Research Center

General Overview


With the opening of this centre, the Alava Campus seeks to serve the scientific research in Social Sciences and Humanities, an area of knowledge with considerable presence in this Campus.

The Alava Campus already had the Lascaray Ikergunea Research Centre devoted to Experimental and Health Sciences. With the incorporation and implementation of this new centre, Vitoria-Gasteiz now has high-level research infrastructures within a wide range of branches of knowledge, a circumstance contributing to the economic and cultural development of the environment.

The Micaela Portilla Centre is destined to be the research landmark in the Basque Country, as at present there is no centre of similar characteristics. In this centre, the excellence research groups regarding the abovementioned scientific disciplines will be able to have their own spaces and common laboratories, as well as infrastructures and services that will enable quality research.

The name


Micaela Josefa Portilla Vitoria (Vitoria-Gasteiz, July 1922 - 8th October 2005) was one of the most significant Basque Historians, Anthropologists and Educators in the 20th century. Author of many studies and publications, her educational work, which she combined with her research and diffusion activities, is worth highlighting.

Brief profile and biography


Apart from an outstanding Historian, Micaela Portilla was a communicator always ready to share her knowledge. She was particularly interested in old paths/roads (very important in her work), in chapels still standing or those that have disappeared, in Stonemasons or Carvers and in lineages. She combined great wisdom and a special teaching talent to transmit it. In the words of Henrike Knörr (1947-2008), a Professor for Basque Philology at the UPV/EHU, "for her, science, accuracy and meticulousness, demands of research, do not conflict with the wish to reach the entire world at all. Her concerns about spreading this knowledge was evident".

She completed her first studies at Colegio del Niño Jesús (Child Jesus School) of Vitoria-Gasteiz and in 1933 She started her studies in the secondary education school of Vitoria-Gasteiz. She studied a Teaching degree (1941) and a degree in Philosophy and Letters. She carried out further studies at the Complutense University, specialising in Geography and History. In her minor thesis, in 1954, she presented her work under the title of Torres de Mendozas, Guevaras y Ayalas en Álava, a prelude to her doctoral thesis and one of her most significant pieces of work: Torres y casas fuertes en Álava (1977). Other key titles in her production were Quejana, solar de los Ayala (1983), Las torres de Mendoza y Martioda (1985), Vitoria gótica (1986) and Una ruta europea. Por Álava a Compostela. Del paso de San Adrián al Ebro (1991).

She worked as a primary Teacher in several towns of the province of Alava: at Untzilla school (Aramaio) in 1945, then in Zalla (Bizkaia),in Salvatierra-Agurain and in Vitoria-Gasteiz, in whose Ramiro de Maeztu institute she was an assistant to Odón Apraiz. Apraiz would affectionately call her Zabalate, the Basque name of the town of Portilla and for several years Micaela used the pseudonym Leocadia Zabalate to sign journalistic collaborations about art and history. As a Professor of University Schools of Education (1956) she was at the Teachers´ College (Teaching Schools) of Cadiz, of Vitoria-Gasteiz and, finally of Madrid, where she retired in 1987 after 43 years of service.

She was the Director of the Teachers´ College of Vitoria-Gasteiz (1958-1964), the Advisor to the General Inspection of Teachers´ Colleges (1967-1971), the corresponding Academician for Alava of the Royal Academies of Fine Arts (1982) and History (1988). Besides, she was a member of the Royal Basque Society of Friends of the Country (1971), of Eusko Ikaskuntza, of the Conservative Commission of the Artistic Heritage of Alava, of the Advisory Board of Museums of the Regional Government, of the Advisory Board of the Monumental Heritage of Euskadi and of the General Council of the Basque Culture.

She was the first woman to be awarded an honoris causa doctorat by the UPV/EHU, in 1993.



The Micaela Portilla Ikergunea Research Centre is located in the Alava Campus of the UPV/EHU.


Centro de Investigación Micaela Portilla Ikergunea
c/ Justo Vélez de Elorriaga, 1
01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz

Tel: (+34) 945014003

The building

Characteristics of the building


The building is located next to the Lascaray Ikergunea Research Centre and has a underground car park, on the ground floor, with a surface area of 3,194 m2. The rest of the building, with a total surface area of 5,814 m2, is divided into four levels with four different spaces.

The development of the project regarding this building has been carried out under the eco design regulations UNE-EN 14006, through traditional and innovative building systems. In this case the CLT wooden panels have been used as external casing for the facade and the structure is made of reinforce concrete. The ventilated facade is finished with some corrugate polymer concrete panels. Besides, the warmth of the wood has been used for the design of interior spaces. Natural lighting also plays a significant role in this building, thanks to the interior patios and the curtain wall of the rear facade.

Common services


In addition to the rooms of the research groups, the building has two common linguistic laboratories and three archeology laboratories available to user groups.

1. Research
Linguistic Laboratories:

The Micaela Portilla Research Centre has 2 linguistic laboratories on the 3rd floor of the building (rooms 3.3 and 3.4) with a surface area of 88.31 m2 each.

  •  "Perception of Speech laboratory". A soundproof booth of 30.50 m2 for 8 experimentation workstations, separated by a glass panel with communication to a quiet room. In the quite room there are 2 workstations and an exterior desk area for 4 workstations for the control of the soundproof booth.
  •  "Experimental Linguistic Laboratory": 2 Faraday booths, and 2 acoustic soundproof booths of 30.50 m2 for 4 experimentation workstations, with visual communication of the booths with the quiet room. In turn, the quiet room has 4 workstations for the control of the booths.
Archeology Laboratories:

The centre has 4 archeology rooms located in the basement of the building, with the following layout:

  •  Reception of archeological materials (52 m2)
  •  Flotation, washing and drying of materials, with direct access from the garage/car park of the building (96 m2)
  •  Storage of archeological materials (92 m2)
  •  Preparation of samples and treatment of materials (92 m2)

In the basement of the building there is a tank for archeological waste, in a way that the water that pours through the basins of the "Flotation, Washing and Drying" room flows into a tank that is independent from the rest of the building.

2.- Work rooms, meeting rooms and assembly hall

The centre has several meeting rooms, work rooms for seminars and presentation of results as well as an assembly hall.

Type of room Capacity and Location Characteristics

Assembly hall

108 people
On ground floor
Audiovisual equipment + Computer Stand

5 meeting rooms

14 people per room:

- Rooms 0.1 and 0.9 (on ground floor)

- Room 1.8 (on 1st floor)

- Room 2.5 (on 2nd floor)

- Room 3.5 (on 3rd floor)
Mobile screen

5 work rooms for seminars and presentation of results

On ground floor:
- Room 0.2 (40 people)

- Room 0.3 (16 people)

- Room 0.6 (16 people)

- Room 0.7 (40 people)

- Room 0.8 (62 people)
Audiovisual equipment+Computer

2 individual or team work rooms

On ground floor:
- Rooms 0.4 and 0.5 (24 people)

- Room s 0.10, 0.11 and 0.12 (20 people)

No previous reservation needed; to share among university researchers.
Electric tables or chair desks


Reservation of venues

The opening times of the centre are: Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 21:00 hours.
Contact telephone number: +34 945 01 4003

  • In order to reserve one of the rooms of the Micaela Portilla Ikergunea Research Centre, please complete THIS FORM. Reservations will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis and the concierge of the centre will confirm, by email, the reservation requested or, if applicable, denial of it.


  • For personnel outside the UPV/EHU the fees of the general budgets of the University will be applied:


The Doctoral School

The Doctoral School (DocS) is the centre that runs the UPV/EHU Doctoral studies, through which the students obtain their doctorate and which accredits them as research staff.

Among the strategic objectives of the Vicerrectorado de Investigación are the development of excellence in research and the contribution to the generation and transfer of knowledge to companies and institutions.

The Vice Rectorate of Research:

  • It facilitates the incorporation of young scientists into society and the results of their research.
  • Improves communication and research knowledge between the University and the Society.
  • It manages and promotes the participation of university researchers in project calls and collaboration with other organizations in the field of research.
  • Advises companies and institutions that want to collaborate with the university and channel their R&D demands or advice to research groups.
  • It promotes the protection of research results through patents and intellectual property objects and their subsequent exploitation.
  • It advises and collaborates in the creation of technology-based companies and the creation of strategic collaboration networks.