A collaborative platform dedicated to doctoral research

Research projects carried out in the framework of a three-year doctoral thesis are led with three-fold motivation: pedagogy, science and application.

Doctoral students benefit from the expertise of an ad hoc steering committee made up of researchers and professionals; the committee supervises and orients the scientific work and defines the axes of value and operational transfers.

With a comprehensive training system throughout the three year program, doctoral students receive training in research and scientific communication. Through a multidisciplinary approach, they master different techniques, such as oral or written questioning and real-time observation. They also collaborate closely with the students and professionals at Institut Paul Bocuse: experimentation with recipes, restaurant service, surveys of customers and professionals, etc...

A dozen young researchers benefit from an exceptional environment at the Center for Food and Hospitality Research at Institut Paul Bocuse to carry out their doctoral work.

Their dissertational themes focus on different areas of activity of Institut Paul Bocuse: culinary arts, food service, eating outside the home, hotels and those subjects relevant to an academic discipline and a doctoral university, be it local, national or international; depending on the set-up specific of each project.


  • Food attractiveness and recognition for institutionalized elderly, healthy and with Alzheimer’s disease - Virginie Pouyet AgroParisTech Massy, Orpea
This doctoral program investigate sensory and semantic factors of food attractiveness for elderly with Alzheimer’s disease. Experimentations are conducted in nursing homes to analyze food choices, behavior and consumption of elderly with Alzheimer’s disease compared to healthy elderly for different food preparations and presentations. The operational objective is to increase food pleasure and consumption for people with Alzheimer’s disease by providing attractive food.

  • The place of taste in social and cognitive culinary representations underlying choices during culinary processes - Julie Boussoco University Paris 8, Seb
The choice of a recipe is a dynamic process that integrates many factors: cultural, social, nutritional, hedonic, sensory, etc. related to expertise, related to self-efficacy, etc. This choice is also linked to the objectives in terms of final output (ie, characteristics of the dish to get), type of meal (ie, daily, festive), time available, cost, it also depends on the cooking equipment and available food, season, etc. Finally, the choice is modulated by the gastronomic culture (ie the region), knowledge and social and cognitive representations related food and cooking. The PhD programme is aimed to study the perceptions and social and cognitive representations related to food and cooking, of non professional cooks, when they plan cooking a dish. What is the role of representations, beliefs, knowledge, perceptual information, which underlined choices during culinary processes? In particular, what is the place of taste – in its multimodal understanding (appearance, texture, smell, etc.) – in these representations? The ultimate goal is to determine a model of "culinary decisions" used by non-professional cooks in the selection and implementation of recipes.

  • Perception and promotion of products in restaurants: “How to design and supply products with high added-value ?” - Carole Jegou UPMF Grenoble, GAEL
The scientific objective of this doctoral program is to explore perception of products in restaurants and to identify ways to leverage their promotion. Operational objective is to suggest strategies to design and supply products offers with high added-value. The framework will be experimental & behavioral economics and sensory evaluation fields. Research work will rely on experimental methods that apply to the restaurant environment.

  • Language and learning in the service activity at restaurant - Céline Alcade University Lyon 2, Aslan


  • Commensality: the social relations during food intakes amongst young French, German and Spanish adults between 18 and 30 - Giada Danesi EHESS Paris, GL Events Exhibitions
Commensality is the fact of sharing a meal, for which the forms and significations differ according to the situations of food intake, socio-cultural belonging, the time period, the lifestyle and conditions of living of the individuals... At a time when many people are announcing the end of the commensal meal, a trend toward the individualization of food intake practices and a hypothetical link with the development of obesity, this study analyzes the ways that young adults from three European countries (France, Germany and Spain) gather to eat together. Its findings indicate that sharing food is taking on new forms and newfound intensity. From an operational point of view, this means sharing knowledge with food service and agro-food industry professionals on tendencies regarding eating habits and sociability when eating for new generations as well as for certain cultural specificities concerning eating habits.

  • The destructuring of meals: what are the behavioral and physiological consequences - Xavier Allirot University Lyon 1, Nestlé France Foundation, CRNH Rhône-Alpes, HCL, Thermes de Brides-Les-Bains
The rhythms of food intake represent a fundamental aspect of nutrition. Their destructuring through the multiplication of food intakes can have major effects on health. This study measured the consequences of fractional meals on satiety and appetite control, both on eating behavior and the physiological aspects. It has allowed it to be substantiated that the increase in the frequency of food intakes induces different choices for people with normal weight as opposed to overweight individuals. The expected benefits of these results are better knowledge of new trends in eating habits and the development of recommendations, particularly for overweight individuals, enabling food intakes to be adapted all throughout the day.

  • Perception of luminous environments of hotel rooms: effect of lighting, use and individual characteristics on the judgment in real situations - Pauline Fernandez University Lyon 1, ENTPE, Accor, Schneider, Somfy, Philips
Given the current changes in technologies and regulations, the emergence of LED technology multiplies the possibilities of designing indoor and outdoor luminous environments adaptable to user’s needs and expectations. Although engineers and architects care about lighting quality, few fundamental elements of luminous environments have been evidenced as important regarding customers’ expectations in the hospitality. In this context, our thesis aimed at better understanding the perception of light environments in hotel rooms from a users’ perspective, the hotel customer itself. We assumed that the judgment of appreciation of a luminous environment depended on its lighting parameters, but also the situation during which the luminous environment was perceived and the individual characteristics of the users who perceived it. Overall, the users preferred the luminous environment characterized by warm white and dim light while relaxing, whereas they preferred a warm white and bright light when working. Differences in individual characteristics like age and gender influenced the assessment of appreciation. Moreover, the methodological issue of our project was to develop an experimental device allowing the formulation and the collection of the users’ assessments of appreciation regarding luminous environments in a hotel room under an ecological context.

  • Service at restaurant: linguistic and multimodal analysis of interactions between service staff and customers - Clémentine Hugol-Gential University Lyon 2, ICAR, Accor
Based on a rich array of verbal and multimodal resources, the service is crucial in the organization of the meal at restaurant. Within this study, we are particularly interested in the interactions taking place between service staff and customers. On the basis of a corpus of video recordings realized in natural settings within several restaurants, the empirical analyses have been carried out within a praxeological and interactional perspective. Several interactional patterns within professional practices of service have been identified. These phenomena allow us to underline the importance and the complexity of various multimodal resources implemented by the participants in the organization and the coordination of their activities. This study is interested first of all in the practices by which service staff opens regularly the interaction with customers, then in the various uses of menu, and finally in the organization of the choice and the use of ad hoc categories during the order-taking of dishes and wines. The issue is to understand the detailed organization of the interactions between service staff and customers and so, to underline their fundamental and structuring character for the dining experience.

  • Exploratory research on gourmet meal experience: remembered elements and guest's familiarity. The case of Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux - Philomène Bayet Robert University Lyon 3, Relais & Châteaux
This research is integrated into the guest experience concept and its memorization in the area of Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux' restaurants. This thesis aims to understand the constitution of a gourmet meal experience according to guests' memories. A three-step methodological approach is set up: a double qualitative phase (interviews, n=65) and a quantitative phase (on-line questionnaire, n=1855). Samples are structured regarding languages (French, English and German) and consumption frequency. Data analysis permits to identify categories describing a meal experience as memorized by guests, and to measure the influence of individual familiarity on the interpretation of experiential components. This work leads to the elaboration of an operational tool dedicated to Grands Chefs and restaurants managers.

  • How to enhance vegetables and develop their consumption by children? - David Morizet University Lyon 1, Bonduelle, INRA
Major public health issues such as obesity, cancer and cardiovascular illnesses can stem from poor eating habits during childhood. This study has enabled a better understanding of the sensorial and cognitive determinants of food item choices by children aged 8 to 11 for the specific case of vegetables in out-of-home food service. Now, the conclusion needs to be put into application in order to increase the consumption of vegetables by children thanks to the notion of pleasure, by proposing appreciated culinary forms.

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