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The research in Optometry and Vision Sciences has undergone a stunning ascent in the last years. Technologic advances and instrumental measure techniques have allowed an unusual progress in the theory knowledge of processes and mechanisms of vision, that have led to relevant advances in clinical techniques related to them, both in the field of Ophthalmology and Optometry and Vision Sciences. This has led to an essential increase of research journals dedicated to those sciences related to Optometry and Vision Sciences, and in the number of articles globally published. Publications which traditionally only tangentially considered works in these areas, now they make them more powerful, given the importance derived from these advances that moves immediately to findings of clinical relevance in the treatment of visual problems, whether pathological or non-pathological.

The doctoral studies in Optometry and Vision Sciences of the University of Valencia are born from the already extensive experience of this institution in the research in these areas. The department of Optics of this University was the birthplace of one of the first research groups in Vision Sciences of this country, which is recognised as one of the most active and prolific in this field, reflected in hundreds of publications in high impact scientific journals and dozens of doctoral theses, which by its original bind to the subject of Physics of Vision they were ascribed to the area of Physics. The implementation of Optics and Optometry studies multiplied the interest in research in the area of Optometry and Vision Sciences, which due to the inability of graduates to develop a thesis, has generated an unprecedented interest in doctoral studies.

In just two editions of the studies of Master’s Degree in Optometry and Vision Sciences, which allow the holders of a Diplomatura in Optics and Optometry to begin their doctoral studies, it was found that almost 30% of the enroled students have shown their interest in developing their training in research in this field by means of the development of a doctoral thesis, which guarantees a high demand for the programme in the future. 

It is especially interesting to note that, in the area of socio-economic influence of the University of Valencia there are also research centres with a significant dedication to the field of Optometry and Sciences Vision, as the Mediterranean Ophthalmological Foundation (which has signed cooperation agreements in research tasks with the group of Vision Sciences of the University of Valencia).

The contents of the Doctoral Studies in Optometry and Vision Sciences are in line, in addition, with those put on offer by other public and private universities of the Spanish state, as the Complutense University of Madrid, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, University of Granada, University of Santiago de Compostela, University of Murcia, University of Valladolid, University of Alicante, University of Zaragoza, European University of Madrid.

This programme is included within the R&D+I of the University of Valencia in the area of Health Sciences, completing the current offering of doctoral programmes and following their specifications. It should be noted in this regard that the Campus of Excellence VLC/CAMPUS project promoted by the University of Valencia, the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the Technical University of Valencia specifically consider a platform of innovation and research dedicated to Health Science and Technology, as well as an International Postgraduate and Doctorate School. The aim of this programme is to evolve and develop in order to take the most of the possibilities offered by these platforms.

The Doctoral Programme in Optometry and Vision Sciences is included within the lines of research of the University of Valencia and will be integrated in the future Doctoral School of Health Sciences, Sciences and Engineerings of the University of Valencia.

This programme offers full-time places for students with a maximum duration of three years and after the approval of the academic committee they will be able to make their doctoral studies in part-time with a maximum duration of five years.

The different doctors attached to the doctoral programme held several collaborations with other academic and research institutions, both national and international. One can highlight for instance the very active collaboration with the Universidade do Miho (Portugal), University of Manchester (United Kingdom) and Indiana University (USA). Research stays both on behalf of doctors and doctorate students have been carried out in this institutions in one director or another, thanks to the funding of the Ministry programmes (José Castillejo), Generalitat Valenciana (BEST) and the University of Valencia itself (V Segles). It is noteworthy the large number of publications combined with researchers from these Universities as well as conducted joint research projects and defended combined theses. We should highlight a Starting Grant funded by the European Research Council which considers the active collaboration of the State University of New York (USA).