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The UdA will develop fifteen research projects over the next two years

The University of Andorra’s Research and Doctoral Commission has approved the research and innovation projects that its four research groups will carry out over the next two years (until June 2021). In total, thirteen doctors, eight doctoral students and six specialists will carry out fifteen projects. These projects were approved within the framework of the General Research Plan of the University of Andorra and, in particular, under the action plan regarding research projects with internal funding. The deadline for submitting applications ended on 2 December and projects were approved last week.

The Research Group in Health Sciences and Health Services (GRCS in Catalan), coordinated by Dr. Elvira Gea and Dr. Mercè Avellanet, has received approval to develop four projects. They are related to the prevalence of orphan drugs in Andorra and rare or common diseases; drug safety in specific populations, focusing on dysphagia and “off-label” medication; the effects of a new postural control brace for cervical pain; and regenerative medicine in musculoskeletal pathologies such as knee osteoarthritis.

Secondly, the Research Group in Financial Economics (GREF), coordinated by Dr. Rosa Maria Mariño, will carry out two projects until June 2021: a study on the evolution of the Andorran hotel sector’s intellectual capital and the continuation of a study on customer satisfaction regarding accommodation in the Principality of Andorra.

The Interdisciplinary Research Group in Education (GRIE), coordinated by Dr. Alexandra Saz, will carry out four projects: a longitudinal study of UdA students in comparison with student profiles of other universities from the Vives Network, a study on innovation and research in university teaching, a third study on the initial training of primary school teachers and a final study on the capacity of cultural heritage to attract tourists and the profile of Andorran cultural tourists.

Finally, the Research Group on Languages (GREL), coordinated by Dr. Carolina Bastida, has received permission to carry out two doctoral theses, one on the effects of gamification on psycho-behavioural factors and the fluidity of oral expression in learning English, and another on the introduction of the iPad into the Andorran education system. Three more projects have also been approved: areas of language use and intergenerational linguistic attitudes within the Portuguese community in Andorra; practices, attitudes and perceptions about the implementation of English-medium instruction at the university; and the translation into Catalan of the International Financial Reporting Standards, in collaboration with GREF, the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

Until the year 2017, calls for projects were made annually, and this year is the second time the call is made on a biannual basis, with the aim of facilitating project viability.

The University of Andorra’s research activity began in 2006 with the creation of the first research groups, and it was consolidated in 2009 with the creation of the doctoral programme. In 2015, the International Doctoral School was created to encompass the doctoral programme and research groups. Since 2009, a total of eleven researchers have received their doctorate at the University of Andorra.