neuro-functional correlates in Parkinson’s disease, cognitive rehabilitation in psychosis and schizophrenia, risk factors and preventive interventions in depression, promotion of health habits and autonomy in the elderly, evaluation of mental health programmes, and personal health data treatment in biomedical research.


Human Rights, Peace and Conflict Resolution

This focus area responds to issues arising from Europe in a changing world and the demand for inclusive, innovative, and reflective societies. Researchers within this area come from disciplines such as the social sciences, law, education, and psychology.

Teams are currently working on topics such as human rights, cultural diversity and identities; international migrations, social inclusion and cohesion; conflicts and humanitarian action; social values; social development and transformation, and risk factors for violence.

Sustainable Development & Innovation

This focus area takes advantage of new forms of innovation and citizen engagement, with the aim to develop individual, group, organizational, and territorial capability to provide methods for the strategic analysis of territories and the development and maintenance of sustainable economic and productive initiatives.

Research in this area will promote coherent and effective cooperation for sustainable city and regional development. Currently there are two lines of investigation, research with focus on Employment issues, and in the area of Social Innovation.

Education and Life Long Learning (LLL)

This focus area has been the cornerstone of European policy regarding education and training in the past two decades. Triggered by the Tuning Project, coordinated by the Universities of Deusto and Groningen, UDEUSTO has become a world-wide leader in higher education. The development and implementation of competence-based curricula, evaluation, and accreditation systems in higher education made Tuning an international benchmark, facilitated the Bologna Process, and helped shape the European Higher Education Area. Currently, the Tuning Academy pursues similar undertakings in other world regions, including Russia and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the USA, and a number of universities in Asia, Australia, and Africa.

The role of LLL in achieving economic growth and social cohesion and in making Europe the most competitive knowledge-based economy and society in the world has been underscored in the most recent European Commission growth strategies (cf.Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs, and Europe 2020). Likewise, LLL plays a fundamental role in the newest and most ambitious research and innovation programme in Horizon 2020(link). Within this framework, the wider benefits of learning are recalled as a central component in fostering inclusive, innovative and reflective societies and in addressing the challenges created by demographic changes, wellbeing, globalisation, human rights, and development

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