FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências da Saúde

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Investigação em Desporto, Saúde e Desenvolvimento Humano [HESC-Norte-VilaReal-4045] visitada em 08/04/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD) is a cross-institutional technical and scientific multi-disciplinary Unit of applied and fundamental research hosted in Vila Real, in the University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro. It was started in 2007 and appears from the network integration, by a consortium agreement, of several previous research Units originally from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança; the Sports Schools of Rio Maior; the University of Beira Interior, the Higher Institute of Maia, the University of Madeira and the University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro. Other distinguished research centers previously accredited by FCT were also integrated and merged in CIDESD: the Institute of Sciences of Brain and Physics for Well-being and Safety from the Higher Institute of Maia and the Research Center of Human Development and Physical Activity from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. The Unit has 153 members of which 47 are integrated and 105 are associated members. A characteristic of the members is that a reasonably high percentage is relatively young (between 30-40 years of age). The Unit consists of three research groups: Professional and Pedagogical Intervention, Health, and Sport Performance. All institutions are involved in the three groups in one way or another. Each of the three groups concentrates their research work in three main areas. These are:
Professional and Pedagogical Intervention: pedagogical intervention, professional & institutional evaluation and professional competences
Health: physical activity/sports: health behaviors and leisure
Sport Performance: strength and conditioning, biomechanical & physiological evaluation and match analysis.
According to the report from 2003-2006, members of the consortium published 65 peer reviewed articles in ISI Journals. At the site the panel was told that 27 articles had been published in peer reviewed journals in 2007. We did however not get a list of the journals.
The Unit has a large international network. It has agreements with 32 European institutions, and with many universities in Brazil in addition to being members of networks with contacts to academic institutions in North-America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
In the written report CIDESD is characterized as “a cross-institutional technical and scientific multi-disciplinary Unit of applied and fundamental research”. This was also mirrored in the presentation when the panel was visiting the site. It is however in the ongoing projects difficult to see the inputs from anthropology, ethnology and folklore and from sociology and management. The panel will therefore suggest that ideas and knowledge from these sciences also are integrated into future projects.
Some of the motivation for CIDESD is that a “global unity is more than the sum of the parts”, and the concept of network and networking has therefore been central in the development of the UNIT. If one compares the productivity of scientific articles etc, from the period 2003-2006 with 2007, there seems to be a clear effect of the consortium even though it was established only in 2007. The Unit seems to be well aware of the problems and challenges in running a Unit consisting of so many different institutions. It was the panel’s impression that they were very organized and have put a lot of work into how the Unit could work effectively in the future. This became more visible during the panel’s visit when the Unit presented its working plans for the upcoming three years. They had identified clear tasks for each semester for the next three years, including network optimization, research activity and information dissemination & community intervention.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Health [RG-HESC-Norte-VilaReal-4045-27]
This group was also not formally registered (CIDESD, FCT) over the period from 2003-2006, and started in 2007. The written report focused upon achievements that took place from 2003-2006 by people who are members of this group today. The presentation given at the site focused on the group’s recent development (2007 until today) in addition to their future plans.
Members of the group are recruited from all 6 universities in the network. Team members consist of 26 researchers, 27 collaborators and 1 scholarship member. In addition to these, the group has two members from abroad, i.e. they collaborate with one researcher from Rome University of Movement Science in Italy, and one from The Catholic University of Brazilia in Brazil.
The objectives of the group are concentrated on 1) Research, 2) Continuing Education, and 3) Community Intervention. In relation to research the group focuses upon two areas: Physical Activity and Health and Health systems and Services/ Health promotion throughout the Life Cycle. Ten areas of research are mentioned under Physical Activity and Health and six under Health systems and Services/Health promotion throughout the Life Cycle. Many of these areas are very relevant and to a certain degree under-researched in an international perspective.
In the report from 2003-2006 14 Master and PhD students have graduated. From the report it is not possible to see how many of these were PhD students, but at the site we were told that 3 finished in this period and 7 in 2007-2008, and that 43 PhD students are in orientation.
Concerning community intervention the group is involved in many projects through their network’s members, such as for example: “Shape up during menopause” or “The body as an instrument for learning mathematics and sciences”. The group also works with many other institutions such as Sport Institute of Portugal, different health centers, town halls and school boards.
The group is involved in three international investigations that take place in three different universities in Brazil.
Concerning productivity, the group produced 5 articles in peer reviewed journals of SCI in 2003-2006 and 10 articles in the similar journals in 2007-2008. Seen in relation to the number of people involved in the group a future focus should be to publish more articles in the best international journals in the field; quality should be given higher priority than quantity in terms of scientific publications.
Professional and Pedagogical Intervention [RG-HESC-LVT-RioMaior-4045-26]
This group was not registered (CIDESD, FCT) over the period from 2003-2006, and started formally in 2007. The written report focused upon achievements that took place from 2003-2006 by people who are members of this group today. The presentation given at the site focused on the group’s latest development (2007 until today) in addition to their future plans.
Their research team consists of 42 persons, of whom 10 are members, 15 are collaborators and 10 are PhD students. In addition they cooperate with 15 PhD researchers in other institutions, of which three are abroad (University of Barcelona and University of Lleida, Spain and, University of Koblenz-Laudau, Germany).
During 2003-2006 they produced 20 articles in peer reviewed journals, and 140 other publications (books, book chapters, proceedings, etc). Most of the journals in which the articles are published, however, don’t have bibliometric parameters. The major future challenge for the group is therefore that their research should lead to a body of publications influencing international research and the literature in the field.
In the period 2003-2006 14 master and PhD students were graduated. From the report it is not possible to see how many of these were PhD students.
In the period 2003-2006 the groups research activities were oriented towards the following four areas: 1) the research on the professional and institutional evaluation, 2) the study of the observation competences, 3) the analysis of the pedagogic intervention, and 4) the search for the professional’s competences and training curricula. In the presentation at the site their research now seems to be divided into two groups which concentrate on the areas 1, 3 and 4 mentioned above. An overwhelming number of interesting themes were listed under each of these areas. With such a diversity of themes to develop new knowledge in all these themes and reach high international recognition would be difficult. The panel suggests that the research teams in the future give priority to and concentrate on those themes where they have the best potential to make significant contributions that many have impact internationally.
The relevance and the feasibility of the group’s work are relatively good. Evaluation research, particularly in the field of physical education and sport is an important area and even in an international perspective not much research is going on in this field. The group is further engaged in training programs for coaches and in coaches’ qualifications and works with local, regional and national sport governing bodies.
Sports Performance [RG-HESC-Norte-Maia-4045-28]
As for the two other groups the Sports Performance Group (SPG) started in 2007, and was not formally registered (CIDESD, FCT) in the period from 2003-2006. The written report focused upon achievements that took place from 2003-2006 by people who are members of this group today. The changes that took place in 2007 and the work of the group from 2007-2008 were presented at the site.
The general objectives of SPG were presented in the three areas of: research domains, community intervention, and education and training. The group has 50 team members of which 15 are effective researchers, 12 are collaborators and 23 are on scholarship. Of these, 20 are PhD students. Also for this group all the institutions in the network are involved in the group. In addition they cooperate with scientists from institutions in Brazil, Spain, Italy and Iceland. Their main research areas are: 1) Match Analysis and Observational Methodology, 2) Strength and Conditioning, and 3) Physiological and Biomechaical Evaluation.
The objectives for the three areas are:1) to promote research procedures for training methodologies for the development of motor capacities, 2) to promote evaluation methodologies for analysis of mechanical and physiological factors related to sports performance, through: human movement analysis and numeric computation including inverse dynamics and computation fluid dynamics, and 3) to promote research based on systematic observation, made during or after an event and then analyzed to provide information about performance.
According to the report from 2003-2006 the group published approximately 36 peer reviewed articles in ISI Journals and more than 200 in other publications in national and /or proceedings from international symposia, books and books chapters. In 2007 the number of articles in peer reviewed journals was 38, of which only 15 were in SCI journals.
In the period from 2003-2006 5 PhD and 10 master theses were completed. In 2007 the figures were 5 and 8.
All the institutions in the groups have developed cooperation with institutions at the local, regional and national level, such as sport clubs, regional associations and sport federations, the Portuguese Institute of Sport, and the Portuguese Olympic Committee to carry through community intervention programs.
The group develops its activities in close cooperation with many foreign institutions that give advice and scientific support to the group’s activities, such as University of Jyväskylä, University of Southern Denmark, University of Frankfurt, University of Chester and many universities in Spain.