Universidad Internacional de La Rioja

Research Activity at UNIR

At UNIR we are conscious of the importance research activity has for our teaching staff, university and society, which is promoted by the three Vice-rectorates in a coordinated and decisive manner.

The promotion, development and coordination of the general research policies of UNIR are carried out from the Vice-rectorate for Research.

The key importance of the exploitation and transfer of the results from the research activity to society for UNIR has led to the creation of the Vice-rectorate for Transfer and Technology.

On the other hand, a specific Vice-rectorate for Innovation and Educational Development has been created because of how essential the development and implementation of research and innovation in education is to UNIR.

Vice-rectorate of Research

Coordinates, designs, implements and evaluates the research activity of the University. One of its main responsibilities is to channel the research work of professors to researchers of UNIR. To fulfill this task:

  • It designs and manages activities to promote the presence of UNIR in the competitive calls of research projects at state and autonomous community level;
  • It supports and promotes emerging as well as consolidated research groups (it is the backbone for research activity in UNIR);
  • It dedicates special attention to the development of the research activity of high performance researchers of UNIR;
  • It develops an annual plan for basic and specialized research training of its professor-researchers;
  • It promotes the research activity of professors about to certify in collaboration with the Vice-rectorate of teaching;
  • It promotes the training processes of Latin-American researchers.

Within this strategy one of the principal tools is the University Research, Development and Innovation Plan, of which three editions have been implemented (2012-2013, 2013-2015 and 2015-2017) and that coordinates the research activity of UNIR and promotes its general policy in this matter.


Three Main Lines of Research

Today UNIR works with lines of research focused on technology, psychology, education, law and communication. One of its goals is to improve its teaching staff through the promotion and development of its research activity.



School of Health Sciences

  • PIGESA – General Sanitary Psychology. Psychology. Director: Ana Belén Calvo.

School of Legal, Social and Human Sciences

  • DIPACE – Digitalization of the cultural patrimony of Spain: cultural and education projection. Humanities. Director: Mª Pilar Sáenz.
  • GEGLOTA – The global management of talent. An empirical study in Spain and India. Business. Director: Belén Bande.
  • CCSS-02: GHEDI (Humanities and Digital Editing Group), Concepción María Jiménez Fernández.
  • CCSS-04: COYSODI (Communication and Digital Society), Francisco Segado Boj.
  • CCSS-05: CRDH (Cultures, religions and human rights), Miguel Rodríguez Blanco.
  • CCSS-06: GLOBALAW (Justice, Law and Globalization), Tomás Aliste Santos.
  • CCSS-07: ARES (Performing Arts), José Gabriel López-Antuñano González.
  • CCSS-08: PROCOMM (Prospects for multimedia communication), Inmaculada Berlanga Fernández.
  • CCSS-09: IGBE (Interdisciplinary Team of Business and Education), Yolanda Rodríguez Blanco.

School of Education

  • ETEL – English, Technologies & Leaning. Education. Director: Cristina Castillo.
  • MOFLILE – The Flipped Learning model in the online formation of teachers and professors. Education. Director: Javier Tourón.
  • ESAPLI – The learning styles applied to Experimental Science in Primary School. Education. Director: Mª Luz Díago.
  • EDUC-01: CB-OUT (Cyberbullying-OUT), Joaquín Manuel González Cabrera.
  • EDUC-02: TECNODEF (Digital and Didactic Technology of Physical Education), María Virginia García Coll.
  • EDUC-03: EDUCATION (The educational endeavor as an action), José Antonio Ibáñez-Martín.
  • EDUC-04: EPEDIG (Personalized Education in the Digital Era), Blanca Arteaga Martínez.
  • EDUC-05: EVASSE (Evaluation and Secondary Analysis of the Education System), Javier Tourón Figueroa.
  • EDUC-06: NYE (Neuropsychology Applied to Education), María Pilar Martín Lobo.
  • EDUC-07: INCISO (The Didactics of Social Sciences and Pedagogical Innovation in the digital society), Alicia León Gómez.


Post-Secondary School of Engineering and Technology:

  • ESIT-01: Cybersecuritics, Manuel Sánchez Rubio.
  • ESIT-02: MUX (Mobility & User experience), Sergio Ríos Aguilar.
  • ESIT-04: SCOEM (Neuromarketing), Jesús Perán López.
  • ESIT-05: MOMAIN (Mathematical Modeling applied to engineering), Alberto Magreñán.

Vice-rectorate for Transfer and Technology

This Vice-rectorate focuses on boosting the life cycle of research and innovation projects aimed towards a practical application of the knowledge generated, always seeking to multiply the social impact of the scientific activity and with special emphasis on international projects. It develops each one of the stages comprised by research in international projects: design of the proposal, practical implementation, release and transfer of the results obtained. Likewise, it elaborates technological innovation projects applied to education that boost the online learning-teaching process, the basis of the university.

This vice-rectorate bases its activity on four tools:

  • iTED, Institute for Research, Innovation and Educational Technology which encompasses all research, innovation and institutional relationship activities on these matters;
  • UNIR Research, which designs, executes and evaluates international projects, including the competitive European ones through their different support programs and administrative support of the International Projects Office (OPI);
  • Institutional Chairs developed with first level companies and institutions with the goal of fostering a real impact on society and to bringing cutting-edge topics of research and innovation closer to citizens;
  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+i), which boosts the publication of research results obtained by professor-researchers of UNIR, as well as through actions mentioned here above.


  • EDUMOTION, situational learning through outside and inside geo-localization;
  • eMundus, policy and education resource analysis open on all five continents;
  • Espaq, improves the process of university quality control in the government of Armenia through participation of all sectors involved, including an active contribution of students;
  • eStory, designs and develops platforms, resources and workshops to teach History of the European Union through digital means;
  • EU-USR, analysis of the social responsibility situation in the European university;
  • HoTEL, development and validation of a support model for education innovation;
  • Inspiring Science Education, support for the improvement of performance and motivation in Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM) in School;
  • INTUITEL, semi-automated mentoring system of the student integrated in open and commercial education managers;
  • Open Med, promotion of education with open resources in South Mediterranean countries;
  • AppMooc, support for the cross-analysis of academic performance to support the mentoring function of professors;
  • Qareer, analysis and definition of the quality of the accompaniment service of the academic career for university students;
  • Social Seduction, education on skills of entrepreneurship for long-term unemployed;
  • Social4all, conversion system of websites to accessible webpages in accordance with the automatic recognition of intervention tool;
  • VM-PASS, system of open education resource and university credit acknowledgement Virtual Tours, use of virtual reality in tourism learning and business.



The UNESCO chair in e-Learning (Paris, France), ICDE chair in Open Education resources (ICDE, Oslo -Norway-on Open Education Resources) and the UNESCO IITE (Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Moscow), of which UNIR is the delegate for Latin America and Southern Europe, come together to work on education technology and innovation.

  • IBM-UNIR chair on Data Science in Education

Promotes the study, design and management of large data volumes. It is mainly focused on education processes such as the improvement of learning achievement, the methodology of teaching or the transfer and technical innovation.

  • THE Telefónica-UNIR CHAIR ON Digital SOCIETY AND EducaTiOn

Promotes the study, awareness and research on the digital environment and its impact on education and society. The experts of both institutions join their experience to communicate the contributions of technology in education processes.

  • THE AENOR-UNIR CHAIR In CertificaTIOn AND QUALity and technology standards

Its principal objective is to facilitate the training, research, dissemination and standardization of knowledge and abilities on certification and normalization, focused mainly on quality and technology.

  • Tavistock-UNIR Chair in Social Sciences and Change

Its principal objectives are the research and experimentation with group structures and behavior, within organizations. It seeks to identify factors of change and their evaluation in specific contexts.

Vice-rectorate of Innovation and Educational Development

The mission of this vice-rectorate may be summarized in the following strategic lines of action:

  • To foster the reflection, study and research on pedagogical and technological models and approaches that improve the education process on any educational level and modalities.
  • To promote cutting-edge educational research that incorporates the most advanced methodologies, improving the formation and learning experience of the students so that they can take on the challenges of present day society.
  • To develop plans for technological-pedagogical formation that drives the continuous improvement and teaching efficiency of the UNIR professors, extending it to professionals of other educational levels.
  • To foster the formation of the teaching staff in research methodology in quantitative as well as qualitative education, that facilitates the development of quality education projects, offering assessment for the access to openings for aid for research projects in the area of pedagogy.
  • To deepen the development and transfer of the pedagogical model of UNIR based on the personalization of learning, the prudent use of technology and development of talent, to any educational institution.
  • To establish collaboration channels and projects between the different centers of UNIR involved, so that development and applications of maximum transfer and scientific reach may be promoted.

Among the most important ongoing projects the study of the efficiency of “Flipped Learning in Online Teaching” strategies stands out. It has a stable research group that analyzes the application of this model in several spheres of education studies. This line of investigation is accompanied by educational developments, such as the University Expert in Flipped Classroom which is developed with this same methodology and in a virtual 3D environment which makes it pioneering in this field.

On the other hand, the work to introduce a virtual European space for young talented people in commissioned by the European Council for High Ability, must be highlighted.


The UNIR 2020 project intends to progress in the introduction of cutting-edge technology (such as virtual environments in the construction of a new eco-system for online learning) which, combined with the most efficient teaching techniques and the experience of developments in previous years, allows projects to be implemented that improve both the experience and the learning of our students. It is carried out in collaboration with the Vice-rectorate of Transfer and Technology.


Talent Identification and Development Unit. It is in full force and works on two lines: the educational one and the one oriented towards research. The vice-rectorate currently promotes the degree of Expert in High Abilities, which has been certified as Talent Point by the European Council for High Ability.


The immediate beneficiaries of all these actions are the university itself and the non-university education system in whose improvement and redesign the Vice-rectorate effectively collaborates as a protagonist. The results of this research are defined in specialized and informative publications, apart from the usual ones, in a wide offer of educational activities for professors.

International Research Agreements

UNIR keeps bilateral collaboration agreements with universities and companies all over the world. The objective is for the students and the teaching and research personnel to have opportunities for academic, cultural and scientific exchange that contribute to their integral formation and positioning of the university in the international context.


This way, there are collaborations of UNIR Research with universities and companies all over the world with whom collaboration agreements focused on research are implemented by UNIR. Some of the entities with whom these agreements are signed are:

  • CeLTech – Centre for e-Learning (Germany)
  • The Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research (Germany)
  • Russian State Social University (Russia)
  • Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria)
  • The Open University (United Kingdom)
  • University of Vigo (Spain)
  • State University of Moscow (Russia)
  • Austral University (Argentina)
  • University of La Sabana (Colombia)
  • Pontifical Bolivarian University (Colombia)
  • UNIR Research also collaborates with other universities and companies on public and private research projects such as for example:
  • Coventry University (United Kingdom)
  • Business Foundation of the University of Granada (Spain)
  • Heureka The Finnish Science Centre (Finland)
  • Hrvatska Akademska I Istrazivacka Mreza – Carnet (Croatia)
  • Intrasoft International (Luxemburg)
  • Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (United Kingdom)
  • Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • University of Valladolid (Spain)
  • State University of Economy, Statistics and Computer Science of Moscow (Russia)
  • University of Vytautas Magnus (Lithuania)
  • University of Twente (The Netherlands)
  • University of Piraeus Research Center (Greece)
  • University of Porto (Portugal)
  • University of Vienna (Austria)
  • University Politehnica os Bucharest (Romania)
  • Autonomous Metropolitan University (Mexico)
  • University of Athabasca (Canada)
  • University of Sao Paolo (Brazil)
  • Holon Institute of Technology (Israel)
  • International University of Siswa Bangsa (Indonesia)
  • OER Foundation (New Zeeland)