Unit description and general objectives

The Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD) is a cross-institutional technical and scientifically multi-disciplinary unity of applied research hosted in the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Vila Real). Originally created in 2007, this Center appears from the network integration, by a consortium agreement, of six previous research units originally from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (1); the Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior - Polytechnic Institute of Santarém (2); the University of Beira Interior (3), the Higher Institute of Maia (4), the University of Madeira (5) and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (6). Also, other two extinguished research centers previously accredited by FCT (National Foundation for Science and Technology) were also integrated and merged in CIDESD: the Institute of Sciences of Brain and Physics for Well-being and Safety from Higher Institute of Maia (1) and the Research Centre of Human Development and Physical Activity from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (2). In 2008, two more Institutions were fully integrated in this network: The nursing Health School of Vila Real (1) and the Educational higher School from the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (2). In 2013 the University of Évora added the consortium. The Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo and Polytechnic Institute of Guarda are the newest members, they joined CIDESD in February 2015.


The Unit is a consortium agreement of 8 Institutions, with 123 members of which 47 are integrated and 76 are associated members. At the present, the Unit consists of four research communities: GERON, STRONG, CreativeLab and CFD - Computational fluid dynamics.

The management of CIDESD is composed by four different councils: i) The Direction, composed by the Director and the two coordinators of the research groups; ii) The general consultant council, composed by the Director and all the head managers for each one of the Research centers of the consorted Institutions; iii) the scientific council, comprises all unit research members whit Ph.D. degree and adequate productivity accordingly to the internal rules; iv) the external evaluation council, composed by three invited scientists in the two research domains of the unity (Prof. Dr. David Stodden and Prof. Dr. Sérgio Ibañez).
The Unit is a large national and international network. Nowadays CIDESD has bilateral agreements with 8 National Institutions (from the consortium) and another 8 High-Education Institutions (cooperation agreement); 36 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.


The goals of CIDESD are articulated in three major domains:

1. Research. The research projects and activities of the CIDESD are organised under the scope and objectives of the unit and are articulated in three programs:

A) CreativeLab: aiming to develop performance indicators related to collaborative work and creativity, helping to explain the mechanisms that regulate the decision-making process and contribute to understanding the complexity of human mind.

B) STRONG: this program is related to the analysis of genetic, physiological and biomechanical models able to describe and predict the human movement and their relationship to performance. Also, there is an emphasis in computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

C) GERON: this program is focused in relationship between physical activity, exercise and health in the elderly.

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 12.11.08 PM

2. Community Intervention. Providing services to community and developing effective intervention strategies leading the intervention process, specifically: sports performance, such as sports for age group athletes; sports for high level athletes; sports for handicapped athletes; integration of sports in schools; sports as a mean of social integration and resolution of social problems; physical activity and sports programs related to health promotion and health care (palliative care).

3. Continuous education. CIDESD members are deeply involved in: 1) educational activities (bachelor, master and PhD programs). At the moment we have fourteen bachelors; nineteen Master Courses and one PhD course functioning in strict agreement among all the consorted Institutions; 2) continuous formation programs to enhance the knowledge, skills and effective methods available for sport sciences, health, schools and leisure professionals; 3) technical and professional education in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental Institutions for the technical and ethical informative enhancement.