The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is one of the four Departments of Harokopio University, located in Athens, Greece. It was established in 1992 and functioned for the first time in 1994. It has a 4-year undergraduate program, as well as a postgraduate studies program, established in 2000, that leads to masters and doctoral degree. Around 360 graduate and 150 postgraduate (100 masters and 50 doctoral) students are registered, currently. The Department employees 23 teaching and scientific faculty members, 9 teaching and research assistants, as well as 35 administrative and secretarial staff. There are three laboratories: the laboratory of nutrition and clinical dietetics, the laboratory of biology, biochemistry, physiology and microbiology, and the laboratory of chemistry-biochemisty and food chemistry.
The Departments’ mission and main objectives are summarized as follows:
· Education: teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate students, awarding a bachelor’s degree for becoming a qualified dietitian, as well as Master’s and Doctoral degrees on nutrition. The Department is the only University Department in the country in the field of dietetics and nutritional sciences.
· Research: supporting and implementing research in all nutrition-related areas, including health promotion, community nutrition, dietary management in health and disease, basic nutrition science, nutrigenonics-nutrigenetics, and development of methodologies. Several of the projects implemented are supported by European grants.
· Public policy services: providing nutritional and health promotional services to the community, consulting Governmental and non-Governmental agencies on issues related to the development and implementation of nutrition policies, providing scientific support to the Food Industry.
The Departments’ main projects and activities involve:
· Practical Placement of the graduate students, as an obligatory module conducted in the 4th year of studies. Practical Placement is instituted by law and it is conducted in the Nutrition Department of major public hospitals. It lasts 2 semesters and it is continuous. The Department is also a member of the European network DIETS (Dietitians Improving Education Training Standards across Europe).
· Erasmus mobility. Students of both graduate and postgraduate level have visited a university department abroad, and the vice versa. Similarly, members of the teaching staff have participated in the Erasmus exchanges, to both directions.
· Awards from the Fulbright Foundation. Both teaching-scientific faculty and students of the Department have been awarded a scholarship to conduct teaching and research or studies, respectively, in the United States.
·Participation in research consortia with European and non-European countries, such as the Helena.